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The Best War Ever

Author: Michael C. C. Adams
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421416670
Size: 11.22 MB
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Was World War II really such a "good war"? Popular memory insists that it was, in fact, "the best war ever." After all, we knew who the enemy was, and we understood what we were fighting for. The war was good for the economy. It was liberating for women. A battle of tanks and airplanes, it was a "cleaner" war than World War I. Although we did not seek the conflict—or so we believed—Americans nevertheless rallied in support of the war effort, and the nation’s soldiers, all twelve million of them, were proud to fight. But according to historian Michael C. C. Adams, our memory of the war era as a golden age is distorted. It has left us with a misleading—even dangerous—legacy, one enhanced by the nostalgia-tinged retrospectives of Stephen E. Ambrose and Tom Brokaw. Disputing many of our common assumptions about the period, Adams argues in The Best War Ever that our celebratory experience of World War II is marred by darker and more sordid realities. In the book, originally published in 1994, Adams challenges stereotypes to present a view of World War II that avoids the simplistic extremes of both glorification and vilification. The Best War Ever charts the complex diplomatic problems of the 1930s and reveals the realities of ground combat: no moral triumph, it was in truth a brutal slog across a blasted landscape. Adams also exposes the myth that the home front was fully united behind the war effort, demonstrating how class, race, gender, and age divisions split Americans. Meanwhile, in Europe and Asia, shell-shocked soldiers grappled with emotional and physical trauma, rigorously enforced segregation, and rampant venereal disease. In preparing this must-read new edition, Adams has consulted some seventy additional sources on topics as varied as the origins of Social Security and a national health system, the Allied strategic bombing campaign, and the relationship of traumatic brain injuries to the adjustment problems of veterans. The revised book also incorporates substantial developments that have occurred in our understanding of the course and character of the war, particularly in terms of the human consequences of fighting. In a new chapter, "The Life Cycle of a Myth," Adams charts image-making about the war from its inception to the present. He contrasts it with modern-day rhetoric surrounding the War on Terror, while analyzing the real-world consequences that result from distorting the past, including the dangerous idea that only through (perpetual) military conflict can we achieve lasting peace.

America S Cold War

Author: Campbell Craig
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674053672
Size: 40.75 MB
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In a brilliant new interpretation, Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall reexamine the successes and failures of America’s Cold War. The United States dealt effectively with the threats of Soviet predominance in Europe and of nuclear war in the early years of the conflict. But by engineering this policy, American leaders successfully paved the way for domestic actors and institutions with a vested interest in the struggle’s continuation. Long after the USSR had been effectively contained, Washington continued to wage a virulent Cold War that entailed a massive arms buildup, wars in Korea and Vietnam, the support of repressive regimes and counterinsurgencies, and a pronounced militarization of American political culture.

World War Ii

Author: Evan Mawdsley
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521845922
Size: 19.44 MB
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This book is a magisterial global history of World War II. Beginning in 1937 with the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, Evan Mawdsley shows how the origins of World War II lay in a conflict between the old international order and the new and then traces the globalisation of the conflict as it swept through Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. His primary focus is on the war's military and strategic history though he also examines the political, economic, ideological, and cultural factors which influenced the course of events. The war's consequences are examined too, not only in terms of the defeat of the Axis but also the break-up of colonial empires and the beginning of the Cold War. Accessibly written and well-illustrated with maps and photographs, this compelling new account also includes short studies of the key figures, events and battles that shaped the war.

America S Half Century

Author: Thomas J. McCormick
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801850110
Size: 13.88 MB
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"Incisive, eminently readable... McCormick reminds his readers of the unfashionable truths of our time: American domination of the postwar order, the weakness and conservatism of the Soviet Union, the gratuitousness of the nuclear arms race." -- The Nation

From Isolation To War

Author: Justus D. Doenecke
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118952340
Size: 70.26 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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The new edition of this popular and widely-used American history textbook has been thoroughly updated to include a wealth of new scholarship on American diplomacy in the decade leading up to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Features new material on the Washington Conference of 1921-22, early American diplomacy in the Manchurian crisis, the Panay incident, Russia’s invasion of Finland, the destroyer-bases deal, and much more Pays particular attention to Roosevelt’s policies towards Jewish refugees, the battle between domestic groups like the America First Committee and Fight for Freedom, and the Welles mission of 1940 Includes concise biographical sketches of major world leaders, including Hoover, FDR, Churchill, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and Tojo Outlines and examines the debates of historians over the wisdom of U.S. policies

At War

Author: David Kieran
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813584329
Size: 59.18 MB
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The country’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, its interventions around the world, and its global military presence make war, the military, and militarism defining features of contemporary American life. The armed services and the wars they fight shape all aspects of life—from the formation of racial and gendered identities to debates over environmental and immigration policy. Warfare and the military are ubiquitous in popular culture. At War offers short, accessible essays addressing the central issues in the new military history—ranging from diplomacy and the history of imperialism to the environmental issues that war raises and the ways that war shapes and is shaped by discourses of identity, to questions of who serves in the U.S. military and why and how U.S. wars have been represented in the media and in popular culture.

