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May 18 , 2011

A City At War

Milwaukee Labor During World War II


Milwaukeeans greeted the advent of World War II with the same determination as other Americans. Everyone felt the effect of the war, whether through concern for loved ones in danger, longer work hours, consumer shortages, or participation in war service organizations and drives. Men and women workers produced the essential goods necessary for victory—the vehicles, weapons, munitions, and components for all the machinery of war. But even in wartime there were labor conflicts, fueled by the sacrifices and tensions of wartime life. A City at War focuses on the experience of working men and women in a community that was not a wartime boom town. It looks at the stands of the CIO and the AFL against low wartime wages, and at women in unionized factories facing the perceptions and goals of male workers, union leaders, and society itself. Here is a social history of wartime Milwaukee and its workers as they laid the groundwork for a secure postwar future.

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