chapter  5
We’re All in This Together
Collectivism and World War II
Pages 25

This chapter explores how World War II temporarily shifted the focus from individualism and the American Dream of material abundance towards shared sacrifice, and how celebrity culture both reflected and reinforced this change. Patriotism became far more important than attaining individual wealth in fan magazine coverage; in fact, the fan magazines suggested that consuming more than one's fair share would be unpatriotic. Celebrity stories also became a central source of patriotism. Along with newsreels and war movies, fan magazines served to bolster the image that Hollywood was quintessentially American, in the war effort. As perhaps the most romanticized war in US history, celebrity culture of the time promoted both support for the war and romance, often interweaving the two. Ironically, the war served to increase both marriages and divorces. In 1942, the marriage rate rose to its highest level. War era articles suggested to women that holding a marriage together during the war was their responsibility.