Essay Best War Ever Book Review

1186 Words Nov 3rd, 2010 5 Pages
Many regard World War II as the best war ever, but why? It seems the one fact that stands out in American minds is that the Allied Powers were fighting against people who were perceived as "evil”, such as Adolf Hitler and Emperor Hirohito. Many disregard all the casualties and hardships and only think about the big picture: victory. Michael C. C. Adams' book, The Best War Ever: America and World War II, attempts to dissipate all of the misconceptions of the Second World War. Americans came out of the war with a positive view of all the years of fighting. This myth was born from several factors, mainly due to the overseas setting of both theaters of the war, intense government propaganda, Hollywood’s glamorization, and widespread economic …show more content…
“Ads implied that if you bought a war bond your sacrifice was on par with that of the man in the front lines.” (74) The US government and industry played on Americans’ sense of patriotism in order to get them to support the war or buy their products. However, “Advertising had inherent problems as an educational tool. It is by nature emotional, rather than intellectual; it sells feelings rather than ideas.” (73) Government propaganda and business advertising were not the only factors in forming the inaccurate myth of the Second World War. Hollywood made films where “people get blown up with their clothes and fall gracefully to the ground” (100). Through the realism of motion pictures, such as 1998’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and 2001’s ‘Pearl Harbor’, Americans were falsely led to believe in a glorified war. The other major factor in allowing the war to be dubbed as “the best war ever” was the economic prosperity. “The U.S. gross national product increased 60 percent during the war,” (114) a statistic which differed greatly from those of the depression years of the 1930’s. The reality under the cover of myth was repulsive. “. . . the coast was littered with shattered boats, tanks, trucks, rations, packs, buttocks, thighs, torsos, hands, heads.” (101) Americans never witnessed the carnage. To add insult to injury, when soldiers on leave told of these horrors, they were considered cowards and victims of
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