❮PDF / Epub❯ ☀ When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II ✈ Author Molly Guptill Manning – Saudionline.co.uk



10 thoughts on “When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II

  1. says:

    They don t call them The Greatest Generation for nothing I knew they were called that because of the sacrifices they made during World War II What I didn t know was that part of their legacy was solidified after the war Soldiers in WWII LOVED to read Some of them hadn t so much as picked up a book outside of mandatory school reading However, when they got into the Army and Navy they realized they had a lot of boring down time Without video games and things like movies not being readily available or portable, soldiers turned to books In turn, books transformed themselves for the soldiers, who needed lightweight reading material The publishing world s predilection for hardcovers didn t work mobility wise Thus paperbacks took off like gangbusters and millions were shipped around the globe to wherever the armed services were stationed This was not an easy task and much of the book focuses on this undertaking.I was fairly, though not 100%, sure what I was in for when I picked up When Books Went to War The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II I mean, I didn t expect to read about gun toting novels marching off to war On the other hand, could the title be referring to propaganda tracts printed and sent to the various fronts Nope, it just refers to the dissemination of good old normal books, some of which became very popular amongst the ranks When Books Went to War describes how the reading generation of the war years created classics out of forgotten books The Great Gatsby is one example which now we take for granted as having always been consistently popular That period also created a whole generation of educated youths who hungered for learning once they were done fighting That was the big take away of this book for me The young men coming out of the war were disciplined machines with a drive and ability to consume knowledge On the GI bill, they went to college and tore through books, studying harder and getting better grades than the career students from rich families that prior to constituted most campuses The former soldiers then went into business administration and engineering on a scale never seen before That, to me, is the lasting legacy of the Greatest Generation It wasn t sitting on their laurels and patting themselves on the back for the brave and noble work they d done during the war It was what they were then able to accomplish after their tremendous sacrifice and struggle This is quite a good read However, it s a book about books, so go into it with that in mind It s not going to be a scorcher When Molly Manning isn t writing about how books were transported and distributed, etc she s often giving a rather dry summary of the war Having said that, you re here on Goodreads.com, so you re already a book nerd, ergo I have a feeling you ll get some level of enjoyment out of this Now, I m off to find a copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to find out why it was arguably the most popular book amongst American soldiers


  2. says:

    In a slice of history that s hard to imagine could be repeated today, When Books Went to War tells the story of a program that delivered millions of books to Americans in the military overseas during World War II For some reason, this story has been all over place recently, in an article in Atlantic magazine, in a book about The Great Gatsby by Maureen Corrigan So We Read On , and now here It was no secret, but I never heard of the program until a few months ago.It s a fascinating history and Molly Guptill Manning does it justice The book is short, under two hundred pages, but it covers a lot of territory It touches on the effects the books themselves had on the troops, as well as the boost to the popularity of paperbacks during and after the war By providing over a thousand titles to those at war, a generation of readers was created and many went on to go to college through the G.I Bill while others simply kept the habit of reading for pleasure.In addition to the wartime program of providing small, cheap paperbacks to the military, another program after the war provided translations of American works to civilians in countries where few books had been published since before the war This was a huge opportunity for American propaganda and influence, which Manning glosses over, but is dealt with in detail in John Hench s Books as Weapons.When Books Went to War is the best kind of history book well researched, informative, and hard to put down.


  3. says:

