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Robert and Rebecca Dalessandro Transcript.pdf

Robert J. Dalessandro & Rebecca S. Dalessandro, Over There: America in the Great War

Featuring more than 360 photographs detailing the American military experience in World War I from recruitment to Armistice, on the ground, in the air, and at sea, Over There is the premier visual history of the United States in the Great War to be published during these centennial years. Sponsored by The United States World War One Centennial Commission.

Photographs not only tell a thousand words, but also capture drama and pathos in a way that words never can. Robert Capa’s handful of out-of-focus photographs from a Normandy beach capture the urgency of the D-Day landing better, or at least differently, than written narratives, while Alexander Gardner’s photographs after the Battle of Antietam uniquely convey the destruction and stillness of death. A photographic record is therefore essential to the comprehension of war.

This compilation of photos showing America’s involvement in World War I is especially important because it depicts a war that is central to American and world history but is too little remembered by Americans for a variety of reasons.

World War I is distant in time, it was fought overseas, news coverage was less immediate than in World War II, ambivalence surrounded the reasons for the war and its denouement, and U.S. forces fought for a relatively brief period of time. But in that short period, Americans fought with the same tenacity they did in World War II, and they died at a rate surpassed only in the Civil War.

Hence the importance of Over There: America in the Great War, which aims to bring to life and honor the service of more than four  million American men and women in a war that, for many, exists only in a handful of posed photographs and grainy snippets of film footage. 

Published in the midst of the centennial of the Great War, the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission—charted by the Congress and given the mission of educating the American people about World War I, commemorating the American role in the war, and honoring the courage and sacrifice of American servicemen and women in the war—is proud that its chairman, Robert Dalessandro, along with his wife, Rebecca, have authored this compilation, which will do so much to inform and inspire Americans of all generations. 

COLONEL ROBERT J. DALESSANDRO, U.S. ARMY (RETIRED) is chairman of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. He has been director of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center and chief of military history at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, and is currently deputy secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission. He is revisor for Stackpole's Army Officer's Guide and author of Willing Patriots: Men of Color in the First World War, American Lions: The 332nd Infantry Regiment in Italy in World War I, and Organization and Insignia of the American Expeditionary Force. Dalessandro lives in northern Virginia.

REBECCA S. DALESSANDRO is a writer, editor, and historical consultant for film productions.  She is published on a wide range of nineteenth and early-twentieth century subjects, including The 332nd Infantry in World War I, The Great War and Over There: America in the Great War.  She lives with her husband in northern Virginia.

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