Authors Showcase: War Babies: The Generation That Changed America by Richard Pells



The Book: War Babies: The Generation That Changed America

The Author: Richard Pells

The Story: Richad Pells’s most recent book—War Babies: The Generation That Changed America—takes on a different subject from his first four books. It analyzes the impact of the generation of Americans born between 1939 and 1945 in transforming American culture and politics over the past fifty years.

No one has written a book about these people as members of a distinctive generation with their own unique experiences and values. The book studies the influence of singer/songwriters like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Paul Simon; movie directors like Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese; actors like Robert De Niro and Al Pacino; journalists like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein; and social activists like Jesse Jackson and Muhammad Ali; as well as many others in the fields of culture and politics.

While not a memoir, the book is partly personal since Pells himself was a war baby, born in 1941.

About Richard Pells:

Richard Pells
Richard Pells

Richard Pells received his B.A. from Rutgers University in 1963 and his Ph.D. in history from Harvard in 1969.  Subsequently, he was awarded fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as six Fulbright chairs and lectureships for teaching abroad.  Currently, he is Professor of History Emeritus at The University of Texas at Austin.

Pells was never a traditional historian.  He is primarily interested in 20th century American culture—movies, radio, television, art, music, literature, and the theater, all of which are reflected in his five books.  Through his work, readers are treated to a history of American cultural life from the 1930s to the present.



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  • Stephanie Barko

    Caleb – This is a super, easy to read book, not only for war babies, but for GenXers & Millennials to give as gifts to their parents and grandparents. Thanks for turning us on to contemporary social historian Richard Pells.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Stephanie: Richard has written a great history of a moment in history that most of us have overlooked because we lived it. It may have the first time in history that America was not changed by politicians but by those who opposed the politicians.

  • jack43

    How about that? This is the first time I’ve ever seen or heard of someone acknowledging my generation. Tucked between The Greatest Generation and The Baby Boomers, I always felt unappreciated. I guess I’ll have to read this one and find out who the hell I am.

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