- New York: The Grolier Club, 2018.
- 10 x 12.5 inches
- hardcover, dust jacket
- 471 (1) pages
- ISBN: 978160583-0766
Price: $60.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 133243
"For anyone interested in how childrens book illustration served national destiny in the run-up to World War I, this is a must-see publication.... The quantity and quality of the illustrations for Playing Soldier make it an invaluable pictorial archive."
- Andrea Immel, Curator, The Cotsen Children's Library
"This book is the last word on the series of high Victorian books (mainly for boys) that extolled the virtues of British Empire values (and their American parallels). It also traces the effect that the harsh realities of the First World War had on this genre, removing some of the romance, derring-do and unrealism and replacing them with a measure of harsh reality suitable for children."
- Major General (Retired) M.P.J. O'Brien, President, Royal United Services Institute of Victoria (Australia)
For this lavishly illustrated visual history, timed to accompany an exhibition at the prestigious Grolier Club, Richard Cheek turns his unique collector's perspective to those books, magazines, printed ephemera, and toys relating to military life and wartime experience that were published or produced for children and teens during two key periods in European and US history: the era from the end of the Franco-Prussian war in 1871 until the outbreak of the Great War in 1914; and the 51 months of fighting that made up "the war to end all wars." In jis succinct text, Cheek examines how these publications and products were used to persuade boys to admire, and aspire to become, soldiers and sailors, as well as to accept war as an inevitable form of human behavior that offered them a swift path to manhood, defined by acts of exceptional bravery, selfless service, and patriotic devotion. The introduction is followed by chapters on the four main protagonists on the Western Front: Germany (and its ally Austria), France (and its ally Belgium), Great Britain, and the United States. Enhanced by a list of sources for the illustrations and an index, this volume is a valuable resource for those interested in the influence of war culture on children. Designed by Julia Sedykh. With 1,291 color illustrations.