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Every book has a story
Every book has a story.

Check in frequently to read the behind-the-scenes scoop on the Newberry’s popular Book Fair. The blog is maintained by “Uncle Blogsy,” otherwise known as Dan Crawford, Book Fair Manager.

The World Wars for PLOOHS

So the Newberry’s exhibits marking the centennial of the First World War are now open. This has sparked a certain trend in donations to the Book Fair. I have had not one but two donors send over big collections of books dealing with World War I.

The problem is that not one but both of these donors had it wrong. The collections they sent me discussed World War II. I have nothing against books about the Second World War; people buy them. They are just not a perfect fit for this exhibit. And in my day, most everybody could tell the two wars apart.

What? In my day neither war had happened yet? Go stand in the corner. The corner of Chicago and Michigan Avenues will do.

So to help out, I thought I might revive my PLOOHS series. This was a series of handouts for People Long Out Of High School, issued when exhibits might be confusing for those who hadn’t had to hand in homework for a generation or two. They are not in-depth guides, just a cheat sheet of brief pointers. Here are the clues and cues for PLOOHS about the World Wars.


1914-1918: World War I (U.S. 1917-1918)

1939-1945: World War II (U.S. 1941-1945)


Over There, It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, Roses Are Blooming in Picardy: World War I

God Bless America, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition: World War II


Tommy, Doughboy: World War I

Pillsbury Doughboy: Neither

Yank: Either

Dogface, G.I.: World War II


Verdun, The Somme, Cantigny: World War I

Iwo Jima, The Bulge, Midway: World War II


Woodrow Wilson, Kaiser Wilhelm: World War I

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler: World War II


Pershing, Petain, von Bulow, Haig: World War I

Eisenhower, Montgomery, Patton, MacArthur: World War II


Sergeant York: World War I

Audie Murphy: World War II

Bruce Bairnsfather: World War I

Bill Mauldin: World War II

Zeppelins: World War I

U-Boats: Either

Atomic Bomb: World War II

Armistice Day: World War I

V-J Day: World War II

Zimmerman Telegram: World War I

Manhattan Project: World War II

Sopwith Camel: World War I

Spitfire: World War II

R.M.S. Lusitania: World War II

U.S.S. Arizona: World War II

The Red Baron: World War I

The Desert Fox: World War II

Now, as I say, this list is not exhaustive: it is merely a set of hints to help you decide which war produced the books you’re sending over. (If you’re asking “But which one does this book on Gettysburg go into?” it won’t help.) I am certainly not discouraging you from sending in books from whichever war you have; a book autographed by any of the people mentioned above is surely welcome. Any autographed photos of Franz Josef I will guarantee you a free copy of a book of bloggery. (Not one of my favorite autocrats, but you can’t help loving his whiskers.)

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