American War Correspondent, Germany, 1915. CREDIT: <a href=",_Germany_LCCN2014701695.jpg">Bain News Service/U.S. Library of Congress</a>
American War Correspondent, Germany, 1915. CREDIT: Bain News Service/U.S. Library of Congress

The Living Legacy of WWI: The Legacy of American Press Censorship in World War I, with Charles Sorrie

May 22, 2018

The popular memory of WWI today was basically engineered through propaganda and censorship during the war itself, says Charles Sorrie. Those involved in any war need convincing reasons why they are fighting. "There needs to be almost some sort of slogan. The one that was developed at that time, that America was fighting mostly for democracy or for freedom, is one that is still used today in popular history and in popular culture."

REED BONADONNA: This is Reed Bonadonna, senior fellow of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. I am talking today from the Carnegie Council building in Manhattan, on 64th Street off Lexington.

I am talking today with Charles Sorrie, a professor at Trent University in Canada. He is one of the nine Fellows who were selected to participate in the First World War Living Legacy project. He is working on a project concerning wartime censorship in the First World War and its legacy today.

Professor Sorrie, where are you speaking from this afternoon?

CHARLES SORRIE: I am currently in Peterborough, Ontario, which is about an hour and 20 minutes northeast of Toronto. It is where I live permanently. I was teaching last semester a third-year course on the international history of the First World War. My background is in the international history of the First World War. That is what I studied for my Doctorate at the London School of Economics under Professor David Stevenson and Dr. Heather Jones. Prior to that, my background is in both French history and American history.

REED BONADONNA: It sounds like you have the perfect background for this project and this fellowship. Is there anything else you wanted to say by way of self-introduction before I start asking a few questions?

CHARLES SORRIE: I think that is probably okay.

REED BONADONNA: Maybe start off with what got you started on this project: Why this particular topic? I would be interested to know, too, whether you have any personal connection with the project. That also might be something that has developed over time or maybe something that you had previously, some family connection or other personal involvement with the subject of censorship, First World War, that kind of thing. Obviously, you have a lot of academic background in the subject as well.

CHARLES SORRIE: Most specifically, the reason why I was interested in the project was because I was already writing a more technical piece at the time for a collection that is coming out at the University of North Georgia Press on how American military censorship operated during the First World War, the censorship of war correspondents in particular. That is why I was interested in the subject.

My own Doctorate is on French censorship of the press during the First World War. It contains a great deal of the interactions between the Americans and French during the First World War in terms of how the American propaganda system operated within France. So it seemed to be a topic that fit my own background and what I was doing at the time.

I have been studying the First World War ever since I was an undergraduate at Queen's University in Canada. I have quite a few relatives who died in the First World War. My father's side, there are quite a few relatives there. Peterborough, Ontario, where I'm from, has quite a famous war memorial in the middle of the city. It was designed by the same architect who designed the one at Vimy Ridge, which is the big Canadian memorial in France near Arras.

In general, I have a personal connection to the First World War. The background behind my interest in censorship in the First World War came from my Master's dissertation, which was on French industrial unrest during the First World War. In 1918 there were a great deal of strikes in France, especially in provincial France, that centered around Labor Day, and there was a large amount of censorship that was responsible for stopping the news of those strikes from spreading throughout the country. Georges Clemenceau, who was the prime minister at the time, was himself a pressman and knew how to use censorship.

Once I went into my Ph.D. studies after that, I decided not only is this a subject that is understudied, but it is also one that is important in terms of domestic politics in France, and as I figured out while doing my Doctorate, also in the United States, Britain, and in Germany during the war.

REED BONADONNA: In your accepted proposal, you mention a couple of the places where you would be doing some of the research that you planned to do. I don't know how far you are into this. One of the venues for research was the archives of the Associated Press, which is here in New York City. I was wondering whether you have encountered any surprises or unexpected obstacles or unexpected assistance from any quarters as you are going down the road doing your research.

CHARLES SORRIE: Shortly after I decided to do the project, I realized there were three major ways which I could approach the subject. I could either look at it as an evolution of state media and military relations in the United States during wars and how the associations and the bureaucracy that were developed during the First World War still impact on state media and military relations today. But I came to the conclusion that that is quite a big project for a 10,000-word article because you would have to have fairly long sections on all of the wars, and even today's wars, the war on terrorism. You would have to talk about WikiLeaks, so social media. I thought it was maybe too big of a subject.

So what I have decided to focus on mostly now is how—and this is a really big subject, especially in Europe right now; in France there was a great book written about war memory and how popular national memory remembers the war—the popular memory today was basically engineered through propaganda and censorship during the war itself in the United States.

In terms of going to archives, one of the places I would like to go is the National World War I Museum in Kansas City. Basically I am trying to get a hold of the people who are in charge over there so I could possibly interview a few of the people who set up the designs there.

Also, I have been looking at a lot of popular textbooks that were written about American involvement in the First World War shortly after the war came out all the way up until today. One of the first ones that came out was by Francis A. March, who is the brother of Peyton C. March, the first American chief of staff during the First World War, and it essentially repeats the message that was pushed by the Committee on Public Information (CPI), the big American propaganda committee during the First World War, which was that America was going over to fight for democracy and was going to fight against German autocracy.

That seems to be, even up to today, one of the main sentiments in popular history. Barack Obama [four] years ago in Belgium had a speech where he said [something to the effect of] "the soldiers had a willingness to fight and die for the freedom that we enjoy as their heirs." So it is still about freedom and democracy. That was something that was even engineered at the time to be the message of why they were fighting, and I think it has not changed. I would have to go over maybe several presidents between now and then, what they said.

I looked up Donald Trump to see if he had said anything yet about the First World War and I could not find much. In fact, the only thing I could find when I Googled "Donald Trump World War" was World War III. But I could not find World War I much, but I am sure he probably will say something at some point next year.

The first place I am going is Kansas City. I am also going to go to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. I have been there before, and I have done all the research, I have seen all the papers on the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) Intelligence Division over in France and how they operated and how they worked with the French censorship.

What I have not seen yet are the papers of the Committee on Public Information and George Creel. I would really like to see their papers. Also, the War College has the papers of Dennis Nolan, who was the chief of the censorship division over there.

REED BONADONNA: So it is going to be your argument that the censors were not only responding to security needs, but that they were self-consciously creating a certain kind of historical narrative which they believed would be part of the memory of the First World War? You mentioned a book on memory. I thought of the inevitable book on that subject in English, The Great War and Modern Memory. I am not sure how similar the approach is of the French book you mentioned, which I have not read.

To go back to my original question, that will be your argument, that they were creating history self-consciously even at the time?

CHARLES SORRIE: Yes. Censorship—and I just saw this put into a very distinct way by Eberhard Demm, who is a German scholar who is coming out with an international history of censorship during the First World War. I was fortunate enough to get to see a copy of his book. He argues that censorship is a required element for propaganda. To be able to have a narrative that is universally positive, you have to be able to censor news that is not positive. There was unrest in the United States about whether or not they should join the war; there was nervousness in France about how quickly the American soldiers were arriving; also then, later on, when they were arriving in droves, what their postwar intentions were. There was all kinds of negative news that was being censored.

At the same time, George Creel, who was the head of the Committee on Public Information, his argument was that Americans will support the war as long as they get the facts, but the facts to him were the selected facts, which were positive facts.

I believe not only were they purposely looking to the postwar period when designing the narrative, but also the narrative itself—whether or not they designed it purposely or not, which I think they did—is still the same narrative that they designed at the time.

REED BONADONNA: Difficult question, but I am reminded of the paradoxical phrase about "truth being attended by a bodyguard of lies." Is there an alternate, more legitimate narrative of the American participation in World War I than the idea of a struggle for democracy, or do you think that even though this narrative was upheld by censorship and a certain amount of propaganda that there was something to that? How far down the road are you going to go to say, "No, really, this is what the war is about"? I know that may be a bigger question, but have you given it any thought or had any ideas as you are doing your work?

CHARLES SORRIE: I think the war was probably about different things to different people within American society. Certain people gained in certain ways from being in the war that probably had nothing to do with spreading democracy, but that is not to say that one of the main reasons why they did not join was to get rid of German autocracy to prevent future wars. I think it is one of many reasons, but it is the one reason perhaps that was sold the heaviest because it is the one that to a certain element is a bit of a feel-good story, not to say that there isn't something to it, of course, there is.

REED BONADONNA: I think I might have put this out when we were reviewing the applications and then communicated with the Fellows about their work. A question that occurred to me was, on the subject of censorship and what was permissible and how much censorship could be levied and who was determining the degree of censorship and the slant that was being given to censorship, when it did exceed presumably the needs of military security, were there judicial—Supreme Court maybe—or legislative interventions that were significant, that helped to create the parameters for what kinds of censorship was being done at the time and since?

CHARLES SORRIE: Yes. They were brought in through both executive orders and passed through Congress. The first one was the Trading with the Enemy Act, which happened shortly after the war began, which mostly had to do with a lot of mail correspondence, for one thing.

Then there was the Espionage Act, which came in in October 1917, which was the first one to really look at press censorship, what they are allowed to say, whether they can talk negatively about the American war effort in the press and that kind of thing. Then there was the Sedition Act, which came in in 1918, which was an amendment to the Espionage Act.

Speaking of legacy, I saw the movie The Post the other day. In The Post, when they publish Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers, what they are charged with is breaking the same Espionage Act that was brought in during the First World War. We see that even in a popular modern-day Hollywood movie, but it was something that did happen, of course, in 1971. They were charged with that. It was brought in judicially.

The way that the American censorship system worked at home was that it was more akin to the British censorship system, which relied on voluntary self-censorship. There were real penalties for breaking the rules—exaggerating American achievements, also speaking ill of the American war effort, of course spilling military secrets—and some of the penalties were extremely stiff, up to 20 years in prison.

But the idea was that the journalists likely were going to be patriotic anyway and were going to censor themselves, and in general in the United States it worked, but the penalties were stiff. And there was a lot of monitoring going on with groups that they believed—socialist groups were all monitored, socialist papers were monitored. The International Workers of the World (IWW), anyone who even had postal connections with them were monitored.

REED BONADONNA: Wobblies, so called.

CHARLES SORRIE: Whereas in France, which was the other model, they had a preventative censorship system. So every single newspaper in the country had to have its newspapers censored prior to publication.

What the Americans ended up having was a self-censorship system like Britain, but they had stricter rules and more rules, so in a way they had a system that was—we all know how there was, say, a very enthusiastic war populism in the United States, especially in 1918. That led into stricter rules than they had in Britain at the time. Britain also had war populism.

Woodrow Wilson himself was enthusiastic about censorship, so he was someone who did not hold back in making the censorship rules stronger. I don't know if that answers your question.

REED BONADONNA: It goes a long way toward it. Is there evidence that people were charged, convicted, and imprisoned if they violated the rules that were laid down for self-censorship on the part of a journalist or somebody else?

CHARLES SORRIE: Yes, there were. There were several people who were tried under the Espionage Act going into the 1920s even. I do not have the names right in front of me. There is a book called—it's on war correspondence by a gentleman from the 1960s out of the University of Minnesota, which has them all documented. So I will be using that in my research as well. Most of the trials take place in the period immediately after the war.

Some of the legislation never goes away. For example, the Espionage Act. The Sedition Act, which was an amendment to it and a much harsher version of it, ended after the war ended, but the Espionage Act continues still.

REED BONADONNA: I was a United States Marine for a long time, and one of the narratives that the Marines all learn early on is that of the Marine Brigade in the First World War, the Fourth Marine Brigade, which was two infantry regiments and a machine gun battalion. Apparently one of the reasons why the Marine Brigade became so famous is that there was a prohibition against naming units which was imposed by the censor, but when the war correspondent reporting on the Marine Brigade mentions the unit by name—which generally other units, the Army units involved, did not have that privilege—the rumor was that this war correspondent had been killed, so the censor allowed the reference to the Marine Brigade to go forward out of respect and as a last tribute to the war correspondent who had supposedly been killed in action. It turned out later that he was not.

Are you familiar with that story? Is it true, or is it an urban legend?

CHARLES SORRIE: That is very interesting. Is that in 1917 or in 1918?

REED BONADONNA: It would have been in 1918 because really the American units were not really involved in any fighting until 1918.

CHARLES SORRIE: That is very interesting. Their censorship system was established almost directly after they arrived in France in June, though.

That is very interesting. I would love to examine that further. Every single army was not allowed to mention units, including the United States.

I believe the United States, through the documents I have been looking at from my research from American war censorship—I have a lot of the documents from Maryland on that—they got a lot of their ideas, a lot of their censorship orders that they gave out originally from the British. The British basically handed over their entire list of instructions given to their own military censors, officers censoring the war correspondents. The Americans more or less copied them verbatim at the beginning.

