American Writers and the Approach of World War II, 1935–1941 by Takayoshi Ichiro

By Takayoshi Ichiro

Ichiro Takayoshi's booklet argues that international struggle II reworked American literary tradition. From the mid-1930s to the yankee access into international warfare II in 1941, pre-eminent figures from Ernest Hemingway to Reinhold Neibuhr answered to the flip of the public's curiosity from the industrial melancholy at domestic to the risk of totalitarian structures overseas through generating novels, brief tales, performs, poems, and cultural feedback within which they prophesied the arriving of a moment global conflict and explored how the United States may organize for it. the diversity of competing solutions provided a wealthy legacy of idioms, symbols, and traditional arguments that have been destined to license America's promoting of its values and pursuits around the globe for the remainder of the 20th century. formidable in scope and addressing a massive diversity of writers, thinkers, and artists, this ebook is the 1st to set up the outlines of yank tradition in this pivotal interval.

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21 Sherwood’s and Howard’s plays surely moralized. But a stark, zoroastrian vision of the next war that enlisted all Americans on the side of light and order against darkness and chaos had not yet crystallized in these two prescient dramas. The moral distinction drawn there was not, as it would in a few years, between democracy and dictatorship, the two abstractions facing off in another war to end all wars. Rather, the moral was that war always muddied such a bright-line distinction between infernal villains and righteous innocents.

Looking back on the “arsenal of democracy” speech, which introduced the Lend-Lease bill on the floor of Congress, Samuel Rosenman later wrote that “no one could equal the President in making geography clear, and in this speech he showed how the Nazis could step from base to base right up to our borders. ”38 Another bravura performance was his May 16, 1940, message to Congress. 18 million for national defense. Just so that all the members of the Senate and the House present at this special joint session would know what calamitous consequences would follow a failure to act on his request, Roosevelt conjured up a vivid motion picture of a hypothetical German invasion of the Western Hemisphere step by step: “The islands off the west coast of Africa are only 1,500 miles from Brazil.

How about the survival of democracy in China? Or democracy in Europe, in Africa, or in Latin America? If democracy were to be defended under the aspect of eternity, these geographical qualifications must not influence how to answer these questions. But national debates during the prewar years gave color to the cliché that normative questions of this sort, when posed in relation to an actual region and to America’s capabilities that were constrained by geographical and technological limitations, could be answered only by taking into account location, distance, and other accidentals, such as race and culture, that went with them.

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