Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

Matthew F. Delmont

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SKU: 9781984880390
Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad by Delmont, Matthew F.
Regular price $30.00
Regular price Sale price $30.00
- Winner of the 2023 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Nonfiction
- A New York Times Notable Book
- A Best Book of the Year from TIME, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Washington Independent Review of Books, and more!

The definitive history of World War II from the African American perspective, written by civil rights expert and Dartmouth history professor Matthew Delmont

"Matthew F. Delmont's book is filled with compelling narratives that outline with nuance, rigor, and complexity how Black Americans fought for this country abroad while simultaneously fighting for their rights here in the​ United States. Half American belongs firmly within the canon of indispensable World War II books."
--Clint Smith, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

Over one million Black men and women served in World War II. Black troops were at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and the Battle of the Bulge, serving in segregated units and performing unheralded but vital support jobs, only to be denied housing and educational opportunities on their return home. Without their crucial contributions to the war effort, the United States could not have won the war. And yet the stories of these Black veterans have long been ignored, cast aside in favor of the myth of the "Good War" fought by the "Greatest Generation."

Half American is American history as you've likely never read it before. In these pages are stories of Black heroes such as Thurgood Marshall, the chief lawyer for the NAACP, who investigated and publicized violence against Black troops and veterans; Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., leader of the Tuskegee Airmen, who was at the forefront of the years-long fight to open the Air Force to Black pilots; Ella Baker, the civil rights leader who advocated on the home front for Black soldiers, veterans, and their families; James Thompson, the 26-year-old whose letter to a newspaper laying bare the hypocrisy of fighting against fascism abroad when racism still reigned at home set in motion the Double Victory campaign; and poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a war correspondent for the Black press. Their bravery and patriotism in the face of unfathomable racism is both inspiring and galvanizing. In a time when the questions World War II raised regarding race and democracy in America remain troublingly relevant and still unanswered, this meticulously researched retelling makes for urgently necessary reading.

Publisher: Viking
Published: 10/18/2022
Pages: 400
Weight: 1.32lbs
Size: 9.26h x 6.31w x 1.34d
ISBN: 9781984880390


Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2022 pg. 14
Publishers Weekly 07/25/2022
Kirkus Reviews 08/15/2022
Library Journal 09/01/2022 pg. 150
Booklist 10/01/2022 pg. 13
Choice 07/01/2023
BookPage 11/01/2022

About the Author
Matthew F. Delmont is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of History at Dartmouth College. A Guggenheim Fellow and expert on African American history and the history of civil rights, he is the author of four books: Black Quotidian, Why Busing Failed, Making Roots, and The Nicest Kids in Town. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and several academic journals, and on NPR. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Delmont earned his BA from Harvard University and his MA and PhD from Brown University.