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November 10, 1975


Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1975;234(6):651. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260190079036

How futile to compare the relative worth of pictures and of words! Each category may be expressed in its own way. But when we combine expressive pictures with a gem-like text, the effect is profound. Such a combination we have in WW II, which I deem one of the great war books of all time.

The core of the handsomely published volume is a selection of pictures—not photographs but paintings and drawings (with a few cartoons)— dealing with World War II, created by men who were there, a lived-through experience that they put on paper or canvas. Large paintings of battle scenes, small sketches of more personal or intimate events, the pictures range widely in subject matter and technique, but all have impact.

The text by James Jones (author of From Here to Eternity) is a series of vignettes that in the aggregate cover the entire war, in approximate chronological