JF Ptak Science Books (an earlier post edited and expanded)
It is essential to look at objects from alternative angles, especially in science, in order to determine the correctness, or fitness, of a finding, or opinion. Even when consolidating data or evidence regarding the confirmation of an established bit, you may very well find other strands of loose data that could help illuminate even a well established or iconic societal “given”.
That the war was not going well for the Allies in September 1940 is an understatement—and the chief allies at this point excluded the United States, happily now recovering from the Depression, and still a full 14 months away from entering the war.
What is very weird to me is that after having looked at every issue of LIFE magazine at least three times from the start to the end of World War II, that there are more advertisements using war images than there are images of the war itself. This actually continues into the spring of 1942, when LIFE got really busy, the war got really messy, and people started really dying. And frankly even the coverage of Pearl Harbor in no way lived up to what I thought the coverage of a photo-magazine like LIFE would be. This is not a scientific study. It just strikes me as odd, or propagandizing, that there should be such relatively scant, or undervalued, coverage of the fighting when sanitized images of that same fighting were being used to sell socks and shaving cream and cigarettes and such. I understand the power of hearts-and-minds campaigns, but this seemed so amateurish, boorish even, that it just didn’t approach the level of a psychological ploy to pacify an American public that had virtually no interest in attending the European Theatre.