New Book by Villanova History Professor Offers In-Depth Look at Last Year of World War II

Marc G

Villanova, PA – On May 8, 1945, Victory in Europe Day—shortened to “V.E. Day” – brought with it the demise of Nazi Germany. But for the Allies, the war was only half-won. A new book co-authored by Villanova University History professor Marc S. Gallicchio, PhD, explores the final months of America’s war with Japan and the critical decisions of well-known politicians, military leaders and ordinary citizens.

In Implacable Foes: The War in the Pacific, 1944-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2017), Dr. Gallicchio and co-author Waldo Heinrichs, PhD, a World War II veteran and the Dwight E. Stanford Professor Emeritus at San Diego State University, offer what Kirkus Reviews calls “an in-depth account of the denouement of the Pacific phase of World War II.” 

The book covers a crucial period beginning in early 1944, as American forces began to shift from containment of Japanese advance to a sustained offensive. The two award-winning historians deliver a detailed account of a grueling campaign of bloody attrition against an enemy determined to fight to the last man. 

“The contribution of this vital book is its portrait of history as lived desperately in the moment; of the varied troubles that beset planners and commanders in the war's horrific last year; and of the mettle and vision of an American president whom history should underrate no longer,” noted The Wall Street Journal. ’Implacable Foes shows war operations as a human ordeal even at the highest level, fueled by the exhaustible human spirit.”

Dr. Gallicchio, who is chair of Villanova’s History department, was a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer in Japan from1998 to 1999 and again from 2004 to 2005. He is the author of The African American Encounter with Japan and China: Black Internationalism in Asia, 1895 – 1945 (The University of North Carolina Press, 2000) which won the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations Robert H. Ferrell book prize.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

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