The Home-Front War: World War II and American Society

By Kenneth Paul O'Brien; Lynn Hudson Parsons | Go to book overview

4
Creating "Common Ground" on the Home Front: Race, Class, and Ethnicity in a 1940s Quarterly Magazine

William C. Beyer

We begin in difficult times. Never has it been more important that we become intelligently aware of the ground which Americans of various strains have in common; that we sink our tap roots deep into its rich and varied cultural past and attain rational stability in place of emotional hysteria; that we reawaken the old American Dream, the dream which, in its powerful emphasis on the fundamental worth and dignity of every human being, can be a bond of unity no totalitarian attack can break. 1

With this urgent statement of purpose, Common Ground, a new quarterly journal of literature, education, and politics, appeared in mailboxes and on newsstands across the country in September 1940. With the United States edging ever closer to open involvement in World War II, the quarterly was, in the words of one of its principal backers, "addressed to the foreign born and to Americans who ought to know more about them." 2 The magazine was the creation of three idealists: Read Lewis, a genteel, cautious, Columbia University-trained lawyer with roots in New England and close ties to the settlement house movement; Louis Adamic, an expansive, intense, best-selling author who had immigrated from Slovenia; and M. Margaret Anderson, a capable, likable, second-generation Swedish-American high school English teacher from upstate New York with an interest in immigration history. Its funding came from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a foundation that saw itself strengthening the home front during wartime.

Aimed at fostering national unity and forestalling divisions stemming from American class differences and nationality backgrounds, Common Ground was published by the Common Council for American Unity, based in New York City. 3 Americans, the quarterly's editors believed, could be unified in the present because they shared fundamental experiences in the past: their apparent diversity masked essential unity. But as the hot war against the Axis became the cold war against Communism, the fault lines within U.S. society shifted from nationality to race. To bridge the chasms among groups of Americans, Common Ground's contributors first looked to persuasive intercultural educational

-41-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Home-Front War: World War II and American Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 214

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.