It is only in 1918—Pershing is very tight-lipped when it comes to talking to the press—they become even stricter than the British, but originally they more or less copied the British system, and one of the ideas is that you do not mention units.

REED BONADONNA: Units in particular, right.

CHARLES SORRIE: They also were not allowed to take photographs until after the war.

REED BONADONNA: Really? That is interesting.

The engagement that I am talking about that was reported on and the censor let slip the reference to a Marine brigade was Belleau Wood. This was 1918, one of the earlier major combats of a large American brigade-sized unit fighting in France, so it definitely would have been I think probably the summer—I am almost positive—of 1918. Any history of the Marine involvement in World War I is probably going to mention that.

CHARLES SORRIE: That is very interesting.

REED BONADONNA: You mentioned your ancestry. I also had an ancestor, a great-uncle, who was a private in the Marine Brigade in the First World War, and he did see fighting in France, but he survived.

CHARLES SORRIE: A lot of my family came originally from Scotland and England. Canada for much of the war—me being Canadian—over 50 percent of the people who fought were from Britain. It was only until conscription came in later in the war that that changed.

REED BONADONNA: Interesting. I did not know that.

I am interested in the censors themselves, who they were, what their training consisted of, how they were assigned, and what they did. Are there accounts of this? Have they left behind memoirs? Do the official histories discuss the censors as kind of a branch or subset of the army? Were these mostly junior officers in rank, new to the service? Who were they, and what was the daily life of a censor, do you think?

CHARLES SORRIE: You are talking about military censors.

REED BONADONNA: Yes, sir, primarily, although please feel free to answer the question for the civilian censors, too.

CHARLES SORRIE: I know more about the military censorship at the moment; I will be able to say more about the domestic once I get back from Maryland.

In terms of the military censorship, it worked on a few different levels. When the Americans first arrived in Europe, there was a big kerfuffle because the French media accidentally let out the name of the port, Saint-Nazaire, where the Americans first arrived, and there was a big—Pershing after that and Frederick Palmer, the journalist who was in charge of press liaison with war correspondents over there, decided immediately to set up an office in Paris, which shortly moved to the Paris Bourse and worked alongside the French bureau.

Eventually they were responsible—I believe there were about 12 of them at the height of their activity working there. They worked long hours, 16 hours a day or so, going over news that related to American events.

Any news that related specifically to American events they were allowed to censor, and that is news that is going back to the United States mostly, but they also had advisory powers when dealing with how American news was discussed in even American papers published in France. The French were the primary editors when it came to anything published in France which, funny enough, included the Army editions of, say, The Chicago Tribune and The New York Herald and so on.

At the next level down, you have an office in Neufchâteau, which is about two or three hours east of Paris, and they were the ones who had the final say on the censorship of war correspondents. War correspondents had their own telegraph office there. A lot of them were housed there as well. It was close enough to the front that they could go in and out, and their material was censored there and was sent directly from there to New York. At the time, something like 90 percent of telegraphic cables going to the United States went through New York at some point. So they were censored prior to going to New York.

Then you had what the soldiers themselves were writing. They would be writing letters home. One of the commanding officers there was responsible for censoring letters and so on on the spot.

REED BONADONNA: If you were, say, a junior officer at the company or platoon level, Army or Marine, would one of your responsibilities be censoring your men's mail, or was that deferred to a specialist on the subject?

CHARLES SORRIE: Unless it was something that was very obvious, they were often told to refer their articles to a specific censor bureau, which I believe in this case would be Paris. Paris had the final say on all of these things.

That is a very good question. I am not sure exactly. I could figure it out quite quickly in the documents that I have which specific officers were designated for censorship.

I do not actually get the impression—a lot of the censors that worked in Paris, for example, did not have any training with the press whatsoever, and that is the same case in France, where a lot of them were just injured soldiers.

REED BONADONNA: I have read accounts. British junior officers sometimes write about censoring their men's mail, and these were not professional censors at all; they were infantry officers. One of their additional duties was before a letter went back to Blighty the officer would have to read it and pencil out anything which he considered to be not appropriate or a security problem.

Did the American Army as far as you have been able to find, have a similar system where the unit leaders at the officer level were involved in censoring soldiers' mail?

CHARLES SORRIE: When it comes to war correspondents, yes. They always had some sort of recourse. They could send it to someone else.

In terms of letters, it is not the base censor. I guess they would send it to, an officer I suppose would send it to the base censor if they did not know what to do.

