The Darkest Year: The American Homefront, 1941-1942
- World War II, American History
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Panic on the home front
For Americans on the home front, the 12 months following Pearl Harbor comprised the darkest year of World War II. The nation had suffered a string of military setbacks in the Pacific, and government officials were openly acknowledging the possibility that the United States might lose the war. And while it seemed like Americans were unified in the war effort, they were not—and a deeply divided society splintered as numerous interest groups sought to turn the wartime emergency to their own advantage.
The Darkest Year probes Americans’ state of mind during this uneasy time as it details the seismic changes the war wrought across American society. It is an astute portrait of a nation grappling with the newfound pressure of total war.
"This expansive survey paints an extraordinary portrait of America’s home front during the first year of WWII...Klingaman uses media, literature, journals, and letters to illustrate the year, and the resulting history is riveting." —Publishers Weekly starred Review
"In this fast-paced narrative of the American home front during the first year of the country's participation in World War II, Will Klingaman demonstrates a marvelous knack for placing the reader in the middle of the chaotic mobilization of the economy and armed forces of a nation unprepared for war. Shortages, rationing, and confusion in the conversion of industry to war production gave only fitful promise in 1942 of America's eventual emergence as the arsenal of democracy."—James M. McPherson, Professor of History Emeritus, Princeton University, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom
"So many of us learned in high school that the misery of the Great Depression was defeated by the victory of World War II. Missing from that overview, however, was the moment when many Americans were afraid that we might lose to Hitler, and that our country would cease to exist. The Darkest Year reveals that soul-stirring moment in all its detail." —Craig Nelson, author of Rocket Men and Pearl Harbor
"In stitch and scope, Klingaman's vast tapestry depicts in a swift narrative Americans' struggles as they came to grips with the demands and terror of World War II. This is the book to start with to understand how total war transformed a once-reluctant home front into a launch pad for victory."–Marc Wortman, author of 1941: Fighting the Shadow War
"[A] vigorous narrative.The author is good at teasing out small but telling detail...[and] also delivers entertaining anecdotes. A welcome study of an aspect of wartime history that is little known among those too young to have experienced it."—Kirkus Reviews
Additional Book Details
|Release Date:||February 19, 2019|