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America and World War I
A Traveler's Guide
Mark D. Van Ells

Published 2015 • 5" x 9" • 432 pages • b&w photos
ISBN 9781566569750 • paperback • $22.00


It has now been a century since World War I began, but America’s role in this colossal struggle has been largely forgotten on both sides of the Atlantic. Historian and travel writer Mark D. Van Ells aims to change that. America and World War I follows in the footsteps of the Doughboy—as the U.S. soldier of the Great War was known—from the training camps of the United States to the frontlines of Europe. Tracing the totality of America’s experience from the factors that led the nation to enter the war in April 1917 to the armistice in November 1918, his riveting narrative describes a military buildup on a scale the world had never seen, as well as the war’s major battles and campaigns¾and, throughout, it leads the traveler to the memorials erected in the Doughboys’ wake, as well as to the many places that remain unmarked and uncommemorated.

Through their own words, we learn the feelings of those young men and women who served in the war. What were their private thoughts and fears? Their personal memories? Such eyewitness accounts, woven into the fabric of each chapter, give this absorbingly written book an immediacy and vividness that marks a new departure in guidebooks.

Complete with photographs, the voices of the doughboys themselves, and up-to-date travel information, America and World War I is an indispensible guide for those who wish to explore this vital but neglected chapter in the American and European experience.

• Major battles and battlefields

• Memorials, museums, sites, cemeteries, and statues

• How to get there

• What to see

• Eyewitness accounts

• Maps

• Then and now photographs

Mark D. Van Ells is Professor of History at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York.  He is the author of Wisconsin (On the Road History), also published by Interlink. His website is

Media Reviews

"A sophisticated history text integrates the practical details of a guide in this informative and illustrative look at World War I. Mark D. Van Ells presents his meticulously researched view of the Great War in 'America and WWI: A Traveler’s Guide.' Part instruction and part tourism—a complementary combination—this vivid and often graphic book ensnares the queasy traveler then provides a productive trip through its pages...Straightforward in his approach yet with writing that frequently eliciting an emotional response, Van Ells delivers a powerful evaluation of the American doughboys and the war that few want to talk about any more."

“As we reach the centennial of what Europe calls the Great War, World War I, we all need to gain insight into that war. It was the war that set up all the other wars of the twentieth century. Mark D. Van Ells’s book is a must-read experience. It is invaluable in learning the unmistakable lessons of history.”
U.S. Senator Max Cleland (Ret.)

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Of Related Interest:
A Traveller’s Guide to D-Day and the Battle for Normandy
A Traveller's History of the Hundred Years War in France
Mussolini and Fascism
A Traveller's History of Germany
A Traveller's Guide to the Battle for the German Frontier
A Traveller's History of France