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Doughboys [Paperback]

By Gary Mead (Author)
Our Price $ 16.96  
Retail Value $ 19.95  
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Item Number 114860  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   495
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.06" Width: 6" Height: 1.49"
Weight:   1.48 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2002
Publisher   Overlook TP
ISBN  1585673234  
EAN  9781585673230  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The Doughboys were the more than three million men, many of them volunteers, recruited from the cities and farms of the United States, who traveled across the Atlantic to aid the Allies in the trenches and on the battlefields of World War I. Without their courage and determination, the outcome of the war would have been very different.

Drawing upon the often harrowing personal accounts of the soldiers of the AEF, The Doughboys establishes the pivotal role played by the Americans in the defeat of the Central powers in November 1918. Gary Mead brings together a rich selection of archive material in an engaging account that is part military history, part social analysis, part memoir. The Doughboys records the events of the war from the perspective of the United States, highlighting the crucial part played by the troops of the AEF and exposing the prickly, often turbulent relationship between the American and the Allied forces.

Buy Doughboys by Gary Mead from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781585673230 & 1585673234

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More About Gary Mead

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jenn Leigh and Gary Mead are sharing their experiences and successful actions as two parents raising six children between them. Each of the children are doing very well in life. The authors are the owners of Kids Fun Club America. Kids Fun Club America is a group of concerned parents, grandparents and affiliates in a growing number of cities nationally who are co-creating the "Go to Website" for families. The authors are also on the panel of advisors for the "Family Advice Column" on the website. Jenn Leigh drew freehand as a child and was delighted to illustrate the book and plans to do more illustrating for future books. Gary's favorite role was daddy. He became an Eagle Scout and later a Scout Master. He loves traveling, art, photography and organic gardening. Jenn & Gary are concerned about the wellbeing of the family. They believe every child should be loved and nurtured and parenting should be a fulfilling activity. Both are enjoying their roles as loving grandparents.

Gary Mead currently resides in Kent.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Military > General   [13317  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Military > United States > General   [2116  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > History > Military > World War I   [1495  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good view of AEF, less insightful about American society  Mar 29, 2008
I just finished reading this work. I concur with most other reviewers that the best parts address the issues of building, transporting, training, and deploying the American Expeditionary Force into combat in France in only one year's time.

The profile of General Pershing is revealing: a tough SOB but neither a great man nor a great soldier. He was loyal to President Wilson and stubborn to the end about not caving in to the British and French presumption that Americans would gladly fight and die in British and French armies under foreign command. The author also shows clearly that the biggest problem for the AEF on land and sea was logistics.

In the Second World War, Gen. George C. Marshall saw to it that American soldiers would never depend on foreign governments for sea transport, heavy weapons, horses and mules, trucks, or aircraft again.

The faults of the book are not grave but they are irritating. One is the British author's habit of seeing Americans as stock characters: big, brash, moneyed, and clumsy. Yes, this stereotype persists because it is often true. Nonetheless, this view of American soldiers by British writers is so predictable I'd like to see a contrarian write otherwise.

Secondly, the author doesn't really understand the American heartland, even if he appreciates its ability to produce hearty soldiers willing to charge hell with fixed bayonets. Yes, America has a puritanical streak, but libertarianism is just as American, probably more so. He incorrectly calls Prohibition a "conservative" cause when Prohibition, like Women's Suffrage, was Progressive to the core and resisted by convervatives, who don't trust laws to change human nature. His chapter about the homefront implies that the American heartland is populated largely by ignorant mobs, a widespread assumption in Europe but not reality. Moreover, the most fascist and heavy-handed persecution of dissenters in America was sponsored by the federal government and supported by the intelligentsia, the same Progressives who believed in the perfectibility of man.

Despite these criticisms, the main thesis of the book- that the AEF's formation, training, deployment, and combat effectiveness were both next-to-impossible and vital to the Allied victory- is well argued and illustrated with great stories by officers and enlisted men. I must agree with the author that on the whole, the enlisted men of the AEF, e.g., Sgt. Alvin York, were head and shoulders better than their officers, especially their officers over the rank of captain. The achievements of the AEF largely belong to these unknown and mostly unheralded enlisted men.
Timelines  Nov 3, 2005
The author sets out his purpose, to set the record straight on Americans involvement in the Great War, right at the start of the book. The way he put the story together, with jumps in time & space, at first, it seemed like he was telling another story entirely since America had such a hard time right at the start of the war. Finally Mr. Mead, and America, gets his feet under him and the story takes off as success follows success. I especially enjoyed the emphasis on how abhorant the behavior of the British and the French were. While ultimately, they did try to teach us some useful information, their general treatment and demeanor, which caused Pershing to fight them nearly as often as the Germans, probably extended the war by a couple of months.
His chapters on the wars conclusions and aftermath were quite good as well.
While almost diametrically opposed in its treatment of the American military, this book is a good companion to Thomas Fleming's Illusion of Victory.
Yankee Doodle Dandy   Oct 14, 2005
The author is certainly right when he asserts that the American role in World War I has been downplayed by both the British and the French. The British and French would not have won their war with the Germans without the Americans. In 1918, the French were spent as an offensive force and the British didn't have the resources. Thus, I applaud the author's -- a Brit -- conclusion. Most European writers about the war are not so generous or objective.

