Are we finally losing the war

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In this week's reading Lee Sandlin offers us quite interesting perspective on a war that we are all familiar with but that we were never around to see. I think that Sandlin probes the question, "do we see it now?" At one point Sandlin describes the war from his own eyes as "a metaphysical struggle." Although he describes that this is the way he saw it when he was a child, I get the sense that Sandlin believes that the general population looks at the war this way still. On page 322 he writes, "but that just shows how little anyboyd really understood what was happening to the world."

On page 320 we read the end of the beginning. Sandlin writes, "That' the truth about the war: the sense that what happened over there simply can't be told in the language of peace.

And so, Sandlin gives us a "lyrical history" lesson. Taking us through WWII in a beautifully composed essay. On his web site, Sandlin said that he writes historical essays based on events people are familiar with. He relies heavily on the work of others for facts on these historical events. Yet, he brings interesting perspective, including his childhood, his relationship and interactions with his veteran father.

What I find interesting is that Sandlin admitts he doesn't fancy reporting. He wants to know what happened but he would never want to call to see what happened. My question for the class is, what type of reporting is this? Obviously we see a narrative in Sandlin's work but where is it coming from. If he doesn't like reporting, what is he doing?

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You asked your fellow classmates, “If he doesn't like reporting, what is he doing?”

My answer is that Lee Sandlin is doing historical interpretation, to create an interpretation spin on the facts, to make them easier for the reader to understand not just what happened, but what the writer believes were the underlying triggers that caused the events to happen the way that they did.

This was a multidisciplinary article, as the Lee Sandlin collected information from many different kinds of sources. Some of these sources, like the number of suburban shopping centers, are sources not normally considered to be part of the historical record of World War Two. That is a good lesson for us student journalists to learn, to be able to pull information out of resources that we would not normally consider as resources for our topics.

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This page contains a single entry by krebs068 published on April 14, 2010 2:13 PM.

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