375 books about World War II and 38 start with W
375 books about World War II and 38 start with W
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press
Written from a Zambian perspective, this leading study shows how the British colony of Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia) organized and deployed human, military, and natural resources during and after the Second World War.
The Second World War brought unprecedented pressures to bear on Britain’s empire, which then included colonial Northern Rhodesia. Through new archival materials and oral histories, War and Society in Colonial Zambia tells—from an African perspective—the story of how the colony organized its human and natural resources on behalf of the imperial government.
Alfred Tembo first examines government propaganda and recruitment of personnel for the Northern Rhodesia Regiment, which served in East Africa, Palestine, Ceylon, Burma, and India. Later, Zambia’s economic contribution to the Allied war effort would foreground the central importance of the colony’s mining industry as well as its role as supplier of rubber and beeswax following the fall of the Southeast Asian colonies to the Japanese in early 1942. Finally, Tembo presents archival and oral evidence about life on the home front, including the social impact of wartime commodity shortages, difficulties posed by incoming Polish refugees, and the more interventionist forms of colonial governance that these circumstances engendered.
This is a lively history of specific social, political, ad economic changes that all-out war brought to the home front in mid-America. Drawing from letters to the editor in local and state papers, from editorials, from personal interviews, and from the manuscript collections left by state political leaders, Calvin Smith brings into focus the impact of wartime not only upon agricultural and business economics but also upon particular social groups and the lives of individuals.
The war generated the beginnings of a rights revolution in black communities throughout the nation. The author takes a careful look at the resulting strain on relations between the state’s black and white citizens. No less important is the consideration of Japanese Americans from the West Coast who were relocated to camps in Arkansas, and of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who would not take part in the war effort either on the battlefield or at home.
War and Wartime Changes illuminates a fascinating and sometimes embarrassing segment of history which until now has not been presented in a single, cohesive work. The author details the unique experiences Arkansas had at this time as well as the patriotism its citizens felt for their country.
Here is the story for the historian, for every student of society and its ways, and for anyone who wants to understand or remember the patriotic fervor of Americans during World War II. Calvin Smith has created, with persistent and imaginative research, a rare admixture of nostalgia and solid scholarship.
The Last Major Combat for American Troops in Germany During the Final Days of World War II
By April 1945, the last German counteroffensive in the west had been defeated, the vaunted Siegfried Line was no more, the Rhine River had been crossed, and major German cities were being bombed relentlessly. The war in Europe appeared to be in its final stages. As American and British armies overran central Germany, the Russians were smashing their way from the east toward Berlin. Optimism reigned up and down the Allied lines. But as the American Army’s 100th Infantry Division pushed along the west bank of the Neckar River across from bomb-shattered Heilbronn, resistance unexpectedly stiffened. In that 700-year-old city, a major industrial and communications center still operating for the benefit of the Nazi war machine, Hitler’s subordinates had battened down for a last-ditch stand. For sheer ferocity, it would exceed anything the now-battle-hardened Americans had experienced. Here, American troops faced a grueling campaign of house-to-house fighting, with Hitler Youth, Volkssturm militia, and an SS division attempting to stop the American advance at this critical sector of the European theater. Having been repeatedly targeted by Alllied aircraft, the city resembled a vast, Hellish ruin, and as American soldiers inched their way forward, they encountered booby traps, withering sniper fire, deadly Panzerfaust rounds, and a fanatical enemy. The nine-day battle for Heilbronn would be the last major combat for American troops in Europe. Within three weeks of their securing the city, Hitler would be dead and Germany defeated.
In War in the Ruins: The American Army’s Final Battle Against Nazi Germany, Edward G. Longacre recounts this neglected but essential chapter in the history of World War II, describing the 100th Division’s swift but grueling advance through the Vosges Mountains, their Rhine River crossing, the assault on the historic Maginot Line, and the ominous approach to Heilbronn. The author then describes the entire bitter battle and its aftermath, using private letters, journals, German and American action reports, and other primary source material, to establish War in the Ruins as an essential volume in the history of World War II in Europe.
In Nazi eyes, the Soviet Union was the “wild east,” a savage region ripe for exploitation, its subhuman inhabitants destined for extermination or helotry. An especially brutal dimension of the German army’s eastern war was its anti-partisan campaign. This conflict brought death and destruction to thousands of Soviet civilians, and has been held as a prime example of ordinary German soldiers participating in the Nazi regime’s annihilation policies.
