Why We Fight

Why We Fight is a series of seven documentary films commissioned by the United States government during World War II to explain to U.S. soldiers their country's involvement in the war. Later on, they were also shown to the U.S. public to persuade them to support U.S. involvement in the war.

Most of the films were directed by Frank Capra, who was daunted, yet impressed and challenged, by Leni Riefenstahl's propaganda film Triumph of the Will, and worked in direct response to it. The series faced a tough challenge: convincing a recently non-interventionist nation of the need to become involved in the war and ally with the Soviets, among other things. In many of the films, Capra and other directors spliced in Axis powers propaganda footage going back twenty years, and re-contextualized it so it promoted the cause of the Allies.

Why We Fight was edited primarily by William Hornbeck, although some parts were re-enacted "under War Department supervision" if there was no relevant footage available. The animated portions of the films were produced by the Disney studios – with the animated maps following a convention of depicting Axis-occupied territory in black.

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Albert of Stade

Albert of Stade (c. 1187 – c. 1260) was a German monk, historian and poet.

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Anthony Blunt

Anthony Frederick Blunt (26 September 1907 – 26 March 1983), styled as Sir Anthony Blunt KCVO from 1956 to 1979, was a leading British art historian who in 1964, after being offered immunity from prosecution, confessed to having been a spy for the Soviet Union.

Blunt had been a member of the Cambridge Five, a group of spies working for the Soviet Union from some time in the 1930s to at least the early 1950s. The height of his espionage activity was during World War II, when he passed intelligence on Wehrmacht plans that the British government had decided to withhold from its ally. His confession, a closely guarded secret for years, was revealed publicly by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in November 1979. He was stripped of his knighthood immediately thereafter.

Blunt was a professor of art history at the University of London, director of the Courtauld Institute of Art, and Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures. His 1967 monograph on the French Baroque painter Nicolas Poussin is still widely regarded as a watershed book in art history. His teaching text and reference work Art and Architecture in France 1500–1700, first published in 1953, reached its fifth edition in a slightly revised version by Richard Beresford in 1999, when it was still considered the best account of the subject.

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Erasmus

Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (/ˌdɛzɪˈdɪəriəs ɪˈræzməs/, English: Erasmus of Rotterdam; 28 October 1466 – 12 July 1536) was a Dutch philosopher and Christian scholar who is widely considered to have been one of the greatest scholars of the northern Renaissance. As a Catholic priest, Erasmus was an important figure in classical scholarship who wrote in a pure Latin style. Among humanists he enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists", and has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament, which raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote On Free Will, In Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works.

Erasmus lived against the backdrop of the growing European religious Reformation. While he was critical of the abuses within the Catholic Church and called for reform, he nonetheless kept his distance from Luther, Henry VIII, and John Calvin and continued to recognise the authority of the pope, emphasizing a middle way with a deep respect for traditional faith, piety and grace, and rejecting Luther's emphasis on faith alone. Erasmus remained a member of the Catholic Church all his life, remaining committed to reforming the Church and its clerics' abuses from within. He also held to the doctrine of synergism, which some Reformers (Calvinists) rejected in favor of the doctrine of monergism. His middle road ("via media") approach disappointed, and even angered, scholars in both camps.

Erasmus died suddenly in Basel in 1536 while preparing to return to Brabant and was buried in Basel Minster, the former cathedral of the city. A bronze statue of Erasmus was erected in 1622 in his city of birth, replacing an earlier work in stone.

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William Wyler

William Wyler (/ˈwlər/; born Willi Wyler (German: [ˈvɪlɪ ˈvi:lɐ]); July 1, 1902 – July 27, 1981) was a German-Swiss film director, producer and screenwriter. Notable works include Ben-Hur (1959), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), and Mrs. Miniver (1942), all of which won Academy Awards for Best Director, as well as Best Picture in their respective years, making him the only director of three Best Picture winners. Wyler received his first Oscar nomination for directing Dodsworth in 1936, starring Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor, "sparking a 20-year run of almost unbroken greatness."

Film historian Ian Freer calls Wyler a "bona fide perfectionist", whose penchant for retakes and an attempt to hone every last nuance, "became the stuff of legend." His ability to direct a string of classic literary adaptations into huge box-office and critical successes made him one of "Hollywood's most bankable moviemakers" during the 1930s and 1940s and into the '60s. Through his talent for staging, editing, and camera movement, he turned dynamic theatrical spaces into cinematic ones.

