New York: British Library of Information, 1941. Pamphlet. This early wartime pamphlet, published in August 1941, is both aesthetically striking and testimony to the vital British effort to court the American public. This 8-page, wire-stitched pamphlet has a front cover printed in blue, red, and black, with a prominent “V” (“For Victory”) trisecting the printed text. The stated purpose, printed in blue on the upper front cover, reads in part "British officials in posts throughout the world receive from London and from other British sources a regular service of information, by cable, and mail, intended to give an intimate knowledge of Britain's fighting forces, of the Empire's war effort and of the impact of the war upon the daily lives of its peoples. The Bulletins printed herein are selected from this service..."
Condition is very good, particularly so considering the pamphlet’s inherent fragility and ephemeral nature. The 8-page wire-stitched pamphlet in self-wrappers is crisp and bright with only very minor handling wear to the bottom edge of the interior pages.
Bulletins from Britain was a series of news pamphlets presenting a picture “of the Empire’s war effort and of the impact of the war upon the daily lives of its peoples” for the American audience. The British Library of Information was a branch of the British Foreign Office created in 1919 as a means of both monitoring and cultivating the relationship between the United States and Great Britain. The agency produced dozens of pamphlets, leaflets, posters, and other pieces of propaganda to distribute in America with the intent to "reveal the political determination of the British government to bring the inspiration and steadfastness of the prime minister and the British nation to an American nation not yet engaged in the war.” (Cohen, Volume I, p.513)
Although Churchill would secure significant American material aid and forge a vital bond with President Roosevelt, America would not formally enter the war until after the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. When Churchill became Prime Minister on 10 May 1940, the war for Britain was not so much a struggle for victory as a struggle to survive. Churchill’s first year in office saw, among other near-calamities, the Battle of the Atlantic, the fall of France, evacuation at Dunkirk, and the Battle of Britain. Engaging the sympathy and comity of the American people was not mere propaganda, but a dire necessity. In 1942, following America’s formal entry into the war, The British Library of Information was absorbed by British Information Services (BIS), the information department of the British Consulate in New York. Item #005892