This book comprises a selection of articles from the (British) Army Bureau of Current Affairs' WAR and CURRENT AFFAIRS pamphlets, all relating to America and, more particularly, to the relationship between the British and Americans during the Second World War. Much of the fascination of the pieces lies in the fact that they were originally published between 1941 and 1944 when there was still a great deal of uncertainty as to what the future would hold. Most deal with the issue of social and cultural variations between the two countries and it is evident that both the American and British authorities had concerns over potential frictions caused by those differences. Although the articles have been grouped under the subtitle of "British Views on America", there are also contributions from Americans who had been given the remit to explain to a British readership why their countrymen are the way they are and how their behaviour is often misunderstood and misinterpreted abroad.
Apart from the material dealing with Anglo-American relations, there is an eyewitness account of "The Epic of Bataan", an article on presidential elections (with special reference to that of 1944), and another on U.S. foreign policy. The sensitive issue of race discrimination, i.e. the position of black Americans at home and in the army, is also tentatively addressed in "The Colour Problem".
On the authors, several articles are by Captains Ernest Watkins and Anthony Cotterell who were regular contributors to ABCA. Cotterell was taken prisoner by the Germans at Arnhem in 1944 and is reported to have died in an attempted escape. Among the other contributors are the English novelist, Phyllis Bentley, the American anthropologist, Margaret Mead, and the journalist and historian, Herbert Agar.
The informative and very accessible contributions in this collection were written with the express purpose of improving the estimation of Americans among the ordinary rank and file of the British services. W. J. Hinton in "Meet the Americans" puts it in this way:
"Our enemies are trying to make trouble between the British and the Americans during the war; they are certain to try it after they have been defeated, in the hope of escaping once more from the consequences of their crimes against humanity. It is our business to understand and work with the United States now and in peace-time; that means for us all at least to like and understand the Americans we meet."
"Yanks" has been issued as a companion volume to the previously published "Japs" (978-1-910375-44-0) and "Nazis" (978-1910375-45-7).
- The Army of the U.S.A. - Major E. M. Llewellyn
- Life of a Recruit - Captain Anthony Cotterell
- The Epic of Bataan - Lieut-Colonel Warren J. Clear
- A Day with an American Unit - Captain Anthony Cotterell
- Full power to levy war - Captain Ernest Watkins
- Meet the Americans - W. J Hinton
- Here Are the Americans - Phyllis Bentley and H. G. Nicholas
- The Colour Problem as the American Sees It - Anonymous
- Transatlantic Soundings - Herbert Agar
- You and the Americans - Frank Darvall
- The Yank in Britain - Margaret Mead
- Electing the President - D. W. Brogan
- U.S. Foreign Policy - (Walter Lippman)