The Consumer on the Home Front

The Consumer on the Home Front : Second World War Civilian Consumption in Comparative Perspective

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Description

The term 'home front' gained currency during the First World War and was closely associated with the idea of 'total war' - it encapsulated the blurred lines between the armies fighting in the field and the civilian societies at home. It became one of the most consequential elements in Second World War strategic thinking, entailing an unparalleled degree of civilian mobilization. And the legacies of the home fronts reached far beyond 1945: the war became a crucial
catalyst for broader social developments, including the emergence of mass consumer societies in the twentieth century.
This volume explores the history of the home fronts in the Second World War from a comparative and transnational perspective, focusing on the role of the consumer and civilian morale in Nazi Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. The volume covers a wide range of aspects. It compares the belligerents' efforts in securing civilian food and nutrition. It analyses the role of advertising and commercial entertainment in creating 'virtual consumption' to
compensate for wartime hardships. It highlights fashion as a means of offering distraction and promoting promises of future consumption. And it enquires into the impact of the wartime consumer regimes on the post-war period and long-term developments.
This collection of ground-breaking international research will advance scholarship at various levels. It will contribute to our understanding of the entanglements between war and society in the twentieth century. And it will introduce a more holistic transnational perspective that aims to integrate the Second World War into the thriving historiography on mass consumption.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 380 pages
  • 145 x 223 x 26mm | 586g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0198784260
  • 9780198784265
  • 2,711,629

Table of contents

I FOOD: ORGANIZATION AND EXPERIENCE OF SUBSISTENCE AND SURVIVAL; II ADVERTISING AND THE MEDIA: DIVERSION, COMPENSATION, AND POSTWAR PROMISES; III FASHION AND THE MEDIA
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Review quote

the book succeeds in showing how countries on either side of what would become the Iron Curtain deployed similar consumption-oriented strategies for maintaining home front morale, portraying the war as a temporary blip or as a decisive turning point, after which 'normal' life - whatever that meant specifically to them - would necessarily resume. * Kirsty Ironside, Journal of Contemporary History *
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About Hartmut Berghoff

Hartmut Berghoff is Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Goettingen.

Jan Logemann is a Research Fellow in the Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Goettingen.

Felix Roemer is a Research Fellow in Modern History at the German Historical Institute London.
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