Soldier from the War Returning [NOOK Book]

Overview

One of our most enduring national myths surrounds the men and women who fought in the so-called "Good War." The Greatest Generation, we're told by Tom Brokaw and others, fought heroically, then returned to America happy, healthy and well-adjusted. They quickly and cheerfully went on with the business of rebuilding their lives.

In this shocking and hauntingly beautiful book, historian Thomas Childers shatters that myth. He interweaves the ...
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Soldier from the War Returning

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Overview

One of our most enduring national myths surrounds the men and women who fought in the so-called "Good War." The Greatest Generation, we're told by Tom Brokaw and others, fought heroically, then returned to America happy, healthy and well-adjusted. They quickly and cheerfully went on with the business of rebuilding their lives.

In this shocking and hauntingly beautiful book, historian Thomas Childers shatters that myth. He interweaves the intimate story of three families—including his own—with a decades' worth of research to paint an entirely new picture of the war's aftermath. Drawing on government documents, interviews, oral histories and diaries, he reveals that 10,000 veterans a month were being diagnosed with psycho-neurotic disorder (now known as PTSD). Alcoholism, homelessness, and unemployment were rampant, leading to a skyrocketing divorce rate. Many veterans bounced back, but their struggle has been lost in a wave of nostalgia that threatens to undermine a new generation of returning soldiers.

Novelistic in its telling and impeccably researched, Childers's book is a stark reminder that the price of war is unimaginably high. The consequences are human, not just political, and the toll can stretch across generations.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547416540
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/13/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 903,774
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

THOMAS CHILDERS is the Sheldon and Lucy Hackney Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of five previous books on the Third Reich and World War II, most recently, Wings of Morning and In the Shadows of War.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Pt. I "When This Bloody War Is Over" 15

1 Anticipation 17

2 Shock 45

3 Anxiety 75

Pt. II "Soldier from the Wars Returning" 103

4 As If Nothing Had Ever Happened 105

5 Open Wounds 137

6 "It's Been a Long, Long Time" 171

Pt. III Echoes of War 203

7 "The War's Over, Soldier" 205

8 Aftershocks 237

9 Picking Up the Pieces 263

Author's Note 291

Selected Primary Sources 297

Notes 301

Index 327

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Simply put, an AWESOME book and great completion to Childer's WW2 volumes

    I first read Wings of Morning several years ago and simply devoured the second book, In the Shadows of War, in no time. I have been waiting for the third book of stories about the world war two generation from professor Childers for some time. I must say THE WAIT WAS WORTH IT. Simply an awesome book from a very good researcher and writer. In SOLDIER, Childers weaves the story of three returning soldiers and three families. It is a hard story that is multi-layered and is not always easy to read. Having that said, however, I understand my grandfathers a lot more from reading the book. I can empathize with some of their actions after the war. This book would be a great campanion juxtaposition to the Brokaw books. As a teacher, I plan to use both books to help students really see the costs of war. Both are needed. Childers fills his book with some incredibly useful and understandable statistics that amazed me. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in what things were really like during the years after WW2.
    If you like Thomas Childers, you must check out his teaching company course that is a military and social history of the war. Especially the last lecture which tells more about the air crew and family of the Black Cat bomber. That lecture is a lot like the three books - informative, professional, personal, and thoughtful. It will leave you with questions and a deep appreciation of the American warrior and their families - who perhaps suffer the most of all. Thank you professor Childers for all of your hard work and for helping the rest of us understand the history of a very important time period.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Thomas Childers

    Outstanding read and unbelieveable what servicemen and women endure for our freedoms and our country. The youth of today have no clue what war really is all about, and the problem is they don't give a damn either. God bless our troups, past and present!

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    Recommended for all WW II History students

    This book fills a giant hole in our understanding of WW II and its soldiers. We have all read about the men who did such heroic things in binging about the end of the war. But, we never think about what happened when they came home.
    I remember the guilt my father had because he never served. He was older, born in 1911, and had a family. He was eventually drafted to report on January 1, 1946. Nearly all his contemporaries had served in the war and he carried this "survivor/draft dodger" guilt for much of his life. I well remember his poker nights where he had a group of veterans over to play cards. He would talk about all that they had done and had sacrificed; one was a paraplegic B-29 crewman. My father suffered a very mild and different form of what these men, Childers, Allen and Gold, suffered. But even without being a veteran, his psychological problems impacted his children.
    I remember many of my friends having had problems with their fathers and having had very difficult family problems. Now, I hope I understand better what was going on.
    This book is very well written and is absolutely gripping. We all should be aware of the problems that combat veterans suffered. And we should all be aware of the problems of the veterans of our volunteer Army that serve multiple tours overseas. What aggavated problems will they experience arising from modern pre-emptive and other wars?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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