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The fighting Sullivans : how Hollywood and the military make heroes / Bruce Kuklick.

By: Kuklick, Bruce, 1941- [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Lawrence, KS : University Press of Kansas, [2016] 2015)Description: 1 online resource.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780700623556; 0700623558.Subject(s): Shipwrecks -- South Pacific Ocean | Brothers -- United States -- Biography | Sailors -- United States -- BiographyAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Fighting Sullivans.DDC classification: 940.54/265933092277737 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook. Summary: "The five Sullivan brothers, at their insistence, were assigned to the same ship in World War II. Predictably when the ship was blown up they all were killed. The Navy buried their mistake in allowing all five to serve on the same ship by turning the five brothers into heroes, complete with a ship named after them, a Hollywood movie, and news coverage that turned five shiftless losers into great American heroes. Kuklick tells the story of who they were, what happened to them, and how they were transformed into heroes by the war publicity machine and Hollywood. He focuses a lot on the film The Fighting Sullivans telling how it got made, how it related to the use of Hollywood in the effort to promote the war, and how the film and the brothers' story was received. He also tells about the continuing half-life of their fame as their dying hometown, Waterloo, Iowa, tried to capitalize on their fame, much to the chagrin of some of some townspeople who remember the real Sullivan brothers. This is a book about the manufacture of heroes in war-time America."--Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
D774.J86 K65 2016 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt1ht4wwp Available ocn964612799

Includes bibliographical references and index.

"The five Sullivan brothers, at their insistence, were assigned to the same ship in World War II. Predictably when the ship was blown up they all were killed. The Navy buried their mistake in allowing all five to serve on the same ship by turning the five brothers into heroes, complete with a ship named after them, a Hollywood movie, and news coverage that turned five shiftless losers into great American heroes. Kuklick tells the story of who they were, what happened to them, and how they were transformed into heroes by the war publicity machine and Hollywood. He focuses a lot on the film The Fighting Sullivans telling how it got made, how it related to the use of Hollywood in the effort to promote the war, and how the film and the brothers' story was received. He also tells about the continuing half-life of their fame as their dying hometown, Waterloo, Iowa, tried to capitalize on their fame, much to the chagrin of some of some townspeople who remember the real Sullivan brothers. This is a book about the manufacture of heroes in war-time America."--Provided by publisher.

Print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Kuklick (emer., American history, Univ. of Pennsylvania) has written an unusual and interesting book about mythmaking. The five Sullivan brothers were from Waterloo, Iowa, and all of them perished when their ship was torpedoed in 1942. The event made them "heroes," but, as Kuklick reveals, the Sullivans were hardly heroic in life. Their father drank and was prone to violence; their mother suffered from debilitating depression and left the running of the household to her mother. The boys were troublemakers, and their singular accomplishment was to enlist simultaneously in the navy and insist on being assigned to the same ship. That made them newsworthy, and death made them and their grieving parents heroic. The navy and the government played up their heroism, and Hollywood made a film, released in 1944. It portrayed a cohesive, church-going American family: gone were the drinking, the depression, and the grandmother, and the boys' troublemaking was reduced to Andy Hardy-ish pranks. Poor box office led to a misleading title change from The Sullivans to The Fighting Sullivans. In Waterloo, people remembered the real Sullivans too well to buy into their heroism, and the latter part of this fascinating book details the struggle in their hometown over their memory, as portrayed by Hollywood. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. --William A. Vincent, Michigan State University

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