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World War II changed things, “the lives of American men and women would never be the same. The United States was at war, a war that would forever change the landscape of American society and balance of power between the sexes.” Long has it been romanticized, creating visions of last-minute marriages before a soldier going to war, people willingly sacrificing for the war effort and women faithfully keeping the home fires burning while waiting for their man to return. But these are just visions. Ms. Leder allows readers to look at World War II from a different angle.

No one had ever expected the country to fall into such a deep depression. In 1933, “the Great Depression, which spanned over a decade from 1930 to 1941, with aftershocks up until American’s entry into World War II at the end of 1941, ruined lives, derailed dreams, and changed the course of personal relationships.”

Birth control wasn’t the standard during this era. “The Comstock Act prevented disseminating birth control information through the mail or across state lines.” “There were 55 birth control clinics in 23 cities in 12 states.” Margaret Sanger challenged the Act and the Supreme Court repealed it.

Sex education was non-existent; sex was a topic that wasn’t discussed. “When it came to sex, the Motion Picture Production code, commonly known as the Hays Code, was crystal clear. The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld.”

Jane Mersky Leder is an excellent writer and has written a fascinating book that discusses facts and myths concerning a period in American history that changed society and the relationships between men and women. She has done an excellent job documenting the information. The cover is wonderfully done, reminding us of the romantic myth we’ve grown up believing in. My husband is very interested in this period of time and I intend to share this book with him. I highly recommend “Thanks for the Memories: Love, Sex, and World War II” to those interested in history.

Thanks to ReaderViews for submitting this review.

About the Author: Jane Leder is the author of three nonfiction books for young adults and adults: Dead Serious, Brothers & Sisters, and Thanks For The Memories. Read 25 fascinating facts about Love, Sex and World War II at her site


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