R. Alton Lee: Publisher for the Masses, Emanuel Haldeman-Julius
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Girard, Kansas, is not known for much, least of all its publishing houses. But it was once home to a small but prolific publisher whose vision brought books to a massively underserved portion of the population. Throughout the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the Second World War, Emanuel Haldeman-Julius produced Little Blue Books. Printed on cheap paper with a trim size of 3½ × 5 inches. These pamphlet-like books could be sold for a low price, making reading material available to more of the population than ever before. For lifelong socialist Haldeman-Julius, this extended his political ideology to book publishing in a way that had not been done before.
Author and historian R. Alton Lee gets this point across from the start with the title of his biography. Publisher for the Massesprofiles the life of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius in chronology, from how the child of two Russian Jewish immigrants failed to attend high school to how he briefly transformed Girard, Kansas, into a...