Fighting the Good Fight : The Utah Home War Front during World War II
Utah Historical Quarterly
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah State Historical Society
Emotionallly, Utahns, like Americans in general, saw World War II as "a war that had to be fought." Sacrificing sugar, nylons, steak, gasoline, and butter became noble acts to resist tyranny and preserve democracy. The rhetoric of noble sacrifice, however, masks the fact that many of these "sacrifices" were not completely voluntary. Congress passed legislation that enforced rationing. Guilt-producing propaganda reinforced these laws. A reporting system made sure that noncompliers were shamed and sometimes punished. The grief and sorrow for the dead was real. The fear was real. The turmoil and worry were real, although for many the turmoil brought a sense of excitement. Oral histories with Utahns recalling their memories of the war on the home front disclose recollections of inconvenience, not sacrifice, and shortages, not real privation.