What one expects to find above all else in American society during the war years is a patriotic fervor, a single-minded devotion to cause and country that crossed all class and ethnic barriers. Certainly this was the view promoted at the time by government, by business (especially through its advertisements), and by Hollywood, and in the fog of peace that settled over America after the war, Americans themselves widely accepted that this must have been the case.1 A reexamination of this era, however, reveals little in the way of flagwaving patriotism among ordinary Americans, and even less in the way of a rationale for taking part in the war in the first place. Even the Infantry Journal observed that while hyperpatriotism may be characteristic of some wars (“A martial spirit spreads throughout the community. … Flags are waving, bands are playing, drums beating, and crowds cheering”), “there has not been much of this in the present war.”2 Early in 1942 columnist Raymond Moley also lamented the absence of patriotism in America and claimed that what the country had instead were “shabby itemizations, these puny lists of material benefits.” America, said Moley, was now a land in which soldiers “pass silently through drowsy stations in the night; tank, plane, gun production is veiled in the smokescreen of censorship; flags are seemingly rationed; and there are no more parades.”3 While Moley’s assessment was correct, his bafflement as to cause reveals a short historical memory.