American Literature and the First World War

Tim Dayton

GIVEN THAT THE United States entered the First World War much later than any other major belligerent, declaring war on Germany in April, 1917 — over two and a half years after the war began — one might expect that the war had less impact here than on other countries. American literature, however, argues otherwise.

Not only did the war spawn an enormous literature during and after the war, it also led to a reaction against the war and the culture that supported it. This response to the war contributed significantly to two different outcomes: first, the radicalism of the 1930s, and second, a shift in literature that widened the gap between popular and high literary culture.

When the war began in Europe, Amer­ican writers expressed opinions about it ranging from pacifistic opposition to the very idea of war to passionate support for U.S. intervention on the side of the Allies (notably Britain, France, Russia) or, less frequently, the Central Powers (led by Germany and Austria-Hungary).

The United States was urged to side with the Allies by Percy MacKaye. MacKaye (1875-1956), well-known in his day but now known only to literary historians, saw American involvement in the war as inevitable, given what America is; in this he anticipates Woodrow Wilson’s eventual acceptance of American intervention into the war. MacKaye’s sonnet “American Neutrality” ends:

Peace! do we cry? Peace is the godlike plan
We love and dedicate our children to;
Yet England’s cause is ours: The rights of man,
Which little Belgium battles for anew,
Shall we recant? No! — Being American,
Our souls cannot keep neutral and keep true.(1)

While MacKaye calls for joining the Allies, he supported Wilson despite his policy of formal neutrality — a neutrality that, in any case, massively favored the Allies. Not only did the Allied naval blockade effectively end U.S. trade with the Central powers, but this formal neutrality also did not stop American financial interests from extending billions of dollars in loans to the Allies.

Despite the compromised nature of Wilsonian neutrality, many who supported American intervention backed its loudest advocate, Theodore Roosevelt. Unlike Wilson, Roosevelt was a militarist who considered war a positive social good, raising citizens above the materialism of daily life by demanding sacrifice in the name of the nation.

This sense that involvement in the war was an anti-materialistic, idealistic calling was extremely common and profoundly ironic, given the significance of economic conflict in leading to the enormous scope of the war.(2)

A few writers took up the case of the Central Powers, especially Germany, George Sylvester Viereck (1884-1962) most prominent among them. In “The German American to His Adopted Country” Viereck presents Germany as fighting for freedom — “Teutons strike for liberty” — and depicts the war in terms drawn from the medieval era and Arthurian legend. For Viereck Germany defends the world from Imperial Russia:

The Red Czar’s blight shall never fall
     Upon the earth, nor freedom pale,
While the white blade of Parzival
     Still guards the Teuton’s Holy Grail.(3)

Viereck presents Germany, rather than England or France, as the European embodiment of the values supposedly held most dear by Americans, as well as the defender of civilization against the Czarist Russian menace. And he does so using the same medievalism and religious coloring also found in a staggering amount of pro-Allied poetry.

This similarity between pro-Allied and pro-German poetry suggests that these opponents shared, first, a culture and value-system, and second, a need to imagine the war — an historical event — in what amounts to a mythological guise, through the mechanism of ideology, obscuring the real stakes of the conflict.

It falls to historical materialist analysis to clarify this obscurity, even while the process of analysis requires us to understand, to sympathize with, almost, the power of these mystifications.

Antiwar Opposition

American intervention in the war also met with opposition. Oppositional poetry emerged from the Women’s Peace Party, organized in early 1915. A poem by WPP member Angela Morgan (1875?-1957), “Battle Cry of the Mothers,” typifies poems that base their rhetoric on the belief that women as women must oppose the war.

Bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh,
Fruit of our age-long mother pain,
They have caught your life in the nations’ mesh,
They have bargained you out for their paltry gain
And they build their hope on the shattered breast
Of the child we sang to rest.  (Rendezvous, 92)

The poem is written in the conventional manner of the day: it rhymes, the meter is regular, the language is politely emotional and features Biblical resonance; but its conservative form does not correspond to a conservative, nationalistic politics. However, once the United States became directly involved in the war, poetry written in this genteel and sentimental manner would overwhelmingly support the effort and present the war as an apocalyptic conflict between civilization and barbarism.

