Cover: The Girls Next Door: Bringing the Home Front to the Front Lines, from Harvard University PressCover: The Girls Next Door in HARDCOVER

The Girls Next Door

Bringing the Home Front to the Front Lines

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Product Details

HARDCOVER

$29.95 • £23.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674986381

Publication Date: 02/04/2019

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392 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

18 photos

World

The story of the intrepid young women who volunteered to help and entertain American servicemen fighting overseas, from World War I through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The emotional toll of war can be as debilitating to soldiers as hunger, disease, and injury. Beginning in World War I, in an effort to boost soldiers’ morale and remind them of the stakes of victory, the American military formalized a recreation program that sent respectable young women and famous entertainers overseas.

Kara Dixon Vuic builds her narrative around the young women from across the United States, many of whom had never traveled far from home, who volunteered to serve in one of the nation’s most brutal work environments. From the “Lassies” in France and mini-skirted coeds in Vietnam to Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe, Vuic provides a fascinating glimpse into wartime gender roles and the tensions that continue to complicate American women’s involvement in the military arena. The recreation-program volunteers heightened the passions of troops but also domesticated everyday life on the bases. Their presence mobilized support for the war back home, while exporting American culture abroad. Carefully recruited and selected as symbols of conventional femininity, these adventurous young women saw in the theater of war a bridge between public service and private ambition.

This story of the women who talked and listened, danced and sang, adds an intimate chapter to the history of war and its ties to life in peacetime.

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Jacket: The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, from Harvard University Press

“Predictive Policing” and Racial Profiling

While technology used in policing has improved, it hasn’t progressed, says Khalil Gibran Muhammad, if racial biases are built into those new technologies. This excerpt from his book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, shows that for the reform called for by the current protests against systemic racism and racially-biased policing to be fulfilled, the police—especially those at the top—will need to change their pre-programmed views on race and the way they see the Black citizens they are supposed to “serve and protect.”