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The myth of the Eastern Front : the Nazi-Soviet war in American popular culture / Ronald Smelser, Edward J. Davies II.

By: Smelser, Ronald M, 1942-.
Contributor(s): Davies, Edward J., II, 1947-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2008Description: xii, 327 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780521833653 (hardback); 0521833655 (hardback); 9780521712316 (pbk.); 0521712319 (pbk.).Subject(s): World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Eastern Front | World War, 1939-1945 -- Public opinion | Propaganda, German -- United States | Germany -- Foreign public opinion, American | Public opinion -- United States | MythDDC classification: 940.54/217 LOC classification: D764 | .S569 2008
Contents:
Americans experience the war in Russia, 1941-1945 -- The Cold War and the emergence of a lost cause mythology -- The German generals talk, write, and network -- Memoirs, novels, and popular histories -- Winning hearts and minds : the Germans interpret the war for the United States public -- The gurus -- Wargames, the internet, and the popular culture of the romancers -- Romancing the war : re-enactors and "What if" history -- Conclusion.
Review: "From the 1950s onward, Americans were quite receptive to a view of World War Two propagated by many Germans on how the war was fought on the Eastern Front in Russia. Through a network of former high-ranking Wehrmacht and current Bundeswehr officers who had served in Russia, Germans were able to convince Americans that the German army had fought a "clean" war in the East and that atrocities there were committed solely by Nazi organizations. This view fit well with the prevailing anti-Communism of the Cold War and continues to this day in a broad subculture of general readers, German military enthusiasts, wargame aficionados, military paraphernalia collectors, and reenactors who tend to romanticize the German military."--Jacket.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
D764 .S569 2008 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001940238
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D764 .L453 1962 Last letters from Stalingrad / D764 .M395 2006 Ivan's war : D764 .P5317 2006 Stalin's folly : D764 .S569 2008 The myth of the Eastern Front : D764 .S88 1990 Ice-breaker : D764 .W49 1947 The year of Stalingrad, D765.2.W3 B513 A memoir of the Warsaw uprising /

Includes bibliographical references (p. 303-317) and index.

Americans experience the war in Russia, 1941-1945 -- The Cold War and the emergence of a lost cause mythology -- The German generals talk, write, and network -- Memoirs, novels, and popular histories -- Winning hearts and minds : the Germans interpret the war for the United States public -- The gurus -- Wargames, the internet, and the popular culture of the romancers -- Romancing the war : re-enactors and "What if" history -- Conclusion.

"From the 1950s onward, Americans were quite receptive to a view of World War Two propagated by many Germans on how the war was fought on the Eastern Front in Russia. Through a network of former high-ranking Wehrmacht and current Bundeswehr officers who had served in Russia, Germans were able to convince Americans that the German army had fought a "clean" war in the East and that atrocities there were committed solely by Nazi organizations. This view fit well with the prevailing anti-Communism of the Cold War and continues to this day in a broad subculture of general readers, German military enthusiasts, wargame aficionados, military paraphernalia collectors, and reenactors who tend to romanticize the German military."--Jacket.

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CHOICE Review

The influence of the Cold War on interpretations of WW II is the subject of this unusual book by Smelser and Davies (both, Univ. of Utah). They demonstrate how German officers who served in WW II created a mythology about the war in the 1950s-60s. According to this myth, the Wehrmacht fought honorably for Germany, and it was not responsible for racial enslavement and the extermination of the Russian people. The German army operated independently of the genocidal practices of Nazi Germany in Russia--a "lost cause" romanticism created by German generals in their memoirs, where they pictured themselves as victims of Hitler. They describe a world in which they were virtuous and only Adolf Hitler was evil. They were only following their Christian principles. There are now even reenactors who refight the battles and actions of the German troops on the Eastern Front. There also are games, conventions, and gaming magazines. The Internet has provided a new venue. Television has provided another channel for the myth of the "good German soldier." Summing Up: Recommended. All libraries. K. Eubank emeritus, CUNY Queens College

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