July 04 , 2010

Over Here!

New York City During World War II


A wonderfully nostalgic and inspiring look at the center of the home front during World War II—New York City

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More than any other place, New York was the center of action on the home front during World War II. As Hitler came to power in Germany, American Nazis goose-stepped in Yorkville on the Upper East Side, while recently arrived Jewish émigrés found refuge on the Upper West Side. When America joined the fight, enlisted men heading for battle in Europe or the Pacific streamed through Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station. The Brooklyn Navy Yard refitted ships, and Times Square overflowed with soldiers and sailors enjoying some much-needed R & R. German U-boats attacked convoys leaving New York Harbor. Silhouetted against the gleaming skyline, ships were easy prey—debris and even bodies washed up on Long Island beaches—until the city rallied under a stringently imposed dim-out.

From Rockefeller Center's Victory Gardens and Manhattan's swanky nightclubs to metal-scrap drives and carless streets, Over Here! captures the excitement, trepidation, and bustle of this legendary city during wartime. Filled with the reminiscences of ordinary and famous New Yorkers, including Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters, and Angela Lansbury, and rich in surprising detail—from Macy's blackout boutique to Mickey Mouse gas masks for kids—this engaging look back is an illuminating tour of New York on the front lines of the home front.

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