Selling the Arsenal of Democracy

Author(s): Glenn A. Knoblock

ISBN: 9781781558638
£17.50 £25.00
Period advertisements tell the story of America’s weapons of World War II and how they were ‘sold’ on the home front.
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  • Never-before-seen and rare advertisements during the war in jaw-dropping colour

  • An overlooked part of US military history and home propaganda throughout World War II

  • As the US sent troops to the frontlines, artists were recruited to encourage those at home to do their part

  • Of interest to military historians, local historians, video gamers and those studying graphic design and typography of the period

Selling the Arsenal of Democracy: America’s Weapons of World War II as seen in Homefront Magazines tells the full story of the weapons, including fighter planes, tanks, ships and guns, that America produced during the war to defeat the Axis powers.

Also, it shows how the American population were ‘sold’ to those at home through the countless advertisements that appeared in popular magazines.

Though well-known companies such as General Motors, Ford, Kelvinator and BFGoodrich and a whole host of others could no longer sell their products to consumers, they instead turned their factories towards supplying the ‘Arsenal of Democracy’. In order to keep their names in the public spotlight, these companies advertised in great detail the weapons they were building.

Cadillac touted its efforts in supplying components for Sherman tanks and P-38 Lightning fighters; instead of building cars in Detroit, Ford produced B-24 Liberator bombers and Jeeps; and the home appliance company Kelvinator built aircraft components and flame-throwers.

The story behind these iconic advertisements, many of them complemented with stunning visuals reproduced in resplendent colour, is a unique aspect of World War II history that will both surprise and delight.

BOOK ISBN 9781781558638
FORMAT 275 x 216 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 144 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 17 November 2022
ILLUSTRATIONS 124 colour photographs



Glenn A. Knoblock was born in Ohio and gained a BA in History from Bowling Green State University. He has had a lifelong interest in the Second World War, inspired by the war-time service of his grandfather and his great-aunt. Knoblock is the author of over twenty books, including several which document African American naval service during the war, and was the main military contributor for Harvard University and Oxford University Press’ landmark ‘African American National Biography’ project. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife Terry and his daughter.