Thomas A. Guglielmo is an associate professor of American studies at George Washington University. His research focuses on the social and political history of race in America. His first book, White on Arrival: Italians, Race, Color, and Power in Chicago, 1890–1945 (2003), won the OAH Frederick Jackson Turner Award; as a dissertation, it won the Society of American Historians' Allan Nevins Prize. Guglielmo's forthcoming book examines racism and resistance in America's World War II military. Pieces of this latest project have appeared as articles in the Journal of American History and the American Journal of Sociology. Guglielmo has received fellowships from the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University and from the Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University.
America’s World War II military was a force of unalloyed good. While saving the world from Nazism, it also managed to unify a famously fractious American people. At least that’s the story many of us have long told ourselves. In this lecture, historian Thomas A. Guglielmo offers a decidedly different view. Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research and stitching together stories long told separately -- of race and the military; of high command and ordinary GIs; and of African Americans, white Americans, Japanese Americans, and more -- Guglielmo stresses not national unities but racist divisions as a defining feature of America’s World War II military and of the postwar world it helped to fashion.