Item #005894 Air Raid Precautions. British Library of Information.
Air Raid Precautions
Air Raid Precautions

Air Raid Precautions

New York: British Library of Information, 1941. Pamphlet. This Second World War leaflet describes Britain’s air raid procedures as part of the British Library of Information’s continued attempt to inform and sway the American people. Though no publication date is stated, WorldCat lists this as a 1941 publication, produced before America entered the war. The text is printed on both sides of a single piece of paper that was folded in half to create a large, four-page leaflet. Condition is very good given the age, size, and inherent fragility. The paper is bright and crisp with some browning to the edges of the first page, some light soiling to the rear cover, two short closed tears to the fore-edge, and a horizontal crease through the center.

The rear cover is a secondary bit of history, advertising other British Library of Information publications “Available upon Request” including “Women’s War Work”, “Britain in Time of War”, “Britain’s Blockade”, “The British System of Social Security”, “Compulsory Military Service in Great Britain”, and a number of “Speeches by the Prime Minister Winston Churchill”. Late 1940 or early 1941 publication is substantiated by the fact that the final Churchill speech publication offered is that of 5 November 1940.

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. During the Second World War, 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 #005894

Price: $50.00

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