We Had a Job To Do, by Theresa Anzaldua
This heartfelt tribute to World War II veterans is history that reads like fiction.
Follow a soldier who fought in Patton’s Third Army and who landed on Omaha Beach at 9 a.m. on D-Day; a female Army Air Forces nurse who made helping veterans her life’s work; a fighter pilot who flew with the African-American unit known as the Tuskegee Airmen and who was on one of the teams that won the first Top Gun meet after the war; a guard in a top-secret intelligence base outside of Washington, D.C. where top German weapons scientists were interrogated; a female aircraft mechanic who served in the Navy and is still active in veterans affairs seventy years later; a gunner on a B-17 heavy bomber who was shot down and spent fourteen months in German prison camps; an airman in General Curtis LeMay’s 20th Air Force, the unit that dropped the atomic bombs, and more.
Get to know some of the patriots who served in World War II.
My review of We Had a Job To Do
We Had a Job To Do is a remarkable book. Within a few pages, I knew I had happened upon something special. Whether you love history, or military history, or memoirs (or all of the above), this book will earn a well deserved spot on your bookshelf. Even if you’re not a lover of those genres, this book is for you. It’s not written in a way that limits its audience; it’s truly for everyone.
This book — which almost comes across like a novel — is engaging. Its structure, which is very interesting and unique, leaves you torn — do you read it straight through, or jump around to continue specific stories? What a dilemma! Regardless, you will find yourself involved in the stories. You will care about Salvatore Santoro, Milton Krom, Paul Boyer, and the rest — and I mean really care.
As a “basic history of World War II,” We Had a Job To Do is an important resource. Yes, it provides a basic knowledge of the war — but a personal one as well. Those firsthand accounts make history a lot more palatable (especially for those who might not be “into” history) but they also provide an insight that is valuable for later generations. Theresa Anzaldua is a skilled storyteller. I would gladly read anything she writes. In the meantime, I highly recommend this book. It’s a pleasure to read.
About the Author
Theresa Anzaldua is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.A. (English Literature and Philosophy) and M.A. (Philosophy) and Harvard Law School, J.D. Her mother served in World War II in the U.S. Army, her father served in the U.S. Navy, her maternal uncle served in the war in the British Marines Commandos and fought in Normandy on D-Day, and another maternal uncle was killed in a training accident in Texas while serving in the U.S. Army. Her grandfather was wounded fighting for Britain in World War I.
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A guest post by the author
Why is World War II considered “The Good War?” Why do we view World War II with nostalgia and generally good feelings?
In my opinion, the main reason people view World War II as the “good war” is that we were fighting enemies who had to be stopped, and only the U.S. had the infrastructure – the manufacturing capability and the people to fight – necessary to stop them.
Japan had attacked the U.S. and was trying to take over the Pacific by brutalizing the inhabitants of the Pacific islands. Hitler was trying to rule Europe and, though Allies did not completely understand the Nazi horrors until the end of the war when they discovered the concentration and prison camps, it was clear since the late 1930s that the Nazis were committing atrocities as they killed and imprisoned innocent people in their attempt to reign over Europe.
Politically, we could not afford to have these enemies take over the world, and morally we could not allow them to brutalize these human beings. WWII was a war that we had to fight and win. As one veteran explained, “People need to know that Japan and Germany had a grip on the world.”
Also, I think that people can sense the unity our nation felt from the very moment that the attack on Pearl Harbor was announced. That Sunday afternoon in December people were enjoying the beginning of the holiday season and were feeling a bit more comfortable financially as the Great Depression was losing its grip.
Americans did not want to get involved in the wars overseas, but the moment we were attacked, we sprang into action. People decided to enlist on the spot. Everyone I spoke with who lived through the war, whether military or civilian, told me that every single person they knew – man, woman and child – was involved in the war effort in some way.
Every family was a military family in a sense, and everyone sacrificed for our country. The sense of community shared by the entire nation was astounding. When we read about the war or watch movies about it, we get a sense of those feelings of unity and community, and those are good feelings.
Nostalgic feelings certainly flow when considering this era of great unity and community when virtually all Americans shared a common purpose: defeating clear, truly threatening enemies.
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You can visit check out the book tour here:
Oct 19 – Horror Maiden’s Book Reviews – review
Oct 19 – The Cubicle Escapee – review / giveaway
Oct 20 – Man of la Book – review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 21 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – review / giveaway
Oct 22 – Vic’s Media Room – review
Oct 23 – Keenly Kristin – review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 26 – A Simple Life, really?! – review
Oct 27 – misty103 @ HubPages – review
Oct 28 – Reviews From The Heart – review
Oct 29 – Puddletown Reviews – review / giveaway
Oct 30 – Life as Leels – review
Nov 2 – Brian’s Book Blog – review
Nov 3 – Blooming with Books – review / giveaway
Nov 4 – Bound 4 Escape – review / giveaway
Nov 5 – Did YOU Hear about the Morgans? – review
Nov 5 – Puddletown Reviews – author interview / giveaway
Nov 6 – Deal Sharing Aunt – review
Nov 9 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review
Nov 10 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – review
Nov 11 – Reading Authors – review / giveaway
Nov 11 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 12 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – author interview
Nov 13 – The Things We Read – review