The WWB received federal money while retaining its status as a private organization that could mount campaigns without government oversight. Historian Thomas Howell argues that this unique position has caused its history to fall between the cracks, since it was not recognized as an official part of the government's war effort. Yet the WWB's work had a huge impact on the nation's wartime culture, and this fascinating history will inform contemporary thinking on propaganda, the media, and American society.
"The Writers' War Board has not been previously examined in depth, and this book includes excellent research into its records, the publications of its network, and direct correspondence between the author and the participants."—Sam Lebovic, author of Free Speech and Unfree News: The Paradox of Press Freedom in America
"Howell's research, in both primary and secondary sources, is solid, his writing is clear and crisp, and his argument is sound. This is a major contribution, amplifying and extending our awareness of propaganda during World War II."—Allan M. Winkler, author of The Politics of Propaganda: The Office of War Information, 1942–1945
"Let us not bury the lede. Thomas Howell's groundbreaking account of the actions of the Writers' War Board should be required reading."—Journalism History
"Thomas Howell makes a significant contribution to the study of U.S. propaganda during World War II with his fine book, Soldiers of the Pen . . . [This] is a sorely needed addition to the study of the U.S. home front during World War II."—Journal of American History
"[Howell] gives a well-rounded view of the board, its myriad activities, and the internal debates about its campaigns . . . it is hard to imagine any book on WWB adding much to his portrait."—Home Front Studies