Cover image for Design for victory : World War II posters on the American home front
Title:
Design for victory : World War II posters on the American home front
Author:
Bird, William L.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Princeton Architectural Press, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
vii, 111 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 21 x 23 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Poster's place in wartime -- War aims through art -- Art, advertising, and audience -- Retooling for victory: the factory front -- Postwar aims and private aspirations.
ISBN:
9781568981406
Format :
Book

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D743.25 .B57 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Inciting Americans at home to do their part in producing for the war effort, the poster-inexpensive, accessible, and ever-present-was an ideal agent for making war aims the personal mission of every citizen. From 1941 to 1945, government agencies, businesses, and private organizations issued an array of poster images linking the military front with the home front, calling upon all Americans to boost production at work and at home. The U.S. Office of War Information created the "Poster Pledge," urging volunteers to "avoid poster waste," "treat posters as real war ammunition," and "never let a poster lie idle."
This colorful collection of over 150 World War II-era posters focuses on the theme of wartime production on the home front. The range of designs and images will inspire graphic designers, while the descriptive captions and informative text will interest history and military buffs. Some of the famous slogans these posters introduced include "When you ride alone you ride with Hitler," "She won't talk-will you? The enemy has ears," "This is America...Keep it Free," and "Remember Pearl Harbor-purl harder!"


Author Notes

William L. Bird, Jr. and Harry R. Rubenstein are curators at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which houses this collection.

William L. Bird, Jr. and Harry R. Rubenstein are curators at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which houses this collection.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

The communications revolution of the 20th century, which moved the US toward a visually oriented popular culture, reached one of its greatest peaks during WW II in the form of home-front propaganda. Although a great deal has been written about wartime film and radio propaganda, little systematic research has focused on posters. Based on the collection of the National Museum of American History, Bird's book presents the reader with a vast number of posters. Unlike many heavily illustrated works, the text of this book outlines the evolution of poster propaganda and is based on solid research in the records of the Office of War Information (OWI). One interesting revelation is that a large majority of posters were not produced by the OWI. In fact, a conservative Congress, fearful that official propaganda would push Roosevelt's liberal ideology, limited the activities of that agency. This left poster propaganda in the hands of amateurs, especially business and labor, to develop an intense competition over who was more jingoistic. Interestingly, although numerous posters attempted to prod workers toward greater productivity, none mentioned that such efforts would also lead to greater corporate profits. All levels. F. Krome; Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives