Wouk, Herman: The Winds of War
(researched by Kate Golden)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Published in the United States in 1971 by Little, Brown and Company in Boston Simultaneously published in Toronto by Little, Brown and Company Limited
Copyright-1971 by Herman Wouk
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
The first edition was published in red cloth. The cloth has gold and red stamping. In the upper half of the cover, is an imprint of Little, Brown and Company's logo. On the bottom right corner of the cover, is a gold-stamped Herman Wouk signature.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
445 leaves, 890 pages 4-17 19-30 32-45 47-55 57-65 67-75 77-86 88-97 102-103 105-111 113-133 135-145 147-168 170-187 189-207 209-220 222-241 243-255 257-273 275-286 288-301 303-311 313-319 321-326 328-341 343-356 360-375 377-381 383-393 395-409 411-426 428-435 437-453 455-477 479-484 486-506 508-523 525-544 546-559 561-585 600-606 608-633 635-645 647-668 670-686 689-697 699-709 711-717 719-736 738-756 758-766 768-784 786-793 795-814 816-829 831-848 850-855 857-860 862-872 874-885 (numbered)


5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
There is a forward by Herman Wouk, who writes that the story itself is fiction, but the history of the war is accurate He ends is forward with words from Julien Benda who wrote: "Peace, if it ever exists, will not be based on the fear of war, but on the love of peace. It will not be the abstaining from an art, but the coming of a state of mind. In this sense, the most insignificant writer can serve peace, where the most powerfu
l tribunals can do nothing."
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
The book is not illustrated.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The cloth covering of the book is a bold red. The binding is a black cloth backstrip. On the binding is gold and metallic red stamping. In gold-stamped print is the author's name and the
name of the publishing company (Little, Brown. In bigger block print lettering is the red-stamped title, which is located underneath the author's name. The red cloth is covered by a black dust jacket. On this dust jacket is a picture of clouds, lit from behind by the sun. Herman Wouk's name is printed in big red block letters in the upper half of the cover. The title is printed in gold block letters,
outlined in red, and it is located in the lower half of the cover. The back of the dust jacket features a large black and white photgraph of the author. The dust jacket is slightly torn in one corner, but the color of the cloth remains quite bold.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The paper has held up well over time. Like the cover, it has neither tattered nor torn. It is a yellowish white color. The paper itself is thin and sm
ooth cut.
11 Description of binding(s)
The binding is a black cloth backstrip, with gold and metallic red stamping. (See General Appearance above) The pages of The Winds of War have been sewn together, and then glued to the binding strip.
12 Transcription of title page
The title page consists of two pages, which when o
pened, reveal the following information the left page reads: a novel by/Henry Wouk/ [logo]/Little, Brown and Company the right page reads: The/Winds/of/War
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
There were no manuscript holdings available. I assume that because the author is alive, he may still have the manuscripts in his possession.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
The page following Wouk's forward is an acknowledgement page. He wr
ites: To my sons, Nathaniel and Joseph. Underneath their names, written in Hebrew, is the word "Remember". This is in reference to the horrible atrocities the Jews faced in World War II, and which Wouk writes about in his novel. It is also, as Richard Bolton writes, a desire for others to live as Wouk's hero does. He wants us to emulate the character's choices so that we never "excuse the massacre" and "pardon terrorism".
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Little, Brown, and Company published a Book Club Edition of Winds of War in 1971. In 1978, Little, Brown, and Company published a box set edition of Winds of War and its Sequel, War and Remembrance in one book, published in Trade Cloth. In 1992 and 1995, a reprint edition was printed in mass market paper. Its cover is red, gold, and black. The title of the book is printed in large, block letters, as is the author's name.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
information not available
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Pocket Books, 1973, 1983, 19
86, 1989. Demco Media, 1992. Fontana, 1974, 1983 Collins, 1971
6 Last date in print?
Book is still in print
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
Total copies in print as of Feb. 1983 was 5,198,700 copies, but total copies sold was n/a
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
This information was not available
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
Ad placed in Publisher's Weekly November 29, 1971. Winds of War is one of the modern publishing achievements/ of recent years. This giant of a novel,/ by one of America's most renowed authors,/is sure to make its own kind of history/ in the months ahead. Ad is illustrated with a picture of the first edition in its dust jacket. Full page ad.
