By Petra DeWitt
“A very well-researched piece.… The strengths of the book are that it examines the rural and the urban experiences of German-Americans and that it suggests the need for some serious revisions of the scholarly emphasis on the severity of the reaction to German-American citizens during the period.”
Ken Fones-Wolf, West Virginia University
“Degrees of Allegiance is a detailed, sophisticated, and convincing account of how wartime expectations pressured Missouri Germans to relinquish the distinctive parts of their culture and the extent to which they actually did so.”
Missouri Historical Review
“The author makes a convincing case … and departs from the ‘victimization’ mode so characteristic of so much ethnic history today, and treats the German-American experience with considerable nuance.… The prime audience will of course be people interested in German-American history and Missouri politics of this era, but this is not an insider’s account and is written to be accessible also to general readers.”
Walter Kamphoefner, Texas A & M University
Historians have long argued that the Great War eradicated German culture from American soil. Degrees of Allegiance examines the experiences of German-Americans living in Missouri during the First World War, evaluating the personal relationships at the local level that shaped their lives and the way that they were affected by national war effort guidelines. Spared from widespread hate crimes, German-Americans in Missouri did not have the same bleak experiences as other German-Americans in the Midwest or across America. But they were still subject to regular charges of disloyalty, sometimes because of conflicts within the German-American community itself.
Degrees of Allegiance updates traditional thinking about the German-American experience during the Great War, taking into account not just the war years but also the history of German settlement and the war’s impact on German-American culture.
Petra DeWitt teaches at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri. She is the author of a number of articles about the German-American community in Missouri. More info →
Save 20% ($39.96)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
The collective memories of Nazism that developed in postwar Germany have helped define a new paradigm of memory politics. From Europe to South Africa and from Latin America to Iraq, scholars have studied the German case to learn how to overcome internal division and regain international recognition.In
When World War I brought an end to German colonial rule in Namibia, much of the German population stayed on. The German community, which had managed to deal with colonial administration, faced new challenges when the region became a South African mandate under the League of Nations in 1919. One of these was the issue of Germanness, which ultimately resulted in public conversations and expressions of identity.In
“Business during the Week was very dull. The great Plague of the Year Cholera is driving every Country [person] and Merchants from Surrounding Cities away. The City looks like a desert Compared to its usual animated appearance. People parting for a day or so, bid farewell to each other. My Partners family are fortunately in the Country. I and Clemens sleep in the Same bed, in Case of a Sudden attack to be within groaning distance.”—u2009Diary entry for Sunday, May 13th, 1849
Civil War Missouri stood at the crossroads of America. As the most Southern-leaning state in the Middle West, Missouri faced a unique dilemma. The state formed the gateway between east and west, as well as one of the borders between the two contending armies. Moreover, because Missouri was the only slave state in the Great Interior, the conflicts that were tearing the nation apart were also starkly evident within the state.
Sign up to be notified when new Nationalism titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.