The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii / Edition 1

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As the forward base and staging area for all U.S. military operations in the Pacific during World War II, Hawaii was the "first strange place" for close to a million soldiers, sailors, and marines on their way to the horrors of war. But Hawaii was also the first strange place on another kind of journey, toward the new American society that would begin to emerge in the postwar era. Unlike the rigid and static social order of prewar America, this was to be a highly mobile and volatile society of mixed racial and cultural influences, one above all in which women and minorities would increasingly demand and receive equal status. Drawing on documents, diaries, memoirs, and interviews, Beth Bailey and David Farber show how these unprecedented changes were tested and explored in the highly charged environment of wartime Hawaii.
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Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe

The First Strange Place is in the great tradition of oral history and yet it makes marvelous use of archival records—I was reminded both of Studs Terkel's sensitive ear and of Shelby Foote's sweeping vision.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801848674
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 286
  • Sales rank: 818,372
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: December 7, 1941 1
Introduction: Wartime Hawaii and American Identity 15
1 Into the War Zone 31
2 Culture of Heroes 63
3 Hotel Street Sex 95
4 Strangers in a Strange Land 133
5 Fragile Connections 167
Epilogue 211
Notes 217
Acknowledgments 255
Index 259
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2003

    THE Best Book on WWII Hawai'i

    This book is the best ever done on the WWII scene in the Islands. The research is exhaustive, and the stories extremely well-told. I am a historian and author in Hawai'i--concentrating on the 19th century but well aware of the 20th--and the authors have done a great job of not only telling the stories but coming to the correct conclusions. The two chapters on Black soldiers and the sex trade are especially good. The title refers to the idea that Hawai'i, with very different foods, traditions and most of its population Oriental and Polynesian, was the first strange place that most young servicemen ever encountered. On their way to fight Japanese, they are stationed on an island with more than a third of the population of Japanese ancestry. If you want an insight as to the impact of suddenly tripling the population of an island, primarily with young fighting men, this is the book. It's a GREAT read, and it all happened!

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