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The Essay

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The Essay

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  • Enough About the War, Dad
    7 December 2021 marks the eightieth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and with it America's entry into World War II. Americans' war experience was substantially different from that of Britons. Michael Goldfarb's father was among the World War II generation christened "The Greatest Generation" in popular culture. He uses the stories he heard growing up from the Americans who fought the war to explore those differences both during the conflict and in the years immediately following. Dr Howard Shevrin was a psychoanalyst whose own war story influenced his later career. He bored his family with his relentless telling of throwing his sidearm at a German machine gun nest, rather than firing it, when he finally faced the enemy, during the Battle of the Bulge. While in a field hospital, he came across a copy of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams - how consciousness arises from the interface with the physiology of the brain became his life’s work. These are memories imperfect and embellished but they create a picture of what America was like during the war years and how the war came to be woven into America's national myth. He acknowledges just how mighty the forces were that propelled the children of these veterans away from that myth when the call came to serve in Vietnam.
    12/3/2021
    13:42
  • The Worst Possible War
    7 December 2021 marks the eightieth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and with it America's entry into World War II. Americans' war experience was substantially different from that of Britons. Michael Goldfarb's father was among the World War II generation christened "The Greatest Generation" in popular culture. He uses the stories he heard growing up from the Americans who fought the war to explore those differences both during the conflict and in the years immediately following. Bernhard and Dora Holland spent the war in Auschwitz and survived. Benny didn't talk about what happened and went about his daily business while Dora planned to go back one day. On the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Michael was asked to cover the commemorative events and, on his return, persuaded Dora never to go back. These are memories imperfect and embellished but they create a picture of what America was like during the war years and how the war came to be woven into America's national myth. He acknowledges just how mighty the forces were that propelled the children of these veterans away from that myth when the call came to serve in Vietnam.
    12/2/2021
    13:46
  • Conscientious Objector
    7 December 2021 marks the eightieth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and with it America's entry into World War II. Americans' war experience was substantially different from that of Britons. Michael Goldfarb's father was among the World War II generation christened "The Greatest Generation" in popular culture. He uses the stories he heard growing up from the Americans who fought the war to explore those differences both during the conflict and in the years immediately following. Meredith Dallas was Michael's mentor, a professor of theatre and a fine actor, who spent 18 months in prison as a conscientious objector. These are memories imperfect and embellished but they create a picture of what America was like during the war years and how the war came to be woven into America's national myth. He acknowledges just how mighty the forces were that propelled the children of these veterans away from that myth when the call came to serve in Vietnam.
    12/1/2021
    13:50
  • Obligations
    7 December 2021 marks the eightieth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and with it America's entry into World War II. Americans' war experience was substantially different from that of Britons. Michael Goldfarb's father was among the World War II generation christened "The Greatest Generation" in popular culture. He uses the stories he heard growing up from the Americans who fought the war to explore those differences both during the conflict and in the years immediately following. Teddy Reinhart was Michael's best friend's dad. He hoped his time in the Army producing shows would lead to a career in Hollywood, but when the war was over, he was forced to take over the family furniture business. These are memories imperfect and embellished but they create a picture of what America was like during the war years and how the war came to be woven into America's national myth. He acknowledges just how mighty the forces were that propelled the children of these veterans away from that myth when the call came to serve in Vietnam.
    11/30/2021
    13:47
  • A Death in My Family
    7 December 2021 marks the eightieth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and with it America's entry into World War II. Americans' war experience was substantially different from that of Britons. Michael Goldfarb's father was among the World War II generation christened "The Greatest Generation" in popular culture. He uses the stories he heard growing up from the Americans who fought the war to explore those differences both during the conflict and in the years immediately following. Michael's own father had a very good war, getting a second chance to apply for medical school because the military was desperately short of doctors. When life resumed after the conflict, Michael's Aunt Belle, just had the memories of a mother, who became the designated mourner in their family, for her first-born son Frank, who was killed in action. These are memories imperfect and embellished but they create a picture of what America was like during the war years and how the war came to be woven into America's national myth. He acknowledges just how mighty the forces were that propelled the children of these veterans away from that myth when the call came to serve in Vietnam.
    11/29/2021
    13:48

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