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The irony of victory : World War II and Lowell, Massachusetts / Marc Scott Miller.

By: Miller, Marc S, 1947-.
Contributor(s): American Council of Learned Societies.
Material type: TextTextSeries: ACLS Humanities E-Book.Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c1988Description: xi, 233 p. : map ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0252015053.Subject(s): World War, 1939-1945 -- Massachusetts -- Lowell | Lowell (Mass.) -- Economic conditions | Lowell (Mass.) -- Social conditions | Oral historyLOC classification: D769.85.M42 | c1988Online resources: Click here to view this ebook. In: ACLS Humanities E-BookURL:
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
D769.85.M42 c1988 (Browse shelf) Available heb.00418

Includes bibliography (p. [218]-228) and index.

Electronic text and image data. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University of Michigan, Scholarly Publishing Office, 2005. Includes both TIFF files and keyword searchable text. ([ACLS Humanities E-Book]) Mode of access: Intranet. This volume is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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Library Journal Review

Miller, an historian who now edits Technology Review , draws heavily upon oral histories as well as archival material and newspaper accounts to study the effect of World War II on the declining textile town of Lowell, Massachusetts. He is best when describing how war changed the lives of community members and when arguing that the war had few, if any, positive effects upon Lowell since the city returned to a ``depressed'' economic state as soon as the war-driven manufacturing boom ended. Less convincing are the parallels between Lowell in the 1940s and today, when current prosperity is based on high-technology industries. Ann H. Sullivan, Tompkins Cortland Community Coll. Lib., Dryden, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Building on Gerald Nash's The Great Depression and World War II: Organizing America, 1933-1945 (1979), Miller proves that in working-class Lowell, New Deal patterns of federal economic intervention, erosion of local control, and increased status for traditional elites accelerated during the war. The prosperity of the war years blurred Lowell's feelings of decline and expendability (captured by Miller in oral history interviews), but no fundamental alterations occurred in the structure of the community. When the war boom ended, Lowell's deterioration resumed. But how typical was Lowell? Miller rejects the idea that the wartime work experience of Lowell women resulted in raised consciousness or influence on the feminist movement, but more research needs to be done before that view can be accepted as universal. Miller's concentration on economic influences and his tendency to blame the federal government and monopoly capitalism for Lowell's woes is also disconcerting. Yet the book is worthwhile, and should spark research on the war's influence on working-class America. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -L. M. Lees, Old Dominion University

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