The real Rosie the Riveter

Unknown-1I’m thinking lots of people knew this but it’s new to me. The woman featured in the iconic “We Can Do It!” wartime poster is not Rosie the Riveter. More on her later. The “We Can Do It!” poster was an internal job in a series for Westinghouse employees grumbling about wartime work hours and union suppression. Most of the posters in the series featured men and it’s unlikely that viewers in the one week this poster was scheduled to be on display in Feb. 1943 would have seen it as a call for women to join the war effort. They were already in the effort.

Unknown-2Norman Rockwell’s Rosie is a real gal, chowing down. Notice her foot on Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Don’t mess with this Rosie. She’ll chew you up for breakfast and spit out the pits. It sure is fashionable to put down Rockwell but you just can’t beat him for pictures that tell a story.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Workshop on Point of View for the Knoxville Writers Guild, Sat. Feb. 18, 2017, 10am to noon

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Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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