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The WWII Myth

Why do we Americans continue to subscribe to the World War II myth, the myth that all of our country’s World War II veterans are or should be venerated? Who’s to blame? Hollywood?
Jeremy Warneke, Craft of War Writing Instructor

Articles like 7 Lessons in Manliness From the Greatest Generation don’t help. In it, authors Brett and Kate McKay claim that the generation of men born between 1914 and 1929 were “humble.” They “never bragged about what they had done or been through. They were loyal, patriotic, and level-headed.”

Maybe they weren’t braggarts because, as Iraq War veteran Phil Klay noted in The 'Soldier' With the Bazooka…, it was these same men who “regularly killed enemy prisoners of war, mutilated war dead, and perpetrated a shocking number of rapes in both the European and Pacific theaters” of World War II. Read more.