This Is Not Who We Are: America's Struggle Between Vengeance and Virtue


Product Details

$27.95  $25.99
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
5.98 X 9.06 X 1.18 inches | 1.4 pounds

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About the Author

Zachary Shore is Professor of History at the Naval Postgraduate School, Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley's Institute of European Studies, and a National Security Visiting Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. He is the author of five previous books, including Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions and A Sense of the Enemy: The High-Stakes History of Reading Your Rival's Mind.


'What would we see if we held a mirror to America? Zachary Shore uses key moments in history to find out. He examines the country at its best - and its worst, exploring the roots of both smart and senseless decisions. In the process, he points us toward who we really are.' Dayna Barnes, author of Architects of Occupation: American Experts and the Planning for Postwar Japan
'In this elegantly narrated tale, Zachary Shore weaves together a rich tapestry of heroes and villains, some of whom often switch roles. That alone would make for fascinating reading, but the surprises that Shore reveals do more than entertain. They spotlight the moral quandaries that plagued Americans as their wartime thirst for vengeance wrestled with their loftier ideals.' Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918
'As America emerges from the traumas of recent years, it will be important to restore confidence in our common identity and strengthen our social fabric. Zachary Shore's This Is Not Who We Are has arrived just in time to foster thoughtful introspection and meaningful discussion of how our past can help us to understand the present and build a better future.' H. R. McMaster, former US National Security Advisor and author of Battlegrounds and Dereliction of Duty
'By examining several difficult decisions made during WWII, Zachary Shore's thoughtful and original book sheds new light not only on wartime policymaking, but also on the deep moral conflicts at the core of Americans' aspirations and experience.' James Sheehan, author of Making the Modern Political Order: The Problem of the Nation State
'Zachary Shore is a historian of great humanity and insight, and a gifted writer. He brings all these qualities to this penetrating yet sensitive analysis of the moral dilemmas Americans faced in first perpetrating, and then later confronting, acknowledging and atoning for heinous acts during World War II. Shore's detailed recounting of the complexities and drivers of wartime decisions and events provides the frame for a deeper examination of our country's ongoing struggle to live up to its ideals and aspirations.' Fiona Hill, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia
'Full of fascinating historical tidbits and sharp character sketches...this is a potent survey of America's ongoing battle to live up to its ideals.' Publishers Weekly
'An instructive history that speaks to the better angels of the American nature.' Kirkus Reviews