Appeared in The New York Times Book Review, November 21, 1971 The Literary Guild Presents...[photograph of first edition in its dust jacket] The/masterwork/from the/ pulitzer prize-winning author/of The/Caine Mutiny. Full page ad
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
Information regarding other forms of promotion was not found.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Winds of War was made into a seven-part television movie in 1983. It was directed by Dan Curtis and produced by Paramount Pictures. According to Pocket Books, it was the m
ost-watched television program in television history, with 140+ viewers tuning in. In 1984, Michael Pritchard read the Winds of War in 28 audio tapes for Books on Tape.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
[Dutch] Der Feuersturm. Zurich: Buchclub Ex Libris, 1974. [Korean] Chonjaeng ui param/ Homan Uk'u chium: An Chong-hyo omgim. Seoul: Chuu 1983 [Chinese] Chan cheng feng yun/ Ho-erh-man Wo-k'o chu. Shang-hai: Shang-hai i wen ch'u pan she, 1995. [Chinese] Chan cheng feng yun/ Ho-er-man Wo-k'o chu. Pei-ching: Pei-ching fa hsing so fa hsing, 1979. [German] Der Feursturm: roman/ Herman Wouk. Hamburg, Hoffmann und Campe, 1972. [Chinese] Fun yen/ Herman Wouk chu; Shih I-chung i. Taipei: Hao-shih-nien ch'u pan sh'e, 1980. [Swedish] Krigets vindar; Natalie;roman/ av Herman Wouk: oversattning av Gunnar Barklund. Stolkholm: Walhstrom & Widstram, 1985. [Spanish] Vientos de Guerra/Herman Wouk: traducio por Maria Antonia Menini. Barcelona: Ediciones Grijalbo, 1972, 1984. [Italian] Vento di Guerra. Milan: A. Mondadori, 1972, 1977. [French] Le Souffle de la Guerre. Paris: J'ai lu, 1972,1975. [Portugese] Ventos de Guerra. Amadora: Bertrand, 1974, 1975.
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
Reader's Digest Condendensed Books. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest Association, 1972.
Herman Wouk's The Winds of War: A Magazine for Viewers. New York: Cultural Information Service, 1982. (This magazine contained excerpts from the novel as well as a tv guide for the seven-part television movie.)
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
War and Remembrance. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1978.
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Herman Wouk was born on May 27, 1915 in New York City to Abraham Issac and Esther Levine Wouk, both Jewish immigrants from Russia. He spent his early years in what he calls that "romantic (and much over-ridiculed
) borough", the Bronx. After graduating from Townsend Harris Hall High School, he attended Columbia University, where he majored in comparative literature and philosophy. Wouk's experience as editor of the college humor magazine led to his job as a gag-writer for radio comedians from 1934-1935. This in turn led to his writing for comedian Fred Allen from 1936-1941, a job he recalls with much fondness. With the start of World War II, Wouk went to work for the United States Treasury, writing and producing plays for the radio to promote war bond sales. Soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942, he enlisted in the Navy. He became a Lieutenant, received four stars, and was rewarded with the Presidential Unit Citation during his time in service. It was during his spare time aboard the Zane that he w
rote his first novel, Aurora Dawn, which was published in 1947 when he was 32. He undoubtly drew from his experience in the Navy for his Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel, The Caine Mutiny (1951). It was while writing the Caine Mutiny that Wouk first conceived the notion to write an epic novel about World War II. He never lost sight of this ambition, and twenty years later, after five more novels, he moved to Washington D.C. to begin research. He
interviewed living military officers, and read documents in the National Archives and the Library of Congress. His research led him to travel to England, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Czeschoslavkia, Israel, Iran, and the Soviet Union. This comprehen
sive effort resulted in two novels about World War II; The Winds of War, and its sequel War and Remembrance. Both books were national best-sellers, and both were awarded with Literary Guild Selections. Both books have left an indelible impression on th
e conscience of America. As Michael Mandelbaum wrote in Political Science Quarterly, "Since both [Winds of War and War and Remembrance] have been best sellers, it is likely that more Americans have learned about, or remembered, the war through Wouk's account than from any other
single source in the last decade." Since War and Remembrance was published in 1978, Wouk has published three more novels, entitled Inside, Outside (1985), The Hope (1994), and The Glory (1994), all published by Little, Brown, and Company. He lives with his wife, Betty Sarah Brown, whom he married in 1945, in Washington, and has not published a novel since 1994. He and his wife have two sons, Nathaniel and Joseph. A third son, Abraham Isaac, died in 1951, after a drowning accident. Some of Wouk's manuscripts and personal writings can be viewed at Columbia University
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The Winds of War was an immensely popular novel that topped the best seller charts for several months in 1971 and 1972. Its success cannot be disputed, as witnessed by its run on the charts, the success of its se
quel, and the success of the movie based on both books. Its critical success, however, is another story. The critics did not love The Winds of War as much as the American public. It is a momentous body of work. Herman Wouk spent seven years researching the history of World War II for Winds, and its sequel War and Remembrance. However, it is the comprehensive nature of his background research that poses the biggest point of disa
greement among critics. Time magazine states that Wouk's "literary logistics are collosal" and that the "variety of his sources resulted in color as well as accuracy." But the majority of critics felt that the novel read more like a history textbook.