Socialist and trade union organizations also generated and provided outlets for anti-war poetry. For example, Charles W. Wood’s “The King of the Magical Pump,”(4) about the land of the Chumps ruled over and employed by their king, emphasizes sheer sound, characteristic of nonsense verse, to produce a critique of ideology:

But the King of the Chumps was a kindly old Umps
          And he paid them as much as he durst
          (As much as all such as he durst)
     For humping and jumping and pumpty-pump-pumping
     Anything that a king could imagine their dumping;
Till he said: “Go to roost, we have over-produced
     And we’ve got to get rid of this first.” (Rendezvous, 77-78)

Like the industrial capitalism it stands in for, the magical pump is massively productive, leading to overproduction and a consequent shutting down of the pump and mass unemployment when employers, driven by competition, fail to pay workers well enough to provide adequate demand.

Confronted with this economic and social crisis, the king responds to the complaints of the idle Chumps:

Said the King of the Pumps to the Chumpety-Chumps:
          It is plain as the face on your nose,
          As the face on the base of your nose,
     The lesson this session of business depression
     Points out beyond doubt is that foreign aggression
Has caused a big slump in the work of the pump —
          So up men and after your foes!” (Rendezvous, 78)

The rapid rhythm and over-the-top rhyme produce a comic effect, as does the obviousness with which ideology is manipulated, or rather the obviousness with which the hapless Chumps are manipulated by ideology.

Skipping the complex ways in which ideology is actually produced and experienced, Wood demonstrates that without those complex mediations the propaganda that wars call forth sounds funny, and what better form for this than something bordering on nonsense verse?

The Pro-War Tide

While opposition to the war did find literary expression, especially during the period of American neutrality, the overwhelming majority of wartime writing supported direct American involvement.

Even before the United States declared war, the publishing industry largely favored pro-war writing. But once war was declared, the suppression of the mails — devastating in a vast country in which the left was heavily dependent upon the postal service to distribute its papers and journals — had the effect of eliminating most of the venues in which antiwar poetry could be published.

But also, many socialists — especially socialist intellectuals — were recruited to the war effort by the relatively progressive character of some of the Wilson administration’s policies, which to some extent foreshadowed the New Deal of the 1930s.(5)

 Once the war settled in as an established fact and a relatively small number of Americans became involved as combatants, one figure emerged as the literary spokesperson for the war, Alan Seeger (1888-1916). Seeger — uncle of the great folksinger Pete Seeger — was only partially qualified for this post: he had enlisted in the French Foreign Legion in part out of love for France, where he had been living when the war broke out, but mostly from a deep desire to experience war.

While he preferred France to Germany, war for Seeger was a part of nature, and he saw the conflict as one not between civilization and barbarism but rather between two civilizations, each with its own legitimate interests. Furthermore, he thought of war in highly romantic terms, derived from the medieval era and the 19th century medieval revival.

While this provided part of the basis for his appeal to readers, Seeger’s embrace of chivalry meant that he did not, as the propaganda would have him, hate the Germans he fought, instead viewing them as fellow warriors fighting bravely and skillfully for their side.

None of this prevented Seeger from becoming the embodiment of the romantic, idealized soldier for those who advocated American intervention on the side of the Allies. His signature poem, “I Have a Rendezvous with Death,” was widely published and well-known; the first six of its 24 lines reverse the deeply-rooted association of spring with new life:

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes round with rustling shade
And apple-blossomes fill the air —
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair. (Rendezvous, 142)

Spring brings “apple-blossoms,” but also the return of major offensive operations, and hence greater likelihood of death; or rather, of a meeting with Death, a personification that allows Seeger to avoid confronting the impersonal, industrialized nature of the war.

Seeger wrote most often in the high romantic manner, and could occasionally do so beautifully. In “Ode in Memory of the American Volunteers Fallen for France,” written shortly before he was cut down by machine gun fire in July 1916, he describes those killed in action:

There, holding still, in frozen steadfastness,
Their bayonets toward the beckoning frontiers,
They lie — our comrades — lie among their peers,
Clad in the glory of fallen warriors,
Grim clusters under thorny trellises,
Dry, furthest foam upon disastrous shores,
Leaves that made last year beautiful, still strewn
Even as they fell, unchanged, beneath the changing moon.

