The War Comes to Plum Street
327 pages
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The War Comes to Plum Street


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327 pages


Winner, Best Books of Indiana Competition

"This remains a superb story. Bruce C. Smith has a wonderful eye for detail and a compelling perspective and voice. We care about this place and the people who live here." —James H. Madison, author of Wendell Willkie: Hoosier Internationalist and A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America

The War Comes to Plum Street brings to life the Second World War through the eyes of a small group of neighbors from a Midwestern town. Bruce C. Smith presents their stories just as they happened, without explanation or interpretation. To experience the war as they did, insofar as it is possible, we must understand how they perceived everyday events and recognize the incompleteness of their knowledge of what was taking place in Europe and the Pacific. The inhabitants of Plum Street in New Castle, Indiana, resemble many other average Americans of their day. As we discover how they experienced those fateful years, these Americans may have something to teach us about how we live in our own turbulent time.

1. Migration and a New Start in the 1920s
2. Coping with Hard Times in the 1930s
3. The Slow Pull Upward, Late 1930s
4. Into the Storm, 1939–1941
5. Duty Calls Every Citizen, 1942
6. Bearer of Bad News, 1942
7. Urgent Preparation, 1943
8. Together, and Alone, 1943
9. Despair and Bitter Hope, 1944
10. Invasion, 1944
11. Will It Never End? 1945
12. We'll Meet Again, 1945



Publié par
Date de parution 16 février 2005
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253111418
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 4 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page €. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


The War Comes to Plum Street
The War Comes to
Bruce C. Smith
Indiana University Press Bloomington & Indianapolis
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
601 North Morton Street
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797 USA
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2005 by Bruce C. Smith
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in
any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopying and recording, or by any
information storage and retrieval system, without
permission in writing from the publisher. The
Association of American University Presses’
Resolution on Permissions constitutes the
only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The war comes to Plum Street / Bruce C. Smith. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-253-34534-0 (alk. paper) 1. World War, 1939–1945—Indiana—New Castle. 2. New Castle (Ind.)—Biography. I. Title. D769.85.I7N487 2005 977.2%64—dc22 2004016273
1 2 3 4 5 10 09 08 07 06 05
For the Moles daughters
Gemma, Maxine, Marie, and Wanda
Acknowledgments Introduction
1Migration and a New Start in the 1920s
2Coping with Hard Times in the 1930s
3The Slow Pull Upward, Late 1930s
4Into the Storm, 1939–1941
5Duty Calls Every Citizen, 1942
6Bearer of Bad News, 1942
7Urgent Preparation, 1943
8Together, and Alone, 1943
9Despair and Bitter Hope, 1944
10Invasion, 1944
11Will It Never End? 1945
12We’ll Meet Again, 1945
Sources Index
ix xi
301 303
Many people helped with the research for this project, which began in 1990. I would like to thank the staffs at the Henry County Library, Henry County Historical Society, and Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, New Castle; Western Michigan Uni-versity Library and staff, especially Natasha Alexander; Kala-mazoo College; Sam Hyde of Hyde Brothers Books in Ft. Wayne, Indiana; and Dr. Barbara Allen for her patience in showing me how oral history ought to be done. Many others contributed directly to my understanding of the war and its impact on the people who knew it, including
Harry Ridout Fred and Charlotte Walker Judy Capshaw VanMatre Sarah Wright Madison Charlie and Barbara Bunch Purvis Phil and Martha Perry Vernie Griffin George and Esta Belle Woods Chet and Mary Curry, who read the manuscript and made many valuable suggestions Natasha A. Smith, who read the manuscript many times and provided expert proofreading Cora Pope, who shared Keith’s story and memory Carolyn Nycum, a gal in wartime Kalamazoo, and Jim Nycum, B-17 waist gunner Walter Dugan Mabel Frogge Smith Florence Smith Swann Paul Borgman of the 448th AAA Maj. Patrick Dugan, for information on the 448th AAA Drs. Brad and Dedra Birzer, who never failed to encourage me Dr. Kevin Smant, who read parts of the manuscript
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