The vivid voices that speak from these pages are not those of historians or scholars. They are the voices of ordinary men and women who experienced—and helped to win—the most devastating war in history, in which between 50 and 60 million lives were lost.
Focusing on the citizens of four towns—Luverne, Minnesota; Sacramento, California; Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama—The War follows more than forty people from 1941 to 1945. Woven largely from their memories, the compelling, unflinching narrative unfolds month by bloody month, with the outcome always in doubt. All the iconic events are here, from Pearl Harbor to the liberation of the concentration camps—but we also move among prisoners of war and Japanese American internees, defense workers and schoolchildren, and families who struggled simply to stay together while their men were shipped off to Europe, the Pacific, and North Africa.
Enriched by maps and hundreds of photographs, including many never published before, this is an intimate, profoundly affecting chronicle of the war that shaped our world.
About the Author
Geoffrey C. Ward is an author and screenwriter of various documentary presentations of American history. He wrote the television mini-series "The Civil War" with director Ken Burns and has authored or coauthored numerous books, including "A First-Class Temperament" and "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson".
Dayton Duncan, writer and producer of Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, is the author of five other books, including Out West: An American Journey along the Lewis and Clark Trail, in which he retraced the route of the expedition. He has been a consultant on many of Ken Burns's documentary films and was the co-writer and consulting producer of the PBS series The West.
Ken Burns, director and producer of Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, has been making award-winning documentary films for more than twenty years, including the landmark PBS series The Civil War and Baseball, The West, and Thomas Jefferson. The subject of his next biographical film will be Frank Lloyd Wright, and he is currently producing a series on the history of jazz.
“Ken Burns has done it again. He has given us an intimate, memorable, and provocative portrait of America in World War II—the valor and victory, sacrifice and shame of ordinary Americans, north, south, east, and west. This is a treasure.” —Tom Brokaw
“Heartrending . . . Unique not only among previous volumes that have accompanied Burns’s documentaries but among just about any book on World War II . . . It should be read by everyone in the family, from the high-schoolers to the Baby Boomers.” —Newark Star-Ledger