The War of Words : How America’s GI Journalists Battled Censorship and Propaganda to Help Win World War II

Molly Guptill Manning

Elisabeth Rodgers (Narrator)

09-26-23

6hrs 28min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Nonfiction/History

As low as $0.00
Play Audio Sample

09-26-23

6hrs 28min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Nonfiction/History

Description

“Molly Guptill Manning’s compelling, conversational storytelling and thorough research pack a one-two punch that distinguishes The War of Words as one of the best reads of the year. As newspapers and free speech continue to face a barrage of attacks, it also serves as a timely reminder that both are cornerstones of the democracy these men fought so hard to protect. Sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, other times achingly tragic, this book is hopeful first and foremost, making it an absolute must-read for anyone who believes in the power of words to act as a light even in our darkest days.” Brianna Labuskes, author of The Librarian of Burned Books

A New York Law School Top Selection of 2022 and 2023
A Virginia Gazette Pick of Books on World War II
A Publishers Weekly Pick for Holiday Gift Giving
A Historical Novels Review Editors’ Choice of Upcoming Books

From New York Times bestselling author Molly Guptill Manning comes The War of Words, the captivating story of how American troops in World War II wielded pens to tell their own stories as they made history.

At a time when civilian periodicals faced strict censorship, US Army Chief of Staff George Marshall won the support of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to create an expansive troop-newspaper program. Both Marshall and FDR recognized that there was a second struggle taking place outside the battlefields of World War II—the war of words. While Hitler inundated the globe with propaganda, morale across the US Army dwindled. As the Axis blurred the lines between truth and fiction, the best defense was for American troops to bring the truth into focus by writing it down and disseminating it themselves.

By war’s end, over 4,600 unique GI publications had been printed around the world. In newsprint, troops made sense of their hardships, losses, and reasons for fighting. These newspapers—by and for the troops—became the heart and soul of a unit.

From Normandy to the shores of Japan, American soldiers exercised a level of free speech the military had never known nor would again. It was an extraordinary chapter in American democracy and military history. In the war for “four freedoms,” it was remarkably fitting that troops fought not only with guns but with their pens. This stunning volume includes fourteen pages of photographs and illustrations. 

Praise

“Molly Guptill Manning’s compelling, conversational storytelling and thorough research pack a one-two punch that distinguishes The War of Words as one of the best reads of the year. As newspapers and free speech continue to face a barrage of attacks, it also serves as a timely reminder that both are cornerstones of the democracy these men fought so hard to protect. Sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, other times achingly tragic, this book is hopeful first and foremost, making it an absolute must-read for anyone who believes in the power of words to act as a light even in our darkest days.” Brianna Labuskes, author of The Librarian of Burned Books

“Molly Guptill Manning has written a remarkable book: one that is memorable, inspiring, and very timely. She tells the fascinating story of how our fighting men in World War II, armed with weapons and typewriters, freely disseminated their knowledge, expressed diverse opinions, and wrote immediate accounts of life and loss, even in the heat of battle. Manning’s important book gives fresh meaning to the notion that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Highly recommended.” Susan Eisenhower, author of How Ike Led

“American troops fought World War II with both the sword and the pen, and it’s high time that the latter got its due. In The War of Words, acclaimed author Molly Guptill Manning asks all the right questions about American soldier-journalists and explains why it mattered so much to our GI grandparents and great-grandparents to face the truth even when it hurt.” Daniel P. Bolger, Lieutenant General, US Army (ret.), and author of The Panzer Killers

“Manning’s vital study draws liberally and poignantly on soldiers’ own words. It’s an essential contribution to the history of WWII.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“As the daughter of an American who served in World War II, I was eager to read The War of Words: How America’s GI Journalists Battled Censorship and Propaganda to Help Win World War II. I was not disappointed. The War of Words is a salute to the American spirit and a tribute to the importance of freedom of the press. It is a fascinating and significant contribution to our collective knowledge and understanding of World War II.” Amy Hill Hearth, New York Times bestselling author of Having Our Say

“Molly Guptill Manning’s The War of Words is a mesmerizing, poignant, and beautifully humane portrait of World War II. How astounding to be immersed in the lives and words of the GIs and WACs to the point that you can practically taste the C-rations, and to see their editorials and poems alternate between mordant humor and the very real terror of mortality. From the Bitching Post to the Gripe Club and beyond, there was a quiet heroism to the military journalists defying censorship and preconceived ideas about boosting morale in absurd and oppressive situations. As sparkling as it is weighty, Manning’s book is a gem.” Stephanie Gorton, author of Citizen Reporters: S. S. McClure, Ida Tarbell, and the Magazine That Rewrote America

“Deeply researched and crisply written, the book is a compelling social history of the four-year conflict as told through military-produced publications…Now, thanks to Molly Guptill Manning, the overlooked story of the resourceful, heroic military press in World War II is on the record.” Wall Street Journal

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Details
More Information
Language English
Release Day Sep 25, 2023
Release Date September 26, 2023
Release Date Machine 1695686400
Imprint Blackstone Publishing
Provider Blackstone Publishing
Categories History, Military, Americas, New Releases, New Additions
Author Bio
Molly Guptill Manning

Molly Guptill Manning is the author of the New York Times bestseller When Books Went to War as well as The Myth of Ephraim Tutt. She has published articles in the Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts and the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. She was a supervisory staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City and is currently an associate professor at New York Law School.

Narrator Bio
Elisabeth Rodgers

Elisabeth Rodgers is an actress and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. After graduating from Princeton University, she completed a two-year program at William Esper Studio, where she studied with Maggie Flanigan. Her audiobook narration training came from Robin Miles, who has also directed her in several productions. She has recorded dozens of books for a multitude of publishers.

Overview

A New York Law School Top Selection of 2022 and 2023
A Virginia Gazette Pick of Books on World War II
A Publishers Weekly Pick for Holiday Gift Giving
A Historical Novels Review Editors’ Choice of Upcoming Books

From New York Times bestselling author Molly Guptill Manning comes The War of Words, the captivating story of how American troops in World War II wielded pens to tell their own stories as they made history.

At a time when civilian periodicals faced strict censorship, US Army Chief of Staff George Marshall won the support of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to create an expansive troop-newspaper program. Both Marshall and FDR recognized that there was a second struggle taking place outside the battlefields of World War II—the war of words. While Hitler inundated the globe with propaganda, morale across the US Army dwindled. As the Axis blurred the lines between truth and fiction, the best defense was for American troops to bring the truth into focus by writing it down and disseminating it themselves.

By war’s end, over 4,600 unique GI publications had been printed around the world. In newsprint, troops made sense of their hardships, losses, and reasons for fighting. These newspapers—by and for the troops—became the heart and soul of a unit.

From Normandy to the shores of Japan, American soldiers exercised a level of free speech the military had never known nor would again. It was an extraordinary chapter in American democracy and military history. In the war for “four freedoms,” it was remarkably fitting that troops fought not only with guns but with their pens. This stunning volume includes fourteen pages of photographs and illustrations. 

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