Hidden Fronts: New American Histories of World War II


Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars




For residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences during academic year 2016-2017


Combat GIs dominate the history of Americans abroad during World War II. But these soldiers constituted only a small fraction of the unprecedented millions of Americans stationed on six continents, both in and out of uniform, during the twentieth century’s signal conflict. “Hidden Fronts” traces the backstories of a diverse group of noncombatants and their paths into global war in order to offer a panoramic portrait of American wartime engagements. It maps the far-flung networks of trade, transport, and political maneuvering that knit homefront to battlefield, delving below—and shedding light upon—the grand strategy and military actions that fill international histories of the crisis. Finding such new ways to narrate the American war experience upends common assumptions about the war’s geographies and chronologies, nuances our understanding of what modern battle entailed, and reveals World War II’s counterintuitive but key role in twentieth-century global integration.