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

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

Bibliography

Several excellent, general historiographical essays on World War II already exist. The most recent and comprehensive can be found in Michael C. C. Adams's The Best War Ever ( 1993), an up-to-date, well-balanced, and judicious introduction to the war's literature. Rather than duplicate Adams, the following bibliography offers comprehensive coverage of the recent and rapidly growing literature of the home-front war. No such bibliography has previously been published.

This compilation identifies more than 500 items written in the past 10 years that examine various aspects of the American home front during World War II. The entries have been divided into five categories: Economics and Politics, Localities and Regions, Racial and Ethnic Groups, Society and Culture, and Women. But, in order to provide as useful and full coverage of the home-front war as possible, we have omitted the many biographies of the powerful and important, the rich literature on diplomatic history, and most of the large number of pieces on the military experiences of America's women and minorities.

Categorization within a large bibliography is obviously a matter of judgment. In this compilation, "who" took precedence over "what" or "where." Articles that focus on a particular group are found in either "Women" or "Racial and Ethnic Groups," even when the piece concentrates on the group's economic or political experience. In addition, the small literature on American conscientious objection, since this was a political decision, has been assigned to "Politics and Economics." The more extensive literature on enemy prisoners of war (POWs) has been placed in "Regions and Localities." In the end, the reader may need to look in more than one place for all the pieces on a particular subject.

Almost a half century after the war's end, a good deal remains to be done. The particularities of experience still need to be defined with much greater precision. We are just beginning, for example, to learn about the specific experiences of localities, and even there, a chapter of the story has been missing. An important part of the home-front war was the creation of thousands

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