Those Americans who died for France need not be thanked by her:

Nay, rather, France, to you they rendered thanks
(Seeing they came for honor, not for gain),
Who, opening to them your glorious ranks,
Gave them that grand occasion to excel,
That chance to live the life most free from stain
And that rare privilege of dying well.(6)

The New Crusaders

This romantic poem would occasion a direct response from one of the characteristic writers of the postwar disillusionment, Ernest Hemingway, in his poem “Champs d’Honneur.”

But the calls for American intervention, often from the powerful and wealthy, became louder as the war dragged on. By the time the United States declared war, the rhetorical pitch was very high. The war was one between civilization and barbarism; American soldiers were the new Crusaders, engaged in a holy war.

Woodrow Wilson’s rhetoric presented the stakes as enormous. “The world,” he famously stated in his request to Congress for a declaration of war “must be made safe for democracy.”(7) The tone of that speech was actually pretty subdued, compared to some others.

For example, in Wil­son’s last speech in support of ratification of the Versailles peace treaty and of American participation in the League of Nations, delivered in September 1919, he states that he wishes that those who oppose the treaty and the League “could feel the moral obligation that rests upon us not to go back on those boys” who died in the war, “but to see the thing through, to see it through to the end and make good their redemption of the world. For nothing less depends on this decision, nothing less than the liberation and salvation of the world.” (Wilson, 530, my emphasis)

Perhaps more inflammatory, the posters created to promote the war effort whipped emotions into a froth. In part this was the result of the Wilson administration, reluctant to pay for the war through taxation which would make the real cost of the war obvious, using government bonds offering an interest rate below that available in the open market.

Total war required public support that could only be achieved through extreme emotional manipulation that obscured the war’s realities.(8) As a result the rhetoric of the pro-war forces is insistently inflationary. Two things are likely to strike today’s reader looking back on wartime writing: first, that the stakes of the war were presented as enormously high, and second, that war was imagined in highly romantic terms.

In the 1920s the reaction against the war often responded by being deflationary. When Hemingway responds in “Champs d’Honneur” to Alan Seeger’s reference to “that rare chance of dying well,” he writes:

Soldiers never do die well;
     Crosses mark the places —
Wooden crosses where they fell,
     Stuck above their faces.
Soldiers pitch and cough and twitch —
     All the world roars red and black;
Soldiers smother in a ditch,
     Choking through the whole attack.(9)

The poem is short, suggesting that there’s nothing more to say on the subject. The language is harsh, unromantic: “pitch,” “cough,” “twitch,” “choking.” The crosses are not placed, they are “stuck;” the war is so violent and undignified that the violence and indignity done to the soldiers does not end with their deaths. The inflationary romantic language of Seeger is punctured, brought down to earth.

Literary Dissent

While he wrote poems, Hemingway became famous as a prose writer. And much of his early — and best — work was concerned with the war and its consequences. The unified short story collection In Our Time is centered on the war and the personal and political consequences of it.

One of the stories, “Soldier’s Home,” presents the alienation of a returned soldier, Harold Krebs, as he fails to fit back into his small Kansas hometown. His distance from the world he has left comes through as he observes the local girls but does not participate in their world:

He liked to look at them from the front porch as they walked on the other side of the street. He liked to watch them walking under the shade of the trees. He liked the round Dutch collars above their sweaters. He liked their silk stockings and flat shoes. He liked their bobbed hair and the way they walked.

The obsession with literary form characteristic of postwar writers can be seen in Hemingway’s use of the poetic technique of anaphora, the repetition of initial words: “He liked…. He liked…. He liked….” Prose fiction normally avoids the overt formal techniques of poetry. Postwar fiction, and Hemingway’s fiction in particular, is an exception. While it was far from the most important, the encouragement of highly stylized fiction seems to be an impact of the war.

But “Soldier’s Home” offers a glimpse of more than this. The story continues:

When he was in town their appeal to him was not very strong. He did not like them when he saw them in the Greek’s ice cream parlor. He did not want them themselves really. They were too complicated. There was something else. Vaguely he wanted a girl but he did not want to have to work to get her. He would have liked to have a girl but he did not want to have to spend a long time getting her. He did not want to get into the intrigue and the politics. He did not want to have to do any courting. He did not want to tell any more lies. It wasn’t worth it.(10)

Personal relations are described in terms reminiscent of international relations: “intrigue and politics.” Krebs doesn’t want to lie, as he had in an attempt to get people to talk to him about the war. And as “intrigue and politics” will surely require.

