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The United States and the Second World War

New Perspectives on Diplomacy, War, and the Home Front

G. Piehler

Publication Year: 2010

In this compelling book, G. Kurt Piehler and Sidney Pash bring together a collection of essays offering a fresh examination of American participation in the Second World War, including a long overdue reconsideration of such seminal topics as the forces leading the United States to enter World War II, the role of the American military in the Allied victory, and war-time planning for the postwar world, but also tackle new inquiries into life on the home front and America's commemoration of one of the most controversial and climatic events of the war-the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. In this compelling book, G. Kurt Piehler and Sidney Pash bring together a collection of essays offering a fresh examination of American participation in the Second World War, including a long overdue reconsideration of such seminal topics as the forces leading the United States to enter World War II, the role of the American military in the Allied victory, and war-time planning for the postwar world, but also tackle new inquiries into life on the home front and America's commemoration of one of the most controversial and climatic events of the war-the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. These outstanding historians cover crucial moments such as:Franklin D. Roosevelt's pivotal, if at times indecisive, role in leading the United StatesThe miscalculation of Japanese intentions by American diplomats and the failure of deterrence in preventing war in the PacificThe experiences and contributions of conscientious objectors to American society in this time of total warThe decision of the United States to fight with an ineffective battle tank at the expense of American livesThe Coast Guard's contribution to the D-Day LandingHow elite foreign policy organizations prior to V-J Day sought to influence American occupation policies regarding Japan With these essays and much more, The United States in the Second World War is sure to prove a classic to World War II buffs.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

This anthology honors John Whiteclay Chambers II—my dissertation advisor, mentor, colleague, and friend. In conceiving this volume as series editor, I sought to pay tribute to John’s distinguished record of scholarship and teaching, as well as his...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

John Chambers’ wide-ranging scholarship, which includes studies of the Progressive era, the peace movement, United States foreign relations, conscientious objectors, the Army Corps of Engineers, the draft—and, most recently, the Office of Strategic Services...

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1. Roosevelt at the Rubicon: The Great Convoy Debate of 1941

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pp. 10-37

In early June 1941, the former Republican presidential candidate and exgovernor of Kansas Alfred M. (‘‘Alf ’’) Landon received a confidential communication from his erstwhile running mate, Frank M. Knox. At that time Secretary of the Navy in the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Knox wrote of his recent...

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2. Containment, Rollback, and the Onset of the Pacific War, 1933–1941

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pp. 38-67

Admiral Yamamoto knew that the Empire’s future rested on the opening battle of the war. His task force had to sail undetected over a vast sea and destroy the enemy fleet in port. If his ships were detected or if the enemy set a trap, all would be lost. A smashing...

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3. ‘‘In Terms of Peoples Rather than Nations’’: World War II Propaganda and Conceptions of U.S. Foreign Policy

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pp. 68-98

History has not been kind to the World War II propaganda initiatives of the U.S. government. The work of the Office of War Information (OWI)— the best known and most influential of the wartime propaganda agencies— has received very little acclaim...

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4. Allotment Annies and Other Wayward Wives: Wartime Concerns About Female Disloyalty and the Problem of the Returned Veteran

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pp. 99-128

In June 1943, the Senate Committee on Military Affairs held hearings to examine several proposals to increase the allotment paid to enlisted men’s families.1 Although the legislation’s intent was to soothe soldiers’ worries about the welfare of dependent wives, children...

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5. General George S. Patton and the War-Winning Sherman Tank Myth

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pp. 129-149

Thirty years after World War II, General Isaac D. White, the highly respected former commander of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Armored Division, was asked to write the introduction to...

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6. Naval Gunfire Support in Operation Neptune: A Reexamination

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pp. 150-215

Historians have devoted considerable attention to the planning and execution of Operation Neptune/Overlord, the Allied cross-channel invasion in June 1944. Although numerous books and articles have been written about the experience of Allied navies off Normandy on...

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7. Veterans Tell Their Stories and Why Historians and Others Listened

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pp. 216-235

As the twentieth century came to a close, Americans displayed an increasing interest in the history of the Second World War. Anniversary ceremonies commemorating D-Day in 1994 and V-E Day in 1995 garnered extensive national coverage on all major television networks. Hollywood produced scores of new movies with...

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8. Semper Paratus: The U.S. Coast Guard’s Flotilla 10 at Omaha Beach

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pp. 236-258

The United States Coast Guard, which can trace its founding to 1790, is the nation’s oldest continuous maritime service. The Coast Guard and its predecessors have participated in every war since 1790, including the wars against Saddam Hussein. Yet in 2003, the...

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9. American Pacifism, the ‘‘Greatest Generation,’’ and World War II

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pp. 259-292

Journalist Tom Brokaw has dubbed the citizen soldiers who endured the Great Depression, won the ‘‘good war,’’ and reformed postwar America, the ‘‘greatest generation.’’ Both in wartime and in peace, the greatest generation championed liberty, democracy, and...

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10. Foreign Policy Experts Asservice Intellectuals: The American Institute of Pacific Relations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Planning the Occupation of Japan During World War II

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pp. 293-332

An article published in a leading Japanese newspaper reported that John Dower’s prize-winning book Embracing Defeat became ‘‘must reading’’ among high-ranking officials in the White House just before the outbreak of the Iraq War in early 2003. Dower’s...

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11. Hiroshima and the U.S. Peace Movement: Commemoration of August 6, 1948–1960

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pp. 333-366

For more than 60 years, Americans have showed remarkable ambiguity concerning the use of the atomic bomb duringWorldWar II. In the immediate postwar years, there emerged triumphal narratives, which maintained that the atomic attack on Japan ended the ferocious war and saved numerous American lives that would...

Contributors

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pp. 367-372

Index

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pp. 373-400

World war ii:the global, human, and ethical dimension

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pp. 401-402


E-ISBN-13: 9780823248605
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823231201
Print-ISBN-10: 0823231208

Page Count: 356
Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • World War, 1939-1945 -- United States.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Participation, American.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Diplomatic history.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Social aspects -- United States.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1933-1945.
  • United States -- Social conditions -- 1933-1945.
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