No Forgotten Fronts

From Classrooms to Combat
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Published:April 15, 2018

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PRESS RELEASE: No Forgotten Fronts by Naval Institute Press

An American war story told though the voices of a college community

At the beginning of World War II, professor Lauren Post, San Diego State College, asked his students entering military service to write to him. Thousands of letters arrived from places like Pearl Harbor, North Africa, and Normandy, beginning with the salutation, “Dear Doc.” They described vivid accounts of training, combat, and camaraderie. Pilots wrote about seeing planes shot down. Men in POW camps sent word about the location of other prisoners and Dr. Post passed information on to frantic families. Mothers, hoping for news about missing sons, clutched at the details. These intimate, first-person accounts capture honest, in-the-moment reactions to war that resound with heartache and gratitude.

Each month, Dr. Post excerpted the letters and mailed the Aztec News Letter around the world. Fraternities, typing classes, and families donated time and money for printing and postage. When the latest issue arrived, servicemen and women read it cover-to-cover, and then passed it to another Aztec in service.

Dr. Post produced and mailed a newsletter each month for four years. He sent pilots Aztec stickers to put on their planes. Soldiers sent him Nazi flags and sand from Iwo Jima. He tallied up the medals they earned and took time to call their mothers. He couldn’t rest until he knew that every student who had been taken prisoner was released.

For years afterward, men and women dropped by his small campus office to thank him for helping them make it through the war. This is the story of the devotion of a remarkable college professor who held his students, their campus, and an entire community together during World War II. These students fought for democracy and to preserve a cherished way of life that included football, Coca-Cola, and Sadie Hawkins dances. Their correspondences to one beloved professor describe an American perspective of war that shines with idealism, determination, raw grief, and the power of friendship.


List Price: $29.95
Member Price: $23.96
Product Details
  • Subject: World War II
  • Hardback : 392 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1682472728
  • ISBN-13: 9781682472729
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 26.24 oz
  • Veteran On the Move Podcast Interview with Lisa K. Shapiro
  • Naval History Blog Post
  • “‘The simple, beautiful, profound prose’ conveys ‘for me the meaning of war,’ Shapiro writes, and she is correct.” —Military Times 2018 Summer Reading Guide
  • “This is quite a remarkable book, the true story of a college professor who started a newsletter with his wife for his former students who were off at war…. [This is] an incredible resource for modern readers. For those who need historical background for each group of letters printed here, the author does an excellent job of presenting concise explanations of the events of the day and the war theaters in which they were taking place.” —WTBF-AM/FM
  • “Compilations of personal letters, diaries, and journals for publication extend primarily in United States history, from the Civil War to the present. This volume presents letters which were sent to a professor of geography at then-San Diego State College during World War II. Excerpts of these letters were included in a newsletter which was mailed to those SDSC Aztec students who were serving in the military, at home and abroad…. With much of the World War II generation having passed away, these letters are invaluable in giving those of us who have come after an opportunity to again appreciate the effort and sacrifice made on our behalf, as well as the viewpoints of those who lived through the destruction and life’s disruption of the world’s greatest conflict. For a look at an academic segment of American society in the 1940s, this volume is recommended.” —The Journal of America's Literary Past
  • "I could not put this book down! No Forgotten Fronts compellingly weaves history with the actual words of San Diego State soldiers during World War II and Dr. Lauren C. Post, their professor on the home front, in a way that demonstrates without question the role of support each person played for all the others." —Dr. Susan Dersnah Fee, supporter of the American War Letters Project
  • "Professor Shapiro captures the essence of Dr. Post’s students’ grief, anxiety, loneliness, and desire to locate their friends or know how they were able to survive during the war. The book is a testament to the human spirit that never gives up amidst challenges. Letters are messages from the heart, and the reader will be brought to the hearts and minds of those heroic families who fought for our freedoms and the preservation of our values." —Raquel R. Ramsey, executive producer of Never Surrender: The Ed Ramsey Story
  • "A beautiful message of the power of one person to make a difference in the world, even in time of war. This book is a reminder to all of us that simply bearing faithful witness to the profound, the mundane, and the profane can be sacred work." —Rev. Jan Christian, author of Leave No Brother Behind: A Sister’s War Memoir

Lisa K. Shapiro began teaching in 2003, and her community college classrooms have always been filled with veterans. As a creative writing instructor, she encouraged the soldiers, sailors, and Marines who were transitioning back to student life to put their stories on paper.

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