Give War And Peace A Chance

Author: Andrew D. Kaufman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451644728
Size: 70.37 MB
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“This lively appreciation of one of the most intimidating and massive novels ever written should persuade many hesitant readers to try scaling the heights of War and Peace sooner rather than later” (Publishers Weekly). Considered by many critics the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is also one of the most feared. And at 1,500 pages, it’s no wonder why. Still, in July 2009 Newsweek put War and Peace at the top of its list of 100 great novels and a 2007 edition of the AARP Bulletin included the novel in their list of the top four books everybody should read by the age of fifty. A New York Times survey from 2009 identified War and Peace as the world classic you’re most likely to find people reading on their subway commute to work. What might all those Newsweek devotees, senior citizens, and harried commuters see in a book about the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s? War and Peace is many things. It is a love story, a family saga, a war novel. But at its core it’s a novel about human beings attempting to create a meaningful life for themselves in a country torn apart by war, social change, political intrigue, and spiritual confusion. It is a mirror of our times. Give War and Peace a Chance takes readers on a journey through War and Peace that reframes their very understanding of what it means to live through troubled times and survive them. Touching on a broad range of topics, from courage to romance, parenting to death, Kaufman demonstrates how Tolstoy’s wisdom can help us live fuller, more meaningful lives. The ideal companion to War and Peace, this book “makes Tolstoy’s characters lively and palpable…and may well persuade readers to finally dive into one of the world’s most acclaimed—and daunting—novels” (Kirkus Reviews).

The Best War Ever

Author: Sheldon Rampton
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 144062500X
Size: 11.94 MB
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The war in Iraq may be remembered as the point at which the propaganda model perfected in the twentieth century stopped working: the world is too complex, information is too plentiful, and-as events in Iraq reveal- propaganda makes bad policy. The Best War Ever is about a war that was devised in fantasy and lost in delusion. It highlights the futility of lying to oneself and others in matters of life and death. And it offers lessons to the current generation so that, at least in our time, this never happens again. As the team of Rampton and Stauber show in their first new book since President Bush's reelection, the White House seems to have fooled no one as much as itself in the march toward a needless (from a security perspective) war in Iraq. As the authors argue, one of the most tragic consequences of the Bush administration's reliance on propaganda is its disdain for realistic planning in matters of war. Repeatedly, when faced with predictions of problems, U.S. policymakers dismissed the warnings of Iraq experts, choosing instead to promulgate its version of the war through conservative media outlets and PR campaigns. The result has been too few troops on the ground to maintain security; failure to anticipate the insurgency; and oblivious disregard, even contempt, for critics in either party who attempted to assess the human and economic costs of the war. Even now that withdrawal seems imminent, however, the administration and its allies continue their cover-ups: downplaying civilian deaths and military injuries; employing marketing buzzwords like "victory" repeatedly to shore up public opinion; and botched attempts, through third-party PR firms, at creating phony news. The Bush administration entered Iraq believing that its moral, technological, and military superiority would ensure victory abroad, and that its mastery of the politics would win support at home. Instead, it found a morass of problems that do not lend themselves to moralistic, technological, or propaganda-based solutions.

Moment Of Truth In Iraq

Author: Michael Yon
Publisher: Richard Vigilante
ISBN: 9780980076394
Size: 54.57 MB
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Former Green Beret turned reporter Michael Yon chronicles how the American soldier turned defeat and disaster into victory and hope in Iraq during the period known as "the surge".

The Universe Unraveling

Author: Seth Jacobs
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 080146451X
Size: 20.56 MB
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During the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, Laos was positioned to become a major front in the Cold War. Yet American policymakers ultimately chose to resist communism in neighboring South Vietnam instead. Two generations of historians have explained this decision by citing logistical considerations. Laos's landlocked, mountainous terrain, they hold, made the kingdom an unpropitious place to fight, while South Vietnam-possessing a long coastline, navigable rivers, and all-weather roads-better accommodated America's military forces. The Universe Unraveling is a provocative reinterpretation of U.S.-Laos relations in the years leading up to the Vietnam War. Seth Jacobs argues that Laos boasted several advantages over South Vietnam as a battlefield, notably its thousand-mile border with Thailand, whose leader was willing to allow Washington to use his nation as a base from which to attack the communist Pathet Lao. More significant in determining U.S. policy in Southeast Asia than strategic appraisals of the Laotian landscape were cultural perceptions of the Lao people. Jacobs contends that U.S. policy toward Laos under Eisenhower and Kennedy cannot be understood apart from the traits Americans ascribed to their Lao allies. Drawing on diplomatic correspondence and the work of iconic figures like "celebrity saint" Tom Dooley, Jacobs finds that the characteristics American statesmen and the American media attributed to the Lao-laziness, immaturity, and cowardice-differed from the traits assigned the South Vietnamese, making Lao chances of withstanding communist aggression appear dubious. The Universe Unraveling combines diplomatic, cultural, and military history to provide a new perspective on how prejudice can shape policy decisions and even the course of history.