BOOK: Behind the Lines

Author Jeffrey B. Miller recently announced his new nonfiction book, “Behind the Lines, WWI’s little-known story of German occupation, Belgian resistance, and the band of Yanks who saved millions from starvation” (ISBN: 978-0990689300; Milbrown Press). The book chronicles the start of the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB), the first CRB delegates, and Belgium under the harsh German rule; one of America’s “greatest humanitarian endeavors.”

“Americans were enthusiastic supporters of the CRB in 1914. Today few have heard the name, let alone the story,” says Miller.

On Oct, 22, 1914, less than three months after the start of World War I, one of the largest food relief programs the world has ever seen was begun when the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB) was founded in London by a group of prominent Americans. The CRB, working with its counterpart in Belgium, the Comite National (CN), fed more than 9 million Belgians and northern French behind German lines for four years as the “Great War” took the lives of approximately 9 million soldiers.

The CRB bought, shipped and delivered food through an English blockade into German-occupied Belgium. Thirty to fifty relief ships were in transit every day. From Rotterdam the food was transferred to more than 300 canal barges and brought into Belgium via its canal system. The food was then distributed by more than 40,000 Belgians working with the CN.

The book follows a handful of CRB delegates, a 22-year-old Belgian woman, Herbert Hoover, two U.S. diplomats, and two Belgians — a businessman and a priest — who team up to fight the German occupation. Print: $16.95, eBook: $9.99; available in bookstores,, Ingram and direct from the publisher. The book recently earned a coveted Kirkus Star Review (only approximately 760 books out of 10,000 annually reviewed by Kirkus are given a Star Review).

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Copr. © 2014 by Publishers Newswire, a publication of NEOTROPE®.

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