Sunday, April 15, 2012

American Historical Review

Jennifer Brooks, the author of a fine book on World War II veterans and Civil Rights, reviewed A Nation Forged in War in the April 2012 American Historical Review. The link to JSTOR, if you have access, is here.

The review begins:

In this study, Thomas Bruscino examines how white veterans embedded ethnic and religious pluralism brought home from World War II in the American Cold War consensus. Bruscino builds his thesis on a mix of sources, including letters, memoirs, government documents, and the GI Roundtable pamphlet series produced during the war by the American Historical Association. His well‐written, accessible narrative will interest both scholars of war and society and the general public.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book News?

I guess the book is available for purchase as a pdf from, and at the discounted price of exactly the same as the hardcover!

No overpriced Kindle or Nook (or paperback--sigh) version yet, but I'll be sure to let you know when that happens. (It will never happen.)

Anyway, the hardcover is still available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Parameters Review

Richard Meinhart, a professor at the U.S. Army War College, has reviewed the book for Parameters. From the conclusion:

The book’s strength is the effective manner in which it efficiently describes the social and political events, and the statistical data supporting the various vignettes, all designed to capture the reader analytically and emotionally.... Growing up as the child of a second-generation American and World War II veteran from a Catholic Hungarian neighborhood in a diverse ethnic and religious Pennsylvania city, this allowed the reviewer to connect with many of the author’s revelations. If this book is any indication of the quality of the Legacies of War series, look forward to the upcoming releases.
The webpage for the publication is here, the pdf with the book review is here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Irish Literary Supplement Review

Lawrence J. McCaffrey, emeritus professor at Loyola University of Chicago, has reviewed the book for a publication out of Boston College called the Irish Literary Supplement. The essay is called "Foxhole Buddies," and it is available at, here, and Lexis-Nexis, here.

A sample:
Bruscino is obviously right when he contrasts the tolerance of servicemen and civilians, but the war also increased patriotism and cooperation on the home front. For example, women in defense factories developed friendly social and working in relations with people who didn't share their religious beliefs or ethnic loyalties. While there was a contrast between open-minded servicemen and the folks back home, in non-combat situations the former tended to hang out more with their own kind and those they considered strangers. In combat and other wartime risks everyone was your own kind whether on land, sea, or in the air.

A Nation Forged In War is an important and highly readable book; it is also a valuable contribution to ethnic and World War II historiographies. Bruscino makes good use of primary and secondary sources and writes excellent prose.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review in Military Review

"A Nation Forged in War is an exemplary study on World War II that will instantly appeal, not only to military history enthusiasts, but also to readers of religious, cultural, and ethnic history."

So says the book review of A Nation Forged in War in the the September-October 2011 issue of Military Review. The entire review can be found in the pdf of the book review section, which is here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society Review

A historian named Matthew A. Ides has reviewed the book in the Register of the Kentuck Historical Society. Readers with access to Project MUSE can read the full text here.

The review provides a mix of complements and critiques, and concludes warmly: "Scholars of twentieth-century American history, World War II, and American religion, race, and ethnicity will find A Nation Forged in War valuable for its insights on how World War II and its veterans changed American ethnic and religious relationships. Bruscino's work points to many potentially fruitful paths for future research on the national postwar development."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Barone Review - Claremont Review of Books

"Band of Brothers," Michael Barone's review of A Nation Forged in War, is now available at the Claremont Review of Books.

My favorite part is the conclusion:

Bruscino leads off his story by recalling the Four Chaplains—Methodist, Dutch Reform, Catholic, Jewish—who in February 1943, when their ship was torpedoed, handed off their life jackets to sailors and then locked arms in prayer as their ship plunged into the North Atlantic. It's impossible to read this without tearing up, and without reflecting, as Bruscino urges us to do, on how their example helped to make this a better country. A better country in many ways, but one that now is past, and the past is always, in L.P. Hartley's phrase, another country. We are the lucky inheritors, three generations later, of a country strengthened rather than weakened by an experience of total war, strengthened materially, geopolitically and, as Bruscino tells us, culturally. But our duty is to take our country in different directions from those in which the wartime experience took postwar America.
Barone's review has been discussed by Arnold Kling at EconLog and Tim Kowal at Notes from Babel.