He helped propel a number of actors to stardom, finding and directing Audrey Hepburn in her Hollywood debut film, Roman Holiday (1953), and directing Barbra Streisand in her debut film, Funny Girl (1968). Both of these performances won Academy Awards. He directed Olivia de Havilland to her second Oscar in The Heiress (1949) and Laurence Olivier in Wuthering Heights (1939), for his first Oscar nomination. Olivier credited Wyler with teaching him how to act for the screen. And Bette Davis, who received three Oscar nominations under his direction and won her second Oscar in Jezebel (1938), said Wyler made her a "far, far better actress" than she had ever been.

Other popular Wyler films include: Hell's Heroes (1929), Dodsworth (1936), The Westerner (1940), The Letter (1940), Friendly Persuasion (1956), The Big Country (1958), The Children's Hour (1961) and How to Steal a Million (1966).

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Juvenal

Decimus Junius Juvenalis (Latin: [ˈdɛkɪmʊs ˈjuːnɪ.ʊs jʊwɛˈnaːlɪs]), known in English as Juvenal (/ˈvənəl/ JOO-vən-əl), was a Roman poet active in the late first and early second century AD. He is the author of the collection of satirical poems known as the Satires. The details of the author's life are unclear, although references within his text to known persons of the late first and early second centuries AD fix his earliest date of composition. One recent scholar argues that his first book was published in 100 or 101. Because of a reference to a recent political figure, his fifth and final surviving book must date from after 127.

Juvenal wrote at least 16 poems in the verse form dactylic hexameter. These poems cover a range of Roman topics. This follows Lucilius—the originator of the Roman satire genre, and it fits within a poetic tradition that also includes Horace and Persius. The Satires are a vital source for the study of ancient Rome from a number of perspectives, although their comic mode of expression makes it problematic to accept the content as strictly factual. At first glance the Satires could be read as a critique of pagan Rome. That critique may have ensured their survival in the Christian monastic scriptoria although the majority of ancient texts did not survive.

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Crisis of the Third Century

The Crisis of the Third Century, also known as Military Anarchy or the Imperial Crisis (235–284 AD), was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of barbarian invasions and migrations into the Roman territory, civil wars, peasant rebellions, political instability (with multiple usurpers competing for power), Roman reliance on (and growing influence of) barbarian mercenaries known as foederati and commanders nominally working for Rome (but increasingly independent), plague, debasement of currency, and economic depression.

The crisis began with the assassination of Emperor Severus Alexander by his own troops in 235. This initiated a 50-year period during which there were at least 26 claimants to the title of emperor, mostly prominent Roman army generals, who assumed imperial power over all or part of the Empire. The same number of men became accepted by the Roman Senate as emperor during this period and so became legitimate emperors.

By 268, the empire had split into three competing states: the Gallic Empire (including the Roman provinces of Gaul, Britannia and, briefly, Hispania); the Palmyrene Empire (including the eastern provinces of Syria Palaestina and Aegyptus); and, between them, the Italian-centered independent Roman Empire proper. Later, Aurelian (270–275) reunited the empire. The crisis ended with the ascension of Diocletian and his implementation of reforms in 284.

The crisis resulted in such profound changes in the empire's institutions, society, economic life, and religion that it is increasingly seen by most historians as defining the transition between the historical periods of classical antiquity and late antiquity.

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Venus (mythology)

Venus (/ˈvnəs/, Classical Latin: /ˈwɛnʊs/; genitive Veneris /ˈwɛnɛrɪs/)[a] is a Roman goddess, whose functions encompassed love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory. In Roman mythology, she was the ancestor of the Roman people through her son, Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was central to many religious festivals, and was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles.

The Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite for Roman art and Latin literature. In the later classical tradition of the West, Venus became one of the most widely referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love (not desires, seeking answers or truth) and sexuality. She is depicted nude in paintings.

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Gaius Duilius

Gaius Duilius (lived 3rd century BC) was a Roman politician and admiral involved in the First Punic War.

