Category Archives: World War II

America First: An Idea with Deep Roots

By Heather Marie Stur, University of Southern Mississippi Isolationism before Pearl Harbor American popular memory of the World War II homefront centers on the notion that U.S. citizens came together to support the war effort. Families planted victory gardens, bought … Continue reading

Posted in American exceptionalism, Covid-19 Pandemic, diplomacy, Donald Trump, Foreign policy, international relations, Post-Cold War, war and society, World War II | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dancing in the Time of Corona

In times of historic crisis, dancing offers a very visible and whole-bodied display of continued existence and resolve, whether it’s in the face of a dangerous disease or of an enemy leader, or outside a hospital or in a bomb-ravaged street. Through the feelings of fun and joy it bestows, it enables people to dance out or through some of the fear, suffering, and grief, and expresses their hope and their determination to survive. Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19 Pandemic, Historians, war and society, World War II | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

History Lessons Ignored: The Trump Administration and the Mobilization for World War II

Despite this evidence of a policy shift in the direction of a more World War II-style industrial mobilization, President Trump’s comments in mid-March suggested that today’s leaders remain ignorant, perhaps willfully so, of many relevant historical lessons. During the world wars, the Cold War, and even more recently, US leaders took it for granted that national authorities could and should use the available legal authority—including the National Defense Act of 1916, the First and Second War Powers Acts of 1941-42, and the DPA—to coordinate crash mobilization programs. Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19 Pandemic, Historians, Military history, Mobilization, War and memory, war and society, World War II | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

World War II: When the Government Protected All Essential Workers

If coal miners, mill hands, and auto workers once stood at the iconic heart of our 20th century industrial imagination, this crisis has finally, but decisively, put those who staff the nation’s retail/distribution complex in their stead. Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19 Pandemic, Essential workers, Labor History, war and society, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Historians Explore Comparisons between the Covid-19 Pandemic and World War II

By Douglas Bristol, editor of Reflections on War and Society On March 31, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Covid-19 pandemic is the worst crisis since World War II because the virus threatens every nation.  Other world leaders joined him … Continue reading

Posted in Covid-19 Pandemic, Historians, war and society, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“We’re on the Same Side”: Anglophone Exceptionalism, Darkest Hour, and Dunkirk

by Alan Allport, Guest Contributor “The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their … Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, British history, film, Popular Culture, war and society, World War II | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

“We Danced While They Bombed”: Popular Dancing in Britain during the Second World War

by Allison Abra, Ph.D. In the fall of 1939, during the first months of the Second World War, famed American war correspondent Edward R. Murrow undertook what he called an “investigation into London nightlife.” Describing a recent tour through some … Continue reading

Posted in Military history, Popular Culture, war and society, World War II | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The War Stories We Tell

by Heather Marie Stur, Ph.D. My Honors students and I recently watched the 1946 Oscar-winning film, The Best Years of Our Lives, which follows three World War II veterans as they return home and struggle to settle back into civilian … Continue reading

Posted in Military history, public history, soldiers, Vietnam War, war and society, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Recovering the Experiences of the Black Greatest Generation

by Douglas Bristol After conducting hundreds of hours of oral history interviews with Vietnam veterans, the Founding Director of the Dale Center, Dr. Andrew Wiest, persuasively argued in his Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam that historians have … Continue reading

Posted in African American soldiers, Black veterans, Civil Rights Movement, Military history, oral history, soldiers, U.S. military and civil rights, war and society, World War II | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Short and Long-Term Impacts of World War II on the Lives of Black GIs

by Douglas Bristol When I was conducting research at LSU-Alexandria last summer, I had the good fortune to interview Dr. Haywood Joiner, Jr., Chair of the Department of Allied Health Programs, about his father’s military service during World War II. … Continue reading

Posted in African American soldiers, Black veterans, Civil Rights Movement, U.S. military and civil rights, World War II | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment