Education About Asia: Online Archives

Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor and American Innocence: Thoughts on the Film

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Hollywood has as its goal entertainment, not education. Still, we know that many Americans, both children and adults, learn their history more from Hollywood and the other media than from textbooks or from our classrooms. (Not, of course, that either our textbooks or our classrooms are less suspect than Hollywood and the media!) Over the past several years, much of the Hollywood/media focus has been World War II. Saving Private Ryan is blockbuster exhibit #1, with Tom Brokaw’s best-selling book Greatest Generation in a support role, and the monument soon to appear on the Mall in Washington, D. C. is part of the same phenomenon. Now comes Pearl Harbor.