TV and radio icon Charles Osgood presents a hilarious and uplifting anthology of World War II military humor -- the kind of material that kept the members of "the Greatest Generation" laughing and (somewhat) relaxed in the face of the enormous struggles they faced. How do you make a war funny? You start with a little cartoon character named Kilroy. He's the little round-headed guy who seemed to pop up everywhere during the war, his long nose stuck over the fence. In his introduction, Osgood tells us that there was an actual person behind the Kilroy cartoon, a shipyard welding inspector in Quincy, Massachusetts. Rather than the usual little chalk mark on an approved piece of steelwork, Kilroy would draw his little cartoon, accompanied by the phrase, "Kilroy Was Here." It was just his way of letting the troops know that the boys back home were looking after them. The Kilroy cartoon soon started appearing everywhere from the Arc de Triomphe to a bridge in China, becoming a constant source of humor and reassurance to those far from home. The book features many humorous cartoons, including some of the classic works of the legendary Bill Maudlin; a hysterical "Dictionary of American Military Slang, 1941-1944"; comic verse on the frustrations of wartime service; and many humorous essays from such esteemed publications as Yank, The Army Weekly, and Reader's Digest. (Nicholas Sinisi)
Nicholas Sinisi is the Barnes & Noble.com History Editor.