Kilroy Was Here: The Best American Humor from World War II

Kilroy Was Here: The Best American Humor from World War II

by Charles Osgood
     
 

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War is hell, but it can also be hilarious. And in no war was this more true than in World War II. While there is nothing remotely funny about the war itself, it's clear that some of the hardship endured in that conflict was made more bearable by generous doses of humor. Now, Emmy Award -- winning television journalist Charles Osgood has collected an assortment of… See more details below

Overview

War is hell, but it can also be hilarious. And in no war was this more true than in World War II. While there is nothing remotely funny about the war itself, it's clear that some of the hardship endured in that conflict was made more bearable by generous doses of humor. Now, Emmy Award -- winning television journalist Charles Osgood has collected an assortment of classic stories and comic tales that buoyed the spirits of Americans who served on land, at sea, and in the air. The title of the collection, Kilroy Was Here, refers to the ubiquitous piece of graffiti that U.S. servicemen scrawled in bizarre and unlikely places. The majority of the pieces were created during the war itself: a dictionary of military slang, poignant cartoons by Bill Mauldin, Marion Hargrove's riotously funny descriptions of army life. The topics range from the wretched food to rivalry between the service branches, from boot camp bullies to R 'n' R. The book also includes comic anecdotes from celebrities such as Bob Hope, Buddy Hackett, and the Andrews Sisters, and an insightful and moving introductory essay by Charles Osgood. A wonderful compilation of significant writing, this treasury of wit and humor is also a tribute to all who served and an inspiring celebration of America's indomitable spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Award-winning radio and television journalist Osgood (See You on the Radio) is better known for the CBS radio program The Osgood File and his CBS TV program Sunday Morning than for his books. "When we think of the Second World War, the word `humor' is not exactly the first thing that springs to mind," he says here. Yet he has assembled an appealing collection of stories and anecdotes that present the "funny" side of war, from army slang to Bill Mauldin cartoons and veterans' stories the humor that helped many Americans cope with the tragedy of world conflict. In addition, he has compiled a hilarious assortment of magazine and newspaper coverage of GI humor. The title comes from the James J. Kilroy character made famous by GI graffiti. Those who lived through the war years might find this book a more pleasant way to remember their experiences. Osgood's introductory essay is worth reading, and "The Dictionary of Military Slang" is a gem. The stories of "secret weapons" are witty and entertaining, as are the collected thoughts and stories of Bob Hope and other celebrities. Recommended for all public and general collections. David Alperstein, Queens Borough P.L., Jamaica, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Journalist Charles Osgood presents a collection of funny stories, jokes, and cartoons related to World War II. Individual chapters are devoted to such topics as military slang, boot camp, food, R&R, rivalries between the branches of the service, and celebrities. The origins of the "Kilroy" character also are explained. The volume does not include an index or bibliographical references. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786866618
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
05/23/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
188
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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