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Cover image of The First Strange Place
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The First Strange Place

Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii

Beth L. Bailey and David Farber

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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...

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.

Reviews

Reviews

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.

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Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
296
ISBN
9780801848674
Table of Contents

Prologue: December 7, 1941
Introduction: Wartime Hawaii and American Identity
Chapter 1. Into the War Zone
Chapter 2. Culture of Heroes
Chapter 3. Hotel Street Sex
Chapter 4. Strangers in a Strange Land
Cha

Prologue: December 7, 1941
Introduction: Wartime Hawaii and American Identity
Chapter 1. Into the War Zone
Chapter 2. Culture of Heroes
Chapter 3. Hotel Street Sex
Chapter 4. Strangers in a Strange Land
Chapter 5. Fragile Connections
Epilogue
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Beth L. Bailey

Beth Bailey teaches American history and is the director of American Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii.
Featured Contributor

David Farber

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.