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The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It

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The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It + Oral History Series: We Have Just Begun to Not Fight: An Oral History of Conscientious Objectors in the Civilian Public Service During World War II (Twayne's Oral History Series)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Asner, Bill Sutherland, George Houser, Steve Cary
  • Directors: Judith Ehrlich, Rick Tejada-Flores
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004G7X5UK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,487 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

{WINNER, Film of the Year, American Historical Association}
{WINNER, Best Documentary, Ojai Film Festival}
{WINNER, Erik Barnouw Award Film of the Year, Organization of American Historians}


Millions of people from Allied countries fought to liberate Europe from Hitler's grip during World War II. Yet 40,000 Americans refused to shoulder weapons in "the Good War."

Narrated by Ed Asner, this important film tells the story of a previously ignored chapter of WWII -- the American conscientious objectors who refused to fight. It is a story of personal courage, idealism and nonconformity based on both ethical and religious beliefs about men whose love of country could not extend to killing their fellow man.

Many were Quakers or others whose religious beliefs interpreted the commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" to include war; others were passionate pacifists who felt morally incapable of cooperating with a violent conflict, no matter how worthy the cause.

All lived with the scorn of a nation, and often family and friends as well. While it has been more than half a century since WWII, this particular war story has been almost entirely lost to history until now.

Includes the Conscientious Objector Handbook: the up-to-date guide to the draft

Other Bonus Materials include:
- WWII Poster Gallery - Propagandizing the Good War
- DVD-ROM Features - Documents and Links to Non-Violence, Draft, Counter-Recruitment and Military Resources


[FOUR STARS] Fascinating! Highly Recommended. Editor's Choice. --Video Librarian

In a time when it's again easy to endorse any military response to the savagery of terrorists, The Good War provides a necessary reminder that pacifists also can be heroic and patriotic. --Christianity Today

An important contribution to the history of the second World War. --Howard Zinn, Author of A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Civil disobedience, peaceful protest, and freedom of belief and speech are concepts that are commonplace in today's very vocal society. And I feel honored to have been raised in a land where I'm free to express my opinions without fear of retribution. Since the era of Vietnam, in fact, public opposition to political policy has multiplied exponentially--or at least the access to this information has increased significantly due to media outlets. Anytime there is a conflict, war, or military presence--you are bound to hear support, derision and every stance in between. "The Good War" presents a fascinating look, however, at conscientious objectors during the second World War. I, seriously, have never given this subject much thought--it's hard to imagine a more unifying military action than World War II in which patriotism ran rampant in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. And yet, there was still a small proportion of men who took the stance that killing was wrong for any reason.

Told through modern day interviews and stock footage, "The Good War" introduces us to a number of conscientious objectors who share their experiences. Ostracized and belittled, these men found themselves on the wrong side of public opinion for very personal and in-grained beliefs. Assigned to work camps or jailed, there weren't a lot of initial choices for these guys. Oftentimes, they took on assignments to prove their worthiness that were very questionable in nature. In fact, the documentary presents some harrowing images of men who submitted to medical experimentation in the name of service to their country. This is a thought provoking look at a subject I knew little about--but it is interesting to see how this movement helped reform the mental health industry and integrate the prison system.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By zoe on March 31, 2014
Verified Purchase
It is used, I give 4 points. The DVD looks good, but the box is broken when I got it, and I can see that they used rubber band to bind the box. I think it is ok for me, if the DVD can be used. I don't care too much about the box.
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