Friday, January 29, 2010

LITTLE BLUE BOOKS on display at the LITC

Meet the Henry Ford of Literature, Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, and his Little Blue Books.
Now on display at the LITC

Little Blue Books were a series of small staple-bound paperback books printed and distributed by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, a socialist reformer and newspaper publisher, in the early 1900's. These 3.5 by 5 inch books were created to fit easily into a "working man's" pocket. Their small size and low price helped them sweep the ranks of both the working class and the educated. The Little Blue Books were created in the hopes of getting common knowledge, literary works,and varying ideas and view points, to as large an audience as possible.

"At the close of the 20th Century some flea-bitten, sun-bleached, fly-specked, rat-gnawed, dandruff- sprinkled professor of literature is going to write a five-volume history of the books of our century. In it a chapter will be devoted to publishers and editors of books, and in that chapter perhaps a footnote will be given to me." - Emanuel Haldeman-Julius

But what became a highly popular source of information sank into obscurity by the 1950's, a result of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Haldeman-Julius' attempt to enlighten was deemed perverse by the Bureau, due to the collection's inclusion of topics like socialism, atheism, and sexuality. The Little Blue Books were a threat to the American people, and Haldeman-Julius was put on the enemies list.

Learn a little more by dropping by the LITC.


  1. People looking for more information about Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and the Little Blue Books might also wish to check out: