“Over the Top” and Wartime News Reporting

Photo Courtesy of the Tasnim News Agency

On January 28, 2017, American special forces touched down in Yemen for what Financial Times is calling “the most significant antiterrorism operation since [the 2016] election.” While the raid resulted successful in the capture of crucial intelligence, several American service members were injured or killed. Taking place on a Saturday evening, news outlets gathered enough information to cover a story about the raid before 8:00 the following morning—nearly real-time news coverage. Due to modern technology and news media, American citizens receive nearly instant information about international events including everything from the weather to war.

Wartime media coverage during the Vietnam War tore down the barrier between civilians and their service members, forever changing the media landscape. But this monumental shift for Americans began far earlier.

Released only a few weeks after America declared war on Germany (1917), Over the Top became an immediate hit as the soon to be deployed gained insight on what to expect from an experienced soldier. World War I (WWI)

Photo Courtesy of WorldWar1.com

brought a new age of heavy artillery with mortar and missile launchers and the advent of trench warfare. Becoming a bestselling book, Over the Top: the American Who Went, made Arthur Guy Empey one of the first people to introduce a transparency of sorts between the average American, our government, our military, and the media.  Now we have live news and interviews from the center of any conflict worldwide, and anyone can discover any related information with a few taps of a keyboard.

Well before officially entering WWI, Americans felt the war as a looming and dangerous presence in their lives. That feeling of uncertainty resonates with many Americans today—making Over the Top more relevant than ever.

Remembering World War I and the brave sacrifices made in the name of freedom, the UNG Press will release Over the Top (4/6/2017) as the first book in our Doughboy Series, a subseries in our WWI Centennial publications. You will find this 100th anniversary edition of Over the Top to be a compelling and unforgettable reading experience. Be on the lookout April 6th for this release and please join us for Over the Top’s book launch and book signing at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, GA. Please email the Press for more information.