The G.I. Roundtable Series
site provides access to an experiment in text and design. As texts,
the AHA’s G.I. Roundtable series provides a unique insight into
a particular moment in time. The American Historical Association produced
the G.I. Roundtable Series to help win World War II. Or so they were
led to believe. In fact the U.S. Army sought the pamphlets as part of
a larger effort to prepare for the transition to the postwar world,
and represent a novel effort at social control.
At the same time, the site itself is an experiment, a test of design
and techniques in the presentation of history on the World Wide Web,
and the proper blending of primary sources and analysis.
The site is comprised of three main sections.
Section I: The pamphlets, reproduced
here for the Web. As primary documents, the pamphlets provide a unique
insight into what Americans were thinking about at the end of the war,
and how the recent past was seen as a prelude to the future.
Section II: A still-evolving selection of Background
documents and related readings is provided
to provide context on the origins and production of the series and the
historiography of the period on the web and in the books and articles
that still comprise the heart and sinews of our work.
Section III: Lastly, the site provides an extensive analysis
of the origins of the series, and how it fit into both the Army's
larger program of preparation for postwar changes as well as the larger
culture in which they were produced.
The site design and analysis have been produced Robert
B. Townsend, Assistant Director for Research and Publications at
the American Historical Association. However, please note that while
Association oversaw the original publication of these pamphlets, and
currently employs the author of the analysis, any opinions expressed
only reflect the views of their respective authors.