Before Associate Professor of Law Molly Guptill Manning’s book, The War of Words: How America’s GI Journalists Battled Censorship and Propaganda to Help Win World War II, hit bookshelves, it received a rave review from Publisher’s Weekly. The book earned a coveted starred review and was called “an essential contribution to the history of WWII.”
A crucial work detailing the power of language as a tool of both resistance and unity, The War of Words focuses on American troops’ fight against censorship through the expansive troop newspaper program. Detailing the fight against Axis propaganda, Professor Manning’s book is deeply human—and at times, laugh-out-loud funny.
“When I discovered this forgotten story of how troops fought for democracy by practicing it — and then read the incredible newspapers they made so they could share their experiences, I felt a duty to preserve the story by researching and publishing it,” Professor Manning says. “Today, we are inundated with information and our relationship to democracy can feel distant, yet this story reminds us of our individual duties to question the accuracy of the things we read and practice democracy by staying informed.”
Among the multitude of praise the book received are a glowing review in the Wall Street Journal—which called the book “deeply researched and crisply written”—and a New York Times profile detailing “The Best-Read Army in the World,” an exhibit she curated at Grolier Club in Manhattan. Professor Manning has also delivered a number of lectures and conversations around the book, including at the George Marshall Foundation.
“We are deeply proud of Professor Manning’s work—both in the classroom and out,” says Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell. “Her book is essential reading and reminds us that past is prologue.”