Holding up a mirror to History, WW2 historian illuminates the post-9/11 world

In attempting a comparative analysis of 9/11 and the war on terror with WW2, military historian John Dower does what he does best with his copious knowledge of Pearl Harbor and continuing through to the atomic bombings and postwar occupation of Japan. However, this sometimes (especially in mid-book) results in large parts that are more WW2 and not really comparative. While this tome doesn’t really add new knowledge about 9/11 and GWOT, Dower insightful’s contribution in considering these events using this historical frame should not be ignored, in particular, his damning critique of a groupthink “culture of willful forgetfulness” in US policymaking circles and their almost criminal (and doubtlessly ideological) impulse to “cherry-pick” irrelevant and unrelated historical events to justify and legitimise current policy.

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