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Thursday, April 19, 2007

In The Shadow of the Greatest Generation

Tom Matthews' book , Our Fathers' War - In the Shadow of the Greatest Generation, outlines the difficult relationships between sons of combat vet fathers of World War II. He intertwines his story with that of 9 other sons who have the same strained, tense relationship with their fathers. I don't know if the WWII fathers were tougher on their sons than their daughters, but from the description in this book, it seems like they wanted their sons to keep the same tight control over their emotions that the fathers themselves had to exhibit to deal with the aftermath of combat. By the end of the book, Matthews comes to an understanding of his father's psychological scars as he states, "my bet would be that anyone who's seen real combat would have for the rest of his life something going on inside him. Some wound. Some secret".

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