All those images our good friend MW keeps putting up from the Life archive have fostered a thirst for knowledge about WWII life. Good Girls, Good Food, Good Service: The Story of the USO Hostess During World War II adds a little sex appeal to the reading list. The author is Megan K. Winchell, associate history professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Her work is published by UNC Press.

Throughout World War II, when Saturday nights came around, servicemen and hostesses happily forgot the war for a little while as they danced together in USO clubs, which served as havens of stability in a time of social, moral, and geographic upheaval. Meghan Winchell demonstrates that in addition to boosting soldier morale, the USO acted as an architect of the gender roles and sexual codes that shaped the “greatest generation.”

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