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TitleA Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory
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Total Pages248
Table of Contents
I Signifying Pearl Harbor: The First Fifty Years
	1. Infamy: Reinvigorating American Unity and Power
	2. Backdoor Deceit: Contesting the New Deal
	3. Representations of Race and Japanese-AmericanRelations
	4. Commemoration of Sacrifice
II Reviving Pearl Harbor after 1991
	5. Bilateral Relations: Pearl Harbor’s Half-Century Anniversary and the Apology Controversies
	6. The Memory Boom and the ‘‘Greatest Generation’’
	7. The Kimmel Crusade, the History Wars, and the Republican Revival
	8. Japanese Americans: Identity and Memory Culture
	9. Spectacular History
	10. Day of Infamy: September 11, 2001
Document Text Contents
Page 2

A Date Which Will Live

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A series edited by Gilbert M. Joseph and Emily S. Rosenberg

This series aims to stimulate critical perspectives and fresh

interpretive frameworks for scholarship on the history of the

imposing global presence of the United States. Its primary

concerns include the deployment and contestation of power,

the construction and deconstruction of cultural and political

borders, the fluid meanings of intercultural encounters, and

the complex interplay between the global and the local. Amer-

ican Encounters seeks to strengthen dialogue and collabora-

tion between historians of U.S. international relations and

area studies specialists.

The series encourages scholarship based on multiarchival

historical research. At the same time, it supports a recognition

of the representational character of all stories about the past

and promotes critical inquiry into issues of subjectivity and

narrative. In the process, American Encounters strives to un-

derstand the context in which meanings related to nations,

cultures, and political economy are continually produced,

challenged, and reshaped.

Page 124

6 The Memory Boom

and the ‘‘Greatest Generation’’

From the 1970s on, a memory boom reverberated through Amer-
ican life, proliferating and blurring forms of history, heritage, and
commemoration. Set amid this engagement with the past, the
fiftieth anniversaries that began in 1991 riveted media attention
on the meanings and experiences of World War II, including the
war’s most prominent icon—Pearl Harbor. After years of reti-
cence, members of an older generation grew anxious to tell their
wartime stories—to get them into the nation’s memory/history
before passing from the scene. Their children, baby boomers of
the Vietnam generation, seemed eager to honor and commemo-
rate their parents and to rediscover a more glorious, less ambig-
uous time. The much discussed ‘‘generation gap’’ that had di-
vided World War II parents from their Vietnam-era children
rendered the sudden outpouring of memory and reconciliation
more poignant.

Voices from ‘‘the good war’’

Even before the commemorative events of 1991, Studs Terkel’s
‘‘The Good War’’ (1984), a collection of remembrances about
World War II gathered from interviews with a wide range of

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A Date Which Will Live114

Americans, won a Pulitzer Prize and topped the best-seller list.
This book followed on the success of his Hard Times, a similar
collection about life during the Great Depression. ‘‘ ‘The Good
War,’ ’’ Terkel wrote, was ‘‘a memory book, rather than one of
hard fact,’’ designed to counter the ‘‘disturbingly profound dis-
remembrance of World War Two.’’ It presented highly readable
stories, carefully selected by a master at listening and editing. The
theme of the book subtly invoked a comparison with the Vietnam
War, opening with a verse of Tom Paxton’s bitterly antiwar song
‘‘What Did You Learn in School Today?’’ (‘‘I learned that war is not
so bad; I learned about the great ones we have had; We fought in
Germany and in France; And I am someday to get my chance.’’)
By invoking Paxton and the ‘‘bad war’’ that had divided Ameri-
cans and ravaged Indochina, Terkel reminded readers of the ear-
lier ‘‘good’’ and unifying war, but he also put ‘‘the good war’’ in
quotation marks, both advancing and also subverting the term.∞

