[JB note: Re the so-called "brilliant" PR man (see below) -- George Creel, arguably the first USG "public diplomacy" official, although the term was not yet part of the American foreign policy lexicon when he was named Chairman of the Committee on Public Information (1917-1919) -- readers may wish to consider the following not totally inaccurate summary of a recent article: Janus-Faced Public Diplomacy: Creel and Lippmann During The Great War (2017). The select, annotated bibliography upon which this article is based can be found at.]
Premieres April 10, 2017
A nation comes of age.
Drawing on unpublished diaries, memoirs and letters, The Great War tells the rich and complex story of World War I through the voices of nurses, journalists, aviators and the American troops who came to be known as “doughboys.” The series explores the experiences of African-American and Latino soldiers, suffragists, Native American “code talkers” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten. The Great War explores how a brilliant PR man [JB emphasis] bolstered support for the war in a country hesitant to put lives on the line for a foreign conflict; how President Woodrow Wilson steered the nation through years of neutrality, only to reluctantly lead America into the bloodiest conflict the world had ever seen, thereby transforming the United States into a dominant player on the international stage; and how the ardent patriotism and determination to support America’s crusade for liberty abroad led to one of the most oppressive crackdowns on civil liberties at home in U.S. history. It is a story of heroism and sacrifice that would ultimately claim 15 million lives and profoundly change the world forever. ...
Woodrow Wilson tapped George Creel to head up the Committee on Public Information, and Creel, in turn, created the Division of Pictorial Publicity, which churned out millions of posters encouraging support of the war. ...