Divided Arsenal compares the causes and effects of federal race policy during World War II in factories, the Army, and agriculture. While scholars such as Gunner Mydrdal have suggested that wars promote the salience of the nation's founding democratic and egalitarian ideals, two imperatives - the mobilization of industrial production and the maintenance of the New Deal Coalition - outweigh the goals of interracial reform. The history of industrial employment policies confirms the role of party and war-fighting concerns in the creation of the Fair Employment Practices Committee and the committee's investigative casework. While military racial policies were initially repressive, by spurring black soldier resistance they paradoxically facilitated steps toward desegregation by transforming the executive's calculation of military efficiency. Important similarities in the timing and quality of reform in the three fields indicate that war-fighting concerns affected policy outcomes despite variations in African-American political and economic opportunities in various sectors and sections.