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Unraveling Freedom
Cover of Unraveling Freedom
Unraveling Freedom
The Battle for Democracy on the Homefront During World War I
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In 1915, the United States experienced the 9/11 of its time. A German torpedo sank the Lusitania killing nearly 2,000 innocent passengers. The ensuing hysteria helped draw the United States into World...
In 1915, the United States experienced the 9/11 of its time. A German torpedo sank the Lusitania killing nearly 2,000 innocent passengers. The ensuing hysteria helped draw the United States into World...
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  • In 1915, the United States experienced the 9/11 of its time. A German torpedo sank the Lusitania killing nearly 2,000 innocent passengers. The ensuing hysteria helped draw the United States into World War I—the bitter, brutal conflict that became known as the Great War and the War to End All Wars. But as U.S. troops fought to make the world safe for democracy abroad, our own government eroded freedoms at home, especially for German-Americans. Free speech was no longer an operating principle of American democracy. Award-winning author Ann Bausum asks, just where do Americans draw the line of justice in times of war?
    Drawing thought-provoking parallels with President Wilson's government and other wartime administrations, from FDR to George W. Bush, Bausum's analysis has plenty of history lessons for the world today. Her exhaustive research turns up astonishing first-person stories and rare images, and the full-color design is fresh and stunning. The result is a gripping book that is well-positioned for the run-up to the World War I centennial.
    National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
    Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.

About the Author-

  • Ann Bausum writes about US history for young people. Her books consistently earn prominent national recognition. Denied, Detained, Deported was named the 2010 Carter G. Woodson Book Award winner at the secondary school level from the National Council for the Social Studies. Muckrakers earned the Golden Kite Award as best nonfiction book of the year from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Freedom Riders gained the Robert F. Sibert Honor designation from the American Library Association, and With Courage and Cloth received the Jane Addams Children's Book Award as the year's best book on social justice issues for older readers.

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2010

    Gr 7-10-Comparing the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 to the 9/11 attacks, Bausum describes the events that would eventually lead the U.S. into the European conflict that ultimately became World War I. She then turns her attention to describing the destruction of civil liberties by President Wilson, Congress, and those in control of political power during the country's campaign to "make the world safe for democracy." Freedom of speech was especially limited by the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. Various government agencies and the courts encouraged citizens to spy on one another. Socialists such as Eugene Debs were tried, convicted, and given long prison sentences for speaking out against the war. Specific attention is also paid to the efforts of Edith Wilson and the president's cabinet to deceive the public and hide his debilitating illness. Black-and-white archival photos and political cartoons are arranged in an artistic manner with informative captions. Red and blue backgrounds create a dramatic effect in the layout of the text. Appropriate quotations by various people of the time are displayed in elegant fonts. Make this unique and timely offering a definite first purchase.-Eldon Younce, Anthony Public Library, KS

    Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from December 15, 2010
    Grades 8-11 *Starred Review* Writer of the Sibert Honor Book Freedom Riders (2006), Bausum looks at America during the WWI period, when fear and intolerance led to the persecution of German Americans, socialists, and peace activists. Beginning with the sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania by a German submarine, she discusses government propaganda and the mounting public intolerance, outrage, and violence against all things German. New sedition and espionage acts enabled officials to intimidate or imprison those who might disagree with their positions. Without belaboring the point, Bausum connects the dots between responses to the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania and the 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center. Although much of the detail in Bausums chapter on the Lusitanias sinking seems irrelevant to the main theme, the book as a whole is well focused, well reasoned, and clearly written. Handsomely designed, it features color reproductions of period photos, drawings, paintings, and documents. Back matter includes citations, notes, a bibliography, lists of recommended resources, a detailed time line, and a useful Guide to Wartime Presidents, which identifies eight wartime periods in America and, for each, discusses whether (and how) freedom was curtailed and provides a presidential quote. A fascinating, informative book on a topic of perennial concern.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2010, American Library Association.)

  • The Horn Book

    January 1, 2011
    Bausum provides an informative overview of America's involvement in WWI. She discusses President Wilson's fight to enact laws against "anti-American" activities as an example of how political leaders during a national crisis have attempted to restrict personal freedom in the name of patriotism. Illustrations, photographs, and notes enhance the succinct text. A "Guide to Wartime Presidents" chart is appended. Timeline, websites. Bib., ind.

    (Copyright 2011 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

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The Battle for Democracy on the Homefront During World War I
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