Book program for WWII troops focus of talk, new exhibit at Union

Publication Date

Molly Guptill Manning, a lawyer and author of the best-selling book, "When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II," will discuss her work Monday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. in the Nott Memorial.

Manning’s talk is part of the Common Curriculum Speaker Series. It is free and open to the public.

A native of nearby Latham, N.Y., Manning graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Alpha Theta from the University at Albany and went on to earn a master’s degree in American history. She attended the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and is an attorney at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

"When Books Went to War" examines how America’s librarians and publishers educated the nation about the importance of books in wartime and distributed over 140 million books to American servicemen during World War II.

Read a review in the New York Times

A member of the board of editors for the Federal Bar Council Quarterly, Manning has published numerous articles in law journals on a variety of legal history topics.

The Common Curriculum Speaker Series is sponsored by the General Education Board. Speakers spend the day on campus visiting classes, particularly those in the Common Curriculum such as First-Year Preceptorial. They also lead discussions in informal settings and present a public talk in the Nott.

Manning’s visit coincides with a new exhibit that opens the same day, “We Want Books! Books for the Troops in World War II,” in the Lally Reading Room in Schaffer Library. The opening reception featuring Manning will be held from 1 to 2 p.m.

Curated by Andrew Morris, associate professor of history, the exhibit features books and artifacts from the most notable programs that aimed to provide reading material to U.S. troops during the war. These include the Victory Book Campaign, which sought donations of books for military libraries; the Armed Services Editions, an innovative publishing effort of pocket-sized paperbacks designed to fit in uniform pockets; and the U.S. Armed Forces Institute, which produced correspondence courses for servicemen across the globe.

The exhibit runs through December.