Satisfactory Essays
World War II, even 70 years after, is still a topic that is met with much dismay and troubled feelings throughout the world. Though many have seen clips from the world and learned details about it from history classes and documentaries on television, Studs Terkel in The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two tells the events through a different medium: interviews from those who lived during the time. Interviews from soldiers and those who stayed in the United States paint a first person and intimate recall of the trials and tribulations those faced in World War II. The Good War had more layers to the story than most realize, and the horrors men and women faced in all phases of life make this time period truly one for the ages. One of the most dominating themes from Terkel's interviews is the complete saturation of discrimination throughout World War II. The Civil Rights movement had yet to come to fruition in United States history, and segregation was still legal and prevelent throughout the U.S. Though it can be extrapolated to all races who joined the war effort, Terkel's book primarily touches on the descrimination shown towards African Americans and Mexican Americans in the United States armed forces. White troops shooting and beating non-Aryan soldiers with segregated base camps are recalled from first hand experience. Relief Aid from non-profit organizations even showed threatening behavrior towards non-white soldiers. Though many races fought under the United States Flag, white troops were shown preferencial treatment over their non-white counterparts with African Americans and Mexican Americans were given sub-par resources, and equallity in ability to survive the war. On the homefront, Japanese Americans were rounded l... ... middle of paper ... ...irst hand account of normally undiscussed topics being visited. However, a stark criticism of the book is necessary in discussing Terkel. Though the interviews spanning many different demographics of the wartime, a general feeling of bias is felt towards anti-war and anti-government sentiment. After finishing the book, the reader feels as if Terkel wanted the reader to be left with a feeling of shock and horror at the United States government. Though some of that though process can be justified after the horrific truths of the government is revealed, especially the radiation tests on soldiers, Terkel seems to try too hard to point out how much wrong was happening throughout the war. World War II was a hard time for many and there are countless moments of regrets many will have until their deathbed, and Terkel makes a point to reveal a lot of those shameful instances.
Get Access