Fog of War: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement

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9780195382419: Fog of War: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement

It is well known that World War II gave rise to human rights rhetoric, discredited a racist regime abroad, and provided new opportunities for African Americans to fight, work, and demand equality at home. It would be all too easy to assume that the war was a key stepping stone to the modern civil rights movement. But Fog of War shows that in reality the momentum for civil rights was not so clear cut, with activists facing setbacks as well as successes and their opponents finding ways to establish more rigid defenses for segregation. While the war set the scene for a mass movement, it also narrowed some of the options for black activists. This collection is a timely reconsideration of the intersection between two of the dominant events of twentieth-century American history, the upheaval wrought by the Second World War and the social revolution brought about by the African American struggle for equality.

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Kevin M. Kruse is Associate Professor of History at Princeton University and the author of
Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism.

Review:


"In interrogating the fluctuations in local, regional, national, and global race relations during World War II, Fog of War is extraordinarily successful. It brings to the fore a broad cast of new characters, all with divergent stakes in what was still an undetermined racial future. A much needed corrective to common myths of American progress."--Journal of Southern History


"Fog of War is a brilliant collection of essays that makes clear that the standard narrative marching toward the traditional Civil Rights Movement is more complicated, more difficult, and more intensely local and global than previously understood. This volume brings scholarly rigor, clarity, and insight to African Americans' struggle for equality and is a welcome addition to the canon."--Carol Anderson, author of Eyes off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955


"This fascinating collection of essays illuminates the American war effort as well as the struggle for Civil Rights. Like all good history it probes conventional wisdom and stimulates new questions." --David Reynolds, author of America, Empire of Liberty: A New History


"An intriguing and provocative collection of new perspectives on the impact of World War II on race relations in America."--William H. Chafe, Duke University


"[This volume] is sure to change the trajectory of the civil rights historiography during and after World War II...[T]his study is apt at revealing the complexities of social struggles during and after times of war, and inspiring new questions about our nation's struggle for racial equality."--International Social Science Review


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