Examining how ordinary people made the shift from wartime to postwar life in Chicago, Laura McEnaney offers a way to broaden and extend the narratives we teach about World War II. Her study of demobilization takes readers inside the city’s apartment housing, drawing on captivating testimony from landlords and tenants as they fought over the meanings and spoils of the war. These stories of demobilization’s daily grind reveal a more complex history of the so-called greatest generation and point to the need to understand how people experience the transition from war to peace. The struggles in Chicago over the conduct and power of the postwar state illuminate what people thought they had been fighting for during the war.

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