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Best of Signal: Hitler's Wartime Picture Magazine 1st U.S. Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0725403461
ISBN-10: 0138100519
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice-Hall; 1st U.S. edition (1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0138100519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0725403461
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
During the Second World War, each country had it's propaganda machine running in high gear. The purpose of which was to de-Humanize the enemy while reminding everyone of the good things about their own country. The United States had "Look" and "Life" magazines. The Germans had "Signal".
This book, and the others in this series of collections of Signal magazine articles, is an idealized view into the picture of German life painted by the ministers of propaganda. No serious collection of World War Two literature would be complete without at least some of the excellent S.L. Mayer books. I was so impressed with the books, I have donated two to the college library where I teach.
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Format: Hardcover
This fascinating book features a selection of articles from Nazi Germany's version of Life magazine. What's especially interesting about it is that among the 20 languages into which the magazine was translated, the articles included here were actually published in English and marketed to an English speaking readership in the United States, Ireland and the occupied Channel Islands. We're used to thinking of Nazi propaganda as consisting solely of angry men in uniforms orating wildly in front of stadia full of fanatics, but that misconception is belied by Signal magazine, which is slick, subtle, convincing and rather a fun read.

Anyone who has seen American propaganda from WWII ("wait a minute! Our government doesn't practice propaganda, do they?") can understand the style of Signal. Besides the fact that its editorial tone favors the Third Reich, the only differences are that it's less crude, contains a bit more in-depth politics and doesn't feature film stars as prominently. Otherwise, one could just as well be reading Life or some other glossy photo journal of the time. Its appeal centered around its vivid and dramatic photos. Whatever one's politics, it's hard not to be entranced by the pictures. Although the scenic shots are impressive, such as the German troops marching through the Arc de Triomphe or the Lutwaffe flying over the Acropolis, the magazine really succeeds with its miniature portraits: the jolly SS recruits from Scandinavia, the German soldiers hobnobbing with Parisian civilians, the gritty Afrika Korps troops coping with the hardships of the desert (so redolent of current Iraq War iconography), the sympathetic depictions of the British POWs.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book very interesting from the point of view of this is what the German solder was reading and it helps to understand some of what they must have felt like going from being on top of the world to fighting to keep numerous armies out of their home land. What is interesting to do is to look through a volume such as this and then compare it to similar UK or US volumes; you will find many of the same topics and themes just with different titles. If you can find a copy I would suggest picking it up.
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