While “Soldier’s Home,” and Hemingway’s war-related writing in general, deals with the personal effects of the war, in the USA trilogy, especially the middle volume, 1919, John Dos Passos (1896-1970) focuses on the place of the war in the developing corporate capitalism of the early 20th century.

It’s a multi-faceted presentation and analysis. The war fuels the development of a soul-crushing military-industrial complex — “the buzzsaw” that one of the major characters, Dick Savage, is warned not to “monkey with”(11) — even as it provides fertile ground for the growth of a propaganda-advertising nexus that, something worse than cynical, seems incapable of telling the difference between its own lies and the truth.

Meanwhile, individual lives are sucked into the vortex and transformed as people are remade as something less than fully human or are cast aside, often destroyed.

Dos Passos does not, for the most part, present the war directly, with battle scenes or characters involved in military planning. Instead, we see lives lived on the edge of the war but shaped by the same forces that make the war possible, and by the new tendencies that the war gives rise to or accelerates.

Dick Savage, good-looking, charming, and intelligent, hears the call of principle and begins to feel opposed to the war while serving in the ambulance corps, but his ambition thwarts this, just as it makes him unable to reciprocate the love of one of the novel’s most tragic characters, Anne Elizabeth, who makes the mistake of trying to live honestly and of seeing only Dick’s better half.

When she becomes pregnant and expresses her desire to marry Dick and have the baby, Dick is reluctant.

She spoke in a trembly frail voice, “You mean you don’t love me anymore.”

     “Of course I do, I don’t know what love is… I suppose I love any lovely girl… and especially you, sweetheart.” Dick heard his own voice, like somebody else’s voice in his ears. (309)

Dick’s reply is incoherent, a string of phrases that come from somewhere outside him. The lifeless becomes a part of the living as they become a part of the vast machine of which the war is a vital component. Just before the scene with Anne Elizabeth, when Dick is told that a friend has been sentenced to prison for refusing to register for the draft, he says only, “Well, that comes of monkeying with the buzzsaw.” (1919, 305).

The experience of reading USA remains a moving and an odd one: the vision it presents is truly dismal, a system no less powerful for being crude and stupid achieves dominance, and yet the sheer satirical energy with which Dos Passos puts it forward suggests that all is not lost. After USA Dos Passos moved politically to the right and never managed to regain that energy, or to construct a vision half so compelling.

African Americans and “The Lie”

The body of African-American literature about the war appears to be relatively small.(12) Probably the work that gets to the heart of the African-American experience best is Langston Hughes’ poem, “The Colored Soldier.” The poem is a poignant response to Wilsonian rhetoric, but more particularly to W.E.B. DuBois’ call in 1918 for African Americans to “forget our special grievances and close our ranks shoulder to shoulder with our own white fellow citizens and the allied nations that are fighting for democracy”(13) for the duration of the war.

Hughes’ poem presents a dialogue between the speaker and the ghost of his brother, who died in France and visits the speaker in a dream. The dead brother assumes that the high-minded justifications for the war offered by the Wilson administration and endorsed by DuBois have not been disproved, and that the living brother’s life is changed dramatically:

The world’s been made safe for Democracy
And no longer do we know the dark misery —
Of being held back, of having no chance —
Since the colored soldiers came home from France.
The dead brother’s words hurt the living brother,
It was awful — facing that boy who went out to die
For what could I tell him, except, “It’s a lie!”
It’s a lie! It’s a lie! Every word they said.
And it’s better a thousand times you’re in France dead.
For here in the South there’s no votes and no right,
And I’m still just a “nigger” in America tonight.

The bitterness of reality brings the dream to an end, and the speaker wakes up only to return to the sentiment expressed in the dream:

Then I woke up, and the dream was ended —
But broken was the soldier’s dream, too bad to be mended.
And it’s a good thing all the black boys lying dead Over There
Can’t see! And don’t know! And won’t ever care!(14)

While not perhaps the greatest poem Hughes wrote, “The Colored Soldier” features the combination of generous sympathies and occasionally startling directness that characterizes much of his best work, and staging the poem as a dialogue with the dead allows him to remind readers poignantly of the broken promises of the war.