It has been argued that Wouk was more concerned with teaching the public about the events of World War II, than he was about writing a novel. Indeed, the story begins in 1936 and ends with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and its main characters are present
at every major event during this time. Many critics seem to believe that Wouk's insistence on historical facts detracts from the development of his characters, believing that they served only to eyewitness the events that were happening around them. Wo
uk is denounced for lack of artistic ability in developing personas, for his characters are perceived as flat and mechanical. The New Yorker states "the chronicle of the characters travels amounts to 450,000 words of chitchat. While people die on every side, our heroes go on and on, unscathed and silent." Newsweek was even more critical; "Wouk writes copiously and flattly, cli
ches falling like confetti". Wouk's characters are criticized in The Listener as well; "He insists on the historicity of fiction while presenting little more than pop-ups and cut outs of his characters without depth, subtlety, or passion." Granville Hicks of the New York Times wrot
e of "the failures of Wouk's style" when describing his inablity to create personas that the audience could relate to. However negative the critics were in response to Wouk's novel, they acknowledged its emminent popularity with the general public, admitting Wouk has a gift for story-telling. Newsweek stated he "has the mysterious gift of readability", and the New Yorke
r wrote "he has a gift of compelling narrative". Despite its eight hundred pages, the New Republic believed the "story moves along briskly". The Winds of War can hardly be called a critical darling. It lacks the artistic crediblity needed to please literary critics. But Wouk achieved his goal of writing a didactic story of the ills of World War II that the public would enjoy reading. Even t
he harshest of critics (in Newsweek) admitted that he wanted to know what happens in the next volume.
LIST OF REVIEWS Time, November 22 1971 Newsweek, November 29, 1971 The New Yorker, December 18, 1971 The New York Times, November 22, 1971 The Listener, November 25, 1971 Ladies Home Journal, April 2, 1972 America, May 20, 1972 The Atlantic Monthly, December 1971 Saturday Review, November 27, 1971 The New Republic, December 4, 1971 The New Statesman, November 19, 1971
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The Winds of War was an immensely popular novel that topped the best seller charts for several months in 1971 and 1972. Its success cannot be disputed, as witnessed by its run on the charts, the success of its se
quel, and the success of the movie based on both books. Its critical success, however, is another story. The critics did not love The Winds of War as much as the American public. It is a momentous body of work. Herman Wouk spent seven years researching the history of World War II for Winds, and its sequel War and Remembrance. However, it is the comprehensive nature of his background research that poses the biggest point of disa
greement among critics. Time magazine states that Wouk's "literary logistics are collosal" and that the "variety of his sources resulted in color as well as accuracy." But the majority of critics felt that the novel read more like a history textbook.
It has been argued that Wouk was more concerned with teaching the public about the events of World War II, than he was about writing a novel. Indeed, the story begins in 1936 and ends with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and its main characters are present
at every major event during this time. Many critics seem to believe that Wouk's insistence on historical facts detracts from the development of his characters, believing that they served only to eyewitness the events that were happening around them. Wo
uk is denounced for lack of artistic ability in developing personas, for his characters are perceived as flat and mechanical. The New Yorker states "the chronicle of the characters travels amounts to 450,000 words of chitchat. While people die on every side, our heroes go on and on, unscathed and silent." Newsweek was even more critical; "Wouk writes copiously and flattly, cli
ches falling like confetti". Wouk's characters are criticized in The Listener as well; "He insists on the historicity of fiction while presenting little more than pop-ups and cut outs of his characters without depth, subtlety, or passion." Granville Hicks of the New York Times wrot
e of "the failures of Wouk's style" when describing his inablity to create personas that the audience could relate to. However negative the critics were in response to Wouk's novel, they acknowledged its emminent popularity with the general public, admitting Wouk has a gift for story-telling. Newsweek stated he "has the mysterious gift of readability", and the New Yorke
r wrote "he has a gift of compelling narrative". Despite its eight hundred pages, the New Republic believed the "story moves along briskly". The Winds of War can hardly be called a critical darling. It lacks the artistic crediblity needed to please literary critics. But Wouk achieved his goal of writing a didactic story of the ills of World War II that the public would enjoy reading. Even t
he harshest of critics (in Newsweek) admitted that he wanted to know what happens in the next volume.
