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When my mother and father talked about World War II, they always did so in bits and pieces. I never recall them saying anything about Fascism or the Four Freedoms . Those were things I learned in school. Their remembrance was about how the war a=ected them personally. They had scheduled their wedding ceremony in Pennsylvania in 1943 early enough in the morning so they could catch a train to Texas, where my father was stationed in the Army Air Corps near Victoria. And they talked a great deal about the friends they made in Victoria and the fact that I was born there. My mother would often recall the long train rides she took with me as an infant and how busy the rail stations were during the war years. I can still see my father’s army hat and shirt with sergeant stripes hanging in the family garage in Forest City, Pennsylvania, where I grew up. At some point the hat and shirt disappeared, but my memory of what they told me never did. I would not have written this book if it had not been for the stories they told. I benefited from the cooperation and support of many others. At Indiana University , Claude Clegg was one of the first individuals to encourage me to write this book, and Je= Wasserstrom stirred my early interest by getting me to write an essay on war movies. Ed Linenthal read early drafts of my manuscript and made numerous suggestions for revisions. I received a good deal of assistance from Martha Norkunas in locating materials related to Norman Mailer. I also thank Alan Brinkley, Nancy Cott, Gaines Foster, Carol Oja, John Grabowski, and Robb Westbrook. Graduate students at Indiana helped me collect materials and discuss many of the central issues discussed in the book, especially Karen Dunak, Keith Eberly, Jim Seaver, Jennifer Stinson, Chris Stone, and Jamie Warren. Barbara Truesdell o=ered generous help in processing and saving photographic images . Jo Ellen Fitzgerald’s help was indispensable in obtaining research materials and saving various versions of the manuscript. The History Department at Indiana University is fortunate to have her on their sta=. And Elizabeth Yoder improved the manuscript immeasurably. Acknowledgments My family also gave me assistance at every turn. My daughter, Brenna Snider, took a number of photos for me, and my son, Eric, helped me identify important films. My cousins, Jacob and Marty Bodnar, also provided some key images when I needed them. And my wife, Donna, tolerated the many trips I needed to take to bring this project to completion. x a c k n o w l e d g m e n t s The “Good War” in American Memory This page intentionally left blank ...


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