History, however, took a dramatic turn when German U-Boats arrogantly and without provocation sank five American ships, ignoring America’s repeated pleas for "peace without victory". America’s freedom and peace were threatened and the only way to defend these was to join hands with the allies in Europe and crush Germany’s ambitious plans of becoming global rulers. Germany had made a monumental error, which compelled President Wilson to declare war on Germany on April 6, 1917. The collapse of Russia in late 1917 gave Germany renewed hope of winning the war. Before Kaiser Wilhelm’s forces could take advantage of Russia’s defeat, however, an American Army of over a million men awaited them in the Allied trenches.
Unwilling as she was, America was now drawn into a full-fledged war that was soon dubbed "The Great War". This CD reflects the mood of American leaders during and after the war, which depleted the treasury by a whopping 19 billion dollars. Audio recordings of 14 speeches made by men holding various positions in the American Government - from that of Breckenridge Long, a Third Associated Secretary of State to those of Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Warren G. Harding provide a fabulous insight into America’s reaction to the Great War.
This CD furnishes an in-depth peek into the minds of American leaders during World War I. 14 tracks containing original voice recordings of speeches made by various political bigwigs help us to understand the magnitude of sacrifices made by Americans and underscores the need for all patriotic Americans to unite in defense of democracy. Featured here are speeches by the following statesmen:
Perishing John Joseph - US General in charge of American Expeditionary Forces in Europe
Gerard James W. - US Lawyer and Diplomat
Palmer Alexander M. - Representative from Pennsylvania
Lane Franklin K. - US Secretary of State
Vanderlip Frank A. - President, National City bank
Daniels Josephus - Secretary of Navy
McAdoo William Gibbs - Secretary of Treasury
Purdy Richard A. - Diplomat
Coolidge Calvin - 30th President of the United States
Harding Warren G. - 29th President of the United States
Baker Newton Diehl - Secretary of War
Long Breckenridge - 3rd Associate Secretary of State
America’s initial reluctance to become active participants in both the global conflicts can perhaps be explained on the grounds that the country was physically distanced from the action in Europe. Blissfully ignorant of the realities of war in Europe, Americans failed to see the logic in sacrificing their sons for the cause of another nation.
Thus, long after America helped allies win a resounding victory over Germany in the First World War, the debate over the War continued. Causes of the conflict and the conduct of all the participants were minutely examined investigated and analyzed. Numerous books were written on all aspects of the War. Soldiers who returned from European battlefields carried with them physical and emotional scars that took a long time to heal. While it lasted, the war brought pain and misery to those who stayed back home but sent their sons to defend democracy on a distant shore.
The speeches preserved on this CD echo the sentiments of American leaders during the War. While some justify - however obliquely - America’s participation in the War, others call for a unified effort by all patriotic Americans to defeat the imperialistic dreams of the Germans. Some speeches defend the integrity of Germans who had made America their home. Live recordings of emotionally charged leaders seem to have helped Americans lay aside the complacency induced by the distance from Europe and her battlefields. Think - what would have been the outcome of the war had US not participated?
It is worth pondering over what the outcome of the war may have been had America not pitched in with a hundred thousand men and billions of dollars. The passage of time has dimmed the memory of the Great War and of the men who died in defense of Democracy. Yet it is fitting that we remember their sacrifice and this CD provides a great reminder of this and serves as a re-awakening of interest in the Great War.
If you are a patriotic American or a history buff, you need to own this CD right away.
"This is indeed a very thought provoking CD. The entire history of the western nations would have been written differently. I am proud to belong to a nation that has stood by its ideals of democracy and freedom from tyranny for all. Thank you a2zcds for reinforcing this in me."
Customer's Name: Alan Dickson (New York, New York)
"Recent events and interventions in other parts of the world have lead to debates in every forum on the role of America in global affairs and politics today. After viewing this DVD I cannot help but admire the courage and foresight of our leaders of yesteryears in preventing a global mishap had we not entered the Great War."
Customer's Name: Ralf Conner (Cleveland, Ohio)