As companion to the PBS series airing in September 2007, "The War" focuses on the citizens of four towns--Luverne, Minnesota; Sacramento, California; Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama, following more than forty people from 1941 to 1945. Maps and hundreds of photographs enrich this compelling, unflinching narrative.
Included in this survey are firsthand accounts from soldiers, civilians, prisoners of war, and people back on the homefront. This over-sized companion volume is an excellent supplement, complete with a well-written prose narrative; ample full-color and b & w photos, maps and diagrams. Ward and Burns adeptly tie the powerful individual stories of those who were there into the greater historical narrative of the major events and turning points in the war.
This volume is a must-have for anyone interested in history, or in the stories of those who lived through it. Highly recommended!
The War (2007)
An Intimate History, 1941-1945
by Geoffrey C. Ward
As the subtitle indicates, The War captures the intimate experiences of Americans in WW2.
In Waterbury, Connecticut, Mobile, Alabama, Sacramento, California,and Luverne, Minnesota, we're given an overview of both war front and home front.
We see the war front in the air, on the sea and on the ground.
We're also given the opportunity of witnessing homefront thoughts, feelings and activities.
There are snapshots of the war's short term adaptations as well as long term life- altering events.
This informative narrative tells me that all were concerned and no one was left unaffected by WW2.
I enjoyed the human interest elements as well as the military history.
"The war touched every family on every street in every town in America and demonstrated that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives." ( Ken Burns and Lynn Novick)
I experienced The War as an audio book.
I understand that the written form contains photographs,maps and perhaps other interesting items.
I'll be looking for other components of this 2007 project.
This book is listed as a companion volume to a seven-part PBS series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ♥
This book isn't looking to expose new facts about the war, or tell stories you haven't already read about or seen in movies. He leaves out a lot, and just focuses on what the war looks like mostly from the point of view of the G.I. on the ground. Along the way there are some interesting tidbits, but those aren't the point of the book.
I think Burns does a good job illustrating the cost of the war-- the giant machine at home that employed so many people, the psychological trauma to the soldiers, and the sheer amount of destruction and loss of life. He shows how it's possible that every American was affected by the war in some way.
I also enjoyed that the war story was told chronologically. You get a real sense of what happened when, and in relation to other important events.
I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. I've never seen the documentary but would jump at the chance to.