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Fort Jackson (South Carolina)

Fort Jackson is a United States Army installation, which TRADOC operates on for Basic Combat Training (BCT), and is located within the city of Columbia, South Carolina. This installation is named for Andrew Jackson, a United States Army General and seventh President of the United States of America (1829–1837) who was born in the border region of North and South Carolina.

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Constitutional Law: Principles and Practice/Constitutional Law

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "Constitutional Law: Principles and Practice" which was published in 2005 by Cengage Learning.

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Black Heroes of the American Revolution/Burke Davis

For today's selection, we will be examining "Black Heroes of the American Revolution". This volume was published in 1976 by Burke Davis.

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Mein Kampf

It's a fine day for research so let's jump in! Today's volume to be reviewed is "Mein Kampf", published in 1939 by widely-reviled dictator Adolph Hitler.

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Dionysus

Dionysus or Dionysos is the god of the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth.

He is also known as Bacchus (/ˈbækəs/ or /ˈbɑːkəs/; Greek: Βάκχος, Bákkhos), the name adopted by the Romans; the frenzy he induces is bakkheia. His thyrsus, sometimes wound with ivy and dripping with honey, is both a beneficent wand and a weapon used to destroy those who oppose his cult and the freedoms he represents. As Eleutherios ("the liberator"), his wine, music and ecstatic dance free his followers from self-conscious fear and care, and subvert the oppressive restraints of the powerful. Those who partake of his mysteries are believed to become possessed and empowered by the god himself.

In his religion, identical with or closely related to Orphism, Dionysus was believed to have been born from the union of Zeus and Persephone, and to have himself represented a chthonic or underworld aspect of Zeus. Many believed that he had been born twice, having been killed and reborn as the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele. In the Eleusinian Mysteries he was identified with Iacchus, the son (or, alternately, husband) of Demeter.

His origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as Thracian, others as Greek. Though most accounts say he was born in Thrace, traveled abroad, and arrived in Greece as a foreigner, evidence from the Mycenaean period of Greek history show that he is one of Greece's oldest attested gods. His attribute of "foreignness" as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults, as he is a god of epiphany, sometimes called "the god that comes".

Wine played an important role in Greek culture, and the cult of Dionysus was the main religious focus surrounding its consumption. Wine, as well as the vines and grapes that produce it, were seen as not only a gift of the god, but a symbolic incarnation of him on earth. However, rather than being a god of drunkenness, as he was often stereotyped in the post-Classical era, the religion of Dionysus centered on the correct consumption of wine, which could ease suffering and bring joy, as well as inspire divine madness distinct from drunkenness. Performance art and drama were also central to his religion, and its festivals were the initial driving force behind the development of theatre. The cult of Dionysus is also a "cult of the souls"; his maenads feed the dead through blood-offerings, and he acts as a divine communicant between the living and the dead. He is sometimes categorised as a dying-and-rising god.

Dionysus is shown to be an Agriculture and Vegetation deity. His connection to wine, grape-harvest, orchards, and vegetation displays his role as a nature god. As the god of Viticulture and Grapes, he is connected to the growth and harvest of the fruit. In myth, he teaches the art of growing and cultivating the plant.

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Defend the Realm - The Authorized History of MI5/MI5

Today we will examine the volume "Defend the Realm - The Authorized History of MI5" published in 2009 by Christopher Andrew.

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Secret Service - The Making of the British Intelligence Community/Secret Intelligence Service

Today we will examine another book from my personal collection entitled "Secret Service - The Making of the British Intelligence Community" which was published in 1985 by Christopher Andrew.

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The Secret World - A History of Intelligence/Christopher Andrew

For today's post, we will be performing research on a book in my personal collection entitled "The Secret World - A History of Intelligence" which was published in 2018 by Christopher Andrew.

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History of Military Intelligence Division (United States)/Bruce Bidwell

For today's selection, we will be examining "History of the Military Intelligence Division, Department of the Army General Staff: 1775-1941". This volume was published in 1986 by Bruce Bidwell.

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Bodyguard of Lies/Anthony Cave Brown

It's a fine day for research so let's jump in! Today's volume to be reviewed is "Bodyguard of Lies", published in 1975 by historian Anthony Cave Brown.

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The Craft of Intelligence/Allen Dulles

Today we will examine the volume "The Craft of Intelligence" published in 1963 by a former Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency: Allen Dulles.

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