Farmer Hiram’s Chronicle

Among the strangest, but also most interesting, accounts of the war to be published in the years immediately following was a long, encyclopedic poem, Farmer Hiram on the World’s War by Lindley Grant Long (1868-1949). Long was an Ohio lawyer and amateur poet.

The poem is narrated by Farmer Hiram, who speaks in rural mid-Western dialect, and the poem’s intensely local speaking voice contrasts with the global scale of the events narrated. Long must have read accounts of the war obsessively, because Farmer Hiram presents a highly detailed and accurate account of not only the Western front, but also of less well-known sectors.

The account of the war in the Middle East, in particular, is resonant today, with the names of places strikingly familiar. The British commander Frederick Stanley Maude gathers the Empire’s troops for his campaign — Long was intensely aware of the imperial nature of the conflict:

Maude’s purpose wuz lofty, his vision wuz clear;
Mosul and Aleppo seemed never so near.
He summoned his Gurkhas, and Punjabs, and Sikhs,
And sent ‘em a-skitin’ off on sum new hikes,
‘Twuz up the Euphrates, this time, they must go,
And not give the Turk a faint ghost uv a show.
Them left on the Tigris, they’d chased to Tekrit —
And now fer a jaunt up Euphrates to Hit.(15)

Geopolitics has ensured that Long’s poem — while completely obscure to literary scholars — retains relevance today. Farmer Hiram, always critical of the pretentions of the ruling class, expresses sympathy for the Russian revolution, and suggests that:

While sum are still masters, and uthers are slaves.
You’ll find the earth run by pluguglies and knaves.
Ol’ Lenin and Trotzky may hev the dope right —
Make all the world equal, and then they won’t fight.
It’s reachin’ fer sumthin’ that sum one else haz.
That stops the peace-pipin’, and starts up the jazz.
     Democracy’s good, jest ez far ez it goes —
But millionaire dandies don’t fancy patched clothes.
The rich dub, and poor, may each vote the same vote —
But enny fool knows which is sheep, and which goat.
Political rights may be worth all they cost;
But these are mere chaff, if the right to live’s lost.
(Farmer Hiram, 274)

A rhyming analysis of the limitations of electoral democracy in a sprightly meter (an initial iamb followed by three anapests: But THESE are mere CHAFF if the RIGHT to live’s LOST) in rural Midwestern dialect: what’s not to like? Farmer Hiram may be an odd byway in American culture, but it’s one worth knowing.

Lasting Complexities

While the literature and popular memory of the First World War occupies a significant place in European memory, in the United States it has been overshadowed by the Second World War — probably because this country did not assume the globally hegemonic position following the First World War that it would claim after the Second.

Still, the war left a complex, curious and lasting cultural legacy. On the one hand, the reaction against the war had a direct political impact by helping to fuel the radicalism that germinated in the 1920s and blossomed in the 1930s.

In addition to poetry and short fiction, novels such as Dos Passos’ Three Soldiers (1921), E. E. Cummings’ The Enormous Room (1922), and Thomas Boyd’s Through the Wheat (1923) — to name just a few — by reacting against the war also exposed some of the coercive nature of American society and the enormous gap between high-minded ideals and often sordid reality.

Even when apolitical — as in Cummings — this forthright exposure of the actual experience of war, the military, and the special insights into American society made available by this experience contributed to the turn to the political left we see in the thirties.

At the same time, the postwar literature often featured a detached, ironic aesthetic that lasted well into the century — and is in some ways with us still. Because the inflationary pro-war rhetoric was so overheated and sentimentally manipulative, the deflationary reaction to it often became cold and anti-sentimental, to the point of seeming to be unemotional.

Postwar modernism’s emotional austerity fed and was fed by a distrust of the society that had manipulated people’s feelings so effectively. Often this led to a distrust of society as such, with the isolated individual left as the sole repository of value. One could say something similar about much of the hardboiled crime fiction of the period.

Justified as a response to a horrific war that revealed that the industrial capitalism that proved so materially productive was also massively destructive, this aesthetic could, and often did, lead to a radical separation between the individual, the artist or art, and the social and political. Literary modernism became so subversive as to be anti-social at times.

