Since You Went Away: World War II Letters from American Women on the Home Front

Judy Barrett Litoff - 1991
    I must admit I'm not exactly the same girl you left-I'm twice as independent as I used to be and to top it off, I sometimes think I've become 'hard as nails'. . . . Also--more and more I've been living exactly as I want to . . . I do as I damn please."[These tough words from the wife of a soldier show that World War Ii changed much more than just international politics.]"From a fascinating collection of letters, filled with wonderfully distinctive human stories, Judy Barrett Litoff and David C. Smith have shpaed a rare and brilliant book that transports the reader back in time to an unforgettable era."--Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream."This is a wonderful volume, full of admirable women struggling in a difficult situation, doing their best for their families and their country. Ah, the memories it brings back! Highly recommended for those who lived through the war, and for those who want to understand it."--Stephen E. Ambrose, author of Eisenhower and D-Day, June 6, 1944"Offering a remarkable view into the lives of ordinary women during wartime, this book will enlighten and catch at the hearts of general readers and cause historians to reconsider how women experienced World War II."-Susan M. Hartmann, author of The Home Front and Beyond."From among 25,000 of an estimated six billion letters sent overseas during World War II, Litoff and Smith have culled and skillfully edited a sampling by 400 American women. These letters, starting with one to a seaman wounded at Pearl Harbor, are compelling documents of home-front life in varied ethnic, cultural, and financial milieus. Tragic, touching, and funny, the correspondence is full of prosaic news and gossip about jobs and neighbors, along with accounts of births and intimate allusions to love-making. The stress of separation was intensified for women whose loved ones were hospitalized, or imprisoned as either conscientious objectors or security risks. Some women wrote General MacArthur and others for news of missing men or to obtain details of their deaths. Many of these heartrending documents also express acceptance-and even pride-in the sacrifices required by war."--Publishers Weekly."Other scholars of WW II have published letters written home by servicemen, but this is the first collection sampling the letters written by sisters, sweethearts, wives, and mothers, saved by thousands of servicemen. Chapters are organized around themes that were important to these women: courtship, marriage, motherhood, work, sacrifices. . . . What women tell readers in these letters about their concerns and their wartime feelings will cause historians [readers?] to rethink what has been written about the homefront."--Choice."Despite the popular appeal of Rosie the Riveter, nine out of ten mothers with children under six were not in the labor force, which helps to account for the vast outpouring of mail from the home front to 'our boys' in the European and Pacific theaters. Some couples wrote every day for four years. This is the rich historic documentation that the authors have drawn upon to create a panoramic pastiche of indefatigable, energetic, patriotic female letter writers in the war years. . . . One is struck by the hard-headed practicality of many of the letters-stories of plucky, sometimes even grumpy, coping. There are letters of growing independence, with strong and at times explicit indication that the boyfriend or husband will be facing a very different woman upon his return from the one he 'knew' when he disembarked for his own, often terrible, venture. . . . Every war leaves mothers with broken hearts. What this volume most remarkably demonstrates is just how prepared American women on the home front were for that dread eventuality."--Jean Bethke Elshtain in the Journal of American History."Fascinating and often heartbreaking letters. . . . The letters illuminate a time when sex roles were first showing the changes that would culminate in the women's movement. 'I must admit I'm not exactly the same girl you left, ' Edith Speert wrote to her husband, Victor, in 1945. 'I'm twice as independent as I used t be, and I sometimes think I've become hard as nails. I don't think my changes will affect our relationship.'. . . In the end, it is the small human dramas in these letters that stand out. Anne Gudis, miffed to distraction by her soldier-swain Sam Kramer, writes what may be the shortest Dear John on record: 'Mr. Kramer: Go to hell! With love, Anne Gudis.' A woman working at a Honolulu nightclub assures a pilot that she'll wait for him-until she's 20. The wife of an Air Corps navigator reads in a news story that only 15 of 1,500 Allied bombers were lost in a raid over Europe and later learns that her husband died in one of the 15. And a grieving mother whose son died in the Pacific asks Gen. Douglas MacArthur, in desperation, 'Please general he was a good boy, wasn't he? Did he die a hard death?'"--Smithsonian."'They made it possible for me to retain my sanity in an insane world, ' wrote one pilot about the letters his wife sent him throughout World War II. The letters contained in this collection explain the soldier's sentiments. Whether full of passionate longing for a missing sweetheart or merely detailing domestic gossip, the letters offer a rich introduction to how American women experienced the war. Since military authorities ordered soldiers not to keep any letters written them by their loved ones, the authors have done a magnificent service in obtaining letters that soldiers either surreptitiously hid or whose authors copied them before sending them on."--Library Journal.

