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Author McEuen, Melissa A., 1961-

Title Making war, making women : femininity and duty on the American home front, 1941-1945 / Melissa A. McEuen
Published Athens : University of Georgia Press, [2011]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xiv, 270 pages) : illustrations
Contents All-American masks : creaming and coloring the wartime face -- Tender hands and average legs : shaping disparate extremities -- Pleasant aromas and good scents : cleansing the body politic -- Proper attire and streamlined silhouettes : clothing the home front figure -- Sacrifice and agreeability : cultivating right minds
Summary Drawing On war propaganda, popular advertising, voluminous government records, and hundreds of letters and other accounts written by women in the 1940's, Melissa A. McEuen examines how extensively women's bodies and minds became "battlegrounds" in the U.S. fight for victory in World War II. --
Women were encouraged to believe that the nation's success depended on their effortsùnot just on factory floors, but at their dressing tables, bathroom sinks, and laundry rooms. Scrutinized and sexualized in new ways, women understood that their faces, clothes, and comportment would indicate how seriously they took their responsibilities as citizens. McEuen also shows that the wartime rhetoric of freedom, democracy, and postwar opportunity coexisted uneasily with the realities of a racially stratified society. The context of war created and reinforced the desirability of whiteness, and McEuen explores how African Americans grappled with whiteness as representing the true American identity. --Book Jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Advertising -- Clothing and dress -- History -- 20th century.
Advertising -- Cosmetics -- History -- 20th century.
Femininity -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Women -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
World War, 1939-1945 -- United States.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2010020412
ISBN 0820337587 (electronic bk.)
9780820337586 (electronic bk.)