Loading Events

  All Events

  • This event has passed.

February 22 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

“When Books Went to War” with Molly Guptill Manning

As part of the 2024 Winter Read of “The Great Gatsby,” join us for an evening with Molly Guptill Manning, author of “When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II.”

When America entered World War II in 1941, we faced an enemy that had banned and burned 100 million books. Outraged librarians launched a campaign to send free books to American troops, gathering 20 million hardcover donations. Two years later, the War Department and the publishing industry stepped in with an extraordinary program: 120 million specially printed paperbacks designed for troops to carry in their pockets and rucksacks in every theater of war.

These small, lightweight Armed Services Editions were beloved by the troops and are still fondly remembered today. Soldiers read them while waiting to land at Normandy, in hellish trenches in the midst of battles in the Pacific, in field hospitals, and on long bombing flights. This pioneering project not only listed soldiers’ spirits, but also helped rescue “The Great Gatsby” from obscurity and made Betty Smith, author of “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” into a national icon.

Molly Guptill Manning is an author, historian, curator, and associate professor of law at New York Law School. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller “When Books Went to War,” “The Myth of Ephraim Tutt,” and has recently released “The War of Words: How America’s GI Journalists Battled Censorship and Propaganda to Help Win World War II.”


February 22
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:


The Community Library
View Organizer Website


The Community Library
415 Spruce Ave
Ketchum, ID 83340 United States
+ Google Map
(208) 726-3493
View Venue Website

© Visit Sun Valley