Women at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era

TitleWomen at War with America: Private Lives in a Patriotic Era
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1984
AuthorsCampbell, D'Ann
Number of Pages304
PublisherHarvard University Press
CityCambridge, MA

This text describes how World War II affected the lives of American women, and examines the challenges they faced in the military and as nurses, factory workers, volunteer workers, and homemakers. The Second World War is often seen as a “turning point” in women’s history, transforming both the economic position of women and the public perception of female roles in society. The author's thesis is that this view is an oversimplification and that women did not see the war as a liberating force, but rather as a threat to their accepted position and values: women not only went to war, but were also at war with the institutions and organizations affecting their lives. As a consequence, they had to reconcile the competing demands of public roles with their private lives and responsibilities. This study of the various wartime roles of women – in the forces, as nurses, in employment, in voluntary work and, importantly, at home – is based on oral collections, samples, surveys, statistics and interviews carried out by government bodies such as the Census Bureau, Women’s Bureau, and Office of War Information, and by private agencies such as Gallup.

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