Synopses & Reviews
This book describes and analyzes FDR's methods of war mobilization, by focusing on his administration's race manpower policies. Widespread but little-known racial violence threatened to disrupt the American war effort, and the Army as well as production officials struggled throughout the war to control and retain the allegiance of African-Americans. Like the century's three other Democratic presidents fighting wars, FDR struggled to contain racial unrest by deploying new policy tools suited to particular forms of friction.
"Kryder powerfully bursts through the analytic barriers between international and domestic politics, shattering the myth of FDR's wartime racial reforms. Skillfully revisiting the past, this insightful work lays bare the strategic but evasive efforts to contain a second front at home. War is hell for social policy." Anthony W. Marx, Columbia University"Kryder does an excellent job of examining causes and effects of wartime race management and seeks to develop a broader understanding of how government regulates social differences in war....[Kryder] provides an insightful and unique analysis of this period. Highly recommended for academic libraries." Library Journal"In Divided Arsenal, the political scientist Daniel Kryder has made an outstanding contribution to analysis of both the US federal governmentand African American politics. In his highly original and meticulously researched study, Kryder employs archival material to demonstrate how the US federal government was required, by the demands of wartime mobilization, to address the position of African Americans and how sharply the resultant policies were shaped by the US's racial injustices. For scholars and students of twentieth century American history and African American politics Divided Arsenal will become required reading. I recommend this book highly." Desmond King, University of Oxford"...impressive new book...[The author of] Divided Arsenal clearly establish that significant racial progress occurs in spite of - not because of - white morality and that white leaders pursue racial justice primarily out of racial self-interest." Black Issues Book Reviews"Divided Arsenal is a commendable piece of scholarship that certainly delivers some new insights into wartime racial tensions and the policies that were crafted to defuse potentially (and sometimes literally) explosive interracial violence.... I strongly recommend the book to anyone interested in the origins of race-specific policy (both civilian and military), the operation of wartime labor markets, or the remarkable political balancing act of the Roosevelt Administration." Journal of Economics"An intriguing alternative survey of why reforms were so limited." The Midwest Book Review"Divided Arsenal is a well-researched, thoughtfully constructed study and a valuable addition to the literature on African Americans' struggles to achieve equality in the twentieth century." The Journal of Military History"...Kryder's extensive research adds to a growing list of state studies analyzing the war's effect on New Deal liberalism. By focusing on Roosevelt's race management style, the author also gives new insight into both the complexity of the New Deal president and the evolution of race management policies during the 20th century.... Dividen Arsenal provides perhaps the most sophisticated and clear analysis of Roosevelt's race management style to date." Charles D. Chamberlain, Labor History"Divided Arsenal is a compelling and important analysis of American racial manpower policy in World War II. It advances significantly our understanding of American race relations in this critical period and, more broadly, of the interrelationship among war, the state, and social movements." American Political Science Review"This study contributes much to our understanding of the politics of race management during World War II. Kryder has illuminated many dark corners of racial policy formation, revealing the ulterior motives of wartime policy makers who often used African Americans as pawns and were more interested in demands of war mobilization than in racial justice." American Historical Review
A comparison of the causes and effects of federal race policy during World War II.
Divided Arsenal compares the causes and effects of federal race policy during World War II in factories, the Army, and agriculture. Two imperatives - the mobilization of industrial production and the maintenance of the New Deal Coalition - outweigh the goals of interracial reform. The history of industrial employment policies confirms the role of party and war-fighting concerns in the creation of the Fair Employment Practices Committee and its casework. While military racial policies were initially repressive, they paradoxically facilitated steps toward desegregation by transforming the executive"s calculation of military efficiency.
Table of Contents
1. A divided arsenal: the problem and its setting; 2. The executive and political imperatives: presidential campaigns and race management policies on the eve of war; 3. The Executive and National Security Imperatives: unrest and early struggles over racial manpower policies; 4. The racial politics of industrial employment: Central State Authority and the adjustment of factory work; 5. The racial politics of army service: Central State Authority and the control of black soldier resistance; 6. June 9, 1943: 'Negro soldier trouble" at Camp Stewart, Georgia; 7. The racial politics of urban and rural unrest: monitoring agriculture and surveilling cities; 8. 'America again at the crossroads": war, the state and social conflict.