Making it Home for Blueberry Pie

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Former WWII soldier Otis Pease writes unique memoir, addresses WWII journalist John Hersey’s popular theory on soldier’s motivations

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There are a number of widely popular memoirs written by famed WWII soldiers, many of which were the source material for HBO’s hit military mini-series, “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific.” With humor and a deft touch, the late Otis Pease, a World War II veteran and U.S. history professor, offers his own World War II memoir in Blueberry Pie: The Meaning of WWII for the Americans Who Fought in It (published by iUniverse).

Blueberry Pie uniquely blends Pease’s own story with an analysis of theories about what motivated soldiers to fight in the war. The book includes not only Pease’s own extensive war diary, but excerpts from wartime letters home from two of Pease’s friends who fought in the war, documenting their thoughts about the war’s issues.

Pease left Yale as a freshman in 1943, joined the U.S. Army’s 47th Infantry Division, and fought on the German front lines in the Hürtgen Forest, where he was wounded.

The book’s title refers to a popular theory, originated by World War II journalist John Hersey, stating that what largely motivated Americans to fight in the war was not only self-preservation, but the desire to finish it so they could return home to eat “blueberry pie.”

In Blueberry Pie, Pease examines important questions about Hersey’s theory: Was it really possible that Americans in uniform held so limited a view of the war? Was blueberry pie all that Americans could be counted on to fight for, even in the face of appalling evil?

When asked of his wife, Donna McCampbell, what Pease’s inspiration was, she responded, “I think Otis always wanted to write his World War II memoir. He knew the great value of his WWII diary to remind him of what it was like as a young man to be in the war.” She continued, “As a World War II historian, he also wanted to weigh in on the John Hersey ‘blueberry pie’ theory of motivation for fighting, which he felt was too limited.”

About the Author
Otis Pease was Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Washington. He served on the faculties of the University of Texas and of Stanford University, as a Vice President of the American Historical Association and as a member of the Stanford Board of Trustees. He has authored several works on American cultural and political history. Pease lived with his wife Donna McCampbell in Seattle, Washington.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Chapters Indigo in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniverse on Twitter.


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