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Books in Military History Interview

The very nice people over at New Books in Military History interviewed me about A Nation Forged in War. Here is what they had to say about the book:
Prior to 1945, the United States was still largely a collection of different ethnic and racial communities, living alongside each other in neighborhoods, villages, and towns. There was only a faint “American identity.” In his new book A Nation Forged in War: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along (University of Tennessee Press, 2010), Thomas Bruscino argues that the act of military service in the Second World War changed created such a unified identity. As individual men from thousands of small homogenous communities across America entered the military in wartime, they were compelled to work together, sleep together, train together, and if need be, fight together against a common foe. Over the course of the war these representatives of their own unique ethnic enclaves came together to create a new American identity – a mutually accepted unilateral form of whiteness transcending existing racial hierarchies that were a legacy of the nineteenth century. Yet while this new consensus went on after the war to promote a new sense of tolerance that created post-war prosperity and stability, sadly it also remained tied to the color line, as African-Americans and other non-whites learned as they sought equal access to the fruits of American democracy. Bruscino’s book is a valuable and insightful study of how tightly intertwined war, society, and identity are in the American experience.
The interview and podcast can be found here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Choice Review

The Choice review of A Nation Forged in War is up. Here is the text:
Bruscino, Thomas. A nation forged in war: how World War II taught Americans to get along. Tennessee, 2010. 348p bibl index ISBN 1-57233-695-1, $39.95; ISBN 9781572336957, $39.95. Reviewed in 2011jan CHOICE.

In contrast to the German practice of forming military units from soldiers of the same city or region, the US melds together groups of men from diverse geographic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. Bruscino (US Army School of Advanced Military Studies) finds this to be one of the more important legacies of WW II. The forced intimacy of training and warfare eroded many prejudicial barriers and, in the postwar world, served as the grassroots basis for a newly enlarged sense of tolerance. The sense of sharing a common identity first emerged among troops stationed in England and Ireland. Ethno-religious differences faded as men found greater unity in terms of social values they deemed distinctly "American." Once on the continent, these differences emerged with ever-greater clarity and consistency. Bruscino notes that the size of the WW II mobilization (around 15 million men and women) and the duration of the commitment (1941-1946) were decisive factors in shaping long-term outcomes. In combat, the key motivation remained mutual protection and defense, not ideology. Unit cohesion spelled survival without regard to any other factor, and out of this foxhole experience grew a greater sense of respect for cultural differences. A well-written, highly accessible account of emergent pluralism in US culture. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. -- J. Kleiman, University of Wisconsin Colleges
On Choice's Facebook page, they made it Today's Top Review for January 10, 2011.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


The Summer 2010 Adams State Alumni magazine had a nice little write up on the book:

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Number 3 in nonfiction, locally, in Denver, in August 2010, thanks to the signing at Tattered Cover. That's alright by me.

Here are the details: Books: Local best sellers - The Denver Post.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Denver Area Signing

I will be doing a book talk and signing at the Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch, Colorado on August 13 at 7:30pm.

Here is the announcement.

It looks like I will also be doing a couple of radio interviews about the book while I am in Denver. One will be with the David Sirota Show on AM 760, the other on Focus with Irene Rawlings, I think on 97.3 FM. More details on times as I get them.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pat Williams Show Radio Interview

On Saturday, August 21, at 5:00AM Eastern time, an interview with me talking about A Nation Forged in War will air on the Pat Williams Show on WDBO 580AM, an Orlando radio station. If you happen to be up, you can listen at the link. I will let you know if the interview can be downloaded after it airs.

Here is some background on Pat Williams. He's the senior vice-president for the Orlando Magic. And, yes, I managed to relate the book to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic, but he-who-shall-not-be-named was not named.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Instapundit has a copy of the book. He says it "Looks very interesting." I'll take that..

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Signing

Here is the announcement from a Kansas City area Barnes & Noble:

A Nation Forged in War

Author Signing

Military history buffs are in for a real treat. Author and history professor Thomas Bruscino will be here discussing and signing A Nation Forged in War. This groundbreaking work outlines the social and cultural impact of the World War II years.

Sunday June 13, 2010 2:00 PM

Zona Rosa
8625 Northwest Prairie View Rd Spac, Kansas City, MO 64153, 816-505-3355
Please pass on the word.

Update: The signing went very well, so thanks to all who made it out. If you couldn't be there but are still interested, here's the Barnes & Noble page for the book, and here is Amazon.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Alma Mater

The book has been featured in a nice article from Adams State College.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Ed Crowther, John McDaniel, and everyone else at Adams State for providing so much wonderful help and guidance over the years.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Page 99 Test

The book has been featured at the Page 99 Test. The idea is that the author opens the book to page 99 and talks about what the material on that page says about the book as a whole.

Here is a little preview:

So imagine my delight at applying the Page 99 Test and finding a full page about vomit and toilet facilities. Among the lovely phrases found on my page 99 are "sick to our stomachs," "nauseating stench," "residue of caustic GI soap lather," "a not too peaceful crap," "vomit covered the floors and fixtures," and "cold sea-water douche." Well.

It could be worse—page 99 might have been one of those blank pages in between chapters. Then I would have had to ramble about the irony of the meaninglessness of war, since my book was an attempt to find a larger meaning in World War II. Instead, I got “a not too peaceful crap.” So let’s talk about what that means.

Monday, March 15, 2010


A Nation Forged in War is now available.

Here are two webpages that have featured the book: HEPPAS Books, and Sir Read A Lot Reviews Books.

Here is a WorldCat page for it, to help track many of the libraries that have it.