As World Wars I and II consumed the attention of the United States, the nation's leaders consciously fashioned a presentation of the war for America's children. Duties of the young troops, cast as small soldiers on the home front, ranged from collecting scrap metal to preparing for future service overseas. A barrage of words and images, in print and broadcast, in classes, in posters, in plays and in prayer, infused the child's world with the values of war. Through historical research, this book examines how the group of children acculturated to war during World War I became the generation of leaders during World War II, and discusses the enormous shift that occurred in American society during the twentieth century, from a strong belief in the power of pacifism to pride in becoming the world's most powerful military force.
Ross F. Collins is Professor of Communication at North Dakota State University, Fargo. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Cambridge, Britain. He has published three books and many articles on aspects of World War I history, French history, and United States frontier history. Collins also serves on the board of directors for the American Journalism Historians Association.