[Marxism] Re: Pearl Harbor, etc - query

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Apr 12 07:55:15 MDT 2005

Tom wrote:
>I'm broadly on Lou's side of this debate, but I won't rehash it. I'm
>writing to ask a question which this thread brings to mind: a year or
>two ago we had a post here about a book highly critical about the
>American/allied side in WW2 as a whole. The author didn't go as far as
>I'd go -- I have a pretty total "defeatist" position -- but I thought it
>sounded really informative. Could anyone remind me of the details?


"Saving Private Power" is the most provocative history of the "Good War" 
ever published. It questions the ultra-patriotic assumptions we have been 
taught since birth.

The U.S. did not enter WWII to end the Holocaust, to make the world a safer 
place, or to stop fascism. The opposite is true. The U.S. business class 
traded with Hitler and Mussolini up to and even during the war. Henry Ford 
and Charles Lindbergh's public Hitlerphilia were symbolic of big business's 
admiration for Hitler's anticommunism.

Using techniques gleaned from modern advertising, the U.S. Office of War 
Information injected anti-Japanese bloodlust and hysteria into the 
population. When the U.S. killed 672,000 Japanese through indiscriminate 
bombing, even Secretary of War Henry Stimson wondered why "there has never 
been a protest over...such extraordinarily heavy loss of life. There is 
something wrong with a country where no one questions that."

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan and Tom Brokaw's The 
Greatest Generation are cashing in on the revived interest in World War II. 
But time's up for the trafficers of cheap nostalgia. The media elite have 
sold us the myth about the U.S.'s noble role in the "Good War" for too long 
and the facade is beginning to crack. The recent release of John Cornwell's 
Hitler's Pope is only the beginning. Saving Private Power digs deeper, to 
find the truth about the this war and the world it left in its wake.

 From the Author:

Kurt Vonnegut has come up with as exemplary a rationalization as I've ever 
heard for being a writer: "Many people desperately need to receive this 
message: 'I feel and think as much as you do, care about many things you 
care about, although most people don't care about them. You are not 
alone.'" I wrote Saving Private Power to tell the truth and to challenge a 
powerful myth in the hope this act could expose the fragility of all myths. 
However, I could never discount those small, yet uncommon moments made 
imaginable because Soft Skull Press took a chance on me. Indeed, I've 
learned, I am not alone.

The publication of Saving Private Power: The Hidden History of "The Good 
War" has made possible many remarkable moments for me. From seeing the book 
adopted for course work in a couple of US colleges to having my work 
compared to the likes of Chomsky, Zinn, and Galeano, this has been a 
singular experience. I've given several talks, reached many more people on 
the radio, and been invited to contribute an article to the new 
Disinformation book, You Are Being Lied To. Just a few years ago, I might 
have opened a book like that and moaned to my wife that I should have been 
included in it. I may have scanned through the Brecht Forum catalog and 
daydreamed of giving my own talk there or switched on WBAI and wished I had 
the chance to speak my mind or walked past Revolution Books and imagined it 
was my book in the window.

Mickey Z

Louis Proyect
Marxism list: www.marxmail.org 

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