The Myth of the Good War: America in the Second World War, revised edition

Category: Book
By (author): Pauwels, Jacques R.
Subject:  HISTORY / Military / United States
  HISTORY / Military / World War II
  HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
  HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
  HISTORY / United States / General
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Published: March 2015
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 328
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 0.50in
Our Price:
$ 24.95
Availability:
Available: 3-10 days

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

In the spirit of historians Howard Zinn, Gwynne Dyer, and Noam Chomsky, Jacques Pauwels focuses on the big picture. Like them, he seeks to find the real reasons for the actions of great powers and great leaders. Familiar Second World War figures from Adolf Hitler to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin are portrayed in a new light in this book. The decisions of Hitler and his Nazi government to go to war were not those of madmen. Britain and the US were not allies fighting shoulder to shoulder with no motive except ridding the world of the evils of Nazism.

In Pauwels' account, the actions of the United States during the war years were heavily influenced by American corporations -- IBM, GM, Ford, ITT, and Standard Oil of New Jersey (now called Exxon) -- who were having a very profitable war selling oil, armaments, and equipment to both sides, with money gushing everywhere. Rather than analyzing Pearl Harbor as an unprovoked attack, Pauwels notes that US generals boasted of their success in goading Japan into a war the Americans badly wanted. One chilling account describes why President Truman insisted on using nuclear bombs against Japan when there was no military need to do so. Another reveals that Churchill instructed his bombers to flatten Dresden and kill thousands when the war was already won, to demonstrate British-American strength to Stalin.

Leaders usually cast in a heroic mould in other books about this war look quite different here. Nations that claimed a higher purpose in going to war are shown to have had far less idealistic motives. The Second World War, as Jacques Pauwels tells it, was a good war only in myth. The reality is far messier -- and far more revealing of the evils that come from conflicts between great powers and great leaders seeking to enrich their countries and dominate the world.

From The Publisher*A revisionist historian offers a refreshing but challenging account of the Second World War, what caused it, why it unfolded as it did, and who emerged the real victor.
Review Quote*"The Myth of the Good War is an accessible and well-written book... The reader feels immersed in a bath of refreshing ideas."
Review Quote*"Pauwels' exposure of the dirty truths behind such historical tragedies as Dieppe, Hiroshima, and Pearl Harbor will likely cause outrage, but his documentation is sound, his reasoning sharp."
Review Quote*"A revealing analysis of the covert goals pursued by Western leaders before, during and immediately after World War II. Well-researched and lucidly-argued, this fine book will be of great value to experts and ordinary readers alike."
Review Quote*"Pauwels is mostly successful in his effort to construct a counter-narrative. His is a lively book."
Review Quote*"Pauwels represents a departure from the orthodox and conventional feel-good history and from the military drum-and-trumpet historiography."
Review Quote*"The Myth of the Good War breaks through the propaganda of World War II as portrayed in standard US history books and various Hollywood movies . . . I encourage people everywhere to read and understand this important historical work."
Biographical NoteJACQUES R. PAUWELS is an independent scholar who has a special interest in 20th-century history. He has taught European history at the University of Toronto, York University, and the University of Waterloo. The first edition of this monumental work, published in 2000, has also been published in German, Spanish, and French, and has been on several national bestseller lists. This new edition has been revised and updated to incorporate new research on the war published since then.