Academic journal article Military Review

A NATION FORGED IN WAR: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along

Academic journal article Military Review

A NATION FORGED IN WAR: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along

Article excerpt

A NATION FORGED IN WAR: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along, Thomas Bruscino, The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 2010, 348 pages, $39.95.

In an extensively well-researched and written study, historian Thomas Bruscino shows conclusively that World War II was a defi ning moment in American history. In A Nation Forged in War: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along, Americans, many for the fi rst time, showed new appreciation for each other. With the large-scale mobilization needed to fi ght the war, Americans from all over the United States gathered to train and live together in a new and tough environment. This newly found closeness put Americans of different religions, ethnicities, and regions together for the first time. The tough training, poor living conditions, and general discomfort of the newly enlisted soldiers bonded them together and dissolved many long-standing differences.

The author starts and ends the book with the 1928 and 1960 presidential elections. To some readers, it may seem odd, but it works brilliantly. Starting with the 1928 defeat of Democratic candidate and Catholic, Al Smith, Bruscino puts the election in context and writes convincingly that Americans were not ready for a Catholic president, and were not tolerant of Catholicism, Judaism, and people of other ethnic backgrounds. …

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