Fifty Years After the War: The People Who Were There Recall the Major Events of World War II

Tom Infield, Author Camino Books $11.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-940159-34-1
Neither an authoritative military history nor a compelling anthology of personal recollections, this compilation of short pieces by Infield, a staff writer on the Philadelphia Inquirer, is more like a hometown scrapbook of strictly local interest. The 35 articles lean heavily on reminiscences of Philadelphia-area residents who participated in the war effort at home or on the battlefield. There is no common thread linking the articles, except that the particular event is being recalled 50 years later, a concept that becomes repetitious and tiresome in the context of a book. There are articles covering major battles--Pearl Harbor, Midway, D-Day, Iwo Jima, the Bulge--and a potpourri of general features--kids on the homefront, the Stage Door Canteen, the German death camps, conscientious objectors, V-E Day, V-J Day. Each article is pegged to a specific date, although the dates aren't particularly relevant to the feature pieces. The article on Pearl Harbor begins with brief statements from some ten men, recalling what they were doing on December 7, 1941. Weren't there any women listening to the radio that day in Philadelphia? Quotes from the local Philadelphia newspapers piece out the story of the Japanese attack. People who remember the major events of 1941-45 will find no new information in these articles, and those seeking to learn about the war will find a more coherent account elsewhere. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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