Men of World War II: Fighting Men at Ease

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Press:Harry N Abrams Inc Harry N. Abrams; First edition (April 1, 2007)
Publication Date:2007-4
Author Name:Bachner, Evan B.


The long awaited follow up to the original At Ease presents 160 new, never before published photographs of WWII Navy men. 
These photos are not the combat photography we’re so accustomed to seeing; here are disarmingly winsome and playful pictures of sailors and soldiers at leisure, displaying an innocent affection for each other that is practically unthinkable today.
This was a time when men had no reservations about showing their devotion to their comrades through physical contact, and the included photographs are truly snapshots of a lost era.
This volume includes photos from the National Archives by Edward J.
Steichen, Wayne Miller, Horace Bristol, Victor Jorgensen, Barrett Gallagher, and many others.


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Comment List (Total:18)

  •     This picture book is a work of art. There are over 150 pictures of military men in the middle of a war, yet clearly at peace within themselves.
  •     My partner and I had just watched BAND OF BROTHERS & THE PACIFIC series by HBO ,so we were wondering about the gay feeling aroundethe times of the WWII, so we purchased this book . I was amazed with the pictures that show this brotherhood between them , it almost make you feel uncomfortable not because they are sexual , but because they are so innocent and sweet at times . It's almost sad since you do not know how many of this soldiers made it . You have just this fragment of time put on paper (picture) wich represents that specific moment in time were they were at ease and that the last thing they were thinking is who was going to be killed next or if you were going to see the face of your next victim.
  •     The topic of World War II continues to be a source of films and books and television series as though that war was the last war that suggested the romance of men away from home, fighting for their country's honor, for patriotism etc. Now the multiple wars in which we continue to invest are quite the opposite but the feeling among soldiers isolated from the world remains the same. Yes, there have been some changes in the rules and regs about sexual conduct, but return to the `halcyon days ` of WW II and see how fighting men worked with each other in those moments when not under fire.Evan Bachner, well known for this book `At Ease' that showed the men of the Navy at play with each other, has created another book dealing with the land forces of WW II. Bachner, 52, the son of a WWII Navy sailor, a photo historian, and Columbia Business School graduate was working at Merrill Lynch and `came across an unusual picture of a naked gunner in the St. Georges Channel by Horace Bristol from WW II's Pacific Theater of operations. That started him on a quest of collecting the picture's of America's greatest generation at ease on Pacific islands, atolls, and ships, as the prepared for gruesome battles with the Japanese. The pictures honor these very ordinary men and heroes in poses that are not the standard war photos of men in the midst of battle. These uncopyrighted photos were actually taken during World War II by the Naval Aviation Photographic Unit that was formed in 1942 by photographer Edward J. Steichen. (The over 400,000 photos are stored at the National Archives in Greenbelt MD). It had six photographers who traveled with the Navy and took pictures of military men training, in combat and in their free time. The photographs appeared in newspapers and magazines during World War II, but most of those published were of men in battle. The 150 portraits and pictures in Bachner's book are the more social ones that were never published in stateside newspapers. Photographers in the WWII unit included Wayne Miller, and Howard Liberman, as well as Victor Jorgensen, Edward Steichen, Horace Bristol, and Barrett Gallagher. The reviews confirm that this book covers masculinity and camaraderie in a raw environment that captures it all on film in an uninhibited way.There is an obvious physical relationship that is transmitted in the gentlest ways, further proof that men together find the emotional and physical support so needed in the time of isolation from the world. It is to Evan Bachner's credit that he shares this truly sensitive body of work with the public at a time when we all need to understand not only the plight of the men away at war today, but of the common threads of pansexuality that have never been a threat but only a solace in a world infected with prejudice. Grady Harp, November 12
  •     Beautiful photographs of the men who served our country. Candid and somewhat homoerotic. Black and white pics throughout the book. A must have for any WW2 buff or those who love seeing our men in various states of dress and undress.
  •     I thought there would be nude photos in this collection; I wanted some tasteful homoerotic smut. Instead it really is just a book of WW2 soldiers. I feel very mislead.
  •     Bought as a gift.
  •     interesting photo study
  •     The photographs are great, ittransports you back to a time where life was carefree and people were not uptight. I love this book and proudly display it on my coffee table.
  •     Many never before seen photos of the troops behind the front lines living life daily. Interesting photos to say the least!
  •     Interesting photos, was hoping for more shenanigans frankly.
  •     Author Evan Bachner returns two years later with a follow-up to his first book, "At Ease". If you thoroughly enjoyed his first book, as I did, you wont be disappointed. Filled with over 150 photos of sailors and soldiers looking quite peaceful,even though a war raged around them. Being a Navy veteran, I couldn't help but notice how familiar some of these images seem. A perfect companion to the first book.
  •     Would't recomend it.
  •     Why an amazing reference and guide to places and people who do extraordinary work and at times get little of no credit if any. Breathtaking pictures. Worth a read an a discussion.
  •     I returned this book. I was expecting a bit more from the description and the picture on the front. The photos are interesting, but not nearly as provocative and playful as the one on the cover. It is well done so I hate to only give it two stars, but it was not what I expected.
  •     I ordered this book concurrent with Bachner's first book of what I hope will be a larger series,At Ease: Navy Men of World War IIand am so glad I did. If you finished that volume and wanted it to go on for another 160 pages, that's what this is. Quality, subjects, etc. equal to the first volume. The images are really charming and sweet - these were beautiful, brave boys - heroes all of them and the photos the author selected are well chosen. as with Navy Men, I'm charmed by how many of the fellows are pictured reading, and the little personal details that show up in these sharp photos, such as many of the boys are wearing their class rings, ID bracelets, wedding rings, watches, etc. Highly recommend.
  •     First saw this at a museum gift shop and passed it over because I did not want to carry it around.... The thought of the book stayed with me for about a month, I remembered the impression created by the book- the pictures were taken in many different places, by many different people- by the way the material was assembled and presented is amazing.
  •     Interesting look of our men and allies in a time of great stress and uncertainty.
  •     The subjects rarely look like they are posing. It seems to be white American navy men and navy pilots at sea but mostly on shore in the South Pacific.

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