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History World War Ii

The Myth of the Good War

America in the Second World War, revised edition

by (author) Jacques R. Pauwels

Publisher
James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Mar 2015
Category
World War II, 20th Century, United States, 20th Century, Germany
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781552778883
    Publish Date
    Mar 2011
    List Price
    $18.00
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781550287714
    Publish Date
    Oct 2002
    List Price
    $16.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781459408722
    Publish Date
    Mar 2015
    List Price
    $24.95

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Description

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.

 

About the author

JACQUES R. PAUWELS has taught European history at the University of Toronto, York University and the University of Waterloo. He is the author of The Great Class War 1914-1918, a revisionist history of that conflict, and The Myth of the Good War, in which he provides a revisionist look at the role of the United States and other Allied countries in the Second World War. An independent scholar, Pauwels holds Ph.D.s in history and political science. He lives in Brantford, Ontario.

Jacques R. Pauwels' profile page

Editorial Reviews

Jacques Pauwels is hands down one of the most important historians writing today. His work combines profound erudition with pristine clarity. He has a unique ability to channel his expansive historical knowledge into pedagogical narratives that carefully walk the reader through extremely complex historical developments. The result is, quite simply, a series of the best books on modern and contemporary history that can—and should!—be read by both specialists and complete novices. Moreover, his commitment to the tradition of what Domenico Losurdo referred to as “counter-history” leads his readers through the looking glass, so to speak. Instead of the hackneyed stories peddled by the mainstream media and educational institutions, he delivers to his readers truly insightful, and sometimes surprising, accounts of what actually happened. His books are thus real page turners that are enthralling to read and amenable to a very large audience. I regularly teach his work and recommend it to students, professors and other interested parties. I have only heard praise of his work from those to whom I’ve recommended it.

 

 

Villanova University

"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."

author of Against Empire and The Terrorism Trap

"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."

Quill & Quire

"The Myth of the Good War is an outstanding and absolutely critical work that deserves the widest circulation, and I urge my friends to buy it. I learned a great deal more detail about that war and especially the post WW II and Cold War period."

John Marciano, Professor Emeritus, SUNY Cortland, author of <em>The American War in Vietnam: Crime or Commemoration</em>

"Pauwels is mostly successful in his effort to construct a counter-narrative. His is a lively book."

Labour/Le Travail

"Pauwels represents a departure from the orthodox and conventional feel-good history and from the military drum-and-trumpet historiography."

Het Utrechts Nieuwsblad/De Amerfoortse Courant [a leading Dutch daily

"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 . . . Pauwels uses historical facts and analysis to unmask profiteering by US firms in support of the Nazi war machine. He exposes the humanitarian disaster of the massive bombing of civilian targets in Germany. And he lays out the deliberate delay of the invasion of France by the Allies in order to extend the war in the Eastern Frontthereby exhausting both Germany and Russia and resulting in millions of unnecessary deaths . . . Each year [my students would vote The Myth of the Good War as the best book of the semester. I plan to continue to use the new revised edition in my classes and encourage people everywhere to read and understand this important historical work."

Professor of Sociology, Sonoma State Univesity

"The Myth of the Good War is an accessible and well-written book... The reader feels immersed in a bath of refreshing ideas."

De Morgen

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