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The African-American Experience during World War II

The author of this book is Neil A. Wynn. While writing this book, the author assembles his story from first-hand witnesses of the events in the book. These first-hand references include editorial columns, government manuscripts and journals. The book is mainly centred on the issues of history and war. In terms of history, the book looks at the history of the African-Americans in terms of the social problems they encountered. Top of these social problems is race discrimination. In terms of war, the book mainly centres on World War II with focusing on the role of African-Americans in the war. The author also publishes the role of African-Americans in World War II and the discriminations the blacks in the military face. The book also analyses the events of the cold war in the United States of America and in other countries of the world.

Generally, the reason of the author for writing this book is to narrate the experience of African-Americans during the war. The author is tracing the development of African-Americans in the immediate years before World War II and the way the war transformed the lives of African Americans afterwards. The author believes that African-Americans had a conflicting experience during the war. The experience is termed as conflicting because African-Americans were mainly engaged in development and opposition at the same time. Wynn also highlights the role of the war in the development of the Civil Rights Movement and the financial growth of African-Americans. Wynn emphasizes that even though African-Americans progressed in core parts of their lives, they faced many unavoidable obstacles. These obstacles include an increase in racial prejudice, which was characterised by increased violence and an interminable social intolerance. The author does not fail to acknowledge that the war also gave rise to major progress in the lives of African-Americans. However; these advances had to be disregarded because there was still a lot to be done on the part of African-Americans in order to promote social justice. He gives personal accounts of African-American soldiers who took part in the war. According to him, most of them were glad to participate in the war and to be a part of the United States army. They were not afraid to fight for the country they belonged to (Neil 11).

  Argument of the Author. The argument of the author is that African-Americans in the United States took an active role in World War II. The author refutes the notion that the role of African-Americans in the war was passive as most of the whites put it. The author introduces us to the history of the United States’ participation in the war and the circumstances that led to the inclusion of African-Americans in the army (Neil 26).  At the start of the war, there were 3,640 African-Americans serving in the war (Neil 26). Unfortunately, they were given subordinate roles to play in the army. This discrimination led to the involvement of African unions and influential persons in fighting for equality among the blacks and the whites. Organizations such as the NAACP and major personalities such as World War I veterans began to fight for the inclusion of African-Americans in active roles in the army (Neil 31). This case was also taken to court, and finally, African-Americans were able to participate in the war. Their participation in the war proved to be successful and African-Americans began to acquire some respect from their white counterparts. This success led to the economic and social progress of African-Americans. However, African-Americans knew that there was still more to be done on their part in order to improve their situation.

Effectiveness of the Argument. The author is clear and successful in making his argument successful. One reason for this success is the fact that he gives factual information of the events that occurred during the war. He gives a personal account of the experiences of the soldiers in the war. African Americans were really proud of participating in the war; they referred to themselves as good soldiers of the United States. Moreover, most of them were awarded by the state for their part in the war. All the references, that demonstrate the success of the African-Americans in the war are also shown by the author and they include government journals and works of famous veterans of the war at the time. The author is also effective in dealing with the subject of the book due to the fact, that he has done a good research to determine the real reasons and facts behind the facts of his characters. The author is willing to give the exact dates and names of those who are cited in his book; and this, to me, is actually effectiveness.  

How well the book is written. My opinion of this book is that it is written in a good manner. To begin with, the book’s cover has a picture of women on one part. The women are wearing army uniforms. These women are African-Americans. On the other part, there is an illustration of two men; one is an African-American whereas the other is a white man. The book has a list of contents that has acknowledgements, the overview of the book, the chronology and a list of chapters and their topics. The book also has an introduction, which talks about the history of African-Americans in the United States. The introduction also touches on the major leaders of the United States during the time when there existed segregation of race and the roles of these leaders in the aggravating the discrimination or in the alienating the discrimination. There is also an annotated bibliography at the end of the book. The author does not forget, also, to put the index after the annotated bibliography.

Ways to Make the Book Better. One way the author could make the book better is to include photographs in the book. There, also, can be an inclusion of maps in the book, which could show the author the actual places the events the author narrates took place. The author can also use different colours in writing the book. For instance, in places where the author quotes words from government journals and editorials, the author can write such information using a different colour. The author can also enlarge the font in which the book is written. This will make the book readable to all individuals, including those with eye problems. Another way that the author can make the book better is through using simpler terms in writing his account. In this way, he is making it possible for individuals of all ages and experience to read the book and easily understand it.  

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