War Babies: The Generation That Changed America

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Richard Pells’ latest survey of American cultural history is an engrossing investigation into the political and artistic impact of prominent Americans born during the Second World War (“War babies “). The lives and legacies of these luminaries, which include directors, actors, musicians, journalists, pundits and politicians (novelists, playwrights and painters are glaringly omitted here) form the bread and butter of this book. Pells, himself a war baby, has a clear invested interest in the subject, and while this often leaks through in not-so-subtle ways –e.g. “Scorsese like Coppola was ill; he had severe asthma (as did I) “ – this self involvement makes for an impassioned account which rarely, if ever, bores you. His stories of his heroes are comprehensive and judicious, and though it sometimes has the feel of over-indulgent pop gossip, Pells’ account constitutes an engaging intellectual journey. His main point is not just that the “War Babies” had an impact on American culture (all generations do), but that they helped to bring out the individualistic dimension of the American identity on an unprecedented level. This, Pells argues, is why we should pay more attention to them.

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Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 238 pages
Publisher Cultural History Press
Publish Date 2014-Aug-14
ISBN 9780990669807
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue November 2014
Category History


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