I was asked to add my own final reading, so here it is.
100 years ago, at the start of 1922, much of the world was still trying to process what had come to pass in the prior eight years: the mobilization to war of Europe, North America, some of the Middle East and Central America, and several nations of Asia, as well as many colonized peoples of South Asia and Africa; the harrowing of the European landscape along the war’s two primary fronts, especially the Western Front: the rise, fall, and redefinition of nation states, boundaries, and empires; the development and activation of killing technologies like the machine gun, the tank, the flame thrower, and poison gas; the slaughter and physical or psychological maiming of some 41 million people; the displacement of approximately 10 million people as refugees; in Armenia, the first major genocide of a genocidal century; and, just as combatants moved toward peace, the death of an estimated 50 million people worldwide in the brutal influenza pandemic of 1918-early 1920.
How did the humans of that time experience and record their experiences in this fundamental moment of modernity? How does our own distance both enable and hamper our understanding of that experience, and what do we learn from The War to End All Wars? I hope our semester is the beginning but not the end of your work considering those questions.