The Good Occupation: American Troopers and the Hazards of Peace

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Waged for a simply trigger and culminating in complete victory, World Struggle II was America’s “good struggle.” But for thousands and thousands of GIs abroad, the struggle didn’t finish with Germany and Japan’s give up. The Good Occupation chronicles America’s transition from wartime combatant to postwar occupier, by exploring the intimate ideas and emotions of the strange servicemen and ladies who participated―usually reluctantly―within the tough venture of rebuilding nations they’d so not too long ago labored to destroy.

When the struggle ended, many of the seven million People in uniform longed to return to civilian life. But many remained on energetic responsibility, changing into the “after-army” tasked with bringing order and justice to societies ravaged by struggle. Susan Carruthers exhibits how American troopers struggled to cope with unprecedented disaster amongst thousands and thousands of displaced refugees and focus camp survivors whereas negotiating the inevitable tensions that arose between victors and the defeated enemy. Drawing on hundreds of unpublished letters, diaries, and memoirs, she reveals the tales service personnel informed themselves and their family members again house so as to make sense of their disorienting and difficult postwar mission.

The image Carruthers paints shouldn’t be the one most People acknowledge right now. A enterprise undertaken by troopers with little urge for food for the duty has crystallized, within the retelling, into the “good occupation” of nationwide mythology: emblematic of the USA’ position as a bearer of democracy, progress, and prosperity. In actual time, nevertheless, “successful the peace” proved a dangerous enterprise, fraught with temptation and hazard.

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