A More Fearless Youth is a multi-disciplinary cultural study of the teenagers and young adults who fought in the island battles of the Pacific War, 1941–45. A classic case of “youth in crisis,” these young men, mostly from the urban working class or the farm, were essentially learning-by-doing as they sailed into combat. Growing up in the Progressive Era, they were molded by their education and experience for a type of amphibious warfare never before attempted. The social and cultural movements that shaped them, the popular culture that nourished them, and the government and military policies that sent them on a do-or-die mission are embodied in this unique story of civilians drawn into a brutal war.
Drawing extensively on unpublished and self-published eyewitness accounts from veterans, as well as interviews with survivors and their families, the book reconstructs a portrait of the recruits’ lives, before, during, and after the war. Citing newspapers, popular magazines, film, novels and poems, family and special interest websites, government archives, and museum artifact and photographic collections, the author analyzes the ways family history and popular history are constructed, particularly in opposition to official history.
The book begins as a tribute to a family member who died in the war, and quickly grows into an investigation of the history of a generation. However, to understand how personal tragedies were submerged by the silence surrounding The Good War, Anderson chronicles his extended family’s losses in the war, uncovering how the living and deceased veterans are both forgotten and remembered.
A More Fearless Youth
Philip M. Anderson is Professor Emeritus of Education at Queens College and The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. He holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also studied Educational Psychology and English and American Literature. Anderson has published extensively on educational and cultural theory in the arts and humanities and has received numerous awards for his teaching and writing.