Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The Politics of War

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Politics of War

In the reading Remembering Rosie: Advertising Images of Women in World War II, Author Maureen Honey describes her take on the War and what inspired the propaganda that became the machinery of WWII. During WWII, America was faced with a conflict at home and abroad. To launch an attack against Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, America needed to mass produce war material in order to effectively head into a war. The problem that the country would face was the need for bodies to produce these materials during a time of "labor shortages". With this conflict at hand, the nation would then go into "full propaganda mode" to play off the emotions of the American people and create a space for everyday Americans to contribute to the war effort.
"It was thought that propaganda could help the government control public responses"

With major social factors such as segregation looming over the American culture in many aspects of American life (military, restaurants, schools, neighborhoods as well as women's roles in the culture), Honey points out how It became a challenge for the nation to sell this war to the population of the nation that were considered left out. The government used their power of persuasion to persuade Americans to support the war not only through the loss of lives in battle, but by standing up and sharing the burden on American soil.
What was interesting to me is how before the war, Certain segments were unaccepted in American society but when it came to finding people ready to sacrifice their lives, the nation called for these individuals aid. Especially when looking at women and their already subordinate roles in the culture as mothers and wives, now being instrumental parts of the war movement at home. Their contribution during this war may be forgotten by many when put in context of the war itself but history cannot forget their story.

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