LIST OF REVIEWS Time, November 22 1971 Newsweek, November 29, 1971 The New Yorker, December 18, 1971 The New York Times, November 22, 1971 The Listener, November 25, 1971 Ladies Home Journal, April 2, 1972 America, May 20, 1972 The Atlantic Monthly, December 1971 Saturday Review, November 27, 1971 The New Republic, December 4, 1971 The New Statesman, November 19, 1971
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Herman Wouk's The Winds of War debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list on November 28, 1971 at number nine. The fact that it was found on the list the week of its publication can be accredited to Wouk's a
cclaim as an author. Having already published six successful novels, Wouk's highly-touted epic about World WAr II was an anticipated literary event. In addition, his previous novel on life in the military, The Caine Mutiny, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1951. Critics and readers alike waited with high expectations for The Winds of War's publication.
It was not Wouk's popularity, however, that kept The Winds of War on the lists of both the New York Times and Publisher's Weekly for a combined total of 172 weeks. Nor was it his previous awards that catapulted the novel to the top of the list for a se
ven month run. It was the novel's ability to capture an audience, to maintain their captivity for nine hundred pages, that made his book a beloved bestseller.
Wouk's goal in writing this novel was to teach the American public about the forces behind World War II. Investing seven years of his life to research, Wouk moved to Washington D.C. in order to live closer to the National Archives and the Library of Con
gress. He traveled to England, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Israel, Iran, and the Soviet Union, in an effort to capture the true essence of the people he was to base his characters on.
The reasons for Wouk's immense devotion are numbered. He enlisted in the Navy shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942, and his time in service certainly influenced his interest in the subject of war. Indeed, two of his novels written prior to
the publication of The Winds of War; Aurora Dawn and The Caine Mutiny were also based on the military. Several critics consider Wouk's ability to accurately depict the military as "insightful and carefully constructed" (Gale, 8). His understanding of the armed forces and the manner in which they operate is obvious throughout his book, as his main character is an officer in the American army. Wouk's personal experience in the army lends to a greater authenticity in his writing, a
n authenticity the American public relished in.
In addition, Wouk is Jewish, and thus has an even more personal reason in desiring to capture World War II as accurately as possible. His close connection to subject matter helped in creating a deeply personal and heartfelt story that readers felt they c
ould relate to. As the Atlantic's Edward Weeks wrote, "without much fuss for style or symbolism, [Wouk] drives his story ahead with an infectious belief in the people he is writing about." His characters are not two-dimensional, but fully fleshed-out a
nd human. Rather than creating a heroic archetype of the American soldier, Wouk writes that Pug Henry was "single-minded" (4) and inexpressive. Instead of the typical image one associates with an important military officer, Henry is short and stocky. Wouk's huma
nized description of his main character lends to ones abilitiy to relate to him and his feelings. Wouk also creates flaws in Pug's wife, Rhoda, who has an affair with a prominent American scientist as a result of her husband's increased passivity and
absence. Thus, in his depiction of characters, Wouk creates a historic novel that readers felt compassion towards as a result of their realism.
Wouk's ability to write enjoyable historical tales has been compared to that of James Michener, a comparison that seems valid if one looks at the bestseller list from 1971. The Winds of War and Michener's The Drifters are numbers six and seven, respect
ively, illustrating the popularity of fiction based on real events; Michener's novel is a report on the Kent State shootings. Two other books on the list, Irving Stone's Passions of the Mind and Frederick Forsyth's Day of the Jackal, also contain real
ist elements; Stone's novel is about Sigmund Freud, while Forsyth's is known as a "documentary novel." Its detailed realism is heralded as a superb literary achievement. Forsyth, like Wouk, is devoted to accuracy, as he spends months on research.
Both Forsyth and Wouk are also found on the bestseller list from 1972; Forsyth's The Odessa File as well as his Day of the Jackal are two and six. The extended run of all three novels demonstrates the lasting success of the historically-based, realisiti
c genre during this time, perhaps a result of the desire for stability in the turbulent era of the late sixties and early seventies.
In addition, one non-fiction book illustrates the public's interest in the history of past events. At number six on the list of non-fiction bestsellers is a book entitled Inside the Third Reich, by Albert Speer. The success of both The Winds of War and
Inside the Third Reich demonstrates a genuine interest in World War II by the American people, perhaps a result of America's involvement in yet another war at this time, Vietnam.
