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World War II: Annotated Bibliography Open Access Deposited

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Most of the historical writing relative to American activities during the Second World War is military or diplomatic in nature. Not until well into the second half of the twentieth century did we get a systematic effort by historians to explain the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the United States during the war. The thrust of the scholarship was at first the great transformation the war brought to American society. But as time passed and historians delved deeper into the sources, they revised many of their claims, except, perhaps in science and technology, which were more directly related to the military aspects of the war.. For the most part, however, they agreed that the war had a great impact on American society, but it was more temporary than permanent and not as profound as originally thought. For examples, the civil rights and women's rights movements were less affected by World War II than historians initially thought. Also, much less scholarly research activity appears to be going on in the field now than was the case two or three decades ago. I hope this annotated bibliography will spark renewed interest in the topic. In the process, perhaps the Second World War can regain at least some of its original importance in American historiography. The sources of this annotated bibliography comprise more than 2,000 books, scholarly and magazine articles, doctoral dissertations, and federal government documents. There are a few conference papers and also a handful of personal memoirs. There is some duplication among sources and much of this is intentional so that researchers can have greater access even if they are not at a research library.

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