Synopses & Reviews
During World War II, the civilian Office of Censorship supervised a huge and surprisingly successful program of news management: the voluntary self-censorship of the American press. In January 1942, censorship codebooks were distributed to all American newspapers, magazines, and radio stations with the request that journalists adhere to the guidelines within. Remarkably, over the course of the war no print journalist, and only one radio journalist, ever deliberately violated the censorship code after having been made aware of it and understanding its intent.
Secrets of Victory examines the World War II censorship program and analyzes the reasons for its success. Using archival sources, including the Office of Censorship's own records, Michael Sweeney traces the development of news media censorship from a pressing necessity after the attack on Pearl Harbor to the centralized yet efficient bureaucracy that persuaded thousands of journalists to censor themselves for the sake of national security. At the heart of this often dramatic story is the Office of Censorship's director Byron Price. A former reporter himself, Price relied on cooperation with--rather than coercion of--American journalists in his fight to safeguard the nation's secrets.
Focusing on the civilian Office of Censorship and Censorship Director Byron Price, Sweeney traces the development of news media censorship from a pressing necessity after the attack on Pearl Harbor to the centralized yet efficient bureaucracy that persuaded thousands of journalists to censor themselves for the sake of national security.
Table of Contents
This is a first-rate book by an outstanding historian who has poured mountains of research into his topic. (Journal of Military History
) Sweeney has told the story well, while indirectly showing how government can control the news media with a velvet glove. (Columbia Journalism Review
) This timely and important book about journalism, the media, and government control of information during wartime is highly recommended for academic and large public libraries. (Library Journal
) Sweeney has managed an impressive balancing act, pouring exhaustively researched detail into a clean and engaging narrative; the result is one of those books you wish you could make
people read."" (Washington Post Book World
) Secrets of Victory
is simply the best work I have read on the censorship of American newspapers and radio during World War II. (Stephen Vaughn, University of Wisconsin-Madison)