The censored war american visual experience during world war two by george h roeder book review example


There are many books, movies and television programs that are created in order to remind us about the World War II and in order to create a visual imagery of the war along with a summary of the events that took place. All of these put a powerful impact on the reader, and brings in front, the image of the war for the period and creates the perceptions about the war and the situation of the American soldiers in them. Today, we might have lot of sources to view the events that took place during those times similar to that of the Vietnam War however it is difficult to match it with the right events, as it is not only about presenting the facts and figures of the World War II but is about showing the exact incidents in the right way and without moulding or censoring the events.
Roeder very interestingly demonstrates the use of censorship in creating the perception of the World War II and other events among people, the choice of subjects and how they are portrayed. This book is not only helpful in providing a detailed account of the World War II perception building and the role of censor in showing only what is required and hiding the right picture from the people.

The inter-linkage of office of censorship and office of War information (OW I) in American Visual Experience

It was both, the office of censorship and office of War information (OW I) that worked along with the American film studios and advertising media, to ensure that the photos and images of the war situations were well checked for their impact on the people before being ultimately released. There were a lot of times when office of censorship and office of War information (OW I)
Intervened on the import of images of issues relating to labor or class distribution, and the prohibition was placed in case if someone would like to show the riots on military bases in the South of black soldiers dancing with European Women. The road was not only limited to hiding or moulding the images however it also included a clear dehumanization of the enemy and that taking the same as evil.
Thus, the visualization of the war became more like a propaganda which could change the overall look of the war for the viewers. Roeder presents a good example by mentioning that there was a time when the sensor used to look at those pictures only, that sure that and the related bodies of enemy soldiers and pass them for publishing only after being satisfied. However, with time and public opinion it was realized that the population was more comfortable towards the opinion related to complacency and the outcome of the war. As the time moved, the bodies of the American soldiers also started to be shown however bodies that were bloodied or distorted due to death were still restricted. The extent of censorship would be understood by the fact that no major physical harm to the soldiers were shown and apart from that no soldiers was ever shown is crying until a long time, except the women soldiers due to outrage at the fate of a friend.
Roeder provides a very thought-provoking explanation related to the tendency of the American people to reduce complex matters to simple dualism is and that is clearly shown by the fact that how the people in the war were shown and the philosophies which were attached to them. Roeder comments on the fact that on one hand both Nazis and the Holocaust victims were shown to be very different from the American people and any will image of those people were created however at the same time Russians who were American allies were shown to be very similar to Americans. Roeder also explains the reason behind the American dillusionment related to the Russian behavior after the war and he blames that the sudden activities again perception were just because of the selective censorship.

Contradictory Understanding: Roeder’s imagery

Roeder explained giving the example of the Vietnam War and the other incidents of the World war II saying that had the clear picture of the American soldiers and war happens been shown, there was a great possibility that the horrors of the World War II could have made the people to become a little reluctant to join the Vietnam war. Hence Roeder present this view that due to the censorship and incorrect understanding, various decisions related to the future wars were not right.


Roeder has presented an excellent commentary on the role of censorship to build American visual experience, related to the World War II, and there has been quite strong modulation and selective censorship to show the people only what is required and not the reality. This has led to a fake perception among the people about the enemy, allies and war results, thus creating a hampered outlook of the wars that took place.

Works Cited

Roeder, G. H. (1993). The Censored War: American Visual Experience During World War Two. New Haven: Yale University Press.