Module 07: Did World War II Advance Minorities, Women, and the Poor?


Printed Materials

Jennifer Brooks, Defining the Peace: World War II Veterans, Race, and the Remaking of Southern Political Tradition (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).

William Chafe, The Unfinished Journey: America Since World War II, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). Standard account of U.S. history since 1945.

Mary Dudziak, Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (New York: Basic Books, 1988). Describes the retreat of many American women back to family life after the war, a phenomenon she likens to the policy of containment.

Neil McMillen, "Fighting for What We Didn't Have: How Mississippi's Black Veterans Remember World War II." In Remaking Dixie: The Impact of World War II on the American South (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997).

Joanne Meyerowitz, ed., Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-1960 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994). Influential collection of essays on the diversity of women's postwar experiences, with special emphasis on activism and changing participation in the labor force.

Online Resources

"America from the Great Depression to WWII," part of the American Memory Collection hosted by the Library of Congress. Digital archives of Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information black-and-white and color photographs of American life from 1935-1945.

Powers of Persuasion: Poster Art From WWII, hosted by the National Archives and Records Administration. Collection of poster art created to aid the propaganda effort during WWII. Includes images specifically designed to appeal to women, audio files, and written lyrics for songs supporting the U.S. war effort.

Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War II, hosted by the Rutgers University History Department. Collection of over 300 oral histories gathered from veterans and civilians describing their experiences of the war. Includes complete transcripts, photos, and memoirs.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Provides a general history of the Holocaust, as well as access to personal histories of refugees. Online exhibits available in Spanish and French. Also offers teaching resources for educators and students.

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives, hosted by the University of California. Searchable digital archives containing manuscripts, images, and oral histories, as well as WRA materials related to Japanese American internment and relocation during WWII. Groups images and material by assembly center, individual camp, and region.

Densho, a Japanese American Legacy Project. Provides an overview of Japanese American internment, lesson plans exploring civil rights and internment, and access to digital archives (registration required for full access) containing visual resources and oral histories.

"The Ground Beneath Our Feet: Virginia Fights, World War Two," produced and hosted by George H. Gilliam, 2001. Digital archive of 1,600 images gathered to accompany a PBS special on WWII in Virginia.