Transformation of Arizona Into a Modern State

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This study covers Arizona’s homefront history during WWII, encompassing themes that are both institutional and social. It examines government, private industry and their economic programs, official policies of state and federal agencies. It examines the way Native Americans, Japanese aliens, and Japanese-Americans, Mexican-Americans and Mexican nationals, African-Americans, foreigners, international and local prisoners, children, and whites worked together – voluntarily or not – in the war effort.


“Ynfante describes Arizona’s participation in the war effort in this book that makes an important contribution as a state study of the home front in WWII. He provides an overview of developments before, during, and immediately after the war years. His book has two themes. The first deals with Arizona’s institutions and their development as a direct result of the war; the second deals with the effects of the war on the state’s ethnic groups…. thoroughly researched, using both primary and secondary sources, and is arranged topically while treating important events chronologically.” - CHOICE

“Doctor Ynfante’s carefully researched and well-written book is primarily an institutional and social history that utilizes an analysis of selected contemporary (primary) sources and synthesizes important recent scholarly (secondary) works. His study surveys an array of topics that collectively provide a wide-ranging overview of developments before, during, and immediately after the war years. . . . . The author details the treatment and utilization of enemy German and Italian prisoners as agricultural laborers. The book also describes the relocation, internment, and lives of Japanese Americans at several sites in Arizona. . . . surveys the role of the state’s Native Americans in leaving their reservations to help in the war effort at home and abroad. . . . He is particularly interested in evaluating the late Gerald D. Nash’s well-known thesis that World War II freed the states of the American West from a colonial dependence on Eastern investment and control . . . Because Nash had slighted Arizona in studying the West of the 1940s, Ynfante tests the famous thesis against his own findings. . . . scholars and many general readers interested in this field will need to use Charles Ynfante’s excellent overview and benefit from his fresh insights and new information. This study makes an important contribution to the growing body of scholarly literature that is developing an increasingly complex picture about the war years on the homefront at the local, state, regional and national levels.” – Larry A. McFarlane

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface; Introduction
1. The Eve and Advent of War
2. The Mines
3. The Cotton Crop and Labor Shortages
4. The Ground Forces and Navy; Arizona’s National Guard; Navajo Army Ordnance Depot; Desert Training; Fort Huachuca; Naval Training
5. The Army Air Forces and Civilian Training Schools; Luke Air Force Base; Davis-Monthan AFB; Williams AFB; Yuma Army Air field; Thunderbird Fields and Falcon
6. Prisoners Of War – Italian and German
7. Japanese Americans as Prisoners of War
8. Native Americans of Arizona
9. Arizonans’ Reflection on War and Victory and the Future
10. Conclusion: A Watershed?
Bibliography; Index

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