Number 59 (2015)
02 Keeping Time with the Good War
This essay suggests several ways to think about changing modes of commemoration of World War II in light of the arbitrary nature of calendars, the reasons we give to justify war, the role of bodies, and, the way we frame memory and history. It proposes an exceptionalist reading of the war and links its singular attributes to the unusual trajectory of its memorialization and commemoration. Finally, it turns to Mircea Eliade’s theory of “eternal return” as a conceptual framework to reconsider the relationship between the uses of history and memory in modern commemorative practices.
03 “Out of Germany”: Flossenbürg Concentration Camp, Jakub’s World (2005), and the Commemoration of the Holocaust in the United States
04 Transnational Debts: The Cultural Memory of Navajo Code Talkers in World War II
05 Commemoration, Race, and World War II: History and Civil Rights at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
06 Commemorating the Port Chicago Naval Magazine Disaster of 1944: Remembering the Racial Injustices of the ‘Good War’ in Contemporary America
07 The Good War and Japanese America
For many Americans, World War II has become entrenched, solidly and nostalgically, in the national narrative as “The Good War” fought by “The Greatest Generation.” Increasingly, and disturbingly, this formulation appears to have won acceptance even by an American minority group grievously oppressed by its own government—Japanese Americans who were forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated in American concentration camps. This essay explores the trajectory of this journey from the historical moment in World War II to current struggles of memory and history within and beyond the Japanese American community.