Back in 2004, I wrote a novel set during WWII, but it wasn't about the battlefields of war. It was about the homefront. The Victory Club was my way of honoring the sacrifice of the families of soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines. The book is special to me for that reason alone.
I have always been drawn to things from the 1940s: the clothes, the music, the sensabilities. So it's no surprise that I was delighted for the chance to read and review December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World by Craig Shirley. Here's the official blurb:
From December 1, 1941, until the morning of December 7, 1941, America was at peace and—with the exception of the stubborn and persistent high unemployment of the Great Depression—was a relatively happy country. By the afternoon of the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, America was a radically changed country, forever. Its isolationist impulses evaporated, and both major political parties became more or less internationalist. The month also introduced food and gas rationing, Victory Gardens, scrap drives, a military draft, and the conversion of Detroit into an "arsenal of democracy." From the moment of America’s entry into World War II, people of all kinds, but mostly women looking for work, flooded into the city. Instant apartment buildings sprang up, as did eating and drinking salons, all to the advantage of the massive increase in spending generated by the federal government.
December 1941 is a fascinating and meticulously researched look at the American home front—her people, faith, economy, government, and culture.
This book is a fascinating look at America at a crucial moment in history. For a history nut (like me), it is a delicious buffet of interesting information. I liked the way the author presented the material, each lengthy chapter covering one day of that month. This isn't a small book to be whisked through in a couple of evenings. These pages should be studied and highlighted and pondered. It isn't always easy reading, perhaps because so much of it is taken from newspapers of the day. Because I have gone through page after page of old newspapers when researching for my own books, that didn't seem to dim my enjoyment.
In case you're interested in my book about the homefront during WWII, The Victory Club has just release on ebook for $3.99. You can find it at Amazon now and it should be available soon on B&N and the Apple iBookstore. The unabridged audio version is available at ChristianAudio.com for only $15.98.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy made available through BookSneeze.