REED BONADONNA: I see. When I was with another much later Marine Brigade during the invasion of Iraq, just prior to the invasion there was an episode where the infantry regiment commander that I was working most closely with as a field historian, gave a briefing in a tent, in a combat operations center, I believe. There was a map in the background. Later it emerged that some pictures had been taken of him whilst he gave the brief, and this map had shown up in some of the pictures. This was a tactical map, a situation map of some kind, and the fear was that this might result in a security breach and that if someone were to look at this map, they could figure things out about the American plans that we did not want the enemy to know.

This led to—it may have been temporary, but there was a period of chill after that between some of the Marine officers and the journalists. The Marine officers maybe started to trust the journalists a little bit less, and the journalists themselves I think felt a little misunderstood and ill-used. They were, for the most part, inexperienced at covering military operations.

Do you see anything like that going on in World War I, too, because it does sound like the Americans got stricter, and was that partly because there were episodes like this? You mentioned one, the mention of the port facility that sparked a greater degree of strictness on the part of the American authorities.

CHARLES SORRIE: Absolutely. Photographs and maps were something that they did not want to be found on soldiers should they be killed.

One of the things that it says on the British memo that is given to the Americans originally about how to perhaps look at military censorship is that, because most of it is a stationary war, trench warfare is stationary, so if you get a photo or a map, it is very likely that people will perhaps be in the same place or the maps will be the same once they capture the material. That is one of the things that the British thought, and the Americans, like I said, at the time copied a lot from the British when they came over, so the importance of why maps and photos needed to be, well, they were not allowed to take pictures, like I said, until after the armistice.

In terms of journalists taking pictures and being distrusted by soldiers and officers, I have not heard of anything directly. War correspondents were under extreme surveillance the entire time that they were going around.

REED BONADONNA: Would they do what was later done, which was to embed a journalist with a unit, take a journalist and maybe partly based on his interests or preferences and partly based on what the army wanted to have covered, they would say, "Okay, Richard Harding Davis, you are going to go to the First Division, and we are going to let you stay with them and billet with them and mess with them, and that will be your part of the story"? They would not have called it "embedded" journalists I guess at that time, but was there any kind of a system like that?

CHARLES SORRIE: There were two types of war correspondents, and they both operated out of this Neufchâteau building that I was talking about. There were permanent war correspondents, and there were visiting war correspondents.

To be a permanent war correspondent, you had to be very heavily vetted. You had to pay quite a bit of money. That could be a deposit, if you will, in case you break the rules. In general, for someone to pay that much money you had to be connected to a major newspaper, so you were probably a well-known journalist, you had a lot to lose if you broke the rules, etc. Those journalists were given a lot more privileges. They were allowed to spend more time with the soldiers, and they were often encouraged to hang out, let's say, with soldiers during the day, see their daily routines, and they were encouraged to write about "the life of the Army." They were placed for longer periods of time in with the soldiers.

The visiting correspondents were mostly given day trips in and out of the Neufchâteau office. They had to go through their own vetting process, but they were more closely monitored, they had less to lose, and they were given one day.


CHARLES SORRIE: It is not until very late in the war that the French allow the American correspondents to go into their territory as well.

REED BONADONNA: We are coming close to the end here. I know it is early days, but tentatively maybe what do you think is now the thing we need to remember most or the legacy of World War I press censorship? In what ways are we still living with these long-ago events, with practices established for the First World War, the relevance for today?

CHARLES SORRIE: In many ways, the First World War it has been said in the United States under the Committee for Public Information's George Creel, developed one of the first major propagandists. At the time of the war—at the time I think of most wars—both journalists and the people who are monitoring the press have a look to the future. I think there is a look to the future. They want to be remembered positively, and they want to have a certain, not entirely but somewhat, manufactured reason for why they are fighting. There needs to be almost some sort of slogan.

The one that was developed at that time, that America was fighting mostly for democracy or for freedom, is one that is still used today in popular history and in popular culture. I have not been to the World War I Museum yet in Kansas City—I am going to go later this month—but my guess is that when I see some of it, it is going to be saying that.

Barack Obama, the latest president as far as I can tell—I was not able to find anything by Trump yet—when he spoke about the war mostly spoke about it in those terms while in Belgium. I think they were probably successful in manufacturing that story.

