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Our Finest Hour:

The Triumphant Spirit of America's World War II Generation

Paperback (192 pages)
Who better to retell the vibrant and diverse stories of WWII and the Greatest Generation than LIFE magazine?

Our Finest Hour:

LIFE magazine salutes the bravery and courage of America's World War II veterans with OUR FINEST HOUR, a special deluxe collector's edition celebrating the heroic spirit of "the greatest generation." Who better to retell the vibrant and diverse stories of World War II than LIFE, the magazine that brought news of the war to the home front, and news of home to soldiers around the world?

OUR FINEST HOUR offers stunning photography from LIFE's vast archival library - the largest collection of World War II photographs in the world. This unique book also recounts the moving and personal stories of the Americans who fought in the foxholes, on the high seas and at home. It documents how soldiers, wives, journalists and entertainers were changed by the war experience, and it describes how World War II affected life in America in every possible way - economically, politically, culturally and socially.

LIFE was an eyewitness to the heroism, unity and tragedy of the war years; LIFE remembers every private triumph and rending loss; only LIFE can bring the victory home to you. Life magazine was only one of many American publications that fielded battlefront correspondents during World War II, but it boasted an uncommonly talented roster of writers and photographers, among them Theodore White, Robert Capa, and Margaret Bourke-White. Their images and reports brought home to American readers the horrors of that distant war, from George Strock's extraordinary photograph of dead American marines on a New Guinea beach to shocking views of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Life's editors also took pains to document the war at home, publishing stories about the contributions of women industrial workers to the war effort (in 1943, the magazine reported, 65 percent of American aircraft-production workers were women) and on the morale-building efforts of Hollywood stalwarts such as Carole Lombard and Bob Hope.

This selection of photographs and extended captions from the pages of Life and other contemporary publications gathers images that have become part of American iconography (such as the Associated Press's famed photograph of the Fighting Sullivans). More usefully, it also includes lesser-known work documenting injustices done to Japanese Americans and African Americans, the sufferings of the wounded, and the loneliness of separation, material overlooked by many other photographic histories of the war. --Gregory McNamee

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