Professor Stephen Dice
April 8, 2015
The Best War Ever: America and World War II Summary
The Best War Ever: America and World War II, by Michael C.C. Adams uses memoirs, and glorifying aspects of the war, to compare the misleading accounts of the war that had been created by historians and the media. During wartime America was considered to be at its prime. America industry was flourishing, American soldiers were the toughest, and the American people were united as a well-integrated family. The images reflected, portrayed a positive image of the war. Truthfully the war was not a great war, in fact the images of WWII are bombings and horrific fighting battles. Many individuals did not see first-hand the experience of WWII and can only go by what they have seen and heard from the media, which made “the result a cleaned up, cosmetically enhanced version of reality” according to Adams. Adams attempts to set straight the myths pertaining to the misconception of the “glamorous” battle conditions, and a perfect home front in order to demonstrate that World WII falls short of being remembered as the “Great War.” In chapter one, "Mythmaking and the War", Adams sets apart the myths, defined by propaganda, and Hollywood films, and the revised memories of those who stayed home, and those who fought in the war. The war became "America's golden age, a peak in the life of society when everything worked out and the good guys definitely got a happy ending." The WWII era came to serve a purpose; to be the past age which America once was, and if worked hard enough for, could be again. Adams calls a "usable past." "In creating a usable past, we seek formulas to apply in solving today's problems. Americans believe that WWII proved one rule above all others...it is usually better to fight than to talk." "To make WWII into the best war ever, we must leave out the area bombings and other questionable aspects while exaggerating the good things. The war...
Bibliography: Adams, Michael C. C. The Best War Ever: America and World War II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1994. Print.
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