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Jan 11, 2022

World War II is nostalgically remembered throughout American culture as the “good war”––a conflict where Americans idealistically banded together to free the world from tyranny. Of course there is more to this story, but is this simplified popular understanding dangerous?


In this week’s episode of None Of The Above, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah talks with West Point English professor Elizabeth Samet about the importance of literature for preparing America’s future officer corps for life in and out of uniform, and about Americans’ collective memory of the Second World War. Elizabeth shows how our romanticized reading of history has led US policymakers to overstate the effectiveness and righteousness of military force.  


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Elizabeth Samet is the author of Looking For the Good War: American Amnesia and the Violent Pursuit of Happiness and a Professor of English at West Point. The views Elizabeth expresses here do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the US Government.