World War II: A History in Documents

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World War II: A History in Documents illustrates the major themes and issues of the Second World War, including its causes, course, and consequences. Paying attention to both the European and Pacific Theaters--as well as to homefront and battle front issues--author James H. Madison blends discussions of diplomacy and strategy with insights into the lives of ordinary people around the world, including factory workers, soldiers, mothers, propagandists, political leaders, and ...
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Overview


World War II: A History in Documents illustrates the major themes and issues of the Second World War, including its causes, course, and consequences. Paying attention to both the European and Pacific Theaters--as well as to homefront and battle front issues--author James H. Madison blends discussions of diplomacy and strategy with insights into the lives of ordinary people around the world, including factory workers, soldiers, mothers, propagandists, political leaders, and survivors.

Set in thoughtful contexts, these powerful and telling documents encourage students to compare different nations and cultures at war and to think critically about twentieth-century history. The documents include such diverse items as political cartoons, combat memoirs of American GIs, a call for Canadian women war workers, popular American songs, an interview with a Tuskegee Airman, Eisenhower's D-Day message, a German police chief's description of Allied bombing, a British ambulance worker's account of the Blitz, Churchill's call for British sacrifice, Russian propaganda posters, the diary of a German teenager, a memoir of Japanese-American internment, newspaperman Ernie Pyle's reports to the home front, the last letter from a Japanese kamikaze pilot, and testimonies of Holocaust survivors.

World War II: A History in Documents also includes a picture essay on propaganda posters and numerous photographs, graphics, and artifacts, such as maps, advertisements and even a Japanese lunchbox, which also serve as documents. Offering a global and multifaceted perspective on World War II, this diverse collection of textual and visual documents is ideal for undergraduate courses in World War II and military history.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Avid readers about the period will find this title intriguing. Arranged in eight chapters of broad topics, the text is a collection of excerpts from primary sources. A different font distinguishes the introductory narratives from the original documents. One of the most interesting is the first page of the first draft of FDR's "Day of Infamy" speech. The photo shows the typed speech with hand-written revisions. A variety of sources has been used to convey the thoughts of people of many nationalities and walks of life. There are quotes from official documents and laws, personal letters, books, and music lyrics. Black-and-white period photos, most of which are commonly seen in books on this topic, appear throughout. Captions are very good. Wide sidebars contain examples of political cartoons and propaganda posters, additional quotes from speeches and oral histories, and a glossary, when needed. One chapter focuses entirely on war posters. The final section, "War Memories," includes atrocities and apologies, museums and memorials, and the controversy over exhibiting the Enola Gay at the Smithsonian. An extensive further-reading list is subdivided by continent/country and topic, and the list of Web sites contains 16 impressive entries. This unique volume is possibly a little more balanced than most other books in the genre in that it contains primary sources from China, Japan, Germany, and Russia, in addition to the U.S. It belongs in most secondary collections.—Eldon Younce, formerly at Harper Elementary School, KS
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195161762
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/13/2009
  • Series: Pages from History Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

James H. Madison is Thomas and Kathryn Miller Professor of History at Indiana University. He is the author of A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America (2001) and Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys: An American Woman in World War II (2007) and coauthor of The Americans: A Brief History, Fourth Edition (1985).

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Table of Contents

What is a Document? vi

How to Read a Document viii

Introduction 1

Note on Sources and Interpretation 5

1 To War, Again 9

Aggressor Nations 10

From Appeasement to War 16

Dark Days for the Allies 24

2 Fighting Men and Women 29

Men and Women in War 30

Combat Misery 32

Killing and Death 37

Atrocity, War Crimes, Limitlessness 41

3 Mobilizing for Total War 47

War Production 48

Mobilizing Workers 50

Allied Success 55

4 Home Front Sacrifice and Morale 59

Forward Together 60

Food and Rationing 63

Bombing of Civilians 69

Civil Liberties 74

Fun on the Home Fronts 78

5 Picture Essay: Wartime Posters Send the Message 83

6 Turning Points toward Allied Victory 91

Eastern Front 92

The Second Front 95

The Pacific Theater 104

7 Peace 113

Victory 114

The Guilty 116

Occupation 122

From Hunger to a Better World? 125

8 War Memories 133

The "Good War" and Other Memories 134

Atrocities and Apologies 136

Museums and Memorials 139

Timeline 142

Further Reading 145

Websites 149

Text Credits 151

Picture Credits 155

Acknowledgments 155

Index 157

About the Author 163

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