White book examines America’s participation in WWII, racial politics

Steven WhiteWorld War II and American Racial Politics: Public Opinion, the Presidency, and Civil Rights Advocacy, a new book by Steven White, assistant professor of political science at the Maxwell School, was published on August 15 by Cambridge University Press.

Opening with an incident of racial violence in 1943, the book examines America’s participation in World War II as it relates to post-war racial politics. White analyzes survey data and archival evidence to assess white racial attitudes and the executive branch’s response to black civil rights advocacy. His findings indicate that the racial attitudes of the white public at large did not liberalize during the war. While the war against Nazi racism gave civil rights advocates a platform against racial discrimination laws, there were many reported incidents of racial violence at the same time, concentrated near military bases — an ideological tension central to White’s book. It goes on to examine the executive branch’s reaction to discrimination in the defense industry and segregation in the military.

Steven White’s research examines race and American political development, particularly the relationship between war and the inclusion of marginalized groups. His research has been published in Studies in American Political Development, American Politics Research, and Social Science Quarterly. He has also written for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

For more information about White’s book, visit the Cambridge University Press website

08/19/19