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One Man's Initiation: 1917

A Novel

By John Dos Passos


To the memory of those with whom I saw rockets in the sky, on the road between Erize-la-Petite and Erize-la-Grande, in that early August twilight in the summer of 1917.


  1. Chapter I
  2. Chapter II
  3. Chapter III
  4. Chapter IV
  5. Chapter V
  6. Chapter VI
  7. Chapter VII
  8. Chapter VIII
  9. Chapter IX
  10. Chapter X
  11. Chapter XI

One file,, about 80KB, contains this page and all the chapters, for those who seek convenient downloading to read locally with a web browser.


One Man's Initiation: 1917 was first published in London in October, 1920 by George Allen & Unwin Ltd. The original manuscript and corrected page proofs have not been found. The first American edition was published in June, 1922, by Goerge H. Doran Company, New York. The Philosophical Library reprinted the book in 1945, under the title First Encounter, with a new introduction by the author.

In 1969 a new edition was published by Cornell University Press, copyright 1969 by John Dos Passos. This edition, based on uncorrected page proofs of the first edition, and with consultation with the author, restored several passages expurgated or bowdlerized from the first edition. Along with several illustrations by the author, and a new (1968) introduction by Dos Passos including long extracts from his journal, this attractive book, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 69-15945, and catalog nubmer PZ3.D740N5, is the authoritative one now. We have not violated the author's copyright by including any of the new material.

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