Paul Rhode (email@example.com)
"After the War Boom: Reconversion on the Pacific Coast, 1943- 1949"
One of the most revolutionary changes in twentieth-century American history has been the emergence of its Pacific Coast region as a core area of economic activity and innovation. Much of the traditional historiography (Nash) treats the region's Second World War boom as the watershed event in twentieth-century growth, but recent scholarship (Lotchin) has increasingly challenged the discontinuity interpretation. To advance and move beyond the existing debate, this paper examines the region's experience during the crucial reconversion process in the immediate postwar period (1945-49). It argues that the WWII boom could serve the West's Big Push only because the region's pre-existing economic structure allowed transitory shocks to have long-term consequences.