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The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945 by…

The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945

by Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns

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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.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ♥ ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 27, 2016 |
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. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
Very interesting, learned a lot about the Pacific. ( )
  picardyrose | Nov 5, 2010 |
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! ( )
1 vote peacemover | Apr 11, 2008 |
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. ( )
  Angelic55blonde | Mar 13, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Geoffrey C. Wardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burns, Kenmain authorall editionsconfirmed

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A thousand veterans of the war die every day. This book is dedicated to all those who fought and won that necessary war on our behalf.
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The greatest cataclysm in history grew out of ancient and ordinary human emotions - anger and arrogance and bigotry, victimhood and the lust for power.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307262839, Hardcover)

History buffs, Ken Burns fans, and anyone whose life has been touched by war will be awed by Burns's new book, The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945, a stunning companion to his PBS series airing in September 2007. Focusing on the citizens of four towns, The War follows more than forty people from 1941 to 1945. Maps and hundreds of photographs enrich this compelling, unflinching narrative. Check out some of the photographs and read the first chapter below. --Daphne Durham

Exclusive Photographs from The War

Read the First Chapter of The War

A Necessary War
I don't think there is such a thing as a good war. There are sometimes necessary wars. And I think one might say, "just" wars. I never questioned the necessity of that war. And I still do not question it. It was something that had to be done. --Samuel Hynes

Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, began as most days do in Honolulu: warm and sunny with blue skies punctuated here and there by high wisps of cloud. At a few minutes after eight o'clock, the Hyotara Inouye family was at home on Coyne Street, getting ready for church. The sugary whine of Hawaiian music drifted through the house. The oldest of the four Inouye children, seventeen-year-old Daniel, a senior at William McKinley High and a Red Cross volunteer, was listening to station KGMB as he dressed. There were other sounds, too, muffled far-off sounds to which no one paid much attention at first because they had grown so familiar over the past few months. The drone of airplanes and the rumble of distant explosions had been commonplace since spring of the previous year, when the U.S. Pacific Fleet had shifted from the California coast to Pearl Harbor, some seven miles northwest of the Inouye home. Air-raid drills were frequent occurrences; so was practice firing of the big coastal defense batteries near Waikiki Beach.

But this was different. Daniel was just buttoning his shirt, he remembered, when the voice of disk jockey Webley Edwards broke into the music. "All army, navy, and marine personnel to report to duty," it said. At almost the same moment, Daniel's father shouted for him to come outside. Something strange was going on. Daniel hurried out into the sunshine and stood with his father by the side of the house, peering toward Pearl Harbor. They were too far away to see the fleet itself, and hills further obscured their view, but the sky above the harbor was filled with puffs of smoke. During drills the blank antiaircraft bursts had always been white. These were jet-black. Then, as the Inouyes watched in disbelief, the crrrump of distant explosions grew louder and more frequent and so much oily black smoke began billowing up into the sky that the mountains all but vanished and the horizon itself seemed about to disappear.

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(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:46 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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.… (more)

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