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The Censored War: American Visual Experience During World War Two epub ebook

by George Roeder Jr.

The Censored War: American Visual Experience During World War Two epub ebook

Author: George Roeder Jr.
Category: Humanities
Language: English
Publisher: Yale University Press; Revised edition (February 22, 1995)
Pages: 199 pages
ISBN: 0300062915
ISBN13: 978-0300062915
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 868
Other formats: mbr mobi rtf lrf


Early in World War II censors placed all photographs of dead and badly wounded Americans in a secret Pentagon .

Early in World War II censors placed all photographs of dead and badly wounded Americans in a secret Pentagon file known to officials as the Chamber of Horrors. 59). Roeder asserts, The war was the most intense collective visual experience in the nation’s history (pg. 62). Roeder argues, Whatever the wisdom of the competing policies of restriction and openness, the war as presented gave many Americans an enlivened sense of purpose.

Early in World War II censors placed all photographs of dead and badly wounded Americans in a secret . Later, as government leaders became concerned about public complacency brought on by Allied victories, they released some of these photographs of war's brutality. In this book George H. Roeder, J. tells the intriguing story of how American opinions about World War II were manipulated both by the wartime images that citizens were allowed to see and by the images that were suppressed.

The Censored War book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking The Censored War: American Visual Experience During World War Two as Want to Read: Want to Read saving. Start by marking The Censored War: American Visual Experience During World War Two as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

George H. is professor of liberal arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The book by Roeder, who is a liberal arts professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, makes it more apparent than ever why some have called this "The Good Wa.

Roeder, George, Jr. The Censored War: American Visual Experience During World War Two. New Haven, Conn. Yale University Press, 1993. The book by Roeder, who is a liberal arts professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, makes it more apparent than ever why some have called this "The Good Wa. The government was determined to get total support for the war, with no letdown as the allies increasingly gained the upper hand.

American public opinion about World War II was manipulated both by wartime images that citizens were allowed to. .But in fact, as George Roeder shows in "The Censored War," government (although not necessarily military) control of the visual imagery of war is nothing new.

American public opinion about World War II was manipulated both by wartime images that citizens were allowed to see and by the images that were suppressed. This book tells of how this occurred, and offers visual essays with photographs from the army's censored files.

Roeder, George H. (1995). This article about a documentary film on World War II is a stub. Yale University Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-300-06291-5.

The Censored War. American Visual Experience During World War Tw. George Roeder shows how America's visual understanding of modern.

This book will be an important addition to the literature of this war and to the emerging literature on the intersection of politics and photography. -Clayton Koppes, Oberlin College. George Roeder shows how America's visual understanding of modern war has been shaped and sculpted by an elaborate and politicized process-about which the verbal record is as fascinating as the pictures themselves. More than that, he shows how much our understanding of war is essentially visual, and curiously warped for being so.

Early in World War II censors placed all photographs of dead and badly wounded Americans in a secret Pentagon file known to officials as the Chamber of Horrors. Later, as government leaders became concerned about public complacency brought on by Allied victories, they released some of these photographs of war's brutality. But to the war's end and after, they continued to censor photographs of mutilated or emotionally distressed American soldiers, of racial conflicts at American bases, and other visual evidence of disunity or disorder. In this book George H. Roeder, Jr., tells the intriguing story of how American opinions about World War II were manipulated both by the wartime images that citizens were allowed to see and by the images that were suppressed. His text is amplified by arresting visual essays that include many previously unpublished photographs from the army's censored files.Examining news photographs, movies, newsreels, posters, and advertisements, Roeder explores the different ways that civilian and military leaders used visual imagery to control the nation's perception of the war and to understate the war's complexities. He reveals how image makers tried to give minorities a sense of equal participation in the war while not alarming others who clung to the traditions of separate races, classes, and gender roles. He argues that the most pervasive feature of wartime visual imagery was its polarized depiction of the world as good or bad, and he discusses individuals―Margaret Bourke-White, Bill Mauldin, Elmer Davis, and others―who fought against these limitations. He shows that the polarized ways of viewing encouraged by World War II influenced American responses to political issues for decades to follow, particularly in the simplistic way that the Vietnam War was depicted by both official and antiwar forces.
Reviews (7)
Ricep
A deep look into the changing modes of censorship of dead American service members during World War Two. Roeder treats his subject gently yet forcefully, demonstrating media's compliance with government requests to not publish pictures of deceased troops. He weaves a fascinating narrative detailing the arguments in the administration about when, if ever, to allow such images to be viewed by the public and he movingly describes the debate around finally releasing pictures for publication. All in all, a pretty fascinating look at the intersection of media and government during a moment of national crisis/unity. Roeder does republish many of the photos but not in a gratuitous manner.

If you have a close friend or family member deployed, you may not want to read this.

Vozuru
great book

Molace
Well written scholarly piece. Helped me immensely in building the foundation of my own research paper.

playboy
Because of the positive reviews I purchased this book and found it to be interesting and well written. It was easy to understand and exposed issues that I doubt even people who lived through the war years were aware of.

This book will stay on my shelf to be re-read.

