When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II
By Molly Guptill Manning
At the beginning of World War II the Nazis burned millions of books. In response, as the United States mobilized for war, American librarians organized the Victory Book Campaign and collected 20 million hardcover books to donate to the armed forces. But hardcover books weren’t practical for troops in combat and 20 million wasn’t nearly enough. This is the story of how the War Department and the publishing industry got together to create the Armed Services Editions of over 1000 popular titles. These lightweight paperbacks were portable, inexpensive, and great for morale. By the end of the war over 120 million ASEs were published and distributed to troops around the world. ASEs were carried into every theatre of the war, they were shared and they were treasured.
This was a fascinating glimpse into U S History, the history of World War II and the history of the American love of reading. This is a great story for history buffs or anyone who loves books and reading.