Written on the dedication page of The Winds of War is the Hebrew word for 'remember' underneath the names of Wouk's two sons, Nathaniel and Joseph. The importance of remembering the atrocities of World War II is demonstrated through Wouk's insistence
on historical accuracy through nine hundred pages of text. Indeed, Wouk created a romance whose purpose was a didactic one. His story begins in 1936 and ends with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. His main characters are present at every major event during
this time. Pug Henry meets Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin and Churchill, and is friends with Roosevelt; his son witnesses the German blitzkrieg and the bombing of Warsaw; his wife has an affair with a scientist who helps to develop the atomic bomb. Wouk acknowledges the
accuracy of his novel in the foreword, in which he writes "The history of the war in this romance is offered as accurate; the statistics, as reliable; the words and acts of the great personages, as either historical, or derived from accounts of their wor
ds and deeds in similar situations. No work of this scope can be free of error, but readers will discern, it is hoped, an arduous effort to give a true and full picture of a great world battle." A generation after the end of World War II, the American public thirste
d for an account of the war their fathers fought in. Because The Winds of War was written with so much attention to detail, the public couldn't help but learn about historical events. As Michael Mandelbaum wrote in Political Science Quarterly, "Since [
The Winds of War] has been a bestseller, it is likely that more Americans have learned about, or remembered, the war through Wouk's account than from any other single source in the last decade." The fact that historical information could be gleaned from a fascinating story enhanc
ed the novel's appeal, and lended to its success at bookstores across the country.
But Wouk was not content to simply teach others about the events surrounding World War II. He also wished to promote peace, so that something like it would never happen again. He writes that "industrialized armed force, the curse that presses so heavily
and so ominously on us all, came to full flower in the Second World War." At a time when the protracted length of U.S. involvement in Vietnam had come under severe attack, when sentiment against participation in the war had been expressed in peace ralli
es, demonstrations, and rallies across the country, The Winds of War's message of peace was deeply desired by many. Wouk acknowledges his aim in the foreword, where he quotes Julien Benda: Peace, if it ever exists, will not be based on the fear of war, but on the love of peace. It will not be the abstaining from an act, but the c
oming of a state of mind. In this sense the most insignificant writer can serve peace, where the most powerful tribunals can do nothing. Because Wouk writes with vivid realism, he does not avoid the dark side of war. He writes of generals who blindly lead their soldiers to death, of cities that are destroyed by bombing. He captures the terror of those who lived in fear as well as the dev
astation of those that suffered at Auschwitz. At the same time, however, Wouk does not shy away from writing about the valor and the leadership of war. His novel also displays battle in a positive light, exploring the extreme patriotism that war creates
. His Pug Henry is a man of conviction and pride, and Wouk obviously views him, and men like him, as a fundamental part of modern society. His idea of peace and his idea of patriotism are not contradictory, for he explains through the course of his novel that the reason there is no peace is that there are not enought men like Pug. Thus, Wouk appeale
d to both the side of the American population who desired peace and the side that felt war is necessary.
The popularity of the novel can also be credited to Wouk's attempt to answer the ultimate question of World War II, a question that many have attempted to solve since the end of the war: why did the Germans do it? He explores this theme by having differ
ent characters cite different reasons, both political and cultural. He also shows the German perspective with an imaginary treatise written by the character General Armin von Roon, which is based on actual writings by German officers. Michael Mandelbaum
wrote of Wouk's explanation for the war: Human cruelty, of which war is the most massive and spectacular manifestation, occurs not because people are cruel, but because most people are weak or lazy, or too wishful to perceive in time what truly cruel people like the Nazis are about...Given that fallibility, World War II, and possibly other wars since, probably could not ha
ve been avoided.
It is easier to convey one's opinion through the guise of a novel, rather than an essay or an article, as a reader is more likely to accept an author's idea when he is attached to the characters who are thinking it. Thus, Wouk is able to successfully e
xplore the causes of the war in a manner that readers found inoffensive and informative to read. This successful combination led to an enjoyable reading experience, in which readers were compelled to think and to reflect about the war. The reading exper
ience was therefore as intellectual as it was pleasing.
While the novel enjoyed an extended run in 1971 and 1972, it also saw a brief (twelve week) reemergence in 1983 with the massive televised mini-series on ABC. The movie was an immense hit, and ABC claimed it was the "most watched program in television hi
story." The success of the movie prompted readers to once again buy the beloved best-seller, demonstrating The Winds of War's enduring poppularity.
Arnold Beichman of the National Review wrote "Herman Wouk is one of our outstanding historical novelists." This sentiment is obviously reciprocated by the millions of readers who bought The Winds of War, and who continue to buy it, to this day. Wouk's
amazing gift of story-telling lends itself to the compelling narrative of the novel, a novel whose sequel, War and Remembrance, was equally as popular. Wouk's popularity as an author is undeniable and irrefutable, as is the popularity of The Winds of Wa
r.
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