Michael C. C. Adams

Teoksen The Best War Ever: America and World War II tekijä

6 Works 318 Jäsentä 4 arvostelua

About the Author

Michael C.C. Adams, Regents Professor of History Emeritus at Northern Kentucky University, is the author of The Best War Ever: America and World War II and Our Masters the Rebels: A Speculation on Union Military Failure in the East, 1861-1865, winner of the Museum of the Confederacy's Jefferson näytä lisää Davis Prize for the best Civil War book. näytä vähemmän

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Kanoninen nimi
Adams, Michael C. C.



Certainly address the " dark side" of the war. Deals with multiple topics, most prominently the catastrophic effects of disease and wounds and the inability of the medical community to keep pace. Also speaks to other areas often overlooked such as the widespread sexual exploitation of civilians - both white and black. Well worth adding to your Civil War reading list.
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VGAHarris | 1 muu arvostelu | Jan 19, 2015 |
Mention the Civil War and most people will envision sweeping battle scenes, cavalry charges, the Rebel yell, and the theme song to Gone With the Wind. What they generally do not think of is the extreme hardships faced by soldier and civilian, North and South alike, the lasting damage done to the countryside, local economies, and to an entire generation’s psyche. Therein lies the importance of Michael C. C. Adams’ Living Hell.

It is a human trait to romanticize the most extreme tragedies. It is how humans recover from experiencing the worst we can inflict on each other. It was done after World War I and World War II and especially after the Civil War. We know war is awful, but we gloss over the true extent of its terribleness and focus instead on an idealized image of soldiers marching off to glory and returning, battered and filthy but alive, to a hero’s welcome. With its use of actual letters and first-person accounts of eyewitnesses, Living Hell walks readers through a soldier’s evolution from excited and eager recruit to physically disfigured and mentally damaged soldier and the lasting trauma for soldier and family members alike. It is a brutal picture of the disgusting chaos of the soldiers’ camps, the absolute horror wrought by new battle techniques and weaponry, the complete abandonment of any wartime conventions and the psychological impact of total war. He covers the unimaginable scenes in Army hospitals, the gruesome sites of the countryside after a battle, and much, much worse. It is as realistic a picture of what the Civil War was like as one can get, and it is not pretty.

To be fair, most people understand that war is never pretty, and the Civil War was as bad as it could get. However, what sets Living Hell apart is that Adams puts aside the rose-tinted glasses that comes with the passage of time to show the true hardships by using eyewitness documentation. He lets the soldiers and civilians speak for themselves, and it is a stark picture indeed.

Separated into sections such as camp life, battles, post-battle details, the challenges facing the injured, civilian life, and the mental damage from total war, Living Hell delves into the details of each main topic and does so without obscuring anything. This means that this book is most definitely not for the faint-of-heart or easily disturbed. Readers should be careful about eating before, during, or after reading any section because it is as gruesome as gruesome can get.

Every aspect of Living Hell is horrifying and yet so utterly fascinating. Adams’ use of soldiers’ own words is particularly effective, as they leave nothing to the imagination in their correspondence or diary entries. War is not sexy, and war is not kind. Anyone who thinks so needs to read Living Hell for an excellent look at the hellishness of modern warfare before, during, and long after the war’s end.
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jmchshannon | 1 muu arvostelu | Mar 13, 2014 |
An extremely insightful text. It truly does clear up a lot of questions about WWII. The book was very well written and easy to follow. Adams separated his chapters nicely and anyone who is interested in WWII will most likely find this book enjoyable. I really liked how he talked about what was happening on the home front AND overseas. It was also nice for an author to really dig into why people believed that WWII was the best war ever. I read this book for a U.S history class and I found it to be really helpful. It helped me understand the issues surrounding the war during and after. It gave me the truth, not the glamor.… (lisätietoja)
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BethMC90 | 1 muu arvostelu | Jun 16, 2010 |
This book is a "must read" for anyone interested in American History during the WWII era. The author objectively dismisses the notion that the "Golden Generation" is any different than other generations confronted by war. He does not aim to belittle their accomplishments, but to make sure that historians accurately portray events and do not suffer degrading comparisons unto the future generations. Topics of interest include: the family environment & dispelling the myth that kids behaved, parents didn't cheat, and all were happy little Beavers; drug use and sexual abuses during war were not absent until Vietnam, but simply a tragic side-effect of many wars, including WWII, and; analyzing the reasons why future generations grab onto these myths with both hands. Many WWII enthusiasts will wrongly assume that this book sets out to put down that generation, when all it does is propose that we should be looking at it as it really was. Highly recommend.… (lisätietoja)
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kepickens | 1 muu arvostelu | Oct 28, 2007 |


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