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V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture During World War II [Paperback]

John Morton Blum
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 4, 1977 0156936283 978-0156936286 1st Harvest/ HBJ Ed. 1977
A distinguished historian examines the nation’s involvement in a war that most americans thought necessary and righteous. He focuses on the home front: how our culture and politics affected the course of the war and how the war in turn affected us. Index.

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V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture During World War II + Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II (Critical Issue)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Morton Blum (1921-) was one of the United States' pre-eminent political historians from the 1940s to the early 1990s. Now retired, he lives in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Blum's contribution to the field of U.S. History and Political Science are wide-reaching. Currently his textbooks, including The National Experience, are still used in American universities. The modest, self-effacing Blum made a cameo appearance as himself in the 1983 Woody Allen film Zelig, and he has appeared in various documentaries on PBS' American Experience series, including TR. He also wrote a book called V was for Victory.

Product Details

  • Series: Harvest/HBJ Book
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; 1st Harvest/ HBJ Ed. 1977 edition (November 4, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156936283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156936286
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At War at Home June 5, 2007
In this look at the American home front, Blum looks at the cultural values that the war nurtured and that society expressed through domestic politics. These values represented American not as it was, but as Americans wanted to believe it was. The American people believed they had always had a high standard of living and expected more of the same; monopolies were "free, private enterprise"; and that democracy and racial segregation were compatible with one another. Although President Franklin Roosevelt had the power to shape and change public values, he wanted to get re-elected and pulled his punches. Although he had a liberal agenda, his concessions to what he saw as the political realities helped undermine his own efforts to implement his policies. FDR also wanted a quick victory before the onerous burdens of waging the war started to conflict with the values that the Americans held dear, creating a backlash against the war and his leadership. Since the quickness of the victory was a compelling need, Roosevelt tolerated assaults on New Deal programs and other actions from Congress that he might have fought in a time of peace.

This book is extremely engaging and at times it reads like a novel. This prologue and epilogue are particularly well-done. Blum's detachment and skepticism in telling his tale ultimately turns into cynicism that permeates the book; so much, so that, it is difficult to take some of his arguments seriously. In short, this book is a major contribution to the history of World War II that offers a view that less romanticized than some readers might want.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
An important aspect of victory in World War II was the home front. "V Was for Victory" is a slim but detailed analysis of America's effort to mobilize for the war. Politics and production are the main points. This book is widely cited by other books on World War II. This is not a book for pleasure reading about World War II. Instead, this is a look at politics and production to win the war. Probably the best book on the home front for most readers is "No Ordinary Time" by Dorin Kearns Goodwin. Also read Conrad Black's biography of Franklin Roosevelt for excellent coverage of the home front in the war years.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This book was a massive dose of how the politicians and business men who coordinated the war thought. If you are interested in politics of President Roosevelt, then this book is for you. It is also a great book to do a report over for a history class. It is both very easy to read and to understand.
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