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When Books Went to War to fight facism with freedom of expression

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When Nazi Germany began invading neighboring countries in the 1930s it not only declared war on freedom, liberty, and tolerance—it declared war on the printed page as well. By 1941, the Nazis had banned and burned more than 100 million books and had driven terrified citizens to hide or destroy many more. But as the United States entered the war, books fought back. Molly Guptill Manning’s When Books Went to War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) tells the remarkable tale of the power of literacy in the face of totalitarianism. It describes how an army of American librarians, along with the U.S. publishing industry, struck back against fascism and helped our men and women in uniform win the war. “American librarians…

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