"Madame, can you spare a potato?"

About this Chapter

"Madame, can you spare a potato?” demonstrates how narrative inquiry creates soldier narratives that allow for a deeper understanding of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in World War I. In this case, the research focuses on the story of a young Army private from North Carolina who served in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France, in 1918. The chapter explores his life before, during and after war. Teachers can use this chapter as a model for how to select soldiers from their school’s county to develop a similar narrative of World War I experience using the ABMC resources.

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

  • How can teachers and/or students use Will McGuirt’s narrative to understand the soldiers’ experience during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and World War I?
  • How do teachers and /or students research the historical agency of the everyday person involved in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive and World War I using the American Battle Monuments Commission resources?

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 ABMC.gov, or you can download the full iBook through iTunes

In this Chapter:

  • Section 1: Introduction
  • Section 2: Research Overview
  • Section 3: Research Methodology
  • Section 4: Research Process
  • Section 5: The Life of Will McGuirt: Before, During, and After World War I
  • Section 6: Instructional Menu
  • Section 7: Bibliography
  • Section 8: Video Transcriptions
  • Section 9: Credits and Disclaimer
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