The "Good War" in American Memory

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Overview

The "Good War" in American Memory dispels the long-held myth that Americans forged an agreement on why they had to fight in World War II. John Bodnar's sociocultural examination of the vast public debate that took place in the United States over the war's meaning reveals that the idea of the "good war" was highly contested.

"This engaging and well-written book addresses not just World War II but... war remembrance more generally."— Cercles

"Bodnar provides a corrective lens for those whose recent myopia accepts the celebratory effect of... traditional treatments of American participation in World War II... What Bodnar has adamantly recovered is the faded suffering of family members whose loved ones were buried overseas or never found, and the memories of veterans who could not escape the confusion and frustration."— Journal of American History

"Show[s] movingly and with great care how the history of emotion is embedded in the history of war and point[s] the way to future scholarship with authority and conviction. That is no mean achievement."— American Historical Review

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Jhistory, H-Net Reviews - Andrew Salvati

The comprehensiveness and scope of Bodnar's research makes [ The 'Good War' in American Memory] a fine addition to an expanding body of work that seeks to complicate a consensus view of the war and that work toward a polysemic understanding of the past.

Cercles - Emily S. Rosenberg

This engaging and well-written book addresses not just World War II but has implications for war remembrance more generally. Bodnar's analysis speaks powerfully to how cultures of nationalism and of war can become challenged amidst the heartbreak of massive death—and then to how easily such challenges may be forgotten and displaced by heroic narratives.

Journal of American History - Michael Kammen

Bodnar provides a corrective lens for those whose recent myopia accepts the celebratory effect of... traditional treatments of American participation in World War II... What Bodnar has adamantly recovered is the faded suffering of family members whose loved ones were buried overseas or never found, and the memories of veterans who could not escape the confusion and frustration.

American Historical Review - Jay Winter

Show[s] movingly and with great care how the history of emotion is embedded in the history of war and point[s] the way to future scholarship with authority and conviction. That is no mean achievement.

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society - Andrew J. Huebner

The "Good War" in American Memory is a welcome addition to the literature on war and memory. It synthesizes the work of many other scholars but also draws upon John Bodnar's particular sensitivity to the workings of American culture. It deserves a wide readership.

War in History - Steven Casey

A stimulating and cogent account which offers an illuminating and complex picture of how Americans have remembered a war that not all of them believed was entirely 'good'.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421405827
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 12/21/2011
  • Edition description: 20
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,287,444
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John Bodnar is the Chancellor's Professor of History and the director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Indiana University. He has authored or edited nine other books, including Blue-Collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy, and Working People in American Film, also published by Johns Hopkins.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Wartime 10

2 Soldiers Write the War 34

3 "No Place for Weaklings" 60

4 Monuments and Mourning 85

5 The Split Screen 130

6 The Outsiders 166

7 The Victors 200

Conclusion 235

Postscript on Iraq 243

Notes 249

Selected Bibliography 283

Index 287

Illustrations follow page 84

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