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A Fraternity of Arms - American and France in the Great War - Book Report/Review Example

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The reporter underlines that the First World War, also called the Great War would shake-up then existing power equations within Europe and prime the region for the Second World War two decades later. While America's participation in the latter was more substantial than the former, it nevertheless played a crucial supportive role to its conventional allies.  
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A Fraternity of Arms - American and France in the Great War
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Download file to see previous pages Carefully researched and meticulously documented, the book offers new insights into officially recognized events and behind-the-scene realpolitik maneuverings during the war. More importantly, it is unique in terms of its historiography, adding new dimensions to the study of history.
Where the book diverges from other works on the subject is in its emphasis on the Franco-American alliance as opposed to the Anglo-American one. While Britain was witnessing a period of unprecedented prosperity and power during the beginning of the twentieth century and its connection to the United States goes two centuries further back, it was the alliance with France which was strategically important in the context of the Great War1. This thesis goes against the grain and is seems non-viable at the outset. And for precisely this reason that the book assumes its relevance in the annals of modern history. Further to the credit of the author, a satisfactory compilation and synthesis of facts are achieved in the work.
The anecdotal (yet factual) style of Robert Bruce can come across as casual at places. At other places, the reader can sense digressions from the main narrative. This technique is deceptively simple and adds richness and relief to what could otherwise be a boring discourse. What it also does is capturing the social and political atmosphere of the time that a straightforward historical account would not. The following passage from the first chapter of the book is a good example:
“Although there were numerous exceptions, one cannot help but be struck by the disproportionate number of wealthy and educated young men from elite American families who served in the Foreign Legion and in the Escadrille Lafayette during World War I. Tall burly, mustachioed Willam Thaw came from a wealthy Pittsburgh family and had studied briefly at Yale, among other elite universities, before learning to fly in 1913and living the life of a millionaire playboy piloting a flying boat on the French Riviera. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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