Settling Down: World War II Veterans' Challenge to the Postwar Consensus

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This book examines the lost voices of returning World War II veterans in the immediate postwar years and shows how the developing Cold War silenced or altered dissenting opinions that many vets expressed upon their return. By showing the process of silencing veterans' voices, this study offers new insights into the growth of Cold War unity, and retrieves lost perspectives that both challenged and supported consensus.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This well researched, clearly written study deserves an important place on the shelf of books about World War II veterans. Diversity, the author documents, not homogeneity, characterized the sixteen million veterans, a diversity that the emerging Cold War consensus erased. The excellent study is compelling and convincing."
--Keith W. Olson, Professor of History, University of Maryland, College Park

"Settling Down reminds us that many returning GIs in 1945 were ambivalent both about their military service and their prospects in postwar American society. Far from being greeted as the 'Greatest Generation,' many civilians wanted these returning GIs to quickly lose their veteran identity and meld back into the mainstream. Saxe is best at examining how an emerging Cold War consensus crushed the American Veterans Committee and the limited the efforts of black veterans to challenge the institutional racism that permeated American society. An important addition to the growing body of scholarship examining the veteran experience in American society."
--G. Kurt Piehler, Founding Director, (1994-1998) Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War II and Director, Center for the Study of War and Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230600607
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/10/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Francis Saxe is an Assistant Professor of History at Rhodes College.

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Table of Contents

"The Reception Committee": Soldiers, Citizens, and the Veteran's Return

"The New Generation Offers a Leader": Lt. John F. Kennedy's 1946 Race for Congress
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: The Film Noir Veteran's Quest for Meaning in Postwar America
• "Citizens First, Veterans Second": The American Veterans Committee and the Challenge of the Cold War
• "The Negro Is No Longer Sleeping": African-American Veterans and the Limits of Consensus

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