Unpatriotic History of the Second World War Paperback – 28 Sep 2012
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About the Author
James Heartfield has worked as a journalist, for a television company, as a lecturer and editor. He wrote 'The 'Death of the Subject' Explained' (2006) and 'The Aborigines' Protection Society' (2011). James lives in North London with his wife and two daughters.
Top customer reviews
For some reason, however, WWII has seemingly evaded such scrutiny... until now.
This book lays bare the almost incomprehensible cost of the war, not only in lives, but in industrial production. It reveals that, as bloody usual, the working class paid the price, either at the front or in the mines, factories and on the land whilst the rich enjoyed sumptuous meals off the ration in exclusive restaurants. Profiteering by corporations was rife in all the warring countries.
The book also challenges the widely held assumption that the allies fought fascism for altruistic reasons. A few countervailing facts are that Churchill sympathised with Mussolini, the colonies were subjected to appalling suffering to feed the European war effort and the Japanese probably fought with such fanaticism because the United States had made no provision for accommodating prisoners and simply executed them by the thousand. And they knew that.
James Hartfield asks if Hitler's policy of lebensraum was so very different to the United States, which had exterminated the native population of the Americas? Was it so different to the British, who conquered vast tracts of the world and ruled with great brutality, starving millions to death in Bengal when it suited Churchill's purposes? Were the motives of the protagonists so very different? The answer is probably not. This is evidenced by the fact that, at the end of the war, all popular working-class movements were crushed by the victorious powers if they posed any threat to the resumption of empire.
This book has certainly changed my view.
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