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V was for Victory by John Morton Blum, is a depletion of the period during World War II. This is a time of great hardships and learning for the United States, its people and government. The book goes into detail about this period that changed the world forever. There are many parts and facts though out this book, they all seem to flow together to make the whole story work out and make sense. The Unites States had to make changes leading up to, during and after the war in order for the war to happen and run smoothly. This was a great time in United States History.
In order for the United States in join the war, President Roosevelt and the United States government had to “sell” the war to the American people. Several ways they did this; one was that the war was half a world away from the United States and there was no direct harm that would come from Germany or Japan. Pearl Harbor was bombed, beside that that no part of the United States had been bombed, invaded or occupied, like the counties of Europe and Asia. After Pearl Harbor, it would not happen again, and the people had nothing to fear. The United States government had to make sure that the people knew that no harm would come to them, in terms of the war itself.
Another way that the government “sold” the war would be the use of war bonds. War bonds were used to rise money for the war, though the selling of bonds to the people the United States. Roosevelt and Morgenthau used advertising in order to get the people of the United States to buy the bonds, since with out the money the war bond raised it would be hard to finance the war. “These people related to basic appeals like sex, envy, and anxiety. The people bought bonds for other reasons like family members in the service, invest their money in a safe place, to preserve way of life , to combat inflation and to save for purchases after the war.”  The people of the time had just come out of a great depression, therefore, money was very important to them, and they wanted to make sure that they never had to live like that again. The war bonds were a way to make sure of of that.
With war comes a time of great politics, these politics played in the “selling” of the war to the American people. The government had to tell the people about what was happening in the war, therefore, they created the Office of War Information. This was a way to let the people learn about aspects of the war, that the government wanted them to know. The government also used propaganda to “sell” the war. This was to show the people that government was on their side. Finally, government used pictures of the enemy to “sell” the war. With pictures were included articles from magazines. An example of an article was one from Time, on how to tell friend from foe. This would put fear into the American people and make them believe that “these” people were bad and out to get them . There was also comic striped that depicted Japanese on a poor way. There were many pictures, books, magazines, programs, and plays that showed the enemy in ways that put fear into the United States people, this was a great way to get the people behind the government during the war.
Just about every part of an American’s life was changed though WWII. It was no different when it can to self-perception. Americans thought of themselves as an untouchable, when it came to war. This is because the United States is has a sense of being untouchable. Pearl Harbor and WWII came along. During this period, President Roosevelt started plans to reconstruct the United States for the great depression. The plans included programs like the New Deal, and Welfare programs. “The wealthy Americans felt that Roosevelt put more energy of the government toward the improvement of the lives of the poorest third of the nations. Not to mention they felt Roosevelt was trying to reduce the power and privileges of the rich.”  This is the idea of exceptionalism, since the people were feeling that the welfare programs to help only a few people.
The minorities during the war were in the most part treated unfairly. The prejudices toward certain races or ethnicity had happened for centuries before WWII, but during the war, several different groups had more prejudices toward them than before. The Italian-American’s were treated as if they had done something wrong. Most had been in America for decades, and nothing to do with the war. There was a report of discrimination Toward the Italian-American in most aspects of their lives, it was there from trying to find work to their children playing. “In 1942, President Roosevelt lifted the enemy-alien designation for the Italian-Americans and made it faster for them to become citizens of the United States.”  By Roosevelt’s actions he made the lives of Italian-American’s better than what it was before the war.
The group that was discriminated against the most during the war would have to be the Japanese-American. There was not a large number of Japanese in the United States at the time of WWII, but how few there actually was did not make a difference the actions against the Japanese-Americans was not called for. There was racial discrimination with law against intermarriage, exclusion from places of business, from jobs, and other areas were people did not want them to be. In 1942 Japanese-Americans were placed in internment camps, which the government called “relocation centers”. This treatment was very server and very discriminatory since it did not separate citizen from non-citizen, or enemy from non-enemy. The government just put all Japanese in these camps. They were told it was to keep them save from harm but in most cases in side these camps they were treated poorly by the gaurds and not protected from harm.
A war can greatly affect businesses and the economy, for better or worse. During WWII, the economy was stimulated to levels that not seen before. This is because new manufacturing jobs were created, which put most American back to work, it even put women and children in jobs that they had not done before, because there was so many jobs to go around. The war brought prosperity to the people; after the years of the great depression the people were actually able to afford finer things years before were kept from them because of the great depression. Vehicles were now also being produced for the government for the purpose of the war. The war changed many parts of the United States economy many for the good but there was still part that the war was costing money, and inflation that the United States had not seen before, not to mention A war can cause storages. WWII was no different, these shortages hurt small business, because they did not have, the supplies that they need to run their businesses. Therefore, big business thrived more than the small, therefore a family owned business would have a hard time keeping in business. The jobs created by the war helped the economy but with military spending there would problems with the United States economy.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the great presidents of the United States. This is partly because he was president during WWII and he was the president that brought our country out of one of worst time in recent history. The republicans did not like Roosevelt, partly because he was making and investing in programs that they did not believe in, and the other part was because they had lost elections to him. There were many cases of political change during the years of WWII, but in the end, it made President Roosevelt stronger in the eyes of the People.
V was for Victory was a read that taught me parts of history I did not know about. The strengths of this book were that it was able to tell the story and make the read see what it was like during that period. The breaking down of the chapters made it easier to go from one idea to the next with each idea being related, but not quite the same. By tying everything together, it made a big difference in reading, compared to other books. As the reader I did not find a weakness in this book, was well written and very enjoyable.
This book was wonderful to read. I enjoyed learning about parts of WWII that I did not know about; For example, the way that different races and ethnic groups were treated during this period. I did not know other groups beside the Japanese were treated unfairly during the war. I also knew the industry grew during the war, but had no idea that the war also took a toll on the economy. I loved this book.
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