Corgustari
In “The Censored War: American Visual Experience During World War Two”, George H. Roeder, Jr. argues, “A clear understanding of how Americans experienced World War II requires attention to choices and circumstances that introduced complexity into wartime imagery, as well as to those that put limits on this complexity” (pg. 3). Further, “What Americans saw between 1941 and 1945 helped determine what type of society they shaped during and after the war” (pg. 5). Roeder examines the nature of censorship and the narrow balance government officials, the military, and the press enacted to both maintain the appearance of honesty and control the power of the narrative at any given moment in the war.
Roeder writes, “Officials put few restrictions on what pictures photographers too, assuming correctly that censors would keep objectionable material out of sight. Because they were far more likely to get in trouble for letting through a photograph they should have blocked than for restricting one they might have released, in doubtful cases censors were more likely to stop an image than let it pass” (pg. 9). He continues, “Proponents of candor offered grim photographs as an antidote to the problems of success. If in 1942 officials feared that American military setbacks would demoralize the public, in 1943 they feared that victories would lead to overconfidence” (pg. 10). Roeder argues, “Americans eventually saw more not because the government loosened control, but because it used its power to encourage a different emphasis in the visual presentation of the war. Officials made these changes in response to evolving wartime needs and circumstances, including diminished public tolerance for sanitized images of war” (pg. 25).
Roeder writes, “Visual imagery played a key role in efforts to encourage widespread participation in the war effort while minimizing concern over disruptions to the social order. Imagery often served as a substitute for, or one barrier to, more substantive changes in the distribution of opportunity within the United States. Few images sharply criticized existing discriminatory practices” (pg. 44). He continues, “Keeping disturbing sights out of view was one way to avoid arousing fears about war’s personal and social consequences. Another way was to create reassuring visual comparisons of military and home front activities” (pg. 59). Roeder asserts, “The war was the most intense collective visual experience in the nation’s history” (pg. 62).
Roeder argues, “Whatever the wisdom of the competing policies of restriction and openness, the war as presented gave many Americans an enlivened sense of purpose. Despite significant contributions to dialogue made by individual effort, free speech traditions, and the diversity of the American population, wartime imagery reinforced those aspects of the culture that encouraged thinking of international relations in simple terms of right and wrong. Because of its consequences, this encouragement of polarized ways of seeing must be calculated as one of the costs of the war” (pg. 104). Roeder further writes, “At the war’s end Eisenhower insisted that German civilians, international journalists, and bipartisan congressional delegations visit the camps to confront the results of programs designed to remove entire groupings of humanity from the face of the earth. Here was one instance where visual evidence was indispensable; only by seeing could the true but unbelievable become credible” (pg. 127). Roeder concludes, “An understanding of the war grounded in study of the experiences it engendered cannot fail to recognize its complexity. I have argued in this book that wartime visual imagery understated this complexity” (pg. 155).

Ariseym
As we prepare for the possibility of another war with Iraq, I keep reading about how the military manipulated news coverage of the Gulf War (mostly by limiting access to it). Gulf War restrictions on the press are almost always portrayed as the military's (over)reaction to one of the "lessons" it learned from Vietnam ("The Uncensored War," as the title of a book by Daniel Hallin puts it). But in fact, as George Roeder shows in "The Censored War," government (although not necessarily military) control of the visual imagery of war is nothing new. Although "The Censored War" is a bit of a misnomer (the book is more about the actual portrayal of WWII and government attempts to influence its imagery than it is about government denial of access to certain images), Roeder succeeds in demonstrating a thorough-going effort by the government during WWII to control how the war was presented and to emphasize imagery that suited its propaganda purposes.
"The Censored War" is divided into four chapters, each followed by a "visual essay" (a collection of photos, ads and other visual material, with captions discussing how the images relate to the themes explored in the text). Only the first chapter is really devoted to subjects and images that were "censored" in the sense that the military withheld them from publication (although that subject arises again in some of the other chapters). The remainder of the book is (largely) devoted to the imagery that *was* made available and what it communicated about American society, the home front, and the motivations behind the war effort. The material I found most interesting concerned the portrayal of race, gender and class differences (or the alleged lack of same) during WWII (with the government trying to say "we're all in this together" to African-Americans, women and the working class without offending the country's racists, men and business/patrician class).
In the concluding chapters, Roeder draws attention to the way that WWII polarized our vision, portraying American and Allied troops, civilians, cultures and goals as uniformly good and the Axis' forces as uniformly evil. I think he over-emphasizes the formative role of WWII propaganda in our tendency to see conflict in black-and-white terms -- surely the vilification of the Other goes far back in human history -- but he rightly credits those photographers who attempted to portray the war in more ambiguous terms. He draws interesting parallels between the way propaganda was used in WWII and how it was turned on its head in Vietnam (although I think he goes too far in suggesting that a more honest portrayal of WWII would have made people question our involvement in Vietnam earlier). Roeder believes that image-makers have an important role to play in revealing the truth, and that only when we know (as much as we can) the full, ambiguous truth can we make good decisions. "Those making, answering, or resisting the call to war would do well to be sure they are as certain of their facts as will be the mourners who greet the returning coffins." (156) We can only hope that the current powers will heed this caution.
Roeder's text is well-written and to the point. The selection of images for the "visual essays" is thoughtful, striking and illustrates the themes discussed in the text. The limitation to visual images is a strength in that it allows Roeder to keep a tight focus, but it is a weakness to the extent that it prevents Roeder from giving a full picture of official control over the presentation of the war. Still, this is a very useful and revealing book, recommended to anyone interested in the experience of WWII or in government propaganda efforts.

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