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The Liberty of StrangersMaking the American Nation$
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Desmond King

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306439

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306439.001.0001

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World War II and the Challenge to Assimilation

World War II and the Challenge to Assimilation

(p.83) 6 World War II and the Challenge to Assimilation
The Liberty of Strangers

Desmond King

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an account of how wartime intensified the political salience of group divisions in American society. The chapter considers the way in which war mobilization also propelled the United States into a more significant global presence, increasingly vulnerable to international influences and scrutiny of its domestic practices. In particular, it reports how wartime mobilization against fascism and racism abroad inflamed racial and ethnic divisions at home and the difficulty of suppressing group-based issues in the political agenda. War mobilization amplified both the scale and depth of the inequalities and prejudices faced by groups based on race, ethnicity, and national background in American society and the association internationally between the United States and the defense of liberal democracy.

Keywords:   World War II, American society, assimilation, war mobilization, United States, fascism, racism, ethnicity, liberal democracy

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