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John B. Hench
American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA 01609-1634)
Overseas Editions and the Internationalization of the U.S. Book Trade, 1942-48

My project examines American book publishers’ efforts during and just after WWII to achieve greater international market share than ever before. This drive centered on the production and distribution of Overseas Editions, a paperback series in English and four European languages overseen by a trade organization, the Council on Books in Wartime, and the chief government propaganda agency, the Office of War Information. In meeting OWI’s goal of putting key American books into the hands of European civilians just liberated from the Nazis, American publishers gained the means and opportunity to expand trade abroad. My project also sheds light more generally on government-business relationships and on the export of American culture.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2006 – 5/31/2007