Chapter one illustrates the tension between martial citizenship and breadwinner masculinity in World War II deferment policy as well as men’s surprising reluctance to serve in the “Good War.” Despite staggering manpower needs, military officials were unable to convince members of Congress to curtail dependency deferments until well into 1943. Social values that defined the father as the moral and financial center of the family hindered planners’ attempts to dispassionately focus manpower procurement policy on filling the armed forces, factories, and farm fields until there was absolutely no other choice. It was not until the last two years of war that it become virtually impossible for men between the ages of 18 and 25 to obtain deferments. Yet, when required, Americans accepted the necessity of the draft, making it appear as though they also accepted a civic-republican ideal of masculine citizenship.
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