PDN Photo of the Day

The Last Good War (10 photos)

The Last Good War (10 photos)

 All Photos © Thomas Sanders. Above: Edith Shain, holding the iconic photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt. Originally published in LIFE Magazine, the photo depicts a sailor kissing Edith Shain in her nurse’s uniform, in Times Square on August 14, 1945.

Today is the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the beginning of America’s involvement in World World War II. Five years ago, Thomas Sanders began traveling the country to photograph World War II veterans. Last year, writer Veronica Kavass joined the project to help record the stories of Sanders’ subjects. The result is a chronicle of courage and hardship, sacrifice and determination, joy and loss. The images and stories were recently collected in THE LAST GOOD WAR: The Faces and Voices of World War II, published by Welcome Books.

 John Jackson. Corporal, U.S. Army.

 Edgar Cole. Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps.

 Louise O’Flaherty. Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (WAVES).

 Angel Adagio, Performer, USO.

 George Camper, Private First Class, U.S. Air Force.

 Robert Costa, Fireman, U.S. Navy.

 Robert Smallwood. Corporal, U.S. Army.

 Joseph Zilley. Technical Fourth Grade, U.S. Army.

 James Brown, Staff Sergeant, US Army.

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  1. Nice idea but the photos are pretty bad. Inconsistent, they appear to be a loose collection of snapshots. No strong composition behind, there is no emotion, no feelings transported.

  2. Some interesting candids but I think “good war” is a poor choice of words. We all know what you’re driving at politically when you say that (i.e. the cause was more clear-cut and justified than today’s wars, and it was an army vs. army conflict, not army vs. insurgents / guerillas), but even decades later there’s no justification for calling that war “good”. All war causes too much suffering and destruction for it to be anything but bad, even literarily speaking. -Dan

  3. I agree with Colortrails. Very unfortunate choice of words. Our vets have enough to deal with, without having to feel that their sacrifices were for naught.

  4. No if you look at the actual book I saw at Borders… the photography is very well done especially in context to the stories and history … the book shows the aging faces of WWll vets who are now in their 80’s and these American heroes are pretty important to document regardless of book title!

  5. The title of the book, “The Last Good War,” is an expression coined by well-known oral historian Studs Terkel; many veterans and people familiar with military history know the expression and what it signifies. The title was not intended as a political statement by myself and the publisher, but rather as an accurate historical representation of how the subjects themselves–and the majority of the country at the time–saw WWII. Of course no war is intrinsically good. The horrors experienced during WWII can be seen in many of the vets’ faces, and if you take a look at the book itself, you’ll find first-person veteran accounts that reflect the many facets of wartime experience, from those that call it “hell” to those that call it the pinnacle of their lives. Thank you for taking the time to check out “The Last Good War!” –Thomas Sanders

  6. mmkay so I spent the last 10 minutes looking for the same template you’re using and cannot find it. Didn’t want to have to ask but really would like to use it for my blog, could you let me know? I’ll look back here soon for any replies. Thanks

  7. I hope that Martin is joking – this looks like a great series of portraits and a great theme/idea too. This is an important book to make because these veterans will not be able to tell their own stories for too many more years…

  8. These photos are amazing…absolutely full of emotion…look closely Martin, or into their eyes. Haven’t seen the book but used to work at a retirement facility with folks of this war and believe me, WWII defined their lives in ways not to be repeated in subsequent conflicts.

  9. Photos are technically poor. Wish the photography was better. Like the idea, wish the shooter was better skilled. Lighting is weak

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