War on the Silver Screen

Shaping America's Perception of History

David Luhrssen, Glen Jeansonne

Americans have been almost constantly at war since 1917. In addition to two world wars, the United States has fought proxy wars, propaganda wars, and a "war on terror,” among others. But even with the constant presence of war in American life, much of what Americans remember about those conflicts still comes from Hollywood depictions.
Publication date:
November 2014
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Language:
English
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9781612346410
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£12.99
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Overview
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Americans have been almost constantly at war since 1917. In addition to two world wars, the United States has fought proxy wars, propaganda wars, and a "war on terror,” among others. But even with the constant presence of war in American life, much of what Americans remember about those conflicts still comes from Hollywood depictions.
In War on the Silver Screen, Glen Jeansonne and David Luhrssen vividly demonstrate how war movies have burned the images and impressions of those wars onto the American psyche more concretely than has the reality of the wars themselves. That is, our feelings about wars are generated less by what we learn through study and discourse than by powerful cinematic images and dialogue. Films are compressed, intense, and immediate, and often a collective experience rather than a solitary one. Actors and drama provide the visceral impact necessary to form perceptions of history that are much more enduring than those generated by other media or experiences.
Drawing on more than a century of war films and history, War on the Silver Screen examines the legacy of American war cinema on twentieth- and twenty-first-century attitudes about war.

REVIEWS

Where the book has true value, however, is in the range and variety of films it references. When it comes to war movies, the authors clearly know their stuff. And while this isn’t the most intellectually stimulating book, reading it is a bit like having one of those great evenings down the pub when one of your mates kicks off a conversation with the question: “So, what’s your favourite war film, then?”
History of War