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Over the Top

Over the Top

by Arthur Empey and David Stieghan
Publication Date: 06/04/2017
Arthur Guy Empey served as an American in the British Army in the early days of World War I. After fighting in the trenches, Empey began writing short stories of his overseas military experience. Wounded in the line of duty and discharged soon after, Empey returned to America and compiled his stories into one volume entitled Over the Top. Published in 1917 only weeks after the United States declared war on Germany and the Central Powers, Over the Top quickly became a bestseller, bringing fame and notoriety to the previously unknown author. An estimated one million copies were printed from May 1917 through November 1918. To date, Empey's American point of view of fighting as a British soldier makes Over the Top the most readable and engaging introduction to the experience of trench fighting in print. The novel offered American readers a glimpse of what their own American Expeditionary Force members might face in this new Modern War. While most books that appeared before the Armistice focused on military strategy and politics, Over the Top provided a rare glimpse into the life of the common soldier in World War I. An overnight sensation, Empey's candid and readable style made this book a "must read" book of its time. Here, almost 100 years later, we hope that modern readers will appreciate Over the Top as much as did the original audience. Over the Top is the first in the series of World War I Centennial Doughboy novels published by UNG Press, each edited by David Scott Stieghan, who contextualizes their historical settings and environment for today's readers.
War & combat fiction
Publication Date:
University Press of North Georgia
Country of origin:
United States

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