When America entered World War II in 1941, we faced an enemy
that had banned and burned over 100 million books and caused fearful citizens
to hide or destroy many more. Outraged librarians launched a campaign to send
free books to American troops and gathered 20 million hardcover donations. In
1943 the War Department and the publishing industry stepped in with an
extraordinary program: 120 million small, lightweight paperbacks for troops to
carry in their pockets and their rucksacks in every theater of war.
Comprising 1,200 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. Download and start listening now!