The Good Occupation: American Soldiers and the Hazards of Peace (Hardback)
  • The Good Occupation: American Soldiers and the Hazards of Peace (Hardback)

The Good Occupation: American Soldiers and the Hazards of Peace (Hardback)

Hardback 380 Pages / Published: 22/11/2016
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Waged for a just cause, World War II was America's good war. Yet for millions of GIs, the war did not end with the enemy's surrender. From letters, diaries, and memoirs, Susan Carruthers chronicles the intimate thoughts and feelings of ordinary servicemen and women whose difficult mission was to rebuild nations they had recently worked to destroy.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674545700
Number of pages: 380
Weight: 726 g
Dimensions: 156 x 235 x 33 mm

With characteristic brilliance, Susan Carruthers has written a critical history of military victory. Using letters and memoirs, she illuminates the interior life of American occupiers in Europe and Asia, showing the way military governance came to be imagined as a form of altruism. Highly recommended.--Mary L. Dudziak, author of War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences
Carruthers brings together the American experiences of occupying both Germany and Japan as no other historian. In this lively, superbly researched account, we see not the magnanimous, square-jawed GIs and officers we recall today, but rather war-weary, bewildered Americans who confronted bombed-out cities and millions of hungry displaced people. To these very human occupiers, the successful rehabilitation of the enemy that we now celebrate appeared closer to Mission Impossible.--Sheldon Garon, author of Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life
It is a book for the reader who enjoyed the notion of a 'greatest generation' but may well be ready for a more complicated understanding of that period.--Marilyn B. Young, author of The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990
Susan Carruthers asks how the legend of the beneficial American military presence in Europe and Asia after World War II was created despite contemporaries' observations of 'destruction, confusion, despair and hopelessness.' Based on impressive and enlightening archival researches, this lively book urges us to add a permanent question mark to the phrase, the 'good occupation.'--Werner Sollors, author of The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940s
The Good Occupation dives directly into those controversies, mining a wide array of first-hand documents to create a vividly detailed picture of thousands of U.S. troops denied the neat conclusion to their wartime service that they dreamed about during the years of fighting. Carruthers doesn't shy away from the rapes, the looting, and the black market violence that cropped up in the Allied occupation as they have in every military occupation in the history of mankind. The venality of a significant number of U.S. occupiers (and their commanders--General George Patton is quite dispassionately raked over the coals) is exposed in chapter after chapter of meticulous research and austerely lovely prose.--Steve Donoghue"Open Letters Monthly" (12/08/2016)

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