Booklist Reviews

Bolzenius, formerly a transportation specialist in the U.S. Army, tells the remarkable stories of four African American women who were early enlistees in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) in the 1940s. Drawing on military archives and interviews, she traces the individual stories of Mary Green, Anna Morison, Johnnie Murphy, and Alice Young, who courageously protested segregation and inequities in training and opportunities compared to what was available to white WACS by going on strike in 1945 at Fort Devens. Ultimately, the four chose court-martial over discrimination. By recounting their experiences, Bolzenius presents a "microcosm in which to explore the army's personnel policies and the status of African American service women during World War II." This well-written account of little-known yet essential stories of valor and protest will fascinate readers interested in WWII, women's history, and heretofore untold stories of civil-rights trailblazers. Recommend Glory in Their Spirit to fans of Hidden Figures. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Choice Reviews

In her meticulously researched and well-written study, Bolzenius (formerly, Ohio State) examines challenges facing African American women who enlisted in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) during WW II. Recruiters promised that these women would improve their station in life and escape segregation through advanced training or posts to important service positions. Instead, African American recruits were kept in low positions, and they saw better jobs go to white WACs. Some 50 of these women who were unwilling to be continually assigned menial tasks went on strike against the US Army in 1945 and were subsequently court-martialed. This action resulted in a media uproar waged in the newspaper press of the time; racism, discrimination, patriotism, and the role of women in the military were hotly debated, and civil rights activists joined in common cause. Bolzenius, who herself served in the US Army, provides close profiles of four of these women—Mary Green, Anna Morrison, Johnnie Murphy, and Alice Young. Although all were convicted and were lost from national consciousness, their ordeal helped ensure desegregation of the armed forces in 1948. Heavily footnoted, this title will be a valuable resource for those interested in WW II, government, African American and minority history, and women's studies. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers.

--M. J. Smith Jr., emeritus, Tusculum College

Myron J. Smith

emeritus, Tusculum College

Myron J. Smith Choice Reviews 56:04 December 2018 Copyright 2018 American Library Association.