    Excerpt from a letter written to Betty Smith, the author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn from a 20 year old Marine in sick bay during World War II Ever since the first time I struggled through knee deep mud carrying a stretcher from which my buddie s life dripped away in precious blood and I was powerless to help him, I have felt hard and cynical against the world and have felt sure that I was no longer capable of loving anything or anybody I can t explain the emotional reaction that took place I only know that it happened and that this heart of mine turned over and became alive again I ll never be able to explain to you the gratitude and love that fill my heart in appreciation of what your book meant to me When Books Went to War is a terrific read Over the past several years, I have read a great many stories centered around both world wars moving and heartbreaking stories This book. a true story was one of the best Molly Guptill Manning presents the book in a methodical and clever way first, the book is a broad outline of the events that led up to World War II how the war itself played out and most interestingly, the tying in of history with the incredible story of the role books played in the war effort This book demonstrates how books inspired and lifted the morale of the troops, became a battle cry of sorts and finally how books turned out to be the secret weapon that just may have helped the Allies win the war.Ms Manning begins by setting the stage for how books became such a huge deal in World War II The story begins at a tremendous and horrifying book burning which took place in Berlin on May 10, 1933 Students from Friedrich Wilhelm University, in from of an audience of 40,000 spectators, tossed armloads of books into a massive pyre.The book burning was broadcast live on the radio and was filmed so that it could be shown in movie theaters across Germany and it included commentary that harmful books eroded German values and culture and must be destroyed People were encouraged to weed out and contribute books for the book burnings and in the end, 100 million books were destroyed When word spread throughout Europe and the United States about the book burnings and the list of authors whose works were banned became available Karl Marx, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Helen Keller, Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann librarians everywhere were outraged Newspapers filled with critical editorials and recriminations were leveled at the Nazi regime This book burning and banning experience became known as the bibliocaust The outrage over the massive assault on ideas continued to build until the United States entered World War II in 1941 Although the United States entered the war with determination and resolve, the War Department was ill equipped to handle the necessities required by all of the newly enlisted men Equipment and weaponry were scarce and even complete uniforms were difficult to come by Despite the loyalty and firm determination of the troops, morale began to sag For many, their service was the first time they had been away from home They were not accustomed to the total lack of privacy and when they did manage to snag some well deserved down time, there was nowhere to go and not much to do to occupy themselves Word began circulating that the men needed books books would lift the spirits and provide a much needed escape First Lieutenant Raymond L Trautman, chief of the Library Section of the U.S Army, heard about the plea for books and he immediately mobilized librarians across the country.In response, the Victory Book Council was created and citizens and publishing houses were asked to donate hardcover books on any topics which might interest the servicemen Amazingly, although millions of books were collected and distributed, the Victory Book Council learned that still MORE books were needed AND there appeared to be a NEW problem The donated hardcover books were too large and bulky to be carried easily by servicemen A new council was quickly formed to deal with the problem Started by the publicity director of G P Putnam s Sons and the managing editor of The New York Times , the Council on Books in Wartime was created in 1942 This collaboration combined the efforts of the publishing houses of the day to exclusively print special editions of carefully chosen titles. called Armed Services Editions. to send to the servicemen serving in both the European and Pacific Theaters Great care was taken to print and distribute many of the books and authors that were specifically targeted by Hitler s Nazi regime for burning and banning The war was viewed not only as a conflict between nations but as a conflict which threatened the very precious right to share and spread ideas The war became thought of as a TOTAL war And the titles so painstakingly chosen to send overseas became a weapon As President Franklin D Roosevelt said Books cannot be killed by fire People die but books never die No man and no force can put thought in concentration camps forever No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man s eternal fight against tyranny In this war, we know, books are weapons These very special, small and lightweight paperback editions of over 1,200 titles were printed and sent to servicemen in Europe and the Pacific until the very last days of the war I love both history AND books so this particular book enthralled me from the first page to the last If you love history and books and you wish to read a truly uplifting book about World War II, I highly recommend this book by Molly Guptill Manning.


  4. says:

    More books were given to the American armed services than Hitler destroyed That just about sums up the goals of the American government in creating and publishing the ASE, Armed Services Editions, for distribution to American servicemen in WWII Remembered fondly by veterans, it provided free, small, easily transportable paperback books for servicemen to fit in their pockets to be read whenever they needed the escape books provided For book lovers, this is an informative account of how reading literally saved the sanity of hundreds of thousands of soldiers during the war.


  5. says:

    American librarians worked together in a campaign to collect books for the troops in World War II The hardcover books were very appreciated in training camps and on transport ships But the hardcover books were too heavy and awkward for the troops to carry in their packs In 1943, the War Department and publishers joined together to make lightweight books that were small enough to fit into the soldiers pockets 1,200 different titles were published They served as a distraction from the pain of injuries, the tensions of war, and the boredom on transport ships.The book includes remarks from servicemen about the books they read The most beloved book was Betty Smith s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn which was printed twice A list of all the lightweight books is in the back of this book, and it includes titles in many genres There were a few parts of the book that were repetitious, but I found it interesting overall Although it is a nonfiction book, it s a quick read.It seems like World War II history usually includes mentions of entertainment by the USO, and many good works by the Red Cross But this was the first time I had read about the massive printing of books 120 million in all to entertain and educate the troops Printing a huge number of books was also an important statement that contrasted with the Nazi campaign of burning and censoring books in Germany 3.5 stars.