REED BONADONNA: I guess you could make the argument that this is what Americans want to fight wars for, and not just World War I, but the idea of fighting a war for democracy, in different language, different guises perhaps turns up in narratives of the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam, more recent wars, too.

CHARLES SORRIE: I know Steven Casey at the London School of Economics has worked on this a little bit, but the American War College after the First World War studied very heavily the Committee on Public Information and I believe in World War II used some of the same tactics as well. That might be a little bit outside the scope of this article, but I do not know if that has anything to do with how first the "Arsenal of Democracy" and then the message of fighting for a democracy developed in the Second World War or in the Cold War as well or even today, but that might be outside of the scope for a one-year project.

REED BONADONNA: Yes. Understood.

CHARLES SORRIE: But I think there is probably something to that.

REED BONADONNA: The Army War College and the other service schools were the training ground for the senior leadership or World War II. Eisenhower, George C. Marshall, Patton, and Bradley all went through those institutions, and this is where they derived a lot of their ideas about how war should be fought and how it should be talked about.

I am going to maybe ask one more question, and then I am going to leave it up to you to fill it in, what question did I not ask, or just to get your own parting thoughts on record about the project. My last question is: Again, looking far ahead maybe, at the conclusion of this project, can you see at this point any follow-on research perhaps by you or by somebody else that scholars might be interested in sort of standing on the shoulders of this project and undertaking in the future?

CHARLES SORRIE: The one that comes to mind right away would be a project on—some of the censorship techniques that came in the First World War were also used in the American Civil War by both the North and the South. You could trace aspects of American censorship, press censorship, and propaganda, especially censorship—propaganda is really more of a World War I thing—from the Civil War I would say to the Second World War. That would probably make a really good book. You could do it really thoroughly and have cause and effects from one to the other.

After that, once you replace newspapers as the major source of information with things like television, you get into a lot of communications studies things and how censorship works. Censorship now has a lot to do with social media more probably than it does with newspapers. But you could make a really good book from the Civil War to the Second World War on how these things developed.

REED BONADONNA: Okay. Your turn. What haven't we talked about that you would like to express yourself on here, getting close to the end?

CHARLES SORRIE: One thing when we talk about the legacy of the First World War that is interesting and goes back to how I originally thought this would be a good idea, thinking about how the United States remembers in a popular way the First World War and why they fought and so on. You could do it in a comparative way to other countries and how they think about it.

A lot of it has to do with the fact that the United States also pulled back from the international community in some ways after the First World War. The way that the French remember it—the book that I was referring to earlier is by Annette Becker, who is at the Université Paris Nanterre. She wrote a book called Monuments to the Dead (Les monuments aux morts), and it is basically the way that they remembered it is with all of these monuments all around. Because it was fought there, it is ever-present.

It is interesting. The United States in the First World War doesn't have that. Europe is not littered with American First World War stuff. Also, it is across the ocean. They did not go over there afterward very much, and they also politically pulled back.

So it would be interesting to see how the United States remembers it and to look at how the media portrayed the fact that it was Woodrow Wilson who thought of the League of Nations in the first place, and then they did not sign on to it, and how censorship and propaganda worked into that as well.

I think that would be interesting as well when you compare the way that we remember it to other countries. Comparative history is a hot thing right now, and I think that would be an interesting subject as well.

REED BONADONNA: Very good. I think so, too. This is the centennial. This project is partly about looking back again at the First World War and reviewing our memory of it and trying to gauge how accurate our conception of the war is after a hundred years and whether there are more things that we can learn.

Thank you very much for these very interesting and well-thought-out answers. I would like to add as the senior fellow and lead coordinator along with the project assistant Billy Pickett, we are here for you. We are not going anywhere, and we would be glad to answer questions, help when we can, review material, and provide assistance as possible.

With that, any last words, or should we call it an interview?

CHARLES SORRIE: I think that is pretty good. What I have said hopefully will be reflected in the final project.

Obviously, projects change once you go to archives. My take on domestic propaganda will probably change somewhat after going to the papers and the Committee on Public Information in Maryland. I am also very interested in going to the First World War Museum and seeing how this—in terms of popular history that is probably the way that the war is remembered in a popular way, and that is one of the biggest demonstrations.

REED BONADONNA: That should be a great trip. I have to admit I have not seen it, but it probably should be required for anybody who is working on this project.

Professor Sorrie, thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us about your work. It has been a pleasure talking to you.

CHARLES SORRIE: And you. Thank you very much.

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