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In excerpts drawn from Musselman Library's Oral History Archive, the World War II years are recalled by dozens of the men and women—adults, teenagers, children—who endured them on the home front. The home front experience was by turns exhilarating, fearsome, depressing, and banal. Some civilians had it relatively easy, while others had it hard. Righteous confidence was offset by looming uncertainty, patriotism was often buttressed by bigotry, and the joys of victory and reunion were shadowed by irreplaceable losses. In this volume, the speech of ordinary citizens in extraordinary times is augmented by abundant illustration, much of it in color—photographs, posters, artifacts, and other evocations of a past that still fascinates us. Through word and image, in tones of humor, warmth, anger, and sadness, Common Cause brings back the unique features of American life at that time, and the daily reality of being a nation at war.

Publication Date



Musselman Library


Gettysburg, PA

Department 1


Department 2



The full text of this work will be made available online on June 20, 2019. Hard copies are available to purchase online or in person at the Gettysburg College Bookstore.

Common Cause: A History of the World War II Home Front