Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II

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Illustrated with black-and-white photographs. When America's men went off to

war in 1942, millions of women were recruited, through posters and other

propaganda, to work at non-traditional jobs. In defense plants, factories,

offices, and everywhere else workers were needed, they were—for the first

time—well paid and financially independent. But eventually the war ended, and

the government and industries that had once persuaded them to work for the war

effort now instructed them to return home and take care of their husbands and

children. Based on interviews and original research by noted historian Penny

Colman, Rosie the Riveter shows young readers how women fought World War

II from the home front.

When America's men went off to war in 1942, it was the women who held the country together by taking nontraditional jobs in defense plants, factories, and anywhere else workers were needed. They were--for the first time--well paid and financially independent. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This WWII history of the over 18 million women serving in the labor force includes first-hand accounts, propaganda posters and numerous period photographs. "The author explain[s] the events surrounding the war and the economic conditions that temporarily produced a female-dominated work force," said PW. Ages 10-up. (Feb.)r
Children's Literature - Marilyn Bagel
In 1943, while America's fighting men were on the front lines in World War II, millions of the nation's women valiantly filled vital defense and civilian jobs, from riveting airplane parts and reconditioning machine gears to driving buses and becoming police officers. This is their story; it is a saga of the homefires they kept burning for the war effort while they simultaneously secured the very fabric of American society. It explores how women chose their jobs, the pride they felt for their mighty contributions and how the experience changed their lives forever. The book's illuminating text combined with more than 60 archival black and white photographs, famous posters and ads makes it a must for home and school libraries.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9Colman chronicles the drive to get women to enter wartime industries, providing insight into the federal government's propaganda campaign and incentives. She also supplies the facts and figures: many more women than one might suppose had full-time employment before the war, and many continued to work after it, sometimes in positions that were considerably less important and less lucrative. The author also discusses the sexual harassment and racial discrimination women experienced while doing their patriotic duty. The compromises they had to make in order to manage child care and to prove to men on the job that they were their equals are frequently ignored in other historical treatments of the Rosie-the-riveter phenomenon. From Colman's point of view, the experiences of stateside workers led the way to some of the more liberal reforms later in the century, especially for women and minorities. The abundant black-and-white photographs included are a real treat. An excellent addition.Ruth K. MacDonald, Bay Path College, Longmeadow, MA
Stephanie Zvirin
Readers picking this up for a biography assignment will be in for a surprise. The muscular, red-haired woman presented so formidably on the jacket (it's a reproduction of a Norman Rockwell painting) represents many women, not just one. What Colman actually offers is a solid overview of the role women played in the wartime workplace. Black-and-white photos, including many posed public relations shots, and quoted material drawn from magazines of the period lend a wonderful flavor to the portrait of stateside World War II America. Colman looks at the jobs women took, the impact women had on the workplace, and what happened to working women at war's end, but what's most interesting is her discussion of the public relations campaign that not only "wooed" women into the workplace, but also sought to change firmly entrenched attitudes about women's role in society. A chronology and an extensive bibliography are appended.
From the Publisher
"Colman expertly explores the enormous changes in the lives of women in their own homes and beyond. The strengths of this book are in the happy combination of abundant primary source material, a clear narrative style, and effective well-placed photographs. An important contribution."—Kirkus Reviews, pointer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517597903
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/21/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 120
  • Age range: 9 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 0.58 (d)

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