Ben Shepherd enters the heated debate over the wartime behavior of the Wehrmacht in a detailed study of the motivation and conduct of its anti-partisan campaign in the Soviet Union. He investigates how anti-partisan warfare was conducted, not by the generals, but by the far more numerous, average Germans serving as officers in the field. What shaped their behavior was more complex than Nazi ideology alone. The influence of German society, as well as of party and army, together with officers’ grueling yet diverse experience of their environment and enemy, made them perceive the anti-partisan war in varied ways. Reactions ranged from extreme brutality to relative restraint; some sought less to terrorize the native population than to try to win it over. The emerging picture does not dilute the suffering the Wehrmacht’s eastern war inflicted. It shows, however, that properly judging ordinary Germans’ role in that war is more complicated than is indicated by either wholesale condemnation or wholesale exoneration.
This valuable study offers a nuanced discussion of the diversity of behaviors within the German army, as well as providing a compelling exploration of the war and counterinsurgency operations on the eastern front.
In the course of the twentieth century, no war looms as profoundly transformative or as destructive as World War II. Its global scope and human toll reveal the true face of modern, industrialized warfare. Now, for the first time, we have a comprehensive, single-volume account of how and why this global conflict evolved as it did. A War To Be Won is a unique and powerful operational history of the Second World War that tells the full story of battle on land, on sea, and in the air.
Williamson Murray and Allan R. Millett analyze the operations and tactics that defined the conduct of the war in both the European and Pacific Theaters. Moving between the war room and the battlefield, we see how strategies were crafted and revised, and how the multitudes of combat troops struggled to discharge their orders. The authors present incisive portraits of the military leaders, on both sides of the struggle, demonstrating the ambiguities they faced, the opportunities they took, and those they missed. Throughout, we see the relationship between the actual operations of the war and their political and moral implications.
A War To Be Won is the culmination of decades of research by two of America’s premier military historians. It avoids a celebratory view of the war but preserves a profound respect for the problems the Allies faced and overcame as well as a realistic assessment of the Axis accomplishments and failures. It is the essential military history of World War II—from the Sino–Japanese War in 1937 to the surrender of Japan in 1945—for students, scholars, and general readers alike.
Winner of the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize
Winner of the University of Southern California Book Prize
Honorable Mention, Reginald Zelnik Book Prize
“Fascinating and perceptive.”
—Antony Beevor, New York Review of Books
“Stand aside, Homer. I doubt whether even the author of the Iliad could have matched Alexis Peri’s account of the 872-day siege which Leningrad endured.”
—Jonathan Mirsky, The Spectator
“Powerful and illuminating…A fascinating, insightful, and nuanced work.”
—Anna Reid, Times Literary Supplement
“Much has been written about Leningrad’s heroic resistance. But the remarkable aspect of [Peri’s] book is that she tells a very different story: recounting the internal struggles of ordinary people desperately trying to survive and make sense of their fate.”
—John Thornhill, Financial Times
“A sensitive, at times almost poetic examination of their emotions and disordered mental states. It both contrasts with and complements the equally accurate official Soviet portrait of a stalwart population standing firm in the face of evil and in defense of Soviet ideals.”
—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs
In September 1941, two and a half months after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, the German Wehrmacht encircled Leningrad. Cut off from the rest of Russia, the city remained blockaded for 872 days, at a cost of almost a million lives. It was one of the longest and deadliest sieges in modern history.
The War Within chronicles the Leningrad blockade from the perspective of those who endured it. Drawing on unpublished diaries, Alexis Peri tells the tragic story of how young and old struggled to make sense of a world collapsing around them. When the blockade was lifted in 1944, Kremlin officials censored publications describing the ordeal and arrested many of Leningrad’s wartime leaders. Some were executed. Diaries—now dangerous to their authors—were concealed, shelved in archives, and forgotten. The War Within recovers these lost accounts, shedding light on one of World War II’s darkest episodes while paying tribute the resilience of the human spirit.
The Warsaw Uprising of 1944 dramatically tells the largely unknown story of the Warsaw resistance movement during World War II. Desperate to free themselves from German military oppression but also hoping to show the advancing Soviets that they could not impose easy rule upon the citizens of Warsaw, the Poles launched an almost hopeless attack against the Germans on August 1, 1944.Wlodzimierz Borodziej presents an evenhanded account of what is commonly considered the darkest chapter in Polish history during World War II. In only sixty-three days, the Germans razed Warsaw to the ground and 200,000 people, mostly civilians, lost their lives. The result—a heroic and historically pivotal turning point—meant that the Poles would lose both their capital and an entire generation. This concise account of the trauma—little known to English-speaking readers—will appeal to anyone interested in the history of World War II in general and is a must-read for students of Polish history in particular.
This diary, begun after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and covering the invasion of Burma up to June 1942, is a moving account of the dilemmas faced by the well-loved and prolific Burmese author Theippan Maung Wa (a pseudonym of U Sein Tin) and his family. At the time of the Japanese invasion, U Sein Tin was deputy secretary in the Ministry of Home and Defense Affairs. An Oxford-trained member of the Indian Civil Service, working for the British administration on the eve of the invasion, he lived with his wife and three small children in Rangoon.
Wartime in Burma is a stirring memoir that presents a personal account of U Sein Tin’s feelings about the war, his anxiety for the safety of his family, the bombing of Rangoon, and what happened to them during the next six chaotic months of the British retreat. The author and his family leave Rangoon to live in a remote forest in Upper Burma with several other Burmese civil servants, their staff, and valuable possessions—rich pickings for robbers. His diary ends abruptly on June 5, his forty-second birthday; U Sein Tin was murdered on June 6 by a gang of Burmese bandits. The diary pages, scattered on the floor of the house, were rescued by his wife and eventually published in Burma in 1966. What survives is a unique account that shines new light on the military retreat from Burma.
We Are a College at War weaves together the individual World War II experiences of students and faculty at the all-female Rockford College (now Rockford University) in Rockford, Illinois, to draw a broader picture of the role American women and college students played during this defining period in U.S. history. It uses the Rockford community’s letters, speeches, newspaper stories, and personal recollections to demonstrate how American women during the Second World War claimed the right to be everywhere—in factories and other traditionally male workplaces, and even on the front lines—and links their efforts to the rise of feminism and the fight for women’s rights in the 1960s and 1970s.
This book is a profound reexamination of the role of the German army, the Wehrmacht, in World War II. Until very recently, the standard story avowed that the ordinary German soldier in World War II was a good soldier, distinct from Hitler's rapacious SS troops, and not an accomplice to the massacres of civilians. Wolfram Wette, a preeminent German military historian, explodes the myth of a "clean" Wehrmacht with devastating clarity.
This book reveals the Wehrmacht's long-standing prejudices against Jews, Slavs, and Bolsheviks, beliefs that predated the prophecies of Mein Kampf and the paranoia of National Socialism. Though the sixteen-million-member German army is often portrayed as a victim of Nazi mania, we come to see that from 1941 to 1944 these soldiers were thoroughly involved in the horrific cleansing of Russia and Eastern Europe. Wette compellingly documents Germany's long-term preparation of its army for a race war deemed necessary to safeguard the country's future; World War II was merely the fulfillment of these plans, on a previously unimaginable scale.
This sober indictment of millions of German soldiers reaches beyond the Wehrmacht's complicity to examine how German academics and ordinary citizens avoided confronting this difficult truth at war's end. Wette shows how atrocities against Jews and others were concealed and sanitized, and history rewritten. Only recently has the German public undertaken a reevaluation of this respected national institution--a painful but necessary process if we are to truly comprehend how the Holocaust was carried out and how we have come to understand it.
Between 1939 and 1945 more than 17,000 Catholic German priests and seminarians were conscripted into Hitler’s Wehrmacht. Men who had devoted their lives to God found themselves advancing the cause of an abhorrent regime. Lauren Faulkner Rossi draws on personal correspondence, official military reports, memoirs, and interviews to present a detailed picture of Catholic priests who served faithfully in the German armed forces in the Second World War. Most of them failed to see the bitter irony of their predicament.
Wehrmacht Priests plumbs the moral justifications of men who were committed to their religious vocation as well as to the cause of German nationalism. In their wartime and postwar writings, these soldiers often stated frankly that they went to war willingly, because it was their spiritual duty to care for their countrymen in uniform. But while some priests became military chaplains, carrying out work consistent with their religious training, most served in medical roles or, in the case of seminarians, in general infantry. Their convictions about their duty only strengthened as Germany waged an increasingly desperate battle against the Soviet Union, which they believed was an existential threat to the Catholic Church and German civilization.