The best, if limited, illustration comes from Hemingway. At the end of A Farewell to Arms, the main character, Frederic Henry, an American deserter from the Italian army, is left alone; his wife has died in childbirth, his baby stillborn. “After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.”(16)

Throughout the novel Hemingway associates rain with death: Henry is surrounded by death, and he is as alone — in neutral Switzerland, where he knows no one — as one can be among other people. Hemingway struggled mightily with this conclusion, but chose to isolate Henry this way as the artistically honest, if despairing, conclusion.

The price of honesty is solitude — not a universal truth, but what could seem to be the truth to some of the most powerful writers formed by the experience of the First World War. And so this body of writing as a whole forms a rich, mixed, complex legacy: ironically detached and deeply engaged as it attempts to work out the meaning and consequences of the pivotal event of the 20th century.


  1. Percy MacKaye, “American Neutrality,” The Present Hour (New York: MacMillan, 1914) 30. A political liberal supportive of Wilson, Percy MacKaye was a poet and playwright. He was deeply involved in civic theater.
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  2. Eric Hobsbawm observes that “International political rivalry was modeled on economic growth and competition, but the characteristic feature of this was precisely that it had no limit.” [The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991 (New York: Pantheon, 1994) 29]. While this does not explain the immediate origins of the war — one of the great problems confronted by historians, spawning an enormous literature — it does help to explain the war’s global scope. Alexander Anievas [Capital, the State, and War: Class Conflict and Geopolitics in the Thirty Year’s Crisis, 1914-1945 (University of Michigan Press, 2014)] applies the theory of uneven and combined development to the origins of the war, which helps to connect the specific, immediate causes of the war to the general dynamics of capitalism highlighted by Hobsbawm.
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  3. George Sylvester Viereck, “The German American to His Adopted Country,” Rendezvous with Death: American Poems of the Great War. Ed. Mark Van Wienen (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2002. 55-56. Further references to this book will cited parenthetically as Rendezvous. Highly regarded as a poet prior to WW1, Viereck went on to become a Nazi apologist.
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  4. Relatively little is known about Charles W. Wood. See Van Wienen’s Rendezvous with Death for a biographical note. Van Wienen reckons that Wood was an established writer in the radical press. “The King of the Magical Pump” was originally published in the important radical journal Masses. It was reprinted in The Painter and Decorator, the journal of the Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators, and Paperhangers.
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  5. For Wilson’s place in the construction of American hegemony, see Kees van der Pijl, The Making of an Atlantic Ruling Class (1984; London: Verso, 2012) and Adam Tooze, The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 (New York: Viking, 2014). For the role of the war in the transformation of domestic politics, see Jennifer D. Keene, Doughboys, the Great War, and the Remaking of America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001).
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  6. Alan Seeger, “Ode in Memory of the American Volunteers Fallen for France,” Poems (New York: Scribner’s, 1916) 174, 171.
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  7. Woodrow Wilson, “Address to Congress, April 2, 1917,” The Political Thought of Woodrow Wilson. Ed. E. David Cronon (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965) 346. Further references to this book will be cited parenthetically as Wilson.
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  8. David Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) 104-106.
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  9. Ernest Hemingway, “Champs d’Honneur,” Three Stories and Ten Poems (Paris: Contact Publishing, 1923) 54.
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  10. Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time (1925; New York: Scribner’s, 1996) 71.
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  11. John Dos Passos, 1919 (1932; Houghton Mifflin/Mariner, 2000) 163. Further references to this book will be cited parenthetically as 1919.
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  12. Mark Van Wienen provides an excellent overview of the central concerns and arguments about the war found within the African-American community in Partisans and Poets (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) 202-230. Also useful are his examinations of the poetry that came out of the Women’s Peace Party and the Industrial Workers of the World.
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  13. W.E.B. DuBois, “Close Ranks,” The Crisis 16 (July 1918): 111.
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  14. Langston Hughes, “The Colored Soldier,” The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, Ed. Arnold Rampersad (New York: Vintage, 1995) 147-48.
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  15. Lindley Grant Long, Farmer Hiram on the World’s War (Dayton, Ohio: Christian Publishing Association, 1920) 209. Further references to this book will be cited parenthetically as Farmer Hiram. The title of this essay comes from Farmer Hiram, page 196. Long was an Ohio lawyer as well as amateur poet.
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  16. Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (1929; New York, Scribner’s, 1957) 332.
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May/June 2016, ATC 182