Why does Zinn call World War II a "people's war"? 

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chadphares eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While American historian Howard Zinn acknowledges that World War II was a "people's war" during the time it was fought, he raises questions regarding if it should continue to be thought of similarly decades later. 

Certainly there is ample evidence that points to why it would be considered a people's war. Democrats, Republicans, middle class, rich and poor were all united in the call to fight against fascism. Likewise, more than 18 million Americans served in the military at this time and more than 25 million workers supported war bonds.

However, Zinn argues that perhaps this support from the people could still be considered manufactured support, considering that many major entities in the United States—including the government, the press, and the church were all supportive of the country's involvement in World War II. 

Zinn doesn't provide a definitive answer regarding if World War II was, indeed, a people's war, but does raise many questions that call for further reflection.