What moves young people to go to war: “Weapon on the Wall”

The Stanford campus — second-biggest in the world next to Moscow State University — offers plenty of opportunities for aspiring and advanced student journalists. The Hoover Institution’s current “Weapon on the Wall” exhibit of World War I posters is a perfect example.

The exhibit marks America’s entry into World War I in 1917 and explores the poster — “one of the most powerful tools the country used to persuade its public to support and sustain the war effort,” according to a description on Stanford’s online Events Calendar.

Drawing on Hoover’s archive of more than 130,000 posters, the exhibition “showcases the boldly graphic environment of WWI and traces the pictorial treatment of Americans’ most dire concerns, including enlistment, fear of the enemy, food conservation, morale on the home front, women at work, and fundraising for victory.”

In a spring 2017 article in the Hoover Digest, curator Jean Cannon described how posters “encouraged, enticed, and even shamed young Americans into joining the great conflict.”

“The exhibition focuses a great deal on the role of media (and the development of the Committee of Public Information) and also the rhetoric of persuasion, so I am sure we will have much to discuss,” Cantor told NBTB.

Cannon will meet with a group of NBTB students and give a tour of the exhibit on Friday, July 7 at 1:30 p.m.

Signups for this and all of our other reporting opportunities will take place daily at the camp office.

Get ready to do some real stories at NBTB 2017!


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