• “Engaging, enlightening, and often uplifting.”
    —Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried

New York Times Best Seller ★

When Books Went To War by Molly Guptill Manning


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…read more

WWII Publishing Museum

Molly Guptill Manning Musuem Collection

Visit the museum to see
photos, books, magazines, and posters
from WWII.


Read an Excerpt

The American forces serving in World War II were composed primarily of citizen soldiers—people who had no notion of going to war until Pearl Harbor was attacked. Many volunteered and others were drafted, and together these unprepared and unknowing souls faced a daunting combination of hurried training at bare-bones facilities, and days and weeks of transport, boredom, and fear….read more