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Planning the Home FrontBuilding Bombers and Communities at Willow Run$
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Sarah Jo Peterson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226025421

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226025568.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Planning the Home Front

Sarah Jo Peterson

University of Chicago Press

During World War II, the city of Detroit played a key role in national defense. The hometown of one of the world’s manufacturing giants, Detroit was the site of the Ford Motor Company’s Willow Run Bomber Plant, which became one of the most famous industrial facilities of the war, and would soon earn the monicker “Arsenal of Democracy.” Located twenty-five miles to the west, in mostly rural Washtenaw County near Ypsilanti Township, Willow Run mass-produced sophisticated four-engine “bombing airplanes” to be used by the United States during the war. This book tells the story of the Willow Run Bomber Plant and how the federal government mobilized the American home front. It explores how Willow Run figured prominently in the federal government’s mobilization efforts during the defense and early war years and its role in industrial expansion, migration, and suburbanization, as well as democracy, federalism, and participatory planning during the period.

Keywords:   national defense, Detroit, World War II, Ford Motor Company, Willow Run Bomber Plant, Ypsilanti Township, bombing airplanes, United States, mobilization, democracy

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