World War II Gave Birth to "American Spirit," Says Historian Ambrose

Paul Ambrose, one of the country's most respected historians, talks about patriotism, Pearl Harbor, and expressed sentiments of the American people.

Only 20 years earlier, World War I had been proclaimed the "war to end all war." And yet, once again, Americans were being called on to fight on European soil.

"So it wasn't the 'war to end all war,' and it would be silly for the United States to get involved in another bloodletting like that—or so 40 percent or more of the American people believed on December 6, 1941," said Ambrose.

"Then came the attack on Pearl Harbor, and, like that, it turned American opinion. You had more enlistments on December 8 than any other day in American history," he said.

Ambrose cited a letter written by General Dwight Eisenhower warning that Hitler should "beware the fury of a roused democracy."

Yamamoto Isoroku,

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