Step back in time and see how the US government undertook a massive "Woman Power" propaganda campaign to convince Americans that middle class women should leave the home to become war workers. It's rich with interactive widgets that showcase WWII media - 13 videos, 18 pamphlets, 75 posters and photographs, plus numerous letters and cartoons. All part of a well-coordinated sales campaign that lauded former housewives who "made their husbands proud" by working in defense plants.
While there was great diversity in the women who did war work, the media campaign almost exclusively featured white women. There was little reference to women working to make money - not traditionally an acceptable role for married middle class woman. Instead, propaganda was filled with themes of patriotism, sacrifice and duty that depicted war work and military service as fashionable and glamorous.
"Recruiting Rosie" is a treasure trove of long-forgotten artifacts that boldly reflect the attitudes of another era - employers who were advised that "women are trainable", but it's best to hire "husky girls who are more even-tempered and efficient." You'll see how in the closing days of the war, the media blitz pushed working women aside and suddenly shifted to a new theme - convincing Americans that women should give up their jobs for returning servicemen.
It's your chance to be the historian as provocative questions guide you through the archives while building your critical thinking / Common Core skills. The book also provides web access to the public domain content so you can remix the historic documents into your own projects.
"Recruiting Rosie" is an enhanced, multi-touch book written by Peter Pappas, a well-known teacher, instructional designer and educational blogger.
Peter Pappas hits another home run
Peter Pappas has done it again - written a stellar book that allows readers to immerse themselves in public domain primary sources (film, audio, posters, photos, pamphlets, news articles & ads, etc.) to explore the United States home front during World War II. In this case, how the nation convinced masses of women to give up their traditional roles as homemaker and consumer for that of factory worker (becoming the famous Rosie the Riveter), Victory gardener, and resource recycler and conservationist; thereby making possible the production of the bombers, fighter planes, tanks, ships and ammunition that turned the U.S. from a consumer society in the depths of depression almost over night into the Arsenal of Democracy that defeated the Axis powers.
Readers (and viewers and listeners) will experience first hand the messages that convinced women to make this titanic shift, as well as those aimed at employers and male co-workers to convince them to accept them in these new roles. Then, as the war winds down, they'll find the messages the government created to convince women it was time to leave the factories to make way for the war vets ready to re-enter the workforce.
Woven throughout, master teacher Pappas includes guiding or essential questions designed to get readers thinking about the larger meaning of all these messages, as well as how our society has changed over the 70+ years since they were created.
In this work. Pappas shows us how history should be taught and learned. I hope this book finds its way into the hands of every student and teacher of 1940s American history, and of those interested in exploring how social roles are shaped by public information. It is masterful.
Many times authors fail to produce a book as good as their first. This is not the case. Peter has truly done an amazing job with this book. Each book he has written has gotten better. This book does not disappoint. It is chock full of amazing photos, videos and information. This is an amazing resource and I can't wait to share it with everyone I know.
Hey! That's my mom on the cover!
Well, she wasn't so cartoony, but she did rivet bolts onto plane wings at Lockheed during the war, and it was one of the proudest jobs in her life, just behind raising four children in early post-war years.
With the brilliant use of American propaganda and period communication style, the author has captured that era perfectly, making this book a well conceived and timely reminder that in the struggle is the reward. Americans truly worked together for a common purpose, often at their own personal deprivation, "giving their all" for their country. It's a pity we can't seem to muster that same spirit under similar circumstances today. And that's what gives this book its poignancy, its reverence for a more innocent time.
I went back and bought Mr. Pappas's other books as well, since he seems to have cornered, and mastered, a lively niche in 20th century history few people today are even aware of: how easily the American government influenced its citizens to take action using little else than clever marketing.