Released November 2016:

Susan Carruthers is a professor in American Studies at the University of Warwick, where she has taught since 2017. Her work focuses on representations of war and the ways in which individuals, and societies more broadly, make sense of conflict and its aftermath. She is the author of several books, including The Good Occupation, The Media at War, Cold War Captives and Winning Hearts and Minds. Her expertise in the media and war, cold war culture, and colonial counterinsurgency spans the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Harvard_univ_pressWaged for a just cause and culminating in total victory, World War II was America’s “good war.” Yet for millions of GIs overseas, the war did not end with Germany and Japan’s surrender. The Good Occupation chronicles America’s transition from wartime combatant to postwar occupier, by exploring the intimate thoughts and feelings of the ordinary servicemen and women who participated—often reluctantly—in the difficult project of rebuilding nations they had so recently worked to destroy.

“Carruthers brings together the American experiences of occupying both Germany and Japan as no other historian. In this lively, superbly researched account, we see not the magnanimous, square-jawed GIs and officers we recall today, but rather war-weary, bewildered Americans who confronted bombed-out cities and millions of hungry displaced people. To these very human occupiers, the successful rehabilitation of the enemy that we now celebrate appeared closer to Mission Impossible.” Sheldon Garon

Author of Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life

“With characteristic brilliance, Susan Carruthers has written a critical history of military victory. Using letters and memoirs, she illuminates the interior life of American occupiers in Europe and Asia, showing the way military governance came to be imagined as a form of altruism. Highly recommended.” Mary L. Dudziak

Author of War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences