front cover of Planning the Home Front
Planning the Home Front
Building Bombers and Communities at Willow Run
Sarah Jo Peterson
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Before Franklin Roosevelt declared December 7 to be a “date which will live in infamy”; before American soldiers landed on D-Day; before the B-17s, B-24s, and B-29s roared over Europe and Asia, there was Willow Run. Located twenty-five miles west of Detroit, the bomber plant at Willow Run and the community that grew up around it attracted tens of thousands of workers from across the United States during World War II. Together, they helped build the nation’s “Arsenal of Democracy,” but Willow Run also became the site of repeated political conflicts over how to build suburbia while mobilizing for total war.
In Planning the Home Front, Sarah Jo Peterson offers readers a portrait of the American people—industrialists and labor leaders, federal officials and municipal leaders, social reformers, industrial workers, and their families—that lays bare the foundations of community, the high costs of racism, and the tangled process of negotiation between New Deal visionaries and wartime planners. By tying the history of suburbanization to that of the home front, Peterson uncovers how the United States planned and built industrial regions in the pursuit of war, setting the stage for the suburban explosion that would change the American landscape when the war was won.

front cover of The Story of Willow Run
The Story of Willow Run
Marion F. Wilson
University of Michigan Press, 1956
The Story of Willow Run is a success story—the life history of a small community, the "Bomber City" that had sprung up in World War II. It tells what a group of returning veterans and their families did to make into a progressive, thriving settlement. Who are the people of Willow Run? What were their needs, their problems? How did they accept and meet the challenge of making a home town for themselves? Marion F. Wilson tells their story—a tribute to American pioneering courage. Today, Willow Run Village is growing into a permanent community, proud of its schools, its churches, playgrounds, shops, and homes—and, above all, its community spirit.

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