Wehrmacht Priests unpacks the complex relationship between the Catholic Church and the Nazi regime, including the Church’s fierce but futile attempts to preserve its independence under Hitler’s dictatorship, its accommodations with the Nazis regarding spiritual care in the military, and the shortcomings of Catholic doctrine in the face of total war and genocide.
Winner of the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award
Shocked by the fall of France in 1940, panicked US leaders rushed to back the Vichy government—a fateful decision that nearly destroyed the Anglo–American alliance.
According to US Secretary of War Henry Stimson, the “most shocking single event” of World War II was not the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but rather the fall of France in spring 1940. Michael Neiberg offers a dramatic history of the American response—a policy marked by panic and moral ineptitude, which placed the United States in league with fascism and nearly ruined the alliance with Britain.
The successful Nazi invasion of France destabilized American planners’ strategic assumptions. At home, the result was huge increases in defense spending, the advent of peacetime military conscription, and domestic spying to weed out potential fifth columnists. Abroad, the United States decided to work with Vichy France despite its pro-Nazi tendencies. The US–Vichy partnership, intended to buy time and temper the flames of war in Europe, severely strained Anglo–American relations. American leaders naively believed that they could woo men like Philippe Pétain, preventing France from becoming a formal German ally. The British, however, understood that Vichy was subservient to Nazi Germany and instead supported resistance figures such as Charles de Gaulle. After the war, the choice to back Vichy tainted US–French relations for decades.
Our collective memory of World War II as a period of American strength overlooks the desperation and faulty decision making that drove US policy from 1940 to 1943. Tracing the key diplomatic and strategic moves of these formative years, When France Fell gives us a more nuanced and complete understanding of the war and of the global position the United States would occupy afterward.
Winner of the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award
“Deeply researched and forcefully written…deftly explains the confused politics and diplomacy that bedeviled the war against the Nazis.”—Wall Street Journal
“Neiberg is one of the very best historians on wartime France, and his approach to the fall of France and its consequences is truly original and perceptive as well as superbly written.”—Antony Beevor, author of The Second World War
“Meticulously researched but extremely readable…excellent.”—Julian Jackson, Washington Post
“An utterly gripping account, the best to date, of relations within the turbulent triumvirate of France, Britain, and America in the Second World War.”—Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny
The “most shocking single event” of World War II, according to US Secretary of War Henry Stimson, was not the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but the fall of France in the spring of 1940. The Nazi invasion of France destabilized Washington’s strategic assumptions, resulting in hasty and desperate decision-making. Michael Neiberg offers a dramatic history of America’s bewildering response—policies that placed the United States in league with fascism and nearly ruined its alliance with Britain.
FDR and his advisors naively believed they could woo Vichy France’s decorated wartime leader, Marshal Philippe Pétain, and prevent the country from becoming a formal German ally. The British, convinced that the Vichy government was fully subservient to Nazi Germany, chose to back Charles de Gaulle and actively financed and supported the Resistance. After the war, America’s decision to work with the Vichy regime cast a pall over US-French relations that lasted for decades.
When the 206th Coast Artillery Regiment of the Arkansas National Guard was called into federal service in January of 1941, few of the soldiers saw this action as anything more than a temporary detour in their lives. The war, after all, was in Europe and Asia and did not seem to involve them; many of the men thought they would serve their one-year enlistment and go home. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changed all that.
The Williwaw War highlights the event sthat shaped the service of Arkansas’s 206th in the Aleutian Islands, including the Japanese strikes on Dutch Harbor on the third and fourth of June 1942, as well as the naval battle of the Komandorski Islands and the recapture of Attu and Kiska.
Written by the noted co-authors of the best-welling books on World War II, The Williwaw War chronicles the efforts of the men of the 206th as they battled terrible weather, overwhelming boredome and deprivation, and the Japanese, who were succesfully attempting to distract the Americans from the main Japanese assault on Midway Island.
Women Remember the War, 1941-1945 offers a brief introduction to the experiences of Wisconsin women in World War II through selections from oral history interviews in which women addressed issues concerning their wartime lives.
