Kathy Peiss. Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe.

Joshua C. Youngblood

Abstract

Searching for vital intelligence behind enemy lines, inventing essential technology in the nick of time, and saving priceless relics from unknown and treacherous fates: librarians and other pioneers on the leading edge of information science take center stage in a global clash between democratic freedom and authoritarianism in Information Hunters. Eminent historian of American culture Kathy Peiss has provided a scholarly work to foreground the librarians, archivists, and intelligence officers sidelined during the recent popularity of the “Monuments Men,” showcasing the contributions of the men—and women—who helped save humanity’s written legacy and liberate information from its constraints. Beyond the individual stories, however, is the mixed, sometimes murky legacy of American collecting and how prestigious research libraries benefited from the fog of war.

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