One of the things that continually stuns me about the U.S. wars against Iraq and Afghanistan is how little the average American is expected to sacrifice. Yes, many Americans are losing loved ones in this war. Other than those immeasurable sacrifices, however, most Americans are not asked to change a thing about their lives.

In contrast, during World War II, Americans were asked to make significant sacrifices, changing their daily lives and consumption patterns. Carpooling, for example, to save gas and rubber and staying off the phones.

Vintage Ads posted another great example of government propaganda encouraging the average person to change their lives for the war effort. In this case, the propaganda is British and they implore citizens not to waste food:

U.S. propaganda and advertising similarly encouraged citizens (i.e., women) to save food and stretch their rations (both from 1943):

Images also found at Vintage Ads: here, and here.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.