Gr 7 Up-- This companion volume to V Is For Victory (Lerner, 1992) continues Whitman's introductory look at U. S. participation in World War II. Her brisk, concise and well-researched prose--as well as her inclusion of illuminating quotations--creates an interest-holding picture of service in the Armed Forces. Her examination begins with boot camp , and quickly moves on to a discussion of what life was like for those millions of American men and women who had ``Uncle Sam for a Boss.'' She notes that while servicewomen made some inroads into male institutions, and some black soldiers moved into positions that previously were not open to them, discrimination continued to limit their opportunities; blacks also had to contend with racial hostility, enforced segregation, race riots , and lynchings. Whitman rapidly segues into a description of the war in the Pacific and in Europe, considers death and other calamities that service people faced, and delineates the ``Road to Victory'' and its immediate postwar period. Thus , in fewer than 80 pages of text fleshed out with a selection of period photographs, in sepia, she gives readers an understanding and appreciation for conditions in the U. S. Armed Forces during World War II. --David A. Lindsey, Lakewood Junior/Senior High School, WA
A realistic look at the experiences of men and women enlisted in U.S. fighting forces during World War II. Whitman briefly covers the establishment of the draft in the U.S., along with accounts of boot camp, military job training, and barracks life. In addition to the expected descriptions of battlefield conditions, replete with eyewitness quotes, some careful attention is given to the changing social role of African Americans and women in the 1950s and 1960s born of their participation both in the fighting forces and in the civilian workplace during the war. Whitman's tone is humanistic, honestly reporting soldiers' attempts to cope with racism, homesickness, and periods of terrible fear. Black-and-white photographs from the National Archives, the Smithsonian Institution, and a variety of libraries succeed admirably in capturing the look and spirit of the time. Use this book as an introduction to more complicated historical materials on World War II. Middle school readers should at least be encouraged to browse Studs Terkel's ""The Good War": An Oral History of World War "Two (1984) after reading Whitman. A good bibliography rounds off this well-written record of American wartime experience.