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History Happy Hour

Episode 93: At Close Range: Life and Death in an Artillery Regiment, 1939-1945

Band of Brothers, Stephen E. Ambrose I’m obviously a bit biased, but much like our guest Peter Hart, Ambrose uses oral history to tell the micro story of a single small unit. Interesting to compare style and approach.  

The Good War, Studs Terkel IMHO the real corner stone of the use of oral history as a tool to tell the story of WW2. Again, good to read and see how author uses eyewitness testimony to construct a narrative.  

Monty’s Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe, John Buckley Not enough Americans are aware of the role played by the British Army in Europe, how it was organized and structured and of how successful it was. Buckley’s book is a one volume solution to solve this problem. Read this first and you’ll understand Hart’s history much better.  

Voices from the Third Reich: An Oral History, Johannes Steinhoff Again, a good use of oral history to construct a narrative. Also gives reader an “oral history perspective” from the other side.  

Somme, Lynn MacDonald. MacDonald wrote a series of books-Somme being amongst the most well-known-that interviewed WWI veterans when they were still around and lucid. Her books had a tremendous impact on me as I was getting into history and really compelled me to look at the individual participants in historical events. This is something we take for granted now, but was groundbreaking when MacDonald began her work.  

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