UPDATE: You can now buy The Worse for It.


The Worse for It, The world war one letters of Robert E. SchallesThe Worse for It is ARTK12’s next new book. The subtitle is “The World War I Letters and Artifacts of Private First Class Robert E. Schalles.” In all there are 45 letters that Schalles sent home from France and Germany before and after the war.

Brian Kitson and Mark Reed received advanced copies of The Worse for It. Here are their comments:

As a teacher of history for 32 years and a student of it for most of my life, primary sources are the most engaging and fascinating to read. A history book, regardless of how astute and scholarly the work may be, is typically an interpretation of events never experienced.

The Worse for It takes the reader to the source. Through the letters of Robert E. Schalles one can almost experience his fears and joys while he deals with the mundane and horrifying duties of a soldier who yearns to return home to his family’s farm. After reading the The Worse for It you will want to shake Schalles’ hand and thank him for his service to our country. I highly recommend it for all history lovers!

— Brian Kitson, Middle School History Teacher


Readers of history will surely thank Glen Draeger for publishing his grandfather, Robert E. Schalles’ correspondence chronicling his experiences during the Great War. Private Schalles gives us his contemporaneous observations of one of the most transformative events in human history. His letters portray the horrors of war, such as preparing for gas attacks and burying dead enemy soldiers, along with casually commenting that there isn’t much to spend money on at the front.

The title, The Worse for It, taken from one of Private Schalles’ letters describing the war’s effect on him, could very well express the impact this war and its aftermath bore upon the entire world. One cannot read these letters without contemplating the life-changing implications of war on the soldiers and their families.

— Mark A. Reed, Attorney at Law

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