Seeing the War: The Stories behind the Famous Photographs of World War II

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Seeing the War: The Stories behind the Famous Photographs of World War II

The faces in photographs of World War II—both the famous pictures from Life magazine and the seldom-seen snapshots of individual soldiers, sailors, and correspondents—have a unique capacity to induce awe, respect, and wonder. Who were these men and women? Did they survive the war? And, if so, what were their lives like?

Author and Vietnam-era veteran David P. Colley has been researching the subjects of World War II photographs for more than twenty years. As he explains, “I find the pursuit of the soldiers in World War II photographs illuminating. We never stop and ask about the toll of war or what happened to the men afterward. Many were killed or wounded or suffered deep psychological scars. The year 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of that war. It will undoubtedly be one of the last times this nation honors its living World War II veterans. Soon they will be no more and the war mostly forgotten. It already is ancient history to the majority of Americans. But the images of those veterans, depicted in photographs, bring alive those momentous years and enshrine the soldiers in our history and our imaginations.” In Seeing the War, Colley revisits more than a hundred of the most revealing photographs of World War II.

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General World War II History Seeing the War: The Stories behind the Famous Photographs of World War II The faces in photographs of World War II—both the famous pictures from Life magazine and the seldom-seen snapshots of individual soldiers, sailors, and correspondents—have a unique capacity to induce awe, respect, and wonder. Who were these men and women? Did they survive the war? And, if so, what were their lives like?

Author and Vietnam-era veteran David P. Colley has been researching the subjects of World War II photographs for more than twenty years. As he explains, “I find the pursuit of the soldiers in World War II photographs illuminating. We never stop and ask about the toll of war or what happened to the men afterward. Many were killed or wounded or suffered deep psychological scars. The year 2015 marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of that war. It will undoubtedly be one of the last times this nation honors its living World War II veterans. Soon they will be no more and the war mostly forgotten. It already is ancient history to the majority of Americans. But the images of those veterans, depicted in photographs, bring alive those momentous years and enshrine the soldiers in our history and our imaginations.” In Seeing the War, Colley revisits more than a hundred of the most revealing photographs of World War II.
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