The War in American Culture explores the role of World War II in the transformation of American social, cultural, and political life.
World War II posed a crisis for American culture: to defeat the enemy, Americans had to unite across the class, racial and ethnic boundaries that had long divided them. Exploring government censorship of war photography, the revision of immigration laws, Hollywood moviemaking, swing music, and popular magazines, these essays reveal the creation of a new national identity that was pluralistic, but also controlled and sanitized. Concentrating on the home front and the impact of the war on the lives of ordinary Americans, the contributors give us a rich portrayal of family life, sexuality, cultural images, and working-class life in addition to detailed consideration of African Americans, Latinos, and women who lived through the unsettling and rapidly altered circumstances of wartime America.
Challenging the claim of World War II to be the last good war, historians explore its paradoxical and enduring effects on American identity, racial and ethnic subgroups, and women's roles. All but one of the 13 essays were presented at a public symposium in March 1992 at Loyala University. They cover the quest for a national unity, interpreting The American Way, the challenge of race and resistance to change, mobilization for change, and the new political paradigm. Paper edition (unseen), $17.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)