Book Review: African Americans in the United States Army in World War II

Archives

by Bryan D. Booker

Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2008. Pp. viii, 358. Illus, append., notes., biblio., index. $75.00. ISBN: 0786431954

A concise look at the role of black Americans in the Army during the Second World War.

Prof. Booker (St. Augustine’s College, N.C.) opens this work with a short look at the role of "Colored" troops during the First World War and in the interwar period.  He then reminds us of the prevailing attitudes of white Americans, civilian as well as military, about the desirability of having African Americans serve, with the contingent excuses for exclusion, as well as the role of the black press in keeping the issue alive, thus providing background for what would become wider participation in the Second World War.  There follows an often detailed treatment of how black Americans, women as well as men, served, often with great -- if neglected -- distinction, despite frequent open hostility from their white comrades and superiors, an often hostile mainstream press, widespread abuses at the hands of the white public.  The approach to the subject is essentially by arm of service; that is, the role of African Americans in combat service support units, the artillery, separate infantry regiments, armored forces, and the three largely black divisions (2nd Cavalry and 92nd and 93rd Infantry), as well as the men who in the volunteered for infantry duty during the crisis of the Bulge and served more or less integrated in all white units. 

Refreshingly free of the stridency of many works on the subject, this book would be rewarding reading those interested in the integration of the U.S. Army as well as for anyone interested in the army in the Second World War.

---///---



Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   


Buy it at Amazon.com




X

ad
0
30

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 30 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close