WORSHIPPING THE MYTHS OF WORLD WAR II: REFLECTIONS ON AMERICA'S DEDICATION TO WAR
By Edward W. Wood, Jr.
Is any war a "good war"? In WORSHIPPING THE MYTHS OF WORLD WAR II, Edward W. Wood, Jr.takes a critical look at what he defines as America's dedication to war as panacea and as Washington's primary way of dealing with the world. Articulating why he believes the lessons of World War II are profoundly relevant to today's events, Wood reflects on the killing of innocents, which became increasingly accepted during the war, and how actual killing is usually ignored in war discussions and reporting. He examines the lifetime impact of frontline duty, which he knew first hand; the present fallible criteria for judging war movies, memoirs and novels; the fallacy that the United States won the war largely on its own; and the impact the Holocaust has had on our national concepts of evil and purity. Wood's final chapter centers on how the "war on terror" is different from World War II--and why the myths created about the latter hide that reality.
WORSHIPPING THE MYTHS OF WORLD WAR II offers one WWII veteran's controversial pespective. Edward Wood, a wise, careful writer whose life was totally changed by his war experience and his serious wound, and who has spent the past sixty plus years pondering these vital isues, affirms that World War II had to be fought. Yet it is America's misperceptions of that war he examines--misperceptions which have led to tragic ways of dealing with the world.
It is the four myths of World War II he discusses and criticizes:
O THE GOOD WAR;
O THE GREATEST GENERATION;
O AMERICA WON WORLD WAR II ON ITS OWN;
O WHEN EVIL LIES IN OTHERS, WAR IS THE MEANS TO JUSTICE.
He sees the wars America has fought since 1945 as rooted in these myths, wars that should never been fought, including this most recent one that seems interminable. He believes it is time to talk with those we perceive as enemies so as to search for areas of agreeement, preventing future conflict.
WORSHIPPING THE MYTHS OF WORLD WAR II is supported by Howard Zinn, the historian.
It was selected as one of the most important books of 2007 by CHOICE, CURRENT REVIEWS FOR ACADEMIC LIBRARIES.
A panel will discuss Worshipping the Myths of World War II: Reflections on America’s Dedication to War by Edward W. Wood, Jr., on Thursday, July 10, 6:30 p.m., at Nightbird Books.
Nightbird Books is at 557 S. School Ave. in Fayetteville, the northwest corner of 71B and 6th St. 443-2080.
David Edwards, retired Professor of History at the U of A, where he headed the History Department’s honors program and worked with the curriculum committee for many years. Since retirement he has been an active member of the Unitarian Fellowship.
John Rule, served in the U.S. Army 1953-55, discharged as Sgt. He received his BA and MA from the UofA 1955, retired from teaching at Arkansas Tech in 1976, and became a farmer in the Boson Mountains, where he resides. His interests are world and personal peace, ecology, and sustainability.
Steve Striffler, Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies at the University of Arkansas. He is on the Board of the NW Arkansas Workers Justice Center and author of Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America's Favorite Food (Yale University Press, 2005).
Lyell Thompson, Retired Professor of Agriculture, UofA, lifelong advocate of civil rights and liberties, WWII veteran: European Theater, Battle of the Bulge.
Moderated by Dick Bennett, retired professor of English at the Univ. of Arkansas, USAF 1954-56, a founder of OMNI, and compiler of the Peace Movement Directory.