Terkel’s book dovetailed with a rising interest in ‘‘oral history.’’
Collecting oral testimony grew out of a new emphasis on social
history—the history not just of great (largely male) leaders, but
also of common people who left few written records of their own.
The call to do ‘‘history from the bottom up’’ was closely linked to
the ideological insurgency that marked the antiwar protests of the
1960s and early 1970s. The new social historians frequently con-
centrated on collecting the ‘‘voices’’ of women, African Ameri-
cans, and others whose views had previously been underrepre-
sented in historical texts. Sherna Berger Gluck’s Rosie the Riveter
(1988), for example, presented interviews with working women
during World War II within a discourse of feminism. A film by
the same name, featuring interviews with five women whose lives
were shaped by the gain—and subsequent loss—of homefront job
opportunities during the war became widely used in college
American history courses. Wallace Terry’s Bloods (1984), a collec-
tion of oral histories from African American soldiers serving in
Vietnam, focused attention on this particular group. The em-
phasis on such ‘‘authentic’’ voices implicitly advanced the idea
that individual memory, especially if taken from ‘‘below,’’ might
provide a more direct path to understanding the past than the
more traditional accounts of professional historians, who had

Page 247


USS Arizona, 20, 71–73, 84, 108,
123, 181

USS Enterprise, 182
USS Greeneville, 110–12, 170
USS Missouri, 107–8
USS Nevada, 9
USS Oklahoma, 166
USS Shaw, 85
USS Utah, 73
U-2 flights, 31

Vanden Heuvel, William J., 138, 159
Veterans Friendship Program, 109
Veterans of Foreign Wars, 136
Veterans Oral History Project, 125
Victory at Sea, 21, 30, 63–64, 65, 77
Vidal, Gore, 185
Video, 30, 104, 121, 171–72
Vietnam generation, 113, 123–24
Vietnam monument, 79
Vietnam War, 1, 31, 32, 44, 52, 60,

76, 79, 104, 106, 114, 128, 148,

Vogel, Ezra, 67
Vonnegut, Kurt, 74

Waddle, Scott, 111
Waikiki Beach, 67
Wake Island, 23

Wallace, Randall, 163, 169
War of 1898, 14
War Production Board, 88
War Relocation Authority, 145–46,

Warren, Diane, 168
Watergate, 51, 52
Watt, James, 79
Webb, James, H. Sr., 127, 134
Westerman, Jack, 102, 108
Why We Fight, 20–23, 29, 55
Williams, William A., 59
Wilson, Woodrow, 12
Wohlstetter, Albert, 44
Wohlstetter, Roberta, 44–46, 48,

52, 128, 134, 180
Wolfowitz, Paul, 184
World War I, 12, 41, 72
World War II: beginning of, 15–16;

Internet sites on, 162; symbolism
of, 1, 72, 187. See also Pearl

� 2� scare, 179
Yamamoto, Isoroku (Admiral), 17,

60, 61, 63–64, 65
Yokooji, Iwao, 140

Zinnemann, Fred, 25

Page 248

������ � ������� is the De Witt Wallace Professor of History at

Macalester College. She is the author of Financial Missionaries to the

World: The Politics and Culture of Dollar Diplomacy, 1900–1930 (paper-

back edition, Duke, 2003); (with John Murrin, Paul Johnson, James

McPherson, Gary Gerstle, and Norman Rosenberg) Liberty, Equality,

Power: A History of the American People (revised edition, 2002); World

War I and the Growth of United States Predominance in Latin America

(1986); Spreading the American Dream: American Economic and Cultural

Expansion (1982); and (with Norman Rosenberg) In Our Times: America

since 1945 (revised edition, 2003).

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Rosenberg, Emily S.

A date which will live : Pearl Harbor in American memory /

Emily S. Rosenberg.

p. cm. — (American encounters/global interactions)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

���� 0-8223-3206-� (cloth : alk. paper)

1. Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941. 2. World War, 1939–1945—Influence.

3. Popular culture—United States. I. Title. II. Series.

� 767.92.� 67 2003

940.54%26—dc21 2003007553

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