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United We Stand: Flying the American Flag Paperback – December, 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


In the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, there was an understandable upswell of patriotic public display. Naturally, the United States flag was a central image in many of these expressions. Hollywood's support for the war effort is well-known, but less well-known is the organized response of the periodical press. As part of The United We Stand campaign, conceived by Hearst publicist Paul MacNamara to support eh war effort (and to sell magazines), roughly 500 magazines featured the U.S. flag on their covers in July 1942.

Peter Kreitler's book, seven inches tall and five and one-half inches wide, is a small gem that features more than 100 of his collection's 200 United We Stand magazine covers. Aside from the short introduction, a few inserts and the index, the book has no other text. Each magazine cover is allowed to speak for itself, which is, after all, exactly how magazine covers are intended to work.

Certainly, this book has current interest given the renewed emphasis on the World War II generation and the patriotic displays of the flag (even the use of the slogan, United We Stand ) in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. However, this book has qualities that go beyond these points. The contemporary reader, as if transported to a newsstand in the gold age of the magazine, becomes engrossed in an experience that has its own integrity aside form surveying the magazines many and varied interpretations of the flag.

It is fascinating to examine the 1942 covers of industry standards like Time, The New Yorker and Vogue, among others, and compare them to today s. Fantastic comic book covers, like Master Comics, Looney Toons and Captain Marvell to name a few, jump out at the reader. Perhaps most fascinating, sometimes most poignant, are the covers of long-lost magazines indicative of another era, Country Gentleman, Indian Motorcycle News, and Quiz Kid Magazine are a few of the many. No less engaging is discovering names like H.L. Mencken, T.S. Eliot and E.B. White among the contributors listed on the covers.

Appropriately enough, Kreitling's magazine collection has come to the attention of the Smithsonian Institute, which will exhibit nearly 100 of them from March 22 through October 28 in the National Museum of American History. Planned in the spring of 2001 as an exhibit to mark the 60th anniversary of the United We Stand campaign, the events of September 11 have since imbued this exhibition with a significance that transcends its original intent. Appropriately, a portion of the proceeds for this book will be donated to the American Red Cross. This book, published to accompany the exhibit, can be appreciated whether or not the reader goes to the Smithsonian. Army Magazine

About the Author

Peter Gwillim Kreitler is a Southern California-based writer and cultural historian.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (December 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811835219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811835213
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,455,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robin on February 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
After the attack on Pear Harbor, Paul MacNamara, a PR man for Hearst magazines, had a clever idea. On July four of 1942 why not get the Nation's major magazines and comics to show their patriotism (and sell more copies) by printing Old Glory on their covers. Nearly three hundred titles joined in and just over a hundred of them are shown in this lovely book.

The covers are from the author's collection and it is a pity that there are not more shown. Considering that most of the covers show a flag flying in the wind it is interesting to see how the magazine's designers handled the cover layout, some titles (Modern Industry page 86) used a flat design flag and still produced an eye-catching cover.

I would not normally mention cutting up a book but many of the covers that have a dominant flag look so nice that they would really look good mounted on a colored background and framed. They are mostly four by five inches. Maybe something to do for this years July four!
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Format: Paperback
This little book reviews many covers of major US magazines from July 1942 which carried the US flag celebrating the first Independence Day after Pearl Harbor. The patriotism of that wartime era is eerily reminiscent of the wave of patriotism reaching across our Nation after 11 September. I would hope that in July 2002 we will see a similar expression of national unity. God bless America!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Both Delivered Fast ANd just what I was looking for.
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