23.4 x 15.6 cm
32 b/w illus.
Imprint: Boydell Press
God and Uncle Sam
Religion and America's Armed Forces in World War II
America's armed forces played a critical part in the defeat of Hitler's Germany and made by far the biggest contribution to the Allied defeat of Japan. In the US, military veterans of World War II are widely revered as the foremost representatives of 'the greatest generation', a generation that vanquished fascism in Europe and the Far East, faced down the threat of communism during the Cold War, and achieved unprecedented levels of prosperity and social mobility in their own society. Elsewhere, America's service men and women are often remembered more ambivalently for their material abundance, their hedonism, and even their rapacity.
God and Uncle Sam shows that bothperspectives are problematic: America's armed forces were the products of one of the most diverse and dynamic religious cultures in the western world and were the largest ever to be raised by a professedly religious society. Despite constitutional constraints, a pre-war 'religious depression', and the myriad pitfalls of war, religion played a crucial role in helping more than sixteen million uniformed Americans through the ordeal of World War II, a fact that had profound and far-reaching implications for the religious development of post-war America. This timely and authoritative book draws on meticulous research in US archives and is informed by contemporary films, photographs, posters, and sound recordings.
"2015 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title" .
"It is beyond question that crisis will often act as a catalyst to promote a shift in the religious beliefs and practices of the average individual. In his impressive work, God and Uncle Sam, Michael Snape argues for the same phenomenon more broadly for American Society." ANGLICAN AND EPISCOPAL HISTORY
"Michael Snape has written an absolutely comprehensive, historically accurate, and well-researched account of the role of religion for the men and women of our Armes Forces during World War II. . . . This is a book worth having in your library." CONCORDIA HISTORICAL INSTITUTE QUARTERLY
"A superlative study...potentially opening up a new field in military studies while simultaneously adding a new chapter to the field of religious studies....[A] meticulously researched and well written book on a complex subject; all in all an exemplary work of narrative history." POLISH JOURNAL FOR AMERICAN STUDIES
"Snape has written a massive and thorough study on the role that religion played in the US armed services during WW II. . . . [T]his book challenges thinking not only about the US experience in WW II but also about the relationship between religion and civic life. Highly recommended." CHOICE
"This work belongs on the bookshelf of any historian who focuses on American religion in the twentieth century. For military historians, Snape has performed an invaluable service, especially for those who seek to gain a better understanding of the social history of the American combatant." AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW
"A treasure trove of information." THE CATHOLIC HISTORICAL REVIEW.
"A significant contribution to the study of a unique period in the religious life of a nation.. [It] also makes an important contribution to the understanding of what makes modern America." METHODIST RECORDER
"This is a landmark study that will be the standard for years to come and a foundational piece for subsequent specialized studies of religion and the Second World War." CERCLES
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2.34 x 1.56 cm
32 b/w illus.
Imprint: Boydell Press