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This New York Times bestselling account of books parachuted to soldiers during WWII is a "cultural history that does much to explain modern America" (USA Today).

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.

"A thoroughly engaging, enlightening, and often uplifting account... I was enthralled and moved." -- Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried

"Whether or not you're a book lover, you'll be moved." -- Entertainment Weekly

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Price Summary

  • We started tracking this book on November 22, 2014.
  • This book was $11.99 when we started tracking it.
  • The price of this book has changed 151 times in the past 3,499 days.
  • The current price of this book is $8.54 last checked 13 hours ago.
  • This lowest price this book has been offered at in the past year is $2.99.
  • The lowest price to date was $1.20 last reached on May 7, 2021.
  • This book has been $1.20 2 times since we started tracking it.
  • The highest price to date was $17.99 last reached on April 1, 2024.
  • This book has been $17.99 one time since we started tracking it.

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Additional Info

  • Text-to-Speech: Disabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 299 Pages
  • File Size: 13,155 KB

We last verified the price of this book about 13 hours ago. At that time, the price was $8.54. This price is subject to change. The price displayed on the Amazon.com website at the time of purchase is the price you will pay for this book. Please confirm the price before making any purchases.