best war ever - Elizabeth Mitts UIN 317009798 HIST 106-521...

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Elizabeth Mitts UIN 317009798 HIST 106-521 T. Nester Reading Questions for: Michael C. C. Adams, The Best War Ever: American and World War II (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994). 1) List three of the popular myths, provided in the text, that surround U.S. participation in World War II. For each, provide one positive and one negative aspect of adherence to these myths. One popular myth is that American deaths were never gruesome, one thing that was positive about this myth is that Americans that were at home saw the war in a positive light and that it kept the thinking positive about that war. A negative aspect of this is that it gave people the wrong idea of what the war was like overseas. A second popular myth about the war is that all American soldiers were the epitome of a war hero, a positive that came from this myth is that people at home all thought every soldier wanted to be there and this kept the support for the war high. A negative about this myth is that the men that were there and didn’t really want to be there thought that they were the only one’s and felt even more out of place because of this. A third myth that surrounded the U.S. participation in World War II was that every death that was made by soldier was necessary. The fact that the media protected people from knowing that the soldiers killed civilians kept people from knowing how awful the war actually was. The negative of this was that because it was never seen by the mass majority of Americans the soldiers who would kill never felt the repercussions from the population. They were able to do what they wanted and keep it on the inside. 2) What role did the Great Depression play in making World War II the best war ever in American popular imagination? During and after World War II there was a higher standard of living that brought people out of the Great Depression. During this time period the Gross National Production rose from $97 billion to $190 billion and the wage of the average worker rose from $25.50 to $43.39. Because the economy was so bad during the Great Depression it made the war seem like an economic hero. This was the role the Great Depression had in making World War II appear to the best war ever. 3) How has the media (newspapers, magazines, books, T.V., movies) contributed to forming our collective memory of the American experience in World War II? Please provide an example of mythmaking and an example of a more realistic portrayal. The media has affected the way that we look at World War II by conforming it into the way that Hollywood wanted it to be seen. The media neglected the bad and enhanced the good. This was the film ear and all movies of this time period
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portrayed the American soldier in much of the same light. There was this myth that every soldier knew what he was fighting for, that he killed only when he had to , and that he wanted to be there. This was not the case. A more realistic portrayal would be a sex starved GI that raped women; soldiers who were
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2010 for the course SPMT SPMT 217 taught by Professor Tibedeax during the Spring '10 term at Texas A&M.

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best war ever - Elizabeth Mitts UIN 317009798 HIST 106-521...

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