The Bad City in the Good War

San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego

by Roger W. Lotchin

Published by: Indiana University Press

328 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.00 in, 16 b&w photos, 1 maps, 1 bibliog., 1 index

  • Paperback
  • 9780253215468
  • Published: March 2003

$26.00

Add to Cart
  • eBook
  • 9780253000484
  • Published: March 2003

$9.99

"Riders were very appropriate to a western war, but these horsemen could not have been more different. One group patrolled the oceanfront of 'The City' after dark. While the residents of the nearby Sunset District and Seacliff huddled around the radios in their living rooms, curtains pulled and blinds lowered, listening to war news or to 'One Man's Family,' other residents rode the beaches. Mounted on their own ponies, the men of the San Francisco Polo Club labored through the sands of China Beach, Baker Beach, and the Ten Mile Beach, looking for Imperial Japanese intruders." —from the book

In the mythology of the West, the city was seen as a place of danger and corruption, but the "bad" city proved its mettle during the "Good War." In this book, Roger W. Lotchin has written the first comprehensive study of California's urban home front. United by fear of totalitarianism, the diverse population of California's cities came together to protect their homes and to aid in the war effort. Whether it involved fighting in Europe or Asia, migrating to a defense center, writing to service personnel at the front, building war machines in converted factories, giving pennies at school for war bonds, saving scrap material, or pounding a civil defense beat, urban California's participation was immediate, constant, and unflagging. Although many people worked in offices, factories, or barracks, the wartime community was also fed by a vast army of volunteers, which until now has been largely overlooked. The Bad City in the Good War is a comprehensive local history of the California home front that restores a little-known part of the story of the Second World War.