Print for Victory

Book Publishing in England 1939-45

Valerie Holman

Valerie Holman

Distributed for British Library

304 pages | 8 color plates, 30 halftones | 6-7/9 x 9-3/5
Cloth $39.95 ISBN: 9780712350013 Published July 2008 For sale in North and South America only
Print for Victory is the first in-depth study of the role of British publishing from 1939 to 1945, an aspect of World War II print culture that other books have not covered in any detail. Frequently thought of as a barren interlude between waves of Modernism stunted by war and austerity—with paper rationing playing a crucial role—this period in the business of literature was also marked by innovation in book design, changes in the patterns of trade, and the birth of a wave of readers both inside and outside of the United Kingdom. This is the time when Penguin became hugely profitable—and when a surprising number of shiploads of books were exported to a growing international audience. Print for Victory explores the pivotal role played by publishers in relations between the government and its people, shedding light on the intervention by wartime ministries at all stages of book production, and eventually assessing the extent to which the war affected the corpus and quality of the literature that was published. This fascinating period has been intensively studied by social and political historians but has remained virtually untouched by historians of the book until now—and this readerly and appealing volume is sure to make its mark on the history of twentieth-century print culture.
Contents
1. Britain Needs Books (1939-1941)
'Fabulous Creatures'
The immediate impat of war
'Unsalaried trade representatives'
From black-out to Blitz
Manpower
Books for the troops (1)
The new reading public
'Scavenger birds': the author's dilemma
A question of censorship
 
2. Publishing and the State (1942-1943)
Paper Control, the Ministry of Supply
Printing for victory
Essential books
The many faces of the Ministry of Information
Inside General Production Division
'Books of Propoganda Value'
Art and design
Publishers and the War Office
State publishing
 
3. Readers Overseas (1940-1945)
Transatlantic relations: the USA
Books north of the border: Canada
Britain's largest export market: Australia
Captive readers: patients and prisoners of war
BES Ltd.
From Empire to Independence (1) India
From Empire to Independence (2) Africa
The English language
Books for the troops (2)
 
4. Publishing for Peace (1944-1945)
Social reconstruction
Rebuilding Britain
The demands of education
Advising the Board of Trade
Books for liberal Europe
'Re-education' in poswar Germany
Literary taste and cultural values
Profit and loss
 
Conclusion
 
Appendices
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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