An Image is Worth a Thousand Words

About this Chapter

An Image is Worth a Thousand Words situates image analysis within World War I’s historical narrative and helps students evaluate images and draw historical information from them. This chapter discusses how the Allied and Central powers used images to influence public opinion and maintain support for their war efforts. Special attention is given to the role of the ABMC in commemorating American efforts in World War I, including the Meuse-Argonne offensive and the American cemetery nearby, a resting place for over 14,000 Americans.

The activities within this chapter will help students answer the following questions:

  • How can you use a single image to tell multiple stories?
  • Why do different audiences come up with different interpretations of the same image?

This chapter is part of the iBook Bringing the Great War Home: Teaching With The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, which was produced by ABMC in partnership with Learn NC and Virginia Tech. You can access individual elements of the iBook here on, or you can download the full iBook through iTunes

In this Chapter:

  • Section 1: Introduction
  • Section 2: General Questions to Ask
  • Section 3: Introductory Activity: “I can’t even imagine”
  • Section 4: Weaponry and Men in the Trenches
  • Section 5: Do the Ends Justify the Means?
  • Section 6: Why Do We Build Memorials? What Stories Do They Tell?
  • Section 7: How Many Stories Are In a Picture?
  • Section 8: Propaganda Posters
  • Section 9: Propaganda in Film
  • Section 10: ABMC Commemoration Efforts
  • Section 11: Meuse-Argonne Cemetery Architecture and Art of Memory and Remembering Activity
  • Stories 12: Stories in the Images Activity: Individual Stories from the Meuse-Argonne
  • Section 13: Bibliography
  • Section 14: Credits and Disclaimer
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