The Great Plains during World War II

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Overview


After World War II, the pivotal event in twentieth-century American history, life both at home and abroad seemed more complex and more dangerous than ever before. The political, economic, and social changes wrought by the war, such as the centralization and regulation of economic affairs by the federal government, new roles for women and minorities in American life, and the world leadership of the United States, remained in place after the soldiers and sailors returned home.
 
Although the impact of World War II was not as transformative for the Great Plains as it was for other areas of the United States, it was still significant and tumultuous. Emphasizing the region’s social and economic history, The Great Plains during World War II is the first book to examine the effects of the war on the region and the responses of its residents. Beginning with the isolationist debate that preceded the war, R. Douglas Hurt traces the residents’ changing view of the European conflict and its direct impact on the plains. Hurt argues that the people of the Great Plains based their patriotic response to the war effort on the concept of comparative sacrifice. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, this compelling and frank history brings to life the voices and experiences of the residents of the Great Plains in recounting the story of the daily concerns of ordinary people that have become part of the nation’s history of this seminal event.
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Editorial Reviews

Annals of Iowa
"This is history at its best-both scholarly and fascinating reading-and is indispensable for our understanding of the Great Plains experience during the Second World War."
Journal of American History
"The Great Plains during World War II is an important, interesting study that will be a valuable reference for years to come."

— Virgil W. Dean, Journal of American History

American Historical Review

"This is a much-needed addition not only to Great Plains historiography but also to the vast literature on the U.S. during World War II. While there are many books on the Plains during the "Dirty Thirties", this is the first that examines the region's history in the Warring Forties."
— Sterling Evans

Choice

"Well written and exhaustively researched, this work is a welcome addition to WWII historiography."—P. G. Connors, Choice

— P. G. Connors

Western Historical Quarterly

"In this beautifully produced book, Hurt has brought together disparate evidence that until now has rested in obscure state journals, government documents, and newspaper collections. As a result, he has provided fresh insights to the WWII Home Front."—Mark Friedberger, Western Historical Quarterly

— Mark Friedberger

South Dakota History

"A comprehensive volume that provides a wealth of detail previously unavailable to scholars. The Great Plains tends to be a neglected region, and this book helps admirably to correct this historical oversight."—Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, South Dakota History

— Pamela Riney-Kehrberg

Kansas History

"A very strong, well-written book by a veteran scholar at the top of his game."—David Danbom, Kansas History

— David Danbom

American Historical Review - Sterling Evans

"This is a much-needed addition not only to Great Plains historiography but also to the vast literature on the U.S. during World War II. While there are many books on the Plains during the "Dirty Thirties", this is the first that examines the region's history in the Warring Forties."—Sterling Evans, American Historical Review
Choice - P. G. Connors

"Well written and exhaustively researched, this work is a welcome addition to WWII historiography."—P. G. Connors, Choice
Western Historical Quarterly - Mark Friedberger

"In this beautifully produced book, Hurt has brought together disparate evidence that until now has rested in obscure state journals, government documents, and newspaper collections. As a result, he has provided fresh insights to the WWII Home Front."—Mark Friedberger, Western Historical Quarterly
South Dakota History - Pamela Riney-Kehrberg

"A comprehensive volume that provides a wealth of detail previously unavailable to scholars. The Great Plains tends to be a neglected region, and this book helps admirably to correct this historical oversight."—Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, South Dakota History
Kansas History - David Danbom

"A very strong, well-written book by a veteran scholar at the top of his game."—David Danbom, Kansas History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803229808
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 1,375,487
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


R. Douglas Hurt is a professor and head of the Department of History at Purdue University. He is the author of many books, including The Indian Frontier, 1763–1846 and Problems of Plenty: The American Farmer in the Twentieth Century.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Preface ix

1 Reluctance 1

2 The Work of War 32

3 Women at Work 61

4 The Home Front 86

5 Rationing 120

6 The Farm and Ranch Front 147

7 Agricultural Labor 189

8 Military Affairs 236

9 Internment 282

10 Prisoner-of-War Camps 312

11 Indians in Wartime 347

12 War's End 373

Appendix of Tables 401

Notes 407

Bibliography 455

Index 477

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