Book by CCU professor examines role of Native Americans in World War II
Townsend, an associate professor of history, developed the idea and wrote the first chapters of the book while he was in graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "I owe my interest in World War II to my father, who was a veteran, and I have been fascinated by Native American history since I gained an awareness of Indian issues in the late 1960s," says Townsend. "This book allowed me to blend the two interests and probe a relatively unexplored area of American history."
World War II and the American Indian shows how New Deal policies designed to preserve traditional Native American lifeways inadvertently provided Indians the resources, training and services necessary for assimilation in the postwar years. Included are interviews with Native Americans who fought in Europe and the Pacific, those who resisted the draft, and American Indian women who worked in defense industries on the homefront.
Townsend joined the Coastal history faculty in 1989. He earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a master's degree and Ph.D. in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.