Born into a World at War

Personal narratives trace the impact of the war on children and families
revised edition


This groundbreaking international collection of personal narratives by thirty writers born during World War II traces the tremendous impact of the war on children and families around the globe. Despite only fragmentary early childhood memories of the great historical event that most pervasively shaped our present world, the contributors are able to describe in vivid, touching, and insightful detail how the war affected their parents and molded their own characters. The essayists, several of whom are prominent figures, come from many walks of life, but the stories testify to a shared generational experience. The humanity of this presentation of war through the eyes of very small children transcends the more familiar forms of war history centered on campaigns, battles, dates, and the old enemy lines between Allies and Axis.

Lavishly illustrated with previously unpublished family photographs from the war era, the book concludes with an essay by the noted social theorist Nancy J. Chodorow. Born into a World at War documents in the most personal ways how World War II placed an indelible mark on the children and parents who survived it. and how that war continues to affect both public and private lives more than fifty years later. It is a must for those interested in World War II, the impact of history on individual lives, and the interface between social history and personality development.

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