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Worshipping the Myths of World War II: Reflections on America's Dedication to War Hardcover – November 15, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.; First Printing edition (November 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597970166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597970167
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,735,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Previous Books by Edward W. Wood, Jr.:

From the Publisher

Examines how American world leadership is badly served by widespread misunderstanding of the nature of war in general and of World War II in particular

Bestselling author Paul Fussell on Wood's first book, On Being Wounded: "An intelligent memoir, about one person to be sure, but also a moral and psychological history of the past half century in America. Sensitive and intense, this book resonates with intelligent disillusion. I hope it has many readers."

Bestselling Zinn on the author's second book, Beyond the Weapons of Our Fathers: "A poignant search for a world beyond violence, a quest for tenderness and compassion in one's own life. It is widely read, it could have a profound effect on how people behave in this new millennium."


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Customer Reviews

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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on February 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a well written testament to the author's thinking about war. He says that there are four myths about World War II that we need to abolish as a prelude to stopping our passion for war.

He makes some very good arguments, but I'm not so sure that I agree with him.

Myth #1: The Good War -- His argument is that this was not a 'Good War.' That this was a war about killing. Yes, he is right. On the other hand, would he have allowed the Holocaust to continue, to be a matter of policy for all of Europe under Nazi domination, should we have done nothing about Japan's Unit 731 which researched biological weapons by releasing them on Chinese towns? And if not by war, how would we have stopped them?

Myth #2: The Greatest Generation -- He is right again, each generation that fought a successful victorious war has been called something similar. This began with the Revolutionary War and continues.

Myth #3 -- We Won World War II Largely on Our Own. He is correct again. World War II was indeed a world war. Decisions were made early in the war that the US would be the 'Arsenal of Democracy.' We produced a significant percentage of the airplanes, tanks, ships, trucks, etc. used by the Allies. Our combat losses were small when compared with other countries.

Myth #4: When Evil Lies in Others, War is the Means to Justice. I haven't made the transition he has in thinking that the Holocaust, Unit 751 and the other evils could have been stopped in any other way. Should we do nothing in Darfur, Bosnia, and all the other places? I don't have the answer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynda Rands on December 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Anyone wanting to understand the experience of war should read this book. Mr. Wood offers a valuable take on the ways in which the individual soldier is changed by war, not only as it relates to WWII but in terms of how those currently fighting in Iraq may be affected. His discussion of the devastations wrought by PTSD will change the view of many who sneer at those who suffer from "combat fatigue". He is also very good on the manner in which the societal view of war shapes society's willingness to go to war, much as Paul Fussell explored in "The Great War and Modern Memory". Finally, Mr. Wood offers an excellent bibliography for those wanting to read more on the subject.

In a day when armchair warriors reign supreme, from TV to the White House, Mr Wood gives us the true warrior's view. This is an excellent book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Graham on April 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Like nearly everyone in America, I grew up worshipping the myths of World War II that Wood discusses: 1) The Good War 2) The Greatest Generation 3) We Won World War II Largely on Our Own 4) Where Evil Lies in Others, War is the Means to Justice. Over the years I have come to learn how harmful such myths are to not only the peace of the United States but also to the whole world. Wood brillantly expresses the horrors of war as a wounded combat veteran, along with the ways in which those horrors have been systematically veiled by politics and pop culture. Young and old alike should read this timely, eloquently written and ultimately hopeful book.
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By J. Wegner on September 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
O.K. -- yes, the author is inciteful and yes he makes his point -- over and over and over and over.

This book could easily be edited down to a 4 section essay. Getting through 250 pages while the same 4 myths are thrashed a dozen different ways is a bit much.

That said, the average person who is a product of a U.S. education and the slant of U.S. history books and popular "best seller" older books about WWII would do well to read and reflect on the points made in this piece.
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