Victory City: A History of New York and New Yorkers During World War II

John Strausbaugh. Twelve, $30 (496p) ISBN 978-1-4555-6748-5
From teenagers in zoot suits and bobby socks to New York–bred Soviet moles infiltrating the Manhattan Project and German U-boats lurking off the city’s shoreline, Strausbaugh (City of Sedition: A History of New York City during the Civil War) delivers a lively chronicle of New York City during the 1930s and ’40s. Strausbaugh highlights New York’s influential role in the war effort due to its sheer size, defense and auxiliary organizations (among them, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and USO), and political and economic clout—President Franklin Roosevelt, a native New Yorker, filled his cabinet and administration with influential New Yorkers. Entertaining and episodic, Strausbaugh’s work explores the cultural changes precipitated by the rise of women in the workforce; the racial discrimination black service members faced in the military and at home that led to the 1943 Harlem Riot; the corporations and banks that hid under a patriotic front while investing in Hitler’s regime; and the New York Jewish community’s deep divisions over Roosevelt’s slow and ineffective response to the Holocaust. The narrative sweeps in New York City’s larger-than-life mayor Fiorello La Guardia, Nazi spies and saboteurs, atomic scientists, poets, and gangsters. This well-informed and vibrant history captures a pivotal era in deep detail. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2018
Release date: 12/04/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-2156-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-2158-6
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