Colleges and Universities in World War II

Colleges and Universities in World War II

Colleges and Universities in World War II

Colleges and Universities in World War II

Synopsis

Cardozier provides a comprehensive and engaging look at the role played by colleges and universities in World War II, the contributions they made to the war effort, and the impact of the war on higher education institutions. During this period, American colleges and universities were dedicated to serving the needs of the military and all agencies of the government through training, research, and service. This book captures the wartime mood and spirit of the American people, something that is not easily conveyed to younger readers who did not directly experience these times.

Excerpt

World War II was a turning point in American history. It is true that every major war brought about changes in the fabric of society -- the economy, social institutions, national purpose, cultural life, education, and so on. However, World War II -- what Studs Terkel has called "the good war" -- was a unique experience.

Forty years later, people who were adults during World War II said that although it was an anxious time, there was a quality of life that was different from anything they had experienced before or since. The country was united by a common bond, a shared purpose, and a spirit that cemented relationships and concern for one another. There was conflict among individuals and groups as there always had been, but dedication to winning the war took precedence over all other concerns.

The sense of community so essential for true democracy probably found wider expression during the war than at any other time since the founding of the country. To be sure, it was a by-product of intense emotions about the war that grew out of the reality of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor but also fired by a highly effective Office of War Information and the media, which put its full efforts behind uniting the country. Although bureaucrats were rude ("don't you know there's a war on!") people helped one another, took them into their homes and fed and housed them, made room for them on trains, gave hitchhikers rides, and in dozens of ways exhibited a caring for their fellow citizens.

Ostentatious display of patriotism was the norm. People burst into singing "God Bless America" and the "Star Spangled Banner," not only at baseball . . .

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