One way to understand what war will be like is to understand what past wars were like. Andrew Carroll recently started something called the Legacy Project, which collects letters Americans wrote home during wartime, from the Civil War up through the conflicts in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia.
An excerpt from a story that writer Lee Sandlin wrote for the Chicago Reader about what it is that makes wartime different and about the particular psychology of being at war. It was a massive historical article, exhaustively researched.
Scott Carrier drove 2,000 miles across the country from his home in Salt Lake City to Chicago, talking with people about the coming war. If it's part of the American character to be profoundly skeptical, and another part to be boldly patriotic...Scott found both tendencies...often in the same person.
In Vietnam, Jeffrey Harris, with one year of grad school, judged which soldiers stayed and which went home.
Margy Rochlin sees a new side of her father when, in his seventies, he becomes a monologist like Spalding Gray. Her dad, Fred Rochlin, is a huge hit.
Host Ira Glass with Walt Strommer, on Dreams of Disabled People.
Host Ira Glass explains that today's show begins in 1865 and ends today. Ira reads briefly from Lincoln's Second Inaugural address, which describes slavery as America's Original Sin of sorts.
They can't pronounce the names, can't read the maps, don't know the history, and are on an idealistic quest for justice that so far has not flowered. Kitty Felde, on Americans at the War Crimes Trial for the former Yugoslavia.Interview with Michael Ignatieff about war crimes trials and truth commissions.
The story of the worst stateside disaster during World War II, at Port Chicago, an ammunition dump for the navy just north of San Francisco. Black workers were assigned to load ammo onto ships under such unsafe conditions that on July 17, 1944, two ships blew up, killing 320 men.