  6. says:

    I vividly remember the American Service Edition of W H Hudson s Green Mansions that was among my parents books, with its distinctive shape the width about double in size from the height, its double columns of type, and its floppy cover I suspect that my father brought this book back from his Army service in World War II A draftee from the Chicago slums, he exemplified the person for whom these books were distributed by the U.S Army and Navy Thrown together with draftees from places as remote as rural Georgia and officers from Nashville s upper classes and sent to North Africa, Sicily, Germany, and the Netherlands, he found his war experiences terrifying, boring, and fascinating Always a reader, his access to the surprisingly wide variety of newly created paperbacks supplied by American librarians, publishers, and government officials must have stimulated and comforted him, as it appears to have done for many other soldiers After five years of military service, my father returned home and took advantage of the G.I Bill to go to college and earn a PhD in American Literature Though he was married and working at the same time, he found going to school with other veterans, who were as serious about learning as he was, one of the most exciting periods of his life His rise to middle class status and his later career as a professor, novelist, and author of several scholarly books was directly linked to his military service, particularly to the G.I Bill, and possibly even to the ASE paperbooks with which he had been supplied This book is a paean to the far sighted and broad minded librarians, publishers, and government officials who wanted to supply soldiers with a solitary form of comfort and distraction on the battlefield, regardless of how remote that battlefield might be In an era when conscription drew fairly democratically from all social classes in the U.S., the reading material given to the soldiers was similarly broad in scope and point of view The G.I Bill capitalized on those democratic impulses and made it possible for many people who could never before have afforded to go to college to join the middle class Like so many other aspects of American democracy, this one seems very remote from today s world.


  7. says:

    This is just a fascinating topic to me I had no idea the ASE Program existed during WWII Certainly none of the manly men think John Wayne portraying servicemen in all the war movies I ever saw would ever be caught dead reading a book And yet, we learn from this book that reading was ubiquitous in all theaters of war Who knew The introduction to this book was wonderful, and had me in tears, thinking I needed to re read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn The rest of the book I found to be, for the most part, a dry recitation of facts and figures The only time the book came alive for me was when the author quoted from the many letters servicemen sent to the authors, trying to explain what the books meant to them.


  8. says:

