The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945

by Geoffrey C. Ward

Paperback, 2010




Knopf (2010), Edition: Reprint, 480 pages


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.

User reviews

LibraryThing member peacemover
Ken Burns and Geoffrey Ward have done it again with "The War." This handsome companion volume to the acclaimed PBS mini-series is a testament to the people who served, witnessed, and lived through World War II- both in Europe and the Pacific, as well as here in America. Burns focuses, in particular, on the people of four diverse American cities and how their lives intersected with the War.

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!
… (more)
LibraryThing member Angelic55blonde
Absolutely amazing. It is an expensive book but well worth it. Not only is there a wealth of information in the text but there are so many vivid pictures that bring the war to the reader. This book is actually a companion the PBS series (which is out on DVD for about $100 right now) and the PBS series is just as great. This is a must read and a must own.… (more)
LibraryThing member pennsylady
Overdrive download

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.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ♥
… (more)
LibraryThing member justindtapp
This looks at the war from more of the "common man" standpoint. Burns follows several different soldiers from their small towns to the battlefront. He tells the war from the viewpoint of places like Mobile, Alabama as well as the front. I liked that approach, but the later chapters are mostly just war with very little mention of life at home.

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.
… (more)


Original language

Page: 0.2635 seconds