Does Winston Groom prefer writing novels or history books? Forrest Gump, his most celebrated title, was made into a 1994 Gary Sinise film (also starring Tom Hanks) that won six Academy Awards. His latest work is The Allies: Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II.
“Well, that’s a good question,” Groom said during his Meet the Author presentation at the Museum, presented by Institute for the Study of War and Democracy with the generous support of the Strake Foundation. “The good thing about fiction is that you can make it up. When you write fiction, and I’m talking about the old days on a typewriter, you’re looking at a blank page, so you have to make it up. It is a daunting thing in the morning or whenever you choose to write. … History, you’ve got a beginning and a middle and and end. It’s all there, it’s just a question of putting it down in such a way that you think your reader is going to like it and understand it. … There’s a satisfaction in both things. It’s like being a tennis player and golfer at the same time. Or maybe it’s like playing golf with a tennis racket.”
A US Army Vietnam veteran, Groom was interviewed by Robert M. Citino, PhD, the Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy and Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian at The National WWII Museum. Watch the presentation below.