"The Good War": An Oral History of World War II

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With an unequalled ear for the voices of ordinary Americans, Terkel dramatically yet intimately captures the responses to the war from sea-plane pilots and Chicago street kids to journalists, architects, a mountain woman, policemen, film makers, a paper-mill worker, cabdrivers and a host of others. 'Deeply moving and profoundly important' Alan Brinkley, Boston Globe

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Studs Terkel, the noted Chicago-based journalist, gathers the reminiscences of 121 participants in World War II (called "the good war" because, in the words of one soldier, "to see fascism defeated, nothing better could have happened to a human being"). These participants, men and women, famous and ordinary, tell stories that add immeasurably to our understanding of that cataclysmic time. One Soviet soldier recounts that, surrounded by the Germans, his comrades tapped the powder from their last cartridges and inserted notes to their families inside the casings; Russian children, he goes on, still turn these up every now and again and deliver the notes to the soldiers' families. Terkel touches on many themes along the way, including institutionalized racism in the United States military, the birth of the military-industrial complex, and the origins of the Cold War.

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