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War, Myth-making, and Democracy (with Elizabeth Samet)

April 12, 2022

Eliot and Eric host Professor Elizabeth Samet of the US Military Academy to discuss her new book Looking for the Good War: American Amnesia and the Violent Pursuit of Happiness. They examine the role of mythology in justifying US military action.

Was World War II the “Good War” and was the “Greatest Generation” different from subsequent generations of Americans caught up in fighting the nation’s wars? Does de-mythologizing war lead to moral equivalence? Is there a role for myth-making in democracies in wartime to inspire the sacrifices necessary to fight wars and to console the families of the fallen?

A spirited discussion of very difficult topics.

Shield of the Republic is a Bulwark podcast co-sponsored by the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

The views Elizabeth Samet expresses on this podcast do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.