The Good War

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"The Good War": An Oral History of World War II
First edition
Author Studs Terkel
Country United States
Language English
Genre Military History
Publisher Pantheon Books
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 589
ISBN 0-394-53103-5
OCLC 10753607
940.54/1273/0922 B 19
LC Class D811.A2 G58 1984

"The Good War": An Oral History of World War II (1984) is a telling of the oral history of World War II written by Studs Terkel. The work won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. It is a firsthand account of people involved before, during and after the war.

The book mainly consists of interviews with people who lived the events that went from the beginning of America's involvement in World War II, Pearl Harbor, to the end.


Book One[edit]

  • Sunday Morning.
  • A Chance Encounter
  • Tales of the Pacific
  • The Good Reuben James
  • Rosie
  • Neighborhood Boys
  • Reflections on Machismo -

Book Two[edit]

  • High Rank
  • The Bombers and The Bombed
  • Growing Up: Here and There
  • D-Day and All That
  • Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

Book Three[edit]

  • Sudden Money
  • The Big Panjandrum
  • Flying High
  • Up Front with Pen, Camera, and Mike

Book Four[edit]

  • Crime and Punishment
  • A Turning Point
  • Chilly Winds - Section with Telford Taylor among others.
  • Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby? - This section has an excerpt from a conversation with a family of survivors from the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • Remembrance of Things Past

Epilogue: Boom Babies and Other New People[edit]

Literary significance and reception[edit]

Max Brooks said that The Good War inspired him to write his novel World War Z. Brooks stated: "It's an oral history of World War II I read when I was a teenager and it's sat with me ever since. When I sat down to write World War Z, I wanted it to be in the vein of an oral history."[1]


  1. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Max Brooks on World War Z". Eat My Brains!. October 20, 2006. Retrieved April 26, 2008. 

External links[edit]