In this volume, more than 30 women describe how they balanced their more traditional roles in the home with new demands placed on them by the biggest global conflict in history. This book provides a rich mix of insights, incorporating the perspectives of workers in factories, in offices, and on farms as well as those of wives and mothers who found their work in the home. In addition, the volume contains accounts by women who served overseas in the military and the Red Cross. These accounts provide readers with a vivid picture of how women coped with the stresses created by their daily lives and by the additional burden of worrying about loved ones fighting overseas.
Who did what in World War II, and where and when did it take place?
“This memoir illuminates key aspects of the war experience: the enthusiasm for fighting, tensions with officers, tedium with regard to noncombatant work, the variety of trench experiences, the sharp learning curve that the army underwent on the ground, and the confusing nature of combat for ground troops. As the centennial of the war approaches this well-annotated memoir that connects Patterson’s individual experiences to the larger U.S. experience of the war will appeal to general readers and specialists alike.” —Jennifer D. Keene, author of World War I: The American Soldier Experience
A journalist once called Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson “the toughest man in Washington” for his fervid efforts in managing U.S. mobilization in World War II. The World War I Memoirs of Robert P. Patterson: A Captain in the Great War recounts Patterson’s own formative military experiences in the First World War.
Written in the years following the conflict, this is a remarkable rendering of what it was like to be an infantry line officer during the so-called Great War. Patterson started his military career as a twenty-seven-year-old, barely-trained captain in the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.). He was part of the 306th Infantry Regiment of New York’s famous 77th “Statue of Liberty” Division from July to November 1918. In this detailed account, Patterson describes in understated yet vivid prose just how raw and unprepared American soldiers were for the titanic battles on the Western Front. Patterson downplays his near-death experience in a fierce firefight that earned him and several of his men from Company F the Distinguished Service Cross. His depiction of the brutal Meuse-Argonne battle is haunting—the drenching cold rains, the omnipresent barbed wire, deep fog-filled ravines, the sweet stench of mustard gas, chattering German machine-guns, crashing artillery shells, and even a rare hot meal to be savored.
Dealing with more than just combat, Patterson writes of the friendships and camaraderie among the officers and soldiers of different ethnic and class backgrounds who made up the “melting pot division” of the 77th. He betrays little of the postwar disillusionment that afflicted some members of the “Lost Generation.”Editor J. Garry Clifford’s introduction places Patterson and his actions in historical context and illuminates how Patterson applied lessons learned from the GreatWar to his later service as assistant secretary, under secretary, and secretary of war from 1940 to 1947.
J. Garry Clifford, a professor of political science at the University of Connecticut, is the coauthor of America Ascendant: American Foreign Relations since 1939 and The First Peacetime Draft, as well as the coeditor of Presidents, Diplomats, and Other Mortals.
World War II marked a turning point for Mexican Americans that fundamentally changed their expectations about how they should be treated by the greater U.S. society. The experiences of fighting alongside white Americans in the military, as well as of working in factory jobs for wages equal to those of Anglo workers, made Mexican Americans less willing to tolerate the second-class citizenship that had been their lot before the war. Having proven their loyalty and "Americanness" during World War II, Mexican Americans in the postwar years wanted to have the civil rights they knew they had earned.
In this book, Richard Griswold del Castillo and Richard Steele investigate how the World War II experiences of Mexican Americans galvanized their struggle for civil rights and how the U.S. government responded to the needs and aspirations of Mexican Americans. The authors demonstrate, for example, that the U.S. government "discovered" Mexican Americans during World War II and set about addressing some of their problems as a way of forestalling a sense of grievance and disaffection that might have made the Mexican American community unwilling to support the war effort. The authors also show that, as much or more than governmental programs, the personal wartime experiences of Mexican Americans formed their civil rights consciousness. The book concludes with a selection of key essays and historical documents from the World War II period that collectively gives a first-person understanding of the civil rights struggles of Mexican Americans.
In late 1942, along with so many others who signed up to support the war effort, thirty-year-old Mildred Radawiec left a comfortable position as a nurse at the University of Michigan Hospital and postponed her marriage to a soon-to-be doctor to volunteer as a surgical nurse in the major battle theaters of the war. Radawiec was one of thirty volunteers from the hospital surgical staff that comprised the University of Michigan Unit, the 298th General Hospital, as the University of Michigan Hospital was called.
