Academic journal article Aerospace Power Journal

The Greatest Generation

Academic journal article Aerospace Power Journal

The Greatest Generation

Article excerpt

The Greatest War: Americans in Combat, 1941-1945 by Gerald Astor. Presidio Press (http://www.presidiopress.com), 505B San Marin Drive, Suite 300, Novato, California 94945-1340, 1999, 1,033 pages, $39.95.

This book is an incredible oral history of World War II. However, it is not a chronology of battles. Instead, Gerald Actor, esteemed author of numerous narrations, presents "a sense of what the American fighting man experienced in terms of what he "thought, felt, saw, heard, and tried to do."

The Greatest War encapsulates the sheer magnitude of the war. From the beginning of that fateful day in December 1941, when most of the sailors at Pearl Harbor thought it was "yet another damned drill," to the end, when the pilots "were able to see through the heavy welder's goggles a brilliant flash of light," Actor presents a sense of what the American fighting spirit was like.

The shelves now overflow with one volume histories of that war-books containing few speakers other than their authors-and with exhaustive of facial histories. …

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