For several decades after World War II, historians wrote extensively about the New Deal and the Cold War but neglected the wartime home front in the United States. In the 1970s and 1980s, scholars started to fill that gap with several first-rate comprehensive treatments and a far greater number of specialized studies examining all aspects of the struggle. The first edition of this book was based on those works. In the years since publication of that edition, particularly in the years celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the war, even more outstanding work has appeared, and this revised edition is informed by that new scholarship.
The best recent book about the war at home is John W. Jeffries, Wartime America: The World War II Home Front (Chicago, 1996). It provides a detailed account of all the important issues and an extensive bibliography of recent scholarship. William L. O’Neill, A Democracy at War: America’s Fight at Home and Abroad in World War II (New York, 1993) offers a good overview of all sides of the struggle. The two best books from the 1970s are Richard Polenberg, War and Society: The United States, 1941–1945 (Philadelphia, 1972) and John Morton Blum, V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture During World War II (New York, 1976). Polenberg provides an evenhanded and useful assessment of the important wartime developments. Blum includes a fuller sense of the culture and its constraints in his more extended account. Still