Since You Went Away: World War II Letters from American Women on the Home Front

Judy Barrett Litoff, Editor, David C. Smith, Editor Oxford University Press, USA $27.5 (312p) ISBN 978-0-19-506795-8
From among 25,000 of an estimated six billion letters sent overseas during World War II, history professors Litoff (Bryant College, Rhode Island) and Smith (University of Maine) have culled and skillfully edited a sampling by 400 American women. These letters, starting with one to a seaman wounded at Pearl Harbor, are compelling documents of home-front life in varied ethnic, cultural and financial milieus. Tragic, touching and funny, the correspondence is full of prosaic news and gossip about jobs and neighbors, along with accounts of births and intimate allusions to love-making. The stress of separation was intensified for women whose loved ones were hospitalized, or imprisoned as either conscientious objectors or security risks. Some women wrote General MacArthur and others for news of missing men or to obtain details of their deaths. Many of these heartrending documents also express acceptance--and even pride--in the sacrifices required by war. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 310 pages - 978-0-7006-0714-3
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