Planning The Home Front: Building Bombers And Communities At Willow Run

Hardcover | May 22, 2013

bySarah Jo Peterson

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Before Franklin Roosevelt declared December 7 to be a “date which will live in infamy”; before American soldiers landed on D-Day; before the B-17s, B-24s, and B-29s roared over Europe and Asia, there was Willow Run. Located twenty-five miles west of Detroit, the bomber plant at Willow Run and the community that grew up around it attracted tens of thousands of workers from across the United States during World War II. Together, they helped build the nation’s “Arsenal of Democracy,” but Willow Run also became the site of repeated political conflicts over how to build suburbia while mobilizing for total war.
In Planning the Home Front, Sarah Jo Peterson offers readers a portrait of the American people—industrialists and labor leaders, federal officials and municipal leaders, social reformers, industrial workers, and their families—that lays bare the foundations of community, the high costs of racism, and the tangled process of negotiation between New Deal visionaries and wartime planners. By tying the history of suburbanization to that of the home front, Peterson uncovers how the United States planned and built industrial regions in the pursuit of war, setting the stage for the suburban explosion that would change the American landscape when the war was won.

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From the Publisher

Before Franklin Roosevelt declared December 7 to be a “date which will live in infamy”; before American soldiers landed on D-Day; before the B-17s, B-24s, and B-29s roared over Europe and Asia, there was Willow Run. Located twenty-five miles west of Detroit, the bomber plant at Willow Run and the community that grew up around it at...

Sarah Jo Peterson is an independent scholar with over twenty years of experience in urban planning.

other books by Sarah Jo Peterson

Format:HardcoverDimensions:376 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:May 22, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022602542X

ISBN - 13:9780226025421

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
Chronology

Introduction

1 The Bomber Plant
2 The Local Response to Sudden Industrialization
3 Housing for Defense
4 The Battle for Bomber City
5 What’s Wrong with Willow Run?
6 Building Bombers
7 Building Communities
8 A Bomber an Hour
9 Confronting Race

Conclusion

Acknowledgments
Archival Sources and Collection Abbreviations
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“ Peterson reminds us that World War II had complex, far-reaching effects on American society . . .  Planning the Home Front is a valuable addition to current scholarly literature on wartime defense industry towns and the relations between different levels of government, business and labor interests, and various community groups.”