The physical and emotional protection of American children during World War II challenged parents, child experts, and educators. The results of their responses to these challenges changed child rearing and education significantly. The vast army of 6- to 13-year-olds had critical social impact. These volunteers pulled wagon-loads of scrap, bought war bonds, planted victory gardens, and played war. Their experiences, along with constant anti-Axis propaganda, helped define them as a unique generation. Labeled the silent generation, they remain proud of their patriotism, loyalty, and team spirit. Beyond defining this generation, this work adds essential material to the study of the World War II home front.
The Author: Robert Wm Kirk received his Ph.D. in American history at the University of California, Davis in 1991. He has taught history for 25 years and currently teaches at Yuba College in California. In addition to Earning Their Stripes: The Mobilization of Children in the Second World War, he has published one non-academic book and several academic articles. He has been interested in the 'children's war' since his mobilization in 1943 to collect scrap metal.