This is not the first positive review of this book I’ve seen.
Sergeant York was one of the tens of thousands of doughboys who filled out an MSR reflecting on his experience in the Great War.
Last night I finished Edward Gutiérrez’ Doughboys on the Great War. In 2000 Dr. Gutiérrez, now a lecturer at the University of Hartford, began analyzing the Military Service Records (MSRs) that American fighting men filled out upon returning from France. Several dozen states had some version of these questionnaires, though the length and thoroughness of the questioning fluctuated wildly from state to state. Some states had index cards asking for such basic information as name, age, rank, unit, length of service, and current address. Four states–Connecticut, Minnesota, Utah, Virginia–went much further and created a several-page document in which soldiers and marines could discourse more fully on their experience. Many veterans did just that, sharing their impressions of their training, the competence of their officers, their fighting experience, and whatever else they chose…
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