Stay the Rising Sun: The True Story of USS Lexington, Her Valiant Crew, and Changing the Course of World War II

Phil Keith - 2015
    Another carrier was nearly ready for launch when the news arrived, so the navy changed her name to Lexington, confusing the Japanese.The men of the original "Lady Lex" loved their ship and fought hard to protect her. They were also seeking revenge for the losses sustained at Pearl Harbor. Crippling attacks by the Japanese left her on fire and dead in the water. A remarkable 90 percent of the crew made it off the burning decks before Lexington had to be abandoned. In all the annals of the Second World War, there is hardly a battle story more compelling.Lexington's legacy did not end with her demise, however. Although the battle was deemed a tactical success for the Japanese, it turned out to be a strategic loss: For the first time in the war, a Japanese invasion force was forced to retreat.The lessons learned by losing the Lexington at Coral Sea impacted tactics, air wing operations, damage control, and ship construction. Altogether, they forged a critical, positive turning point in the war. The ship that ushered in and gave birth to a new era in naval warfare might be gone, but fate decreed that her important legacy would live on.

Across the Reef: The Marine Assault of Tarawa

Joseph H. Alexander - 2015
    Smith and his principal staff officers of the 2d Marine Division, Vice Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, commanding the Central Pacific Force, flew to New Zealand from Pearl Harbor. Spruance told the Marines to prepare for an amphibious assault against Japanese positions in the Gilbert Islands in November. The Marines knew about the Gilberts. The 2d Raider Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson had attacked Makin Atoll a year earlier. Subsequent intelligence reports warned that the Japanese had fortified Betio Island in Tarawa Atoll, where elite forces guarded a new bomber strip. Spruance said Betio would be the prime target for the 2d Marine Division. General Smith's operations officer, Lieutenant Colonel David M. Shoup, studied the primitive chart of Betio and saw that the tiny island was surrounded by a barrier reef. Shoup asked Spruance if any of the Navy's experimental, shallow-draft, plastic boats could be provided. "Not available," replied the admiral, "expect only the usual wooden landing craft." Shoup frowned. General Smith could sense that Shoup's gifted mind was already formulating a plan. The results of that plan were momentous. The Tarawa operation became a tactical watershed: the first, large-scale test of American amphibious doctrine against a strongly fortified beachhead. The Marine assault on Betio was particularly bloody. Ten days after the assault, Time magazine published the first of many post-battle analyses: Last week some 2,000 or 3,000 United States Marines, most of them now dead or wounded, gave the nation a name to stand beside those of Concord Bridge, the Bon Homme Richard, the Alamo, Little Big Horn and Belleau Wood. The name was "Tarawa."

Your Guide to Cemetery Research

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack - 2002
    It covers everything from cemetery and death-related terminology to clues offered by headstone art, and cemeteries' role in our culture and history.This guide also examines the funeral customs of various ethnic groups and includes a social history of death that reveals both the usual and unusual ways in which readers' ancestors coped with and celebrated death.

Our Mothers' War: American Women at Home and at the Front During World War II

Emily Yellin - 2004
    Never before has the vast range of women's experiences during this pivotal era been brought together in one book. Now, Our Mothers' War re-creates what American women from all walks of life were doing and thinking, on the home front and abroad. These heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking accounts of the women we have known as mothers, aunts, and grandmothers reveal facets of their lives that have usually remained unmentioned and unappreciated. Our Mothers' War gives center stage to one of WWII's most essential fighting forces: the women of America, whose extraordinary bravery, strength, and humanity shine through on every page.

Colonial Records of Virginia

Various - 2009
    You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Crack! and Thump: With a Combat Infantry Officer in World War II

Charles Scheffel - 2007
    CRACK! AND THUMP is Scheffel's chilling account of ground combat of a young company-grade officer who fought with the 9th Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, France, Belgium, and Germany. Scheffel vividly recalls the terror, mind-numbing fatigue, raw emotions, and horrific conditions fighting men endured to achieve victory in World War II.

Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History

Gordon W. Prange - 1985
    The provocative sequel to At Dawn We Slept that continues Prange's masterful analysis of the attack on Pearl Harbor, delving further to examine the underlying causes and to ask whether the event that plunged America into World War II was really a surprise to President Roosevelt.

World War II for Kids: A History with 21 Activities

Richard Panchyk - 2002
    This book is packed with information that kids will find fascinating, from Hitler's rise to power in 1933 to the surrender of the Japanese in 1945. Much more than an ordinary history book, it is filled with excerpts from actual wartime letters written to and by American and German troops, personal anecdotes from people who lived through the war in the United States, Germany, Britain, Russia, Hungary, and Japan, and gripping stories from Holocaust survivors—all add a humanizing global perspective to the war. This collection of 21 activities shows kids how it felt to live through this monumental period in history. They will play a rationing game or try the butter extender recipe to understand the everyday sacrifices made by wartime families. They will try their hands at military strategy in coastal defense, break a code, and play a latitude and longitude tracking game. Whether growing a victory garden or staging an adventure radio program, kids will appreciate the hardships and joys experienced on the home front.

Wicked Portland: The Wild and Lusty Underworld of a Frontier Seaport Town

Finn J.D. John - 2012
    In its early days, Portland was a combination rough-and-ready logging camp and gritty, hard-punching deep-water port town," and as a young city (established in the late 1840s) it developed an international reputation for lawlessness and violence. In the early 1900s, the British and French governments filed formal complaints about Portland to the US state department, and Congressional testimony from the time cites Portland as the worst place in the world for crimping. Today, tours of the alleged Shanghai Tunnels offer Portland visitors a taste of that seedy past."

The History of Rock & Roll Volume II: 1964–1977: The Beatles, the Stones, and the Rise of Classic Rock

Ed Ward - 2019
    It begins with the question on everyone's mind: "Are you going to get a haircut in America?" and ends with a reporter tugging Paul McCartney's hair in an attempt to remove his nonexistent wig. This is where The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 2 kicks off. Chronicling the years 1964 through the mid-1970s, this latest volume covers one of the most exciting eras of rock history, which saw a massive outpouring of popular and cutting-edge music.Ward weaves together an unputdownable narrative told through colorful anecdotes and shares the behind-the-scenes stories of the megastars, the trailblazers, DJs, record executives, concert promoters, and producers who were at the forefront of this incredible period in music history. From Bob Dylan to Bill Graham, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Byrds, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, and more, everyone's favorite musicians of the era make an appearance in this sweeping history that reveals how the different players, sounds, and trends came together to create the music we all know and love today.

Devils on the Deep Blue Sea: The Dreams, Schemes, and Showdowns That Built America's Cruise-Ship Empires

Kristoffer Garin - 2005
    Garin chronicles the cruise-ship industry, from its rise in the early sixties, to its explosion in the seventies with the hit show The Love Boat, to the current vicious consolidation wars and brazen tax dodges. Entrepreneurial genius and bare-knuckle capitalism mate with cultural kitsch as the cruise lines dodge U.S. tax, labor, and environmental laws to make unimaginable profits while bringing the world a new form of leisure. A colorful and compelling behind-the-scenes narrative, Devils on the Deep Blue Sea is a definitive look at the industry and its robber barons who created floating empires.

Hunted: The Zodiac Murders

Mark Hewitt - 2016
    Despite his appalling acts of violence, he was never arrested—he has never even been identified. Thousands of men have been accused; nearly 2,500 have been investigated. The police lack only the name of the perpetrator. Never has there been more passionate interest in the Zodiac serial killer. Never has there been more FOIA-released information on his crime spree and the subsequent law enforcement investigation. Yet, never before has a carefully-researched scholarly treatment of this otherwise eminently solvable riddle been attempted. That is, until now.

Battle for the Solomons (Illustrated)

Ira Wolfert - 2019
    Wolfert was in the thick of it, facing death alongside the troops, and he reproduces events as they happen in real time, making for a tense, suspenseful read. Wolfert risked his life on several occasions for the sake of authenticity, and survived to write this, one of the most remarkable combat memoirs of World War 2.

Mrs. Ike: Memories and Reflections on the Life of Mamie Eisenhower

Susan Eisenhower - 1996
    Written by her granddaughter, a portrait of a beloved First Lady and an incisive account of a complex marriage examines the life of Mamie Eisenhower, a saucy young lady who found her match in handsome Ike Eisenhower, and their adventures, misunderstandings, and glowing triumphs.