I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I should clarify, it isn’t really a book, more like a documentary in an audiobook format, or a radio serial from the 1940s. I don’t think they even have a text copy of this.
It takes a view on the American home front before and during World War II. It goes over the issues that the American civilians went through from the growing issues in Europe, through the war itself. It utilizes Martin Sheen as a narrator of the situation, but you get to hear the actual radio broadcasts from the government and civilians.
You get a view on the civilians themselves and it is rather eye opening. I always knew things weren’t so patriotic on the home front (or even in the military). While there are a lot of great things we talk about that generation, there were also major problems as well, and you hear it from the people’s own voices.
FDR had a thing where people would broadcast questions or opinions to him on the radio and he would sometimes respond (but usually not, too many people). There are a lot of people professing what we attribute to the greatest generation, a lot of caring people who were going to do what they needed to do.
I wasn’t surprised at the negative people though. I knew that there were a lot of racists people, a lot of antisemitic people, and it was a bit discouraging to hear them talk. They sounded a lot like the alt-right in current days.
I think the most surprising thing was hearing how the people drafted in World War II were very reluctant to go. It sounded like most were going to go anyways, but there wasn’t nearly the wave of volunteers that our mythic popular culture says. This isn’t a bad thing, and it actually reassures me that we aren’t much different.
I definitely enjoyed this book. I recommend others to listen.