The poster was the main form of visual propaganda during the Second World War, appearing just about everywhere in each of the combatant natures. Much of their imagery has sunk into the national memory ('Dig for victory', the 'squander bug' or 'careless talk costs lives' in Britain for instance). This book reproduces over 200 of these posters, from seven of the main combatant nations (the British chapter also includes a number of Commonwealth posters, with those aimed at French Canadians being of particular interest).
The book is beautifully produced. The posters are crisp and colourful, giving a good idea of their original impact. There are some very striking images here, and this high quality of reproduction allows them to be fully appreciated. The presence of so many posters allows the reader to recognise both the distinguishing features of each countries posters and the elements that many had in common (swap the badges around and many German and Soviet posters could just as easily have been produced by the other side, especially after the German invasion of the Soviet Union and the removal of many Communistic icons from Soviet posters).
The supporting text falls into two sections. Each chapter has an introduction that looks at how posters were produced in each country - who controlled the imagery and how the overall themes evolved during the war. The second section consists of the individual captions, which include information on the individual artists and comments on the posters themselves.
This book contains a fascinating selection of wartime posters, covering a wide range of topics and allowing the reader to compare the different approaches taken to propaganda in the main combatant nations of the Second World War and comes highly recommended.
1 - British & Commonwealth Posters
2 - French Posters
3 - German Posters
4 - Italian Posters
5 - Japanese Posters
6 - Russian Posters
7 - United States Posters
Author: Peter Darman
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2011 edition of 2008 original