American Women Report World War I
In the opening decades of the 20th century, war reporting remained one
of the most well-guarded, thoroughly male bastions of journalism.
However, when war erupted in Europe in August 1914, a Boston woman, Mary
Boyle O’Reilly, became one of the first journalists to bring the war to
American newspapers. A Saturday Evening Post journalist, Mary Roberts
Rinehart, became the first journalist, of any country, of any gender, to
visit the trenches. These women were only the first wave of female
journalists who covered the conflict.
American Women Report World War I collects more than 35 of the best of
their articles and those that highlight the richness of their
contribution to the history of the Great War. Editor Chris Dubbs
provides section introductions for background and context to stories
such as “Woman Writer Sees Horrors of Battle,” “Star Woman Runs
Blockade,” and “America Meets France.”
The work of female journalists focuses more squarely on individuals
caught in the conflict—including themselves. It offers a valuable
counterpoint to the male, horror-of-the-trenches experience and
demonstrates how World War I served as a catalyst that enabled women to
expand the public forum for their opinions on social and moral issues.
“This is an extraordinary anthology—there isn’t a dull piece in the
bunch, and the most striking stories are as riveting as any work of war
literature I know.”—Steven Trout, author of On the Battlefield of Memory