By James J. Kimble
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Additional info for Mobilizing the Home Front: War Bonds And Domestic Propaganda
124 Aside from Odegard’s Minute 01-A3680 1/4/06 10:33 AM Page 35 A History of Bonds to 1942 35 Man symbol, the Treasury’s campaign lacked a unifying focus. 126 Beyond that, struggles were developing within Treasury over the content of advertisements. ” 127 This sort of confusion was also evident in the president’s continuing struggle over the use of an ofﬁcial government propaganda program. The nation’s entrance into the war led to even more intense cries for an effective propaganda agency. Bowing to pressure, Roosevelt created the Ofﬁce of Facts and Figures (OFF) under Archibald MacLeish.
95 And, each day, the public was targeted with the Treasury’s ubiquitous propaganda, ever emphasizing “the spectacular achievements of the American people . . the virtues of their institutions . . ” 96 Evidently, if the Treasury was training the public to accept its militarized philosophy, it was having some effect. On the negative side, however, one poll suggested that only 12 percent of Americans had actually purchased defense bonds or stamps. 98 Worst of all from Morgenthau’s standpoint, the public remained largely divided in its opinions on the war.
4 In this chapter, I argue that with its introduction of a drive system, the Treasury’s militarized propaganda campaign entered a period of domestic excitement that was analogous to the combat soldier’s stage of apprehensive enthusiasm. In its initial war bond drives in 1942 and 1943, the Treasury propagandized the American public, strategically conﬂating the worlds of soldiers and civilians while simultaneously creating a rhetorical enemy. By pitting wholesome images of Americans against an inchoate enemy, the Treasury reinforced the virtues of the Allied cause, ultimately reinforcing the Roosevelt administration’s vision of the war.