Mead isn't sparing in his criticism of the perfidious and obnoxious French and some of the British allies of the Americans. Nor does he ignore the faults of Pershing and other American commanders, including President Woodrow Wilson who gets my vote as the most over-rated President in American history. The author's description of the racism in the American army is valuable.

The virtues of "Doughboys" include a chart that shows the Americans had taken over more of the front lines than the British by the end of the war and two useful closing chapters that tally up the cost of the war and the aftermath. But I question Mead's assertion that little has been written about the American participation in World War I. "Yanks" by John S.D. Eisenhower is a similar book I would recommend and I've read several others. Perhaps he means that little has been written about the American doughboys by English and French authors.

The defects of the book are lousy maps and poor descriptions of battles. The author jumps back and forth between the grand strategists and the boys in the trenches but doesn't do a very good job in making the battles comprehensible. The book needs more maps showing who was where and when. Also, don't anticipate this to be a book primarily about the doughboys on the front lines of the war. It's more of a general history of American participation rather than a worm's eye view, although the author tells some excellent stories of individual American soldiers.

America and the First World War  Aug 21, 2005
The title is slightly misleading. "The Doughboys" should be dropped as the more appropriate title is the subtitle "America and the First World War". If the reader is looking for a day to day account of the American doughboy, this book isn't it, but if you are looking for a detailed account of the roll America played in the great war, this book covers a tremendous amount of information.

There are certain portions of text devoted to the doughboys. For instance, 3 of the books 400 plus pages of text, tell of the heroics of Alvin York. Another 5 pages tell of Maj. Whittsley and the 77th Division, now known as the "Lost Battalion". But you will find little detail of the rigors endured by the American doughboy.

Just like the American involvement in the war, this book is painfully slow to get started. The first 100 pages seem to dredge at times as Mead's focus is on other aspects of war, such as financial backing from American bankers such as J.P. Morgan. Most of the next 50 or so pages address the logistical difficulties faced by Pershing in moving the massive numbers of troops into the campaign.

It is rather fitting and appropo that Mead, an Englishman, has so precisely outlined the American role in the war. Europeans yet today, tend to downplay the American roll, primarily because our causalties, though numerous, paled in comparison to the Frence and British losses, and our involvement came after several years of conflict, but Mead puts the importance of the American roll into it's proper perspective. Mead clearly deliniates that it was America's entrance into the fray that turned the tide on the Hun once and for all.

This is a very good book, loaded with factual accounts and statistics, but it is not an in-depth look at the Doughboys. Perhaps the book could have been more entertaining, but I cannot discredit the historical accuracy nor the volume of information contained here. If you seek a good accont of American involvement in the war, this is the book for you.

Monty Rainey
Not Really the Story of the Doughboys  Sep 26, 2002
I concur with and commend the reviews by Donal A. O'Neill and Peter Lorenzi, above. The author, Gary Mead, presents a comprehensive survey of the Great War during 1918 with an emphasis on America's involvement during that year. However, Mead does not present the story of the doughboys.

I pre-ordered the book expecting real coverage of the soldier's experience, as suggested by the title, The Doughboys, and the editorial reviews (Booklist--"emphasizes the individual experiences of the doughboy," and Library Journal--"This is a soldier's story"). Instead, Gary Mead's engaging story mostly relates the macro story of America at war, and uses individual narratives sparely, situationally, and mostly to enliven the broad reporting.

Mead only superficially presents the doughboy's transition from civilian to solider, interaction with military personnel of other nations, or experience with European civilians. Even the combat sections provide only spare pictures of life in the trenches and actual fighting. Mead also omits some major experiences of the time. For example, although we can read in at least three places that soldiers became seasick during their Atlantic crossing, the flu epidemic of 1918 receives no mention-despite that the flu initially struck hardest at US military bases, killed some 43,000 soldiers during 1918-1919, and directly caused almost half of all American military deaths in Europe. Similarly, Mead omits any reference to the effect of anti-German sentiment in the US, which was a pervasive issue of the time, and affected tens of thousand of German-American doughboys.

As such, Mead's book should be read as a comprehensive introduction to America in World War I. Readers interested in social history, narrative history, or genealogy should plan to look elsewhere.


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