November 14, 2022 7:56 AM EST

The U.S. would not have succeeded in World War II without the service of more than 1 million Black men and women. But their stories have long been set aside in favor of those centered on white soldiers of the “Greatest Generation,” eliding how many Black soldiers faced racism and segregation both in the armed forces and when they returned home from war. In Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad, Matthew F. Delmont shifts the spotlight to the wartime contributions of these often overlooked heroes, crucially drawing attention to people who provided more “behind the scenes” support, like Black truck drivers who made supplies available on battlegrounds and Black workers who cleared forests and beaches that allowed troops to make successful invasions. —Mahita Gajanan

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