Why Roosevelt Won
Despite the sly distortions that streamed over the air from the Lindberghs and the Lewises; despite the conversion of certain shaken liberals to the Willkie cause–despite these things, a great majority of the American people went quietly to the polls and used their own good judgement…. In a world sick with fear and discouragement that decision is a tonic.
–Editorial, November 9, 1940
The Shape Of Things
Casually, almost incidentally, the United States went to war with Germany and Italy last week Thursday. It all happened before lunch…. For so many months we had waded along the edges of the terrible flood that when we finally plunged in completely the mood of the country was almost one of nonchalance. “Well, now we’re in it,” people said smilingly.
Recruiting stations are now flooded…. The registration of women is under consideration. Enormous new taxes, outdoing the most reckless prophecies of our Wall Street Cassandras, are in preparation in Washington. We know today, after a week of war, that war will be no picnic.
–Editorial, December 20, 1941
“I could tell you that the sound of any woman’s voice heard here is like a pain in the heart–not a sharp pain, but a really beastly, nagging pain, provided you have time for that kind of pain,” the soldier said…
–Kaye Boyle, “Hotel Behind the Lines,” June 9, 1945
Few Vote for Fordism
One of the rules [of the Ford empire] is that there shall be no smoking anywhere within the 12,000 acres of the River Rouge domain…. It is a projection of [Henry] Ford’s personal asceticism. Smoking is prohibited in every nook and cranny of the place, including the foundry, where smoke and fire are always present, and the washrooms, where smoking could not possibly be harmful or dangerous…. There are no chairs,… [so] in the most highly mechanized production plant in the world men must squat on the floor to eat their lunch….When a chair and a cigarette emerge as the two most immediate desires of a River Rouge worker, one realizes why 97.4 per cent of Ford’s 78,000 employees leaped at the chance to tell him that they don’t like being treated as automatons.
–Rose M. Stein, Letter to the Editor, June 14, 1941
It is obvious that both the removal and the resettlement of loyal American citizens along with Japanese aliens have been badly bungled.
–Editorial, June 6, 1942
Stalingrad and Dieppe
Children in later days will read about Stalingrad as they do now about Thermopylae or Hastings or Waterloo. But only persons alive today can sense, even faintly, the reality of that fierce epic….