With this year's flurry of interest in WW II brought on by a succession of 50th Anniversary celebrations, many will be looking for serious social histories to round out the study of this period. This well-researched, perfectly pitched, and completely involving entry will more than fit the bill. Colman (A Woman Unafraid, 1993) expertly explores the enormous changes in the lives of women in their own homes and beyond. She delineates how the far-reaching power of such agencies as the War Production Board coupled with the intense ""propaganda"" efforts of the Office of War Information (""Women in the War: we can't win without them"") converged with the draft and economic pressures on families just emerging from the Depression to bring women into the workplace. Women braved the challenges of strenuous, often dangerous ""men's work,"" coped with prejudice and sexual harassment, and contributed mightily to the war effort. Children may find echoes of the problems faced by their own working mothers while they read of the valuable roles of their grandmothers. The strengths of this book are in the happy combination of abundant primary source material, a clear narrative style, and effective, well-placed photographs. An important contribution.