From Publishers Weekly
As in his previous collections (At Ease and Men of World War II), photographic historian Bachner has raided the National Archives for the work of the Naval Aviation Photographic unit-which included outstanding photographers like Edward Steichen, Harry Bristol, Charles Steinheimer and Dwight Long-whose mission it was to "visually describe the war to the American people." In 150 photos, this group of "New Realists" depict the working lives of the first women to join the U.S. Navy, the WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service). Taking readers into the training, transportation, work and down time of these women, it's clear that their efforts-as radio operators, aviation machinists, aircraft repairmen, public information officers, meteorological technicians and others-were taken seriously not just by the women themselves, but by the all-male team that documented them. As such, their photos convey beautifully the "We Can Do It!" spirit of the time, when sacrifice and service were expected of every American. In addition, Bachner's work in the National Archives allows him to include many of the women's names, deepening the connection one immediately feels with these skillful, revealing and charismatic portraits. This collection of little-seen photographs will undoubtedly make a valuable addition to anyone's WWII library.
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About the Author
Evan Bachner is a longtime collector of photographs and an photographic historian. He lives in New York City.