World War II marked a retreat from the existing notions of women's capabilities and proper roles. With the men gone at war, women had to take over the work force. Government propaganda encouraged women to do their patriotic duty by leaving their homes and entering the workplace. At the wartime peak in July 1944, 19 million women were employed. This was an increase of 47% over the level in March of 1940. For the first time, married women outnumbered
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considerably widened during the years of the war. In the words of Simone de Beauvoir, the women of postwar America were, "'torn between the past and the future"' (178).
Anderson, Karen. Wartime Women. Greenwood Press, Boston. 1981.
Rappaport, Doreen. American Women Their Lives in Their Own Words. HarperCollins
De Pauw, Linda. Founding Mothers. Houghton Mifflin, New York. 1993.
Rooke, Patrick. Women's Rights. Wayland, London. 1989.
Coles, Robert. Women of Crisis II. Delacorte Press, New York. 1994.