Persuading the People: British Propaganda in World War II

World War 2 British propaganda

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The fascinating world of British Propaganda in WW2

The venue for this event has changed- it will now take place in the Terrace Restaurant. Please enter at Gate 8 on Midland Road, doors open at 18.45.

Among the Ministry of Information’s (MOI) varied duties during WW2 was the responsibility for issuing national propaganda to maintain morale at home and influence opinion abroad. Much of this work is familiar. However the MOI’s role as a major publisher is less well known. Books, illustrated magazines, pamphlets, leaflets, and postcards played a key role in the dissemination of official propaganda to the British people, the Commonwealth, neutral nations, resistance groups and also to the enemy.

David Welch’s new book Persuading the People: British Propaganda in World War II, based on the extensive and little known archives held at the British Library, sheds new and illuminating light on the importance of winning hearts and minds in World War II. Propaganda messages ranged from the crudeness of some of the specifically anti-Nazi and anti-Japanese publications, and the defiant and even cheeky humour in some of the material depicting events that turned the war in Britain’s favour, to the more light-hearted campaigns that discouraged citizens from gossiping.  At the same time, THEY encouraged  them to savour the culinary delights and health-inducing qualities to be found by experimenting with versatile Potato Pete and Doctor Carrot. Official propaganda was carefully monitored and censored, and Welch provides examples of both the success and failure of the MOI’s numerous campaigns.

David Welch is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Centre for the Study of War, Propaganda and Society, University of Kent.

Books will be on sale at the end of the event.


Name: Persuading the People: British Propaganda in World War II
Where: Conference Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full price: £8.00
Member: £5.00
Senior 60+: £6.00
Student: £5.00
Registered Unemployed: £5.00
Friend of the BL: £5.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546