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The United States at War, 1941 - 1945, 3rd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-88295-281-9
171 pages
January 2011, ©2011, Wiley-Blackwell
The United States at War, 1941 - 1945, 3rd Edition (0882952811) cover image

This 3rd edition presents a concise overview of how the war was fought as well as a consideration of the ways in which Americans regarded allies and enemies, embraced heroes, and viewed the war's purpose. Making the important distinction between popular notions and military and political realities, Gary Hess helps today's readers to better understand the complexity of the conflict. Updated to incorporate the latest scholarship, this latest edition also includes new material to underscore more fully the moral dimensions of the war, including the American decision to use the atomic bomb, the ruthless campaigns of both the Germans and Russians in Eastern Europe, American reaction to the Holocaust as well as the government's post-war tolerance and protection of Nazis deemed valuable to Cold War research and intelligence. Enhanced coverage of specific topics including the Bataan Death March, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Allied uncovering of concentration camps rounds out the narrative.

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Preface to the Third Edition ix

Chapter One. To Pearl Harbor: The United States and World Crisis 1

The Arsenal of Democracy: The War in Europe 3

“Not Enough Ships": The Effort to Restrain Japan 8

Chapter Two. Allied Defeats and the Axis Ascendancy, 1941-1942 20

The Nazi Empire at Its Peak 20

Japan’s Imperial Conquests 24

Defeat and Surrender in the Philippines 25

Popular Perceptions and Expectations 34

Chapter Three. The War in Europe: The Turn of the Tide 38

The Debate over Strategy 38

The North African Invasion 41

The Eastern Front: The Russian Victory at Stalingrad 45

The Battle of the Atlantic 49

The Air War: The Bombing of Germany 51

The Cross-Channel Invasion: D-Day 53

Chapter Four. The Pacific Theater: The War against Japan, 1942-1945 59

“Our War”: Characteristics and Popular Perceptions 61

Midway: The End of Japan’s Naval Invincibility 65

Guadalcanal: The First Offensive 69

The Island Campaign, 1943-1944 72

Iwo Jima and Okinawa 79

Japan 1945: The Refusal to Surrender 84

Chapter Five. The Diplomatic Front: Roosevelt and the American Vision of the Postwar World 87

The United Nations 90

Soviet-American Cooperation 92

China’s International Status 98

The End of Colonialism 102

Chapter Six. The Dilemmas of Victory 109

Victory in Europe and the Extent of Nazi Tyranny 110

“The Greatest Thing in History”: The Atomic Bomb and Japan’s Surrender 114

Hiroshima and Magasaki: The Lingering Questions 117

A People Victorious: America at the End of the War 125

Conclusion: Why the Allies Won 127

Bibliographical Essay 146

Index 167

Photographs follow page 86

Maps:

Europe under the Axis 21

Japan’s Empire, 1942 26

Allied Offensives, 1942-1945 39

U.S. Offensive against Japan 60

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Gary R. Hess is an Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor of History at Bowling Green State University. His research and teaching interests focused on U.S. foreign relations from World War II to the present. He is the author of several books, including most recently: Presidential Decisions for War (rev. ed., 2009); and Vietnam: Explaining America’s Lost War (2008). He has been a four-time Fulbright Scholar/Lecturer in India. He is a past president of both the Society for Historians of American Foreign Realtions and the Ohio Academy of History. Both organizations recognized his scholarly and service contributions through their Norman and Laura Graebner Award and Distinguished Historian Award, respectively.

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