The United States at War, 1941-1945

The United States at War, 1941-1945

The United States at War, 1941-1945

The United States at War, 1941-1945

Synopsis

This 3rd edition presents a concise overview of how the war was fought as well as a consideration of the ways in which Americans regarded allies and enemies, embraced heroes, and viewed the war's purpose. Making the important distinction between popular notions and military and political realities, Gary Hess helps today's readers to better understand the complexity of the conflict. Updated to incorporate the latest scholarship, this latest edition also includes new material to underscore more fully the moral dimensions of the war, including the American decision to use the atomic bomb, the ruthless campaigns of both the Germans and Russians in Eastern Europe, American reaction to the Holocaust as well as the government's post-war tolerance and protection of Nazis deemed valuable to Cold War research and intelligence. Enhanced coverage of specific topics including the Bataan Death March, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Allied uncovering of concentration camps rounds out the narrative.

Excerpt

World War II was the most momentous event of the twentieth century and remains one of unsurpassed popular interest. It is difficult to comprehend the extent of the conflict, death, and destruction that much of the world endured. Unlike later wars in Korea Vietnam and the Middle East, World War II had a clear purpose that united the public. America and its allies were fighting fascist militarism, totalitarianism, and imperialism. The goal was unconditional surrender”—thorough defeat of Germany, Japan, Italy, and the lesser Axis powers.

The war remains a topic of compelling interest. A large portion of the History Channel programs focus on World War II, courses on the war are popular at colleges and universities, and books on the war are prominently displayed on bookstore shelves. During the last decade, a number of important books have added to an already overwhelming body of scholarship. These recent books include major studies on the decisions that led to war, the Soviet Unions wartime army, the battle of Stalingrad, combat operations in the Mediterranean, the naval war on the Atlantic Ocean the extent of the Holocaust, the end of the war in the Pacific, and the biographies of wartime leaders, including three on Winston Chruchill.

The many stories—ranging from the scholarship of historians to the reflections of men and women who experienced the war— remind us that World War II continues to generate diverse memo-

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