Radawiec's first-person history recounts her wartime experience with sharp detail and grace and sets the stage for a you-are-there experience---from the thrill of signing up and shipping out; to the harrowing ocean crossing and the arduous trip through the Sahara; to dangerous air raids and moving at a moment's notice, often at night with the lights off to avoid attacks. Radawiec was near Omaha Beach in France soon after D-Day, June 6, 1944, and details stories of marathon stints assisting the injured on the front lines as they poured in by the hundreds. Radawiec also traveled to Belgium and Germany and set up in the area near Aachen in the fall of 1944. In Germany she experienced Buzz Bombs---pilotless flying bombs---and even witnessed the death of a fellow nurse in a bombing attack in which medics brought in wounded soldiers by the truckload. Radawiec also leavens her story with uplifting tales of heroism and courage and intersperses the narrative with poignant letters from her family and fiancé.
This stirring personal account of war will mesmerize anyone interested in World War II history and women's too-often-overlooked role in it.
Mildred A. MacGregor is ex. Lieutenant Mildred A. Radawiec, Army Nurse Corp. She was part of the Third Auxiliary Surgical Group in World War II and was stationed in England, North Africa, France, and Germany. She is 95 and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is her first book.
For some women writers and photographers during the two world wars—Edith Wharton, Mildred Aldrich, Martha Gellhorn, Lee Miller, H.D., and Gertrude Stein—the construction of the female subject as an observer of combat became a vital concern. Their explorations of vision took place against the backdrop of a larger shift in Western culture's understanding of what "seeing" meant in common practice and philosophical discourse alike. The role of visuality in their lives was massively transformed not only by the rigid gender roles of war but by the introduction of new combat practices and technologies such as aerial surveillance, trench warfare, and civilian bombardment.
In The World Wars Through the Female Gaze, Jean Gallagher maps one portion of the historicized, gendered territory of what Nancy K. Miller calls the "gaze in representation." Expanding the notion of the gaze in critical discourse, Gallagher situates a number of visual acts within specific historic contexts to reconstruct the wartime female subject. She looks at both the female observer's physical act of seeing—and the refusal to see—for example, a battlefield, a wounded soldier, a torture victim, a national flag, a fashion model, a bombed city, or a wartime hallucination.
The book begins with two instances of wartime propaganda written by American women in France in 1915. Both Edith Wharton's Fighting France and Mildred Aldrich's A Hilltop on the Marne offer a complex and often contradictory sense of a woman writer's struggles with authority, resistance, and killing. In the process, Gallagher teases out the role of specular vision and the impossibility of "directly" seeing the war.
Gallagher then turns to literary and visual texts produced by two female journalists between 1940 and 1945. Martha Gellhorn's 1940 novel A Stricken Field exhibits a range of gendered seeing positions within and in opposition to the visual ideologies of fascism during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Lee Miller's war correspondence and photography for Vogue show how Miller constructed herself and her predominantly female American audience as antifascist observers of war by working with and against some of the conventions of surrealist fashion photography.
Gallagher concludes by focusing on the experimental autobiographical prose of H.D. and Gertrude Stein to explore the functions of vision on two World War II "homefronts"—London during the Blitz and Vichy France.
Historians have made widespread use of diaries to tell the story of the Second World War in Europe but have paid little attention to personal accounts from the Asia-Pacific Theater. Writing War seeks to remedy this imbalance by examining over two hundred diaries, and many more letters, postcards, and memoirs, written by Chinese, Japanese, and American servicemen from 1937 to 1945, the period of total war in Asia and the Pacific. As he describes conflicts that have often been overlooked in the history of World War II, Aaron William Moore reflects on diaries as tools in the construction of modern identity, which is important to our understanding of history.
Any discussion of war responsibility, Moore contends, requires us first to establish individuals as reasonably responsible for their actions. Diaries, in which men develop and assert their identities, prove immensely useful for this task. Tracing the evolution of diarists’ personal identities in conjunction with their battlefield experience, Moore explores how the language of the state, mass media, and military affected attitudes toward war, without determining them entirely. He looks at how propaganda worked to mobilize soldiers, and where it failed. And his comparison of the diaries of Japanese and American servicemen allows him to challenge the assumption that East Asian societies of this era were especially prone to totalitarianism. Moore follows the experience of soldiering into the postwar period as well, and considers how the continuing use of wartime language among veterans made their reintegration into society more difficult.
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press