World War II 1939 - 1945

Based on the sheer number of people directly affected, World War II remains the single most influential event in American, and world, history. It shaped the lives of that generation not only during the war but for decades to come, creating a set of values and beliefs that would be challenged by the nuclear culture of the Cold War, the "antiestablishment" movements of the Vietnam era, and the growing individualism and self-centeredness of the 1970s and 1980s. For the generation that experienced it, World War II would remain the single most influential factor on their political beliefs, worldviews, and personal philosophies. For them, World War II would always be the "good war," or the "big one," when Americans worked together to achieve military success for God-given righteousness and freedom for all.

Parillo, M. P. (2005). World War II (1941–45). In P. Karsten (Ed.), Encyclopedia of War and American Society (Vol. 3, pp. 949-957). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Reference. Retrieved from