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The Hello Girls : America's first women soldiers  Cover Image Book Book

The Hello Girls : America's first women soldiers / Elizabeth Cobbs.


"In World War I, telephones linked commanding generals with soldiers in muddy trenches. A woman in uniform connected almost every one of their calls, speeding the orders that won the war. Like other soldiers, the "Hello Girls" swore the Army oath and stayed for the duration. A few were graduates of elite colleges. Most were ordinary, enterprising young women motivated by patriotism and adventure, eager to test their mettle and save the world. The first contingent arrived in France just as the German Army trained "Big Bertha" on Paris, bombarding the frightened city as the new women of the U.S. Army struggled through unlit streets to find their billets. A handful followed General Pershing to the gates of Verdun and the battlefields of Meuse-Argonne. When the switchboard operators sailed home a year later, the Army dismissed them without veterans' benefits or victory medals. The women commenced a sixty-year fight that a handful of survivors carried to triumph in 1979. This book shows how technological developments encouraged an unusual band to volunteer for military service at the precise moment that feminists back home championed a federal suffrage amendment. The same desire to participate fully in the life of their country animated both groups, and both struggled after 1920 to reap the rewards of victory. Their experiences illuminate ways in which sex-role change was embraced and resisted throughout the twentieth century, and the ways that men and women struggled together for gender justice."--Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780674971479
  • ISBN: 0674971477
  • Physical Description: 370 pages, 14 unnumbered pages of plates ; 22 cm.
  • Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2017.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
America's last citizens -- Neutrality defeated, and the telephone in war and peace -- Looking for soldiers and finding women -- We're going over: recruiting the Hello Girls -- Pack your kit: selection and training -- Wilson adopts suffrage and the Signal Corps embarks -- Americans find their way, over there -- Better late than never: the battle for the Marne -- Wilson fights for a mandate at home -- Together in the crisis of Meuse-Argonne -- Peace without victory medal -- Soldiering forward in the twentieth century.
Subject: United States. Army. Signal Corps > History > 20th century.
United States. Army > Women > History.
World War, 1914-1918 > Communications.
Telephone operators > United States > History > 20th century.
World War, 1914-1918 > Participation, Female.
Women soldiers > United States > History > 20th century.
Women veterans > United States > History > 20th century.
Women soldiers > Legal status, laws, etc. > United States.
Sex discrimination against women > United States > History > 20th century.
World War, 1914-1918 > Regimental histories > United States.
Women > Suffrage > United States > History > 20th century.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Skagit Evergreen Libraries. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at La Conner Regional Library District. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at La Conner Regional Library.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
La Conner Regional Library 940.41 COBBS 103618 NON FICTION Available -

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