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For Home and Country

World War I Propaganda on the Home Front

Celia Malone Kingsbury

Publication Year: 2010

World War I prompted the first massive organized propaganda campaign of the twentieth century. Posters, pamphlets, and other media spread fear about the “Hun,” who was often depicted threatening American families in their homes, while additional campaigns encouraged Americans and their allies to support the war effort. With most men actively involved in warfare, women and children became a special focus—and a tool—of social manipulation during the war. For Home and Country examines the propaganda that targeted noncombatants on the home front in the United States and Europe during World War I. Cookbooks, popular magazines, romance novels, and government food agencies targeted women in their homes, especially their kitchens, pressuring them to change their domestic habits. Children were also taught to fear the enemy and support the war through propaganda in the form of toys, games, and books. And when women and children were not the recipients of propaganda, they were often used in propaganda to target men. By examining a diverse collection of literary texts, songs, posters, and toys, Celia Malone Kingsbury reveals how these pervasive materials were used to fight the war’s cultural battle.

Published by: University of Nebraska Press

Title Page

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p. iii-iii

Copyright Page

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p. iv-iv

Table of Contents

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p. vii-vii

List of Illustrations

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pp. viii-x

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Acknowledgments

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p. xi-xi

From a long list of friends and colleagues who have provided moral support as I completed this project, I would like to thank my department chair, Don Melichar, for his unfl agging encouragement, and Dennis Muchisky for his support as well as his abiding interest in World War I...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-26

As a child of the sixties, I cut my philosophical eye teeth, as it were, on the lyrics of Bob Dylan. He expressed exactly my dissatisfaction with the culture of the Eisenhower fi fties, still very much intact in small-town America of the sixties. While the Cuban Missile Crisis taught us to live for the moment, Vietnam offered more complicated lessons concerning the overlap of political strategy and strategy on the front lines...

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1. Food Will Win the War: Domestic Science and the Royal Society

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pp. 27-65

Two of the primary relationships T

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2. “One Hundred Percent”: War Service and Women’s Fiction

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pp. 66-104

Post–World War I fi ction and personal narratives are known, sometimes erroneously, for their cynicism and bitterness. Fiction written during the war, with few exceptions, is of an entirely different ilk. Magazine fi ction, especially concerning women’s war service, lacks cynicism altogether and either promotes participation in ways that correspond with offi cial propaganda or uses the plight of women, especially Belgian women, to advance the idea of war service...

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3. VADs and Khaki Girls: The Ultimate Reward for War Service

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pp. 105-168

The military-style uniforms of the Red Cross and the U.S. Food Administration offered a way for adult married women to identify themselves as participants in the Great War, as supporters of those men in their lives who also had war work to accomplish. Already wives and mothers, adult women like Emma Buck of “One Hundred Percent” perform war service because propaganda demands it, or because the jobs their husbands once performed need filling...

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4. “Learning to Hate the German Beast”: Children as War Mongers

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pp. 169-217

Perhaps one of the most insidious forms of propaganda is that directed at children. Much propaganda from the First World War is meant to enlist even the smallest citizens in the war effort. Children wore the uniforms of soldiers and Red Cross nurses and carried toy weapons. Two of the three primary relationships of the Gemeinschaft are tapped here: that between mother and child and that between siblings, and in this case also peers...

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5. The Hun Is at the Gate: Protecting the Innocents

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pp. 218-261

In his 1914 poem “For All We Have and Are,” Rudyard Kipling writes: For all we have and are, For all our children’s fate, Stand up and meet the war, The Hun is at the gate!" Kipling’s lines aptly summarize the application of First World War propaganda with the use of two images: that of the child and, by extension, the mother in danger, and that of the marauding Hun not only ready but eager to destroy everything in his path...

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Conclusion: Learning to Love Big Brother—or Not

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pp. 262-270

Committee on Public Information Chairman George Creel became, when the war was over, a spokesperson for the success of the U.S. propaganda campaign. Congress, fearing a voter backlash to the manipulation of public information, quickly dissolved the committee. In the “Dedicatory” to his 1920 book How We Advertised America, Creel insists that Congress, in its “annihilation” of the committee and its fi nal report on propaganda, attempted to “keep the committee from making a statement of achievement for the information of the public.”...

Notes

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pp. 271-288

Bibliography

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pp. 289-300

Index

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pp. 301-311


E-ISBN-13: 9780803228320
E-ISBN-10: 0803228325
Print-ISBN-13: 9780803224742
Print-ISBN-10: 0803224745

Page Count: 326
Illustrations: 52 illustrations
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Studies in War, Society, & the Military

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Propaganda.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- United States.
  • Propaganda, American.
  • Popular culture -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Social aspects.
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Psychological aspects.
  • Persuasion (Psychology).
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