The First Strange Place
Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii
As the forward base and staging area for all US military operations in the Pacific during World War II, Hawaii was the "first strange place" for close to a million soldiers, sailors, and marines on their way to the horrors of war. But Hawaii was also the first strange place on another kind of journey, toward the new American society that would begin to emerge in the postwar era. Unlike the rigid and static social order of prewar America, this was to be a highly mobile and volatile society of mixed racial and cultural influences, one above all in which women and minorities would increasingly demand and receive equal status. Drawing on documents, diaries, memoirs, and interviews, Beth Bailey and David Farber show how these unprecedented changes were tested and explored in the highly charged environment of wartime Hawaii.
About the Authors
Beth Bailey teaches American history and is the director of American Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of From the Front Porch to the Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America. David Farber teaches American history at barnard College, Columbia University. He is the author of Chicago '68 and The Age of Great Dreams: American in the 1960s.
"The First Strange Place is in the great tradition of oral history and yet it makes marvelous use of archival records—I was reminded both of Studs Terkel's sensitive ear and of Shelby Foote's sweeping vision."
"A fascinating, startling, and wise book. It will now be impossible to tell the story of the modern civil rights struggle or of the women's movement without seeking to understand the anxieties that flourished on Hawaii after Pearl Harbor."
"Packed with rich sources, complex ideas, and some amusing lines—and written with writers' craft as well as historians' insight—this book is an excellent example of both new and traditional history."
"A model of multicultural history—imaginatively researched, interpreted with discernment, and gracefully written."
Other Titles by Beth L. Bailey
Other Titles in HISTORY / United States / General
Other Titles in History of the Americas