American Decades Primary Sources: 1910-1919

  • Volume 2
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0787665894
  • ISBN-13: 9780787665890
  • DDC: 973.91
  • Shipping Weight: 4.55 lbs ( 2.06 kgs)
  • 704 Pages | Print | Hardcover
  • © 2004 | Published



The United States in the 1910s grappled with war "over there," women's suffrage, and the Great Migration of African Americans. Domestically, African Americans left the strongly segregated and racially divided South in search of more opportunities in the North, though not necessarily more acceptance. While industry was booming in the North, working conditions were unregulated and unsafe, a point brought home by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York. By the decade's end, the Girl Scouts of America were formed, women had achieved the right to vote, and the temperance movement had succeeded in putting a proposal to prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol before Congress.

The following documents are just a sampling of the offerings available in this volume:

  • Norman Rockwell's first Saturday Evening Post cover
  • President Woodrow Wilson's Declaration of War message, April 2, 1917
  • The Zimmerman Telegram
  • Letters to the Chicago Defender by African Americans during the Great Migration from the South to the North
  • Pioneer in Pro Football by Jack Cusack, a memoir of the beginnings of professional football
  • The Mind of the Primitive Man, by Franz Boaz, groundbreaking work in cultural anthropology
  • Letter to U.S. Archbishops from Cardinal James Gibbons regarding the Catholic Welfare Conference, May 1, 1919
  • Excerpt from Painless Childbirth describing the new method of "twilight sleep," or use of anesthesia, during labor and delivery
  • "Five Pretty Ways to Do the Hair," article from October 1911 issue of Ladies' Home Journal
  • "Flexner Report" on the state of medical education in the U.S.
  • First newspaper crossword puzzle, December 21, 1913.
  • Speeches on "Dollar Diplomacy" by President Taft (for) and President Wilson (against)
  • Editorial by Marcus Garvey in Garvey's own newspaper, The Negro World
  • Photographs of child laborers by Lewis Hine



"This carefully crafted new offering from Gale is sure to be a worthy heir to the discontinued classic documentary American history reference source, The Annals of America (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1968-1987),.. Gale's latest contribution to the field is intended to serve as a companion to their popular series, American Decades (Gale Group, 1994-2001) and would complement many of the publisher's other prominent reference works in American history, notably the two-volume stand-alone Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America: Primary Documents (see ARBA 2001, entry 271). This work will also make an ideal companion set for the many libraries that already own The Annals, as this new work offers limited coverage, its entries usually provide essays about and excerpts from primary sources rather than the full text of the sources themselves, it is more comprehensive, and despite some inevitable overlap, its selections are generally different...American Decades: Primary Sources is certain to become the centerpiece of many serious American history reference collections. This new work is so innovative and well done that it may become a classic itself, and at its advertised price of less than $100 for each sturdy, well-designed volume, well worth the investment." --ARBA (2004)


"Aimed at the high-school and undergraduate levels, but definitely accessible to middle-schoolers, this set is a treasure trove of more than 2,000 primary sources on U.S. history and culture represented by more than 75 types of sources, such as architectural drawings, graphs, letters, magazine articles, memoirs, reports, Supreme Court decisions, speeches, and literary works. This resource is excellent as a companion to the American Decades (Gale, 1996-2000) set or as a stand-alone. Even if a library had access to all of the books, periodicals, and other items used as sources, they would lack the surrounding context and the added features, not to mention the convenience. Secondary school libraries in states with curriculum standards that require access to primary resources should place this on their priority purchase lists if they can afford it. Undergraduate and public libraries supporting historical research should also consider purchase."--Booklist (April 2004)

— Booklist

"This set provides access to information that will be difficult to find in other places without a great deal of weeding. It can begin the student thinking critically about events in history. Your students need access to this set, especially if you have American Decades."--Reference for Students ( (May 2004)

— Online