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The People as Enemy: The Leaders' Hidden Agenda in World War II (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 17. Juli 2003

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More than forty-six million soldiers and civilians perished in World War II, not counting the more than five million Jews killed in the Holocaust. Whole cities were bombed for the express purpose of killing civilians by the hundreds of thousands. And yet this war is known as "the good war" on the grounds that the aim of the Allied nations of Great Britain, the United States, France, the Soviet Union and China, and the outcome of the war, was to save the world from being enslaved by the Axis (Fascist) nations of Germany, Italy and Japan, who intended to establish a "master race" tyranny worse than anything he world had ever seen. That is the official view of the war - the one we have all been taught - but presented here in THE PEOPLE AS ENEMY is a very different, very disturbing view. Spritzler argues that the aims of the national leaders were not democracy and self-determination, but were, as wars generally are, opportunities to suppress class rebellion - to intimidate working people everywhere from rising up against elite power.

This analysis also offers insight into our current political climate as Spritzler furthers his argument by claiming that the myths of World War II are the same myths now being used in the "war against terrorism" to control people and pursue ends that have nothing to do with protecting people from terrorism, making this a bold, shockingly relevant work of history.


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21 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Exploding the Myth of "The Good War" 21. Juli 2003
Von David G. Stratman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
John Spritzler's The People As Enemy: The Leaders' Hidden Agenda in World War II is a powerful, necessary, and inspiring book. Read it and you will never see World War II in the same way. More to the point, you will never see contemporary capitalist society in the same way. Spritzler explodes the myth of "the good war" by taking apart, piece by careful piece, much of the structure of lies and myths designed to buttress capitalist rule and exposes the system in its ugliness and ultimate weakness.
Spritzler shows too that there is a powerful counter-force to capitalism at work in society: working men and women fighting everywhere for a better world, a force so threatening that the most powerful elites on earth waged a world war to extinguish it. This counter-force was not defeated on the field of battle in World War II so much as misled and betrayed by Communist leaders in a little-known history from which we have not yet recovered. The People as Enemy is a giant step toward understanding and breaking free of that history.
There are three key myths about WWII which this book lays bare: that the war was caused by conflicts between nations; that the top priority of the Allied leaders in the war was to defeat the Fascists; and that Allied bombing of civilians was part of the effort to defeat the Fascists.
World War II was a desperate means of social control undertaken by the elites of the warring nations as the only alternative to working class revolution. In four of the countries which Spritzler examines-Germany, Japan, Great Britain, and the U.S.-government leaders were driven to war not chiefly by fear of other countries but by fear of their own people. The ruling elites of these countries went to war because they saw no other way to stay in power.
The book has profound implications beyond World War II. Echoes of the past in the present and specifically a consciousness of the Iraq war are never distant in this book. It suggests that the real force driving the history of the twentieth century was working class struggle for a new world and ruling class efforts to contain it. The rhythm of the century was revolution and counterrevolution-a rhythm in which we are still caught. Seldom has a work of history been more acutely relevant to understanding our present and our possible futures.
15 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Elites Caused WWII 30. Juni 2003
Von Thomas J. Laney - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
It's not easy to believe a few people are so greedy and powerful that American soldiers can be sent to war without any real debate by either party, to make powerful and wealthy people even more powerful and wealthy. Can anyone really be that corrupt?
A few weeks ago, a 22-year old Marine Sgt. named Kirk Strasesskie jumped into a canal south of Baghdad when a helicopter hit the water. Kirk drowned trying to save his Marine friends. His friends back home in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin said he could barely swim. In high school, Strasesskie had played sports and spent much of his free time with kids who struggled with their learning disabilities. His dad, an Army veteran, questioned whether the Iraq War was just and why his son should have been there at all?
Kirk Strasesskie's always going to be a hero for me, just like my Army uncle who fought in WWII in New Guinea and those Marines at Iwo Jima and those paratroopers at Bastogne and Chosin. Heroes all, just like my auto worker friends who battle each day and night against their Vietnam experience. Their lives are such a contrast with those boundlessly powerful, elite, selfish few who so easily send them into our constant wars.
I lump them all together today, those heroic figures whose lives were risked or ended fighting for their friends in wars that all were so unnecessary except for WWII - the "good war" of course.
But, as it turns out, while WWII saw heroic soldiers dying on South Pacific beaches and in the frozen foxholes at the Bulge, the most powerful people in our country did business with the Nazis and Fascists making enormous profits on the deaths of 50 million people and laying the groundwork for post war elite control. It was not such a "good war" after all.
After reading John Spritzler's "The People as Enemy" I am as angry about the unjustness of WWII as I ever was about Vietnam or as I am about Iraq. Every library in every VFW and American Legion Hall should stock this book and make it required reading for members. Anyone interested or active in the Peace Movement should read this book to understand who really causes and profits from war.
Every American of conscience should read this book then stand up and demand that never again should our government be allowed to send our brothers and sisters and sons and daughters off to wars that are meant to defeat the values of democracy and solidarity and make the rich richer.
16 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Stuff I never knew about... 28. Mai 2003
Von Amy Sobol - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Browsing the bookstore, first, I just liked the cover and the title, "The People as Enemy"-- caught my attention!!
Then, expecting to be bored with WWII history, etc. etc. what I found out (couldn't put the book down!)..was all this hidden agenda stuff that went on, which we never knew about, were never directly told, but.. clearly from this author's extensive research and investigation... was beyond a shred of doubt,going on.
The book is easy to read, even for someone who is not a history buff per se-- but who has an active and inquiring mind.
Thank you, John Spritzler, for hugely shedding light on this misconception of the "good war," and for letting us know the real motives behind it. It's almost hard to believe, but with all your direct references and direct quotes, it's impossible to not believe. Ya mean, it wasn't so "good" after all!? Who woulda thunk it.....
And thank you for making such obvious, in the end, brilliant comparisons to the "good war" (Bush's) we just fought.
I urge everyone who can, to read this book!
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Surprizing Stuff 6. Januar 2005
Von Daniel J. Mcgrath - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
The book is going to be very offensive reading material. However it is very carefully researched and recasts the narrative of WW2 in an original way. The unseen hand of Krupp, IG Farben, Ford, GM IBM etc and their mysterious relationships during the war have remained unfathomable until now. The book puts the strands into a coherant package. Why do ordinary farm boys and factory workers die in modern wars instead of powerful business and political leaders?
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Rethink what you learned about WWII 23. Juli 2007
Von R. Heck - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
World War II is often cited as a prime example of how empire can be benevolent and even necessary. Spritzler's argues this assumes nation-states are sovereign actors and the final arbitrators of politics. His thesis is that when WWII is viewed through a class lens, there is ample evidence to show that those in power used nationalism and even cooperated with other elites across national lines in order to suppress worker movements for true democracy.

For those already familiar with radical traditions of internationalism this should be no surprise. Yet Spritzler provides a wealth of well researched historical facts that you won't find in government sanctioned textbooks (US, China, or otherwise) or on the history channel. From Ford and Firestone selling supplies to the Nazis (with FDR covering up) to blatant Allied suppression of grassroots resistance movements (Italy, Greece, Germany and elsewhere) to inspiring accounts of Japanese and Chinese worker solidarity, Spritzler provides ammunition for gunning down many of the status-quo reinforcing myths of WWII.
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