chapter  5
24 Pages

Making White Bread by the Bomb's Early Light: Anxiety, Abundance, and Industrial Food Power in the Early Cold War

WithAaron Bobrow-Strain

After six weeks of fierce fighting for Sicily in the summer of 1943, Allied forces established their first occupation government in former Axis territory. Quick victory in Sicily would help turn the tide of the European war, but the question on the minds of many of the island’s half-starved residents was far more quotidian: “In many a liberated town,” Time magazine reported, “the first question asked was: ‘Where is the white bread?”’1 The war’s end was still years away, but Time’s focus on hungry Sicilians’ demands offered a glimpse into how the United States would see itself in the postwar world-a world that seemed to clamor desperately for bread that only America could provide.