BOOKS AS WEAPONS:
Propaganda, Publishing, and the Battle for Global Markets in the Era of World War II.
By John B. Hench.
Cornell Univ. Press. 333 pp. $35
Books and propaganda, for many Americans, don’t mesh. Books educate. Propaganda lies. But there was a time when the United States had no qualms about using books as “weapons in the war of ideas”—in the phrase made famous by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In Books as Weapons, John B. Hench, a staff member of the American Antiquarian Society for more than three decades, recounts this chapter in America’s efforts to defeat the enemies of democracy during World War II.