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A Woman's War, Too

A Woman's War, Too

Regular price $ 19.95

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Women at Work During World War II

Author Virginia Wright-Peterson

Minnesota Historical Society Press (April 1, 2020)

Dramatic stories of women discovering their own potential in a time of national need, surprising themselves and others— and setting the roots of second-wave feminism.


Finalist for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award in the Minnesota Nonfiction Category

World War II was a total war, devouring the military and civilian resources of nations. Women in Minnesota—like women across the country—made bold, unconventional, and important contributions to the effort. They enlisted in all branches of the military and worked for the military as civilians. They labored in factories, mines, and shipyards. They were also tireless peace activists, and they worked to relocate interned Japanese American citizens and European refugees. They served as cryptologists, journalists, pilots, riveters, factory workers, nurses, entertainers, and spies.

In 1938, before the United States joined the conflict, a Minnesota woman was covering the war in Europe as a reporter. Another was a military nurse at Pearl Harbor when the bombs fell. Minnesota women witnessed the fall of France, the defeat of Axis forces in North Africa and Italy, the Battle of the Bulge, D-Day and the invasion of Normandy, the liberation of France and of the concentration camp at Dachau, and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

In this rich chronological account, Virginia M. Wright-Peterson reframes our understanding of the war through the specific and powerful stories of individual women. It was their war, too.

Author information

Virginia M. Wright-Peterson has taught writing for more than fifteen years and is on the administrative team at the University of Minnesota Rochester. She is the author of Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation.

Reviews and news

Watch: History-at-Home Author Talk

In the Media:

Rochester Post Bulletin

Pioneer Press


Advance Praise:

“Featuring Minnesota women from various locations, backgrounds, and social classes, Virginia Wright-Peterson’s approachable narrative, interwoven with the women’s own compelling words, celebrates their contributions during the World War II years and yields new perspectives on what were often life-changing experiences.”
Thomas Saylor, author of Remembering the Good War: Minnesota’s Greatest Generation and Long Hard Road: American POWs During World War II

“Virginia Wright-Peterson’s book A Woman's War, Too is an important and carefully researched project that brings women’s stories to the forefront where they belong. The labor these women contributed to society and to US efforts during World War II deserves sustained attention if we are to understand the gendered mechanisms of war, too often erased by default patriarchal storytelling.”
Sun Yung Shin, editor of A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota and author of the Minnesota Book Award–winning Unbearable Splendor


  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 256 pages
  • 45 b&w
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681341514

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