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Lecture 5

Political Science 2142A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: George M. Cohan, George Creel, Irving Berlin


Department
Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 2142A/B
Professor
Alison Meek
Lecture
5

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LECTURE – AMERICA AT WAR
Culture at war
oPROPAGANDA
Government takeover – giving a clear and distorted message to the
people of America
Patriotism
Financial – all about money
oCritique?
Critique aims, hypocrisy, etc.
WORLD WAR 1
oContext – 1914 In Europe, US REMAIN NEUTRAL FOR THREE YEARS
WOODROW WILSON – wants to stay out so he can shape the
treaty
1917 – Lusitania sinking
Declares war on Germany
RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONS, MARCH & OCTOBER 1917
Red scare – fears of subversiveness and communism
The League of Nations – 1919
MUSIC
oPatriotic music
35k songs published and recorded in 1914-1919
vast majority – incredibly patriotic – this is a good war, we
need to get involved
1918 – shift – reality of war begins to hit, the music becomes a bit
more cynical
never criticizes the government
style of Sousa – marching band music
‘irving Berlin, “Oh! I hate to get up in the morning”
olife in the training camps
“Over There” George Cohan April 1917
American exceptionalism
“Mademoiselle From Armentieres”
American men going in to france – puritan shock
Woman that soldiers want her to be
“How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down On the farm”
SELLING THE WAR
oDoesn’t have a unifying moment that motivates everyone to join the war
oGeorge Creel, THE CPI – the Committee on Public Information
First propaganda agency
MUCKRAKERS – good at spinning a story to convince Americans
of one thing or another
“war fought in the minds of men”
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