Susan Carruthers featured in a podcast in the March issue of the Journal of American History

In her article, “Produce More Joppolos”: John Hersey’s A Bell for Adano and the Making of the “Good Occupation,” Susan Carruthers explores an enduring paradox. How have Americans managed to resist understanding themselves as an occupying power despite a long history of military occupation? At the height of World War II, American leaders struggled with the twin tasks of preparing military personnel for the work of occupation and reorienting civilian attitudes toward an unpopular long-term, postwar project. They turned to an unlikely source for inspiration: a novel written by a twenty-nine-year-old journalist. With its endearing hero, Maj. Victor Joppolo, John Hersey’s A Bell for Adano offered Americans an affirmative template for the “good occupation.” Drawing on a diverse range of sources, this essay traces Americans’ sentimental re-education during World War II and the following decades.
Listen to Susan Carruthers discuss her article in the JAH podcast: