Lost Battalions by Richard Slotkin
The Great War and the Crisis of American Nationality

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“A work of stunning density and penetrating analysis . . . Lost Battalions deploys a narrative symmetry of gratifying complexity.”—David Levering Lewis, The Nation During the bloodiest days of World War I, no soldiers served more valiantly than the African American troops of the 369th Infantry—the fabled Harlem Hellfighters—and the legendary 77th “lost battalion” composed of New York City immigrants. Though these men had lived up to their side of the bargain as loyal American soldiers, the country to which they returned solidified laws and patterns of social behavior that had stigmatized them as second-class citizens.
Richard Slotkin takes the pulse of a nation struggling with social inequality during a decisive historical moment, juxtaposing social commentary with battle scenes that display the bravery and solidarity of these men. Enduring grueling maneuvers, and the loss of so many of their brethren, the soldiers in the lost battalions were forever bound by their wartime experience.
Both a riveting combat narrative and a brilliant social history, Lost Battalions delivers a richly detailed account of the fierce fight for equality in the shadow of a foreign war.
 

About Richard Slotkin

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Richard Slotkin is the Olin Professor and the former director of American Studies at Wesleyan University. His previous books include Abe: A Novel of the Young Lincoln, National Book Award Finalist Gunfighter Nation, and Regeneration Through Violence, also a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Albert J. Beveridge Prize. He lives in Middletown, Connecticut.
 
Published November 29, 2005 by Henry Holt and Co.. 656 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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each would be badly bloodied, such that of the latter, “nearly three-quarters…were either killed, wounded, or captured,” whereas the black soldiers—who, Slotkin notes in passing, introduced jazz to France along the way—were so badly mauled by German attackers that “the French withdrew them from t...

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Slotkin (a National Book Award finalist for Gunfighter Nation) examines the relationship between war and citizenship in this trenchant, gracefully written military and social history of the African-American 369th Infantry, known as the "Harlem Hellfighters," and the 77th Division, dubbed the "Me...

Oct 03 2005 | Read Full Review of Lost Battalions: The Great Wa...

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