Haldeman-Julius Little Blue Books
Scope and Contents
Haldeman-Julius was a marketing genius, taking the mailing list of the declining APPEAL and using it to promote books that were unabashedly inexpensive. A "free-thinker," he began by duplicating books from his personal collection, which ironically consisted largely of classics. Many of these titles were renamed to appeal to the masses. Because he believeD his customers wanted "instrumental knowledge." ART OF CONTROVERSY became HOW TO ARGUE LOGICALLY. Because a little prurience did not hurt anything, de Maupassant's THE TALLOW BALL became A FRENCH PROSTITUTE'S SACRIFICE. To keep his prices low, Haldeman-Julius developed techniques for inexpensive printing and quick reprinting. Finally, he maintained an ongoing dialogue with his readers, first through the APPEAL, then through the more personal AMERICAN FREEMAN, which served as a vehicle for his advice and opinions. Haldeman-Julius's Little Blue Books hold an interesting place in the history of American book publishing and shed a fascinating light on the development of popular culture in the period between the the two World Wars.
- Record Keeping: 1984
3 boxes (Included in the collection are 22 packages of "little" blue books marked A-V with contents not related to the alphabet. There are also 38 packages of "larger" books and 14 separates, many by Joseph G. McCabe.)