Thanks for the Memories: Love, Sex, and World War IIby Jane Mersky Leder, Jane Mersky Leder
Pub. Date: 08/30/2006
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Thanks for the Memories destroys the historical myth that young men and women went about the business of war and stayed on the straight and narrow path. Rather, World War II provided new opportunities for sexual experimentation, for hasty marriages, for flourishing prostitutionand for love connections that have stood the test of time. Young men in the/i>… See more details below
Thanks for the Memories destroys the historical myth that young men and women went about the business of war and stayed on the straight and narrow path. Rather, World War II provided new opportunities for sexual experimentation, for hasty marriages, for flourishing prostitutionand for love connections that have stood the test of time. Young men in the military, far away from family and home, did things they might never have done. Young women, many of whom went to work for the first time, experienced a freedom and independence most women had never known. Because of the war, courtships were cut short, couples married more quickly than normal, and husbands and wives were often separated for several years. Despite attempts to get back to normal after the war and the apparent togetherness of the 1950s, World War II had set change in motion, heralding the second wave of the women's liberation movement.
The collective consciousness of World War II revolved around the virtues of bravery, sacrifice, and commitment. Members of The Greatest Generation toed political and social lines in hopes of winning the war. They fell into lockstep, asking very few questions, and breaking few social and sexual mores. Or did they?
In fact, World War II waslike all warsa time of sexual experimentation and a general loosening of morals. It was a time of conflicting emotions and conflicting messages, a time of great sacrifice, and a time of discovery, when some groups, especially woman, experienced a relaxing of bonds that had kept them in check. Thanks For The Memories: Love, Sex, and World War II the true story of how the World War II generation responded to the passions of war, and how those passions changed their lives-and the relationships between the sexes-forever. But this book is more than that. As Jane Mersky Leder writes, Thanks for the Memories opens the hearts and memories of a generation that is dying, by one estimate, at the rate of more than 1,000 a day. It exposes the sexual and romantic escapades of The Greatest Generation and underscores how those four war years revolutionized relationships (including those between gays), and how it helped set the stage for the second wave of the women's liberation movement. Many who never thought their stories mattered, Leder writes, now feel the pull of limited time, and the importance of leaving an accurate account for their children and grandchildren of what it was like to be a young man or young woman during World War II. This is their collective story.
- ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
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Table of Contents
Prologue: To My Parents-Morris and Shirley Mersky xix
Chapter 1 Derailed Dreams 1
Chapter 2 "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" 15
Chapter 3 "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, for Tomorrow We May Die" 31
Chapter 4 Discrimination in the Ranks 51
Chapter 5 An Army of Service Wives 75
Chapter 6 Waiting Wives and Home Front Popular Culture 93
Chapter 7 "Over Sexed, Over Fed, Over Paid, Over There" 115
Chapter 8 "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" 133
Chapter 9 Babies, Suburbia, and the Seeds of Change 155
Selected Bibliography 169
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book is full of captivating bits of history, wonderful personal stories, and a peek into a generation that is disappearing day by day. It is never dull and Jane Mersky Leder moves you quickly through the history with a confident and engaging writing style. Pick this book up and take a look at what you don¿t already know about World War II and the Greatest Generation.