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Melancholy Baby: The Unplanned Consequences of the G.I.s' Arrival in Europe for World War II [Hardcover]

by Pamela Winfield
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 30, 2000 0132444844 978-0132444842

More than a million American G.I.s were crammed into the UK prior to the invasion of France during World War II. Wherever they landed, the G.I.s took the British population by surprise. Very few people had ever met a real American before. In those days, the U.S. was more remote than Siberia is to the present generation. All anyone knew about Americans had been learned from the silver screen. How could they be resisted? We can only guess at the total number of children that the G.I.s left behind. Figures quoted have varied from 10,000 to 100,000 but there are no official sources on which to base these numbers. Not surprisingly, these children today represent as much of a social cross section as the women who dated the G.I.s. But regardless of background, they all share the common goal of wanting to find the American father who holds the other half of their personal history.

This book relates the social history of the military situation of World War II in Europe. It records how many British were dazzled by and fell in love with American G.I.s who arrived in the U.K. to train for the Invasion of France. Although some married their sweethearts, many more did not. Meanwhile, on the Continent, young women who became pregnant ended up in dire social straits. What is important now is that the children of these liaisons should have the opportunity to learn about the missing half of their heritage. Pamela Winfield, president of TRACE, a nonprofit group that helps these children find missing parents, tells us their stories.

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Follows the social consequences of the arrival of American G.I.s in Europe, focusing especially on the children left behind who are now in search of the missing half of their heritage.

About the Author

PAMELA WINFIELD is President of TRACE (Transatlantic Children's Enterprise), a nonprofit group that helps the children of G.I.s find their fathers. She has several books published in the U.K. which are on social issues and she also lectures groups throughout the U.K. and Europe on several subjects, the most popular, "G.I. Brides and G.I. Babies".

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (May 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132444844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132444842
  • ASIN: 0897896394
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,330,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Maude
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
While the focus of the book is children searching for their GI fathers and US families, the introduction is about the author's life and how she became and lived as a GI war bride. That experiences gives her an insight into the lifes of the women who met and fell in love during World War II and a strong compassion for the women, the men as well as the children the romances resulted in. A very personal and touching book about how actions in wartime - or other brief incounters - may influence people many years on. She is a strong advocate for people finding their "missing half".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book gives an insider's view of the attitudes and emotions of the British people subjected to the massive presence of Americans in the buildup to the Normandy Invasion.
The author also emigrated as a War Bride to the U.S. after the war. Her experiences during the emigration process and of adapting to the new culture are also detailed.
The author also traveled to Germany soon after the war in the company of her service husband. Her accounts of the effects of so many American occupation troops on a land denuded of young men has many parallels to the situation in wartime Britain.
Finally, the author helped establish an organization to help European children who were the product of a wartime/post wartime liason with an American soldier establish contact with their natural father or the father's surviving family memmbers.
All in all, a riveting account of a facet of history not easily available elsewhere. Many heartwarming/heartbreaking episodes are covered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Time is Now... January 27, 2007
A profound read by Pamela Winfield for anyone longing to better understand some of the documented stories relating to the unplanned consequences of the G.I.'s arrival in Europe pre and post WWII era. This book will leave you seemingly looking into a mirror of your own life experience for those able to relate. Another excellent source of encouragment and perhaps a more clear understanding of why so many questions remain to this day unanswered to the children left behind. It is a book of hope that lives today in countless adult children of GI fathers they've never known, a hope to continue their searches until their dreams become reality. This is a book for the mother's and father's of those same children who will also see a reflection of their past quite vividly if they allow themselves to understand that they were far from alone in the choices they made those long years ago and how with hope they can find those children and open up to those children longing to know where they come from and to gain a sense of wholeness they may never have known. It is time for the shame to remain in the past and for the light to shine in the darkness. We are in a different time and must accept that we are only human and none of us is immune from mistakes so why let our children suffer from our past, why not open up the future for them? A must read for anyone searching father or family from this time. Share this book with others who you know to be searching, it can open up doors that have been closed far too long.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book !! January 11, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I received the product on time and is was perfect, just as it said.
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