• The book in question

Reviewer Richard J. Evans is called out by Chicagoan Marc Geelhoed in the new issue of the New York Review of Books for overlooking a set of quote marks. The matter isn’t as petty as it sounds.

In the October 11 issue of the NYRB, Evans began his discussion of two books on World War II on this note:

“Ever since it began, World War II has been seen as ‘the good war,’ to borrow the title of Studs Terkel’s Pulitzer Prize—winning oral history. In sharp contrast to World War I, remembered mainly for its terrible conditions in the trenches of the Western Front, its tragic waste of a whole generation of young men, and its disastrous consequences in Europe, leading to the rise of fascism and communism and the triumph of Hitler, World War II is remembered as the defeat of dictatorship by democracy, racism by tolerance, nationalism by internationalism, extremism by moderation, evil by good. It is a memory that is buried deep in the political consciousness and identity of the modern world and in particular Britain and America.”

A footnote explained the reference:

Studs Terkel, The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two (Pantheon, 1984).

But that is not the title of Terkel’s book. The correct title is “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War Two.