Minnesota Goes to War: The Home Front During World War II

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Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2005 - History - 269 pages
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Brainerd, 1941: The first people began arriving at the depot at about eleven-thirty p.m. The mercury in the thermometer read twenty below zero, and it was still dropping. . . . A few minutes before midnight, the men the crowd had come to see marched into view--eighty-two of them, all dressed in khakis, responding on cue to barked commands. . . . The conductor called "all aboard." The band struck up "The Star-Spangled Banner." The men fell in and marched into the passenger cars. As the crowd surged forward, the men inside the train raced to the windows. . . . Hands reached out and grabbed each other. Final kisses were stolen. The train pulled away, slowly gathering momentum, and disappeared into the night. For many in Company A, 194th Tank Battalion, the part-time National Guardsmen who had trained at Camp Ripley, that was their last look at Brainerd. Their fate and the lives of the people they left behind comprise only one of the stories in this compelling chronicle of Minnesota's war efforts during World War II. Minnesota Goes to War records the state's role in the most significant event of the twentieth century. By telling the poignant stories of those who stayed behind--in support of the men and women overseas--this book is a tribute to the sacrifices made by ordinary people in extraordinary times. With much original research including photographs, letters, and interviews with veterans and their families, author Dave Kenney chronicles the uniquely Minnesotan response to war, from the starvation study at the University of Minnesota to the human centrifuge project at Mayo; from the Minneapolis and St. Paul rival scrap drives to the use of German POW farmhands in northwestern Minnesota; from those who eagerly supported the war to those who protested our nation?s involvement. These stories honor Minnesotans who faced the war with equal amounts of determination and dread, courage and fear in places as far away as the Pacific and Europe and as close as our own hometowns. "Minnesota Goes to War is a wonderfully rich, intelligently written, and singularly unique book." -- Joseph A. Amato, author of On Foot: A History of Walking and Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History
  

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Review: Minnesota Goes to War: The Home Front During World War II

User Review  - Len Washko - Goodreads

A friend posting this reminded me that I particularly enjoyed the use of letters - gives an immediacy to the lives and emotions of the time. Many very touching. Read full review

Contents

BRAINERD 1941
9
Leland Rowberg
36
BRAINERD 1942
65
AlHafner
102
Arsenals of Democracy
107
Ed Motzko
134
BRAINERD19431944
160
Robert Burns
191
BRAINERD 1945
222
Conclusion
229
Notes
237
Bibliography
251
Index
261
Photo Credits
269
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Dave Kenney is author of the award-winning Northern Lights: The Stories of Minnesota's Past the state history textbook, and of the forthcoming book Twin Cities: An Illustrated History (from Minnesota Historical Society Press). He holds an M.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri and is a writer, television producer, and communications consultant. He previously worked for CNN/Atlanta and his writing has appeared in Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, and Minnesota Law & Politics.

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