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What They Didn't Teach You About World War II
     

What They Didn't Teach You About World War II

by Mike Wright
 

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The author of the acclaimed What They Didn't Teach You series tackles World War II, a defining moment in the history of the world. Author Mike Wright recounts life on the Home Front, from women taking on jobs, to kids making do without dads, and families--thanks to rationing--making do without damn near everything. Other highlights include amazing tales of the heroes,

Overview

The author of the acclaimed What They Didn't Teach You series tackles World War II, a defining moment in the history of the world. Author Mike Wright recounts life on the Home Front, from women taking on jobs, to kids making do without dads, and families--thanks to rationing--making do without damn near everything. Other highlights include amazing tales of the heroes, the villains, and the people acclaimed as heroes--who really weren't; there are accounts of spies and counter-spies and of the tales they tried to tell! What They Didn't Teach You About World War II also succeeds in revealing amazing little-known facts about some of the most famous and widely-known battles of the war.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As he did in What They Didn't Teach You About the Civil War, Wright proposes here to tell the "human story" behind the conventional narrative of dates, names and battles that ostensibly destroyed general interest in history. His background as a TV writer and producer is reflected in a work that is the printed equivalent of sound bites. That Wright presents little original or unfamiliar material is not a crippling weakness. He describes this work as an "appetizer to the banquet of the war's history," and targets a general audience presumably unfamiliar with that history. Just such an audience, however, is likely to face bewilderment when confronted by two dozen chapters whose topics appear to have been selected virtually at random and that are presented in no discernible order. A chapter on submarines is followed by one on Pearl Harbor, which is in turn succeeded by a discussion of censorship. Two chapters consist entirely of capsule summaries of the wartime experiences of public figures ranging from George Bush to Marcel Marceau. Even the chapters with a stated theme as a rule consist of anecdotes that are juxtaposed rather than integrated. Some focus entirely on the American experience; others incorporate material from other Allied and Axis states, again with no explanation. The result is not the recovery of untaught history, so much as a literary equivalent of channel-surfing. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Library Journal
In a fast-moving overview stuffed with interesting factoids and historical tidbits, TV writer and producer Wright gives the same light and mildly irreverent treatment to World War II as he did to the Civil War in What They Didn't Teach You About the Civil War (LJ 11/1/96). His new book recalls James F. Dunnigan's Dirty Little Secrets of World War II (LJ 9/15/94) in tone and substance but focuses more on the American home front, soldier's daily lives, and wider sociological themes than on battles and campaigns. Wright also presents numerous anecdotes and fascinating stories, and he drops lots of famous names. Often facetious but never cynical, he may sometimes skew his facts, but he leaves us with a most satisfying portrait of an entire period of national turmoil and international catastrophe. Casual readers will find themselves carried along, and hardened military buffs will learn much that is new. Recommended for public libraries.Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Edwards AFB, Victorville, CA
School Library Journal
YA-An interesting book with little-known facts. Each chapter is written around a theme and covers a variety of topics that include submarines, the home front, prisoners-of-war, espionage, rationing, and unusual weapons. One chapter is devoted to actors, comedians, and professional athletes who either enlisted or were drafted into the military and what they did; they include Mel Brooks, Ed McMahon, Howard Cossell, and Jackie Robinson. Wright closes the book on a personal note, telling what it was like to grow up during the war and how it affected his family. The book is fast paced and is designed for casual readers, but it has enough detail to hold the interest of more serious students. No topic, however, is covered in enough depth for students to research extensively.-Robert Burnham, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
This fine overview presents an intriguing examination of World War II history facts which are little-known. One might expect a 'trivia' type of question and answer format, but What They Didn't Teach You About World War II provides such historical facts in chapter form which makes it especially recommended for school use and study.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780891416494
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/17/1998
Series:
What They Didn't Teach You Series
Pages:
345
Product dimensions:
5.79(w) x 8.83(h) x 1.43(d)
Age Range:
10 Years

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