Warfare State World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government

ISBN-10: 019993035X
ISBN-13: 9780199930357
Edition: 2013
Authors: James T. Sparrow
List price: $23.95 Buy it from $23.60
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Description: Although common wisdom and much scholarship assume that "big government" gained its foothold in the United States under the auspices of the New Deal during the Great Depression, in fact it was the Second World War that accomplished this feat.  More...

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Book details

List price: $23.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/1/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 6.25" wide x 10.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

Although common wisdom and much scholarship assume that "big government" gained its foothold in the United States under the auspices of the New Deal during the Great Depression, in fact it was the Second World War that accomplished this feat. Indeed, as the federal government mobilized for war it grew tenfold, quickly dwarfing the New Deal's welfare programs.Warfare Stateshows how the federal government vastly expanded its influence over American society during World War II. Equally important, it looks at how and why Americans adapted to this expansion of authority. Through mass participation in military service, war work, rationing, price control, income taxation, and the war bond program, ordinary Americans learned to live with the warfare state. They accepted these new obligations because the government encouraged all citizens to think of themselves as personally connected to the battle front, linking their every action to the fate of the combat soldier. As they worked for the American Soldier, Americans habituated themselves to the authority of the government. Citizens made their own counter-claims on the state-particularly in the case of industrial workers, women, African Americans, and most of all, the soldiers. Their demands for fuller citizenship offer important insights into the relationship between citizen morale, the uses of patriotism, and the legitimacy of the state in wartime.World War II forged a new bond between citizens, nation, and government.Warfare Statetells the story of this dramatic transformation in American life.

Introduction: War and the Mass Foundations of the Modern State
Ideology, Political Culture, and State Formation
War Displaces Its Analog
Morale and the National Moment
Scapegoating the State
Encountering the State In Everyday Life
Buying Our Boys Back
Work or Fight
Citizen-Soldiers
Conclusion: Legacies of the Warfare State
Appendix
Abbreviations for Sources Consulted
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

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