    As a professed bibliophile I was intrigued when I learned of the publication of When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning The concept of the book was fascinating and it seemed to me that the topic, the impact of reading on American military personnel during World War II has never been given much attention Now, with Manning s monograph we have a short history of the role of books during the Second World War ranging from Nazi book burnings, the ideological war between Nazism and Democracy, the diversion provided to American soldiers that allowed them to endure, and the impact on the publishing industry that led to the production of the mass market paperback Manning has written a wonderful book as she integrates her theme in relation to the important events that took place during the war.According to Manning there was no escape from the fear of dying during World War II Whether on land, sea, or in the air American GIs faced the likelihood that they or someone very close to them would not survive Any diversion from the anxiety that soldiers faced on an everyday basis was welcomed As Manning describes it, the days were grinding, the stress was suffocating, and the dreams of home were often fleeting Any distraction from the horrors of war was cherished The men treasured mementos from home Letters from loved ones were rare prizes Card games, puzzles, music, and the occasional sports game helped pass the hours waiting for action or sleep to come Yet mail could be frustratingly irregular sometimes taking as long as four or five months to arrive and games and the energy to play them could not always be mustered after a long day of training or fighting To keep morale from sinking, there needed to be readily available entertainment to provide some relief from war xiii xiv The answer that evolved was the creation of book editions designed for soldiers portable and accessible for those in combat, rehabilitation, or other wartime situations.Manning begins her narrative with a Nazi book burning rally on May 10, 1933 The purpose of the rally organized by Adolf Hitler s Minister of Public Enlightenment, Joseph Goebbles was to ensure the purity of German literature and rid Germany of ideas antagonistic to German progress 2 The works of Sigmund Freud, Emile Ludwig, Thomas Mann, Erich Maria Remarque, among many others were tossed into the fire, no longer available to German students Thousands of book burnings took place nationwide including major universities It is estimated that the Nazis burned over 100 million books during their reign of terror This set the stage for an aspect of the war that was apart from the battlefield as Hitler fought to eliminate democracy and free thought The American Library Association ALA described Nazi actions against intellectual freedom as a bibliocaust, their weapon of choice was to encourage Americans to read, and once the United States became an active belligerent supply books to American soldiers.Manning reviews the history of how America organized the distribution of books to American soldiers Beginning with conscription and the military training that followed the ALA and other organizations were created to gather and distribute books to American GIs At first, the effort was based on collecting donations from the public at large, but when that was deemed inadequate because of the increasing number of men in the military, the fact that hardcover books which had been the staple of the American publishing industry before the war were much too heavy to be taken into combat, also, the supply of books was being exhausted, and finally many books that were donated did not meet the needs of the troops The Victory Book Campaign VBC which had been in charge of book donations turned to the American publishing industry to solve the problem as one company, Pocket Books had already begun publishing paperbacks The magazine industry had developed miniature editions for servicemen and they were very successful, so why not the book industry.The key for infantry soldiers and those near the front was to travel as light as possible, and at the same time meet the needs of soldiers who craved reading to make the non combat time go quickly Manning provides details how the paperback volume evolved and how it caused a revolution in American publishing Publishers joined together to create the Armed Services Edition ASEs of hundreds of titles under the auspices of the Council of Books in Wartime Problems did develop in the production and distribution of these volumes but once these problems were solved millions of books came off the presses and were distributed overseas and to military facilities at home One of the interesting insights that Manning provides centers on unpopular books before the war that would emerge as best sellers later on F Scott Fitzgerald s The Great Gatsby and Betty Smith s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn are cases in point The impact of these books on soldiers was profound Manning includes numerous letters written by GIs during the war extolling the virtues of the books they read, and the need they filled GIs were interviewed after the war and expressed similar feelings.As men waited on Landing Craft in the English Channel for the D Day landing, many turned to books A.J Liebling, a war correspondent for New Yorker magazine wrote that one infantry man told him these little books are a great thing They take you away 99 Many soldiers developed a relationship with the authors they read Katherine Anne Porter s Short Stories touched the hearts of many soldiers and she received over 600 letters Betty Smith, the author of A Tree grows in Brooklyn received 1500 letters a year and answered each one As one private wrote, Books are often the sole means of escape for GIs.I haven t seen many a man who never before had the patience or inclination to read a book, pick up one of the Council s and become absorbed and ask for 111 In fact many soldiers would become lifelong readers because of their experiences during the war Manning deftly captures the emotions that soldiers felt as they identified with the literature they read It brought them home and gave them hope for the future, and helped them deal with the present Manning must have scoured many sources to come up with the letters she integrates into the narrative and it provides tremendous insight for the reader into the minds of the soldiers who fought The program to supply books did provoke some controversy, particularly as the 1944 Presidential election approached Senator Robert Taft amended the Soldier Voting Act which created a partisan battle over the ballots that soldiers would use Taft s amendment, titled Article V stated no book could be sent to soldiers funded by government funds that contained ed political argument or political propaganda of any kind designed or calculated to affect the result of any election 136 7 The Council responsible for choosing titles and the War Department afraid to run afoul of the legislation trimmed the approved list and books such as Charles Beard s The Republic, Catherine Drinker Bowen s Yankee from Olympus, and E.B White s One Man s Meat, along textbooks for military education courses were no longer available The Council led the opposition arguing that books available in the United States now were not available overseas for American soldiers Manning characterizes the conflict as nothing than a Republican attempt to hold down Roosevelt s vote since 69% of GIs polled said they would vote for a fourth term Whether accurate or not Manning presents both sides of the argument, as Republicans were forced to amend the legislation, ostensibly overturning Article V.Once the war ended there was an obvious correlation between the success of the Council on Books in Wartime and postwar developments Under the GI Bill of Rights veterans were allowed a free college education Eventually 7.8 million veterans took advantage of this opportunity and many did so because of the reading habits they developed during the war For those who were not avid readers before the war, the Victory Book Campaign was responsible for showing men they could thrive at book learning and studying after the war After all, if they could read and learn burrowed in a foxhole between shell bursts, surely they could handle a course of study in the classroom Further the American publishing industry continued publishing paperbacks revolutionizing the industry Numerous publishers began producing paperbacks and sales went from 40 million in 1942 to 270 million in 1952, and by 1959 hardback sales were overtaken by those of paperbacks, changes directly related to the ASE s of the war 191 Molly Manning has examined a different aspect of World War II and its influence on post war America Her thoughtful approach and reasoned analysis has produced a wonderful story that needed to be told It is a reflection of American values and deserves to be read by a wide audience.


  9. says:

    A classic example of a book that would have made a great magazine article I didn t know about the ASE editions of books printed for soldiers in WWII, and I would have been riveted if it had been short form reading But Molly Guptill Manning gets so bogged down in recounting political maneuverings and brave librarians and censorship battles and so on that she sucks all the readability out of the story Even the best part of the book, where she prints excerpts of the fan letters the soldiers wrote to authors whose books they loved, gets repetitive after a while I will say one good thing for this book it led me to seek out a few titles of my own to read But this is one book that wouldn t have entertained very many soldiers in the trenches Too bad.


  10. says:

    Dear Sirs I want to say thanks a million for one of the best deals in the Army your Armed Services Editions When we get them they are as welcome as a letter from home They are as popular as pin up girls especially over here where we just couldn t get books so easily, if it weren t for your editions Private W.R.W and the Gang 75 One commanding colonel felt a duty to share how A Tree Grows in Brooklyn helped him and a group of his men keep their mental bearings while under attackHe explained that not long ago I was down inspecting of of my batters in a pretty tough position and was in a gun pit when some Germans stared in on us with 88 sAnyway, I noticed one Gi reading in between bursts I asked him what he was reading and he told us A Tree Grows in Brooklyn He started to read us a portion about giving the baby the gussie a part of the book and we laugh like hell between bursts It was sure funnyI was thinking about that book under pretty intense fire, he said it was that interesting 126 127 When Books Went to War The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II is such a cherished and heartwarming piece of non fiction about an important era in history that continues to provide little known but important facets of historical knowledge It s uplifting when Molly Guptill Manning talks about American GI s fighting against the Nazi s and Japanese empire equipped with pocket sized books they cherished than ice cream stands, lighters, and other desirables out in the field Perhaps so unknown about WWII is just the impact books had on the war, a beautiful oasis of pleasure among the pains and heartaches of the various battlefields American soldiers trudged and fought through GI s carried them everywhere, wounded soldiers read while bleeding out on Omaha Beach or while guarding captured Japanese planes, and it s almost to a point where the moral boost given by books helped turn the tides in the Allies favour Betty Smith corresponded with many who wrote to her and sent signed pictures An entire generation of American servicemen became the most well read military in the world, paving the way for further education services where they excelled under the GI Bill The Armed Service Editions of books launched the way for the desire of paperbacks and contributed to a wave of patriotism back home to help send books to support the troops Quite a warm warming and informative piece of non fiction.


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When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II download When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II, read online When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II, kindle ebook When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II, When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II 4167d5de93c3 When America Entered World War II In , We Faced An Enemy That Had Banned And Burned Over Million Books And Caused Fearful Citizens To Hide Or Destroy Many Outraged Librarians Launched A Campaign To Send Free Books To American Troops And Gathered Million Hardcover Donations In , The War Department And The Publishing Industry Stepped In With An Extraordinary Program Million Small, Lightweight Paperbacks, For Troops To Carry In Their Pockets And Their Rucksacks, In Every Theater Of WarComprising , Different Titles Of Every Imaginable Type, These Paperbacks Were Beloved By The Troops And Are Still Fondly Remembered Today Soldiers Read Them While Waiting To Land At Normandy In Hellish Trenches In The Midst Of Battles In The Pacific In Field Hospitals And On Long Bombing Flights They Wrote To The Authors, Many Of Whom Responded To Every Letter They Helped Rescue The Great Gatsby From Obscurity They Made Betty Smith, Author Of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Into A National Icon When Books Went To War Is An Inspiring Story For History Buffs And Book Lovers Alike