This is a lively history of specific social, political, ad economic changes that all-out war brought to the home front in mid-America. Drawing from letters to the editor in local and state papers, from editorials, from personal interviews, and from the manuscript collections left by state political leaders, Calvin Smith brings into focus the impact of wartime not only upon agricultural and business economics but also upon particular social groups and the lives of individuals.
The war generated the beginnings of a rights revolution in black communities throughout the nation. The author takes a careful look at the resulting strain on relations between the state’s black and white citizens. No less important is the consideration of Japanese Americans from the West Coast who were relocated to camps in Arkansas, and of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who would not take part in the war effort either on the battlefield or at home.
War and Wartime Changes illuminates a fascinating and sometimes embarrassing segment of history which until now has not been presented in a single, cohesive work. The author details the unique experiences Arkansas had at this time as well as the patriotism its citizens felt for their country.
Here is the story for the historian, for every student of society and its ways, and for anyone who wants to understand or remember the patriotic fervor of Americans during World War II. Calvin Smith has created, with persistent and imaginative research, a rare admixture of nostalgia and solid scholarship.