Good War: An Oral History of World War II

Good War: An Oral History of World War II

by Studs Terkel


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“The Good War”, for which Studs Terkel won the Pulitzer Prize, is a testament not only to the experience of war but to the extraordinary skill of Terkel as interviewer. As always, his subjects are open and unrelenting in their analyses of themselves and their experiences, producing what People magazine has called “a splendid epic history of World War II.” With this volume Terkel expanded his scope to the global and the historical, and the result is a masterpiece of oral history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781565843431
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 11/28/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 129,821
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Studs Terkel (1912–2008) was an award-winning author and radio broadcaster. He is the author of Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession; Division Street: America, Coming of Age: Growing Up in the Twentieth Century; Talking to Myself: A Memoir of My Times; “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War II; Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do; The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century; American Dreams: Lost and Found; The Studs Terkel Interviews: Film and Theater; Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression; Will the Circle Be Unbroken?: Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith; Giants of Jazz; Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times; And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey; Touch and Go: A Memoir; P.S.: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening; and Studs Terkel’s Chicago, all published by The New Press. He was a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters and a recipient of a Presidential National Humanities Medal, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a George Polk Career Award, and the National Book Critics Circle 2003 Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.

Date of Birth:

May 16, 1912

Date of Death:

October 31, 2008

Place of Birth:

New York, NY

Place of Death:

Chicago, IL


J.D., University of Chicago, 1934

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Good War 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was sitting in a coffee shop in San Francisco the day the first exerpts (prior to publication of the book) from 'The Good War' first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. I had just picked up a copy at a newstand and began to read as I settled down with a cup of Java Jive. I heard a sound that got my attention and looked up to see a very dignified gentleman just opposite me reach up with a crisp white handkerchief to wipe a flood of tears from his face. I noticed that he, too, was reading The Atlantic Monthly. I didn't want him to notice me, so I quickly diverted my gaze and returned to the magazine. It wasn't long before my own face was awash with tears. There was a woman that Mr. Terkel had interviewed and one of the most poignant stories I had ever read was told in her 'voice.' It was an interview with Maxene Andrews, of the Andrews Sisters. You really should read the entire book...and especially note this story. It tells a poignant story that certainly touched that gentelman, and me. I'm certain it will touch you, as well.
fuzzy_patters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Oral histories can be very flawed histories in that it is difficult for those living through an event to see it objectively; yet, they also provide those who did not live through an event to see it through the eyes of those who did and to see how it has changed their perceptions of the world around them. In "The Good War," Stud's Terkel does an excellent job of this by interviewing a variety of people from different ages, backgrounds, and nationalities to show us how the war affected them. The book brings the war to life for those of us who did not live it and allows us to question whether any war can ever truly be a "good war."Terkel's methodology of presenting this to us enhances the reader's understanding of the stark reality of the horrors of war, the camaraderie of the soldiers, the pros and cons of dropping the atomic bomb, and the way that the war affected the people of the post-war generation. He does this through the topical sequence of the individual histories and through rarely interjecting his own thoughts but instead allowing those who lived it to tell their own stories without the interference of a biased editor. In order to fully appreciate this book, the modern reader should already have some knowledge of world war history and some knowledge of the conflicting viewpoints of Americans about the Cold War and the war in Vietnam. However, anyone with a working knowledge about these topics should find this book very enlightening, and it will definitely enhance their appreciation of what these men and women went through. As far as oral histories go, "The Good War" is one of the best I have read.
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One of the best books I've read with a new twist on WW II, and the stories most of us would never hear except for here.