15 minutes | Jun 21, 2020

Minicast C4: Little Blue Books

In 1918 Emmanuel Haldeman-Julius and his wife Marcet, editors of a moribund socialist newspaper, pursued their populist vision to bring education to the working classes in the form of cheap, widely available, high quality reading material. The result was the Little Blue Books that took the US by storm in the 1920s, a series of almost 2000 titles on a grab-bag of topics, everything from classic literature, academic debates, philosophy, religion, and how-to. For $1 a person could get Dante, Clarence Darrow on atheism, W.E.B. duBois on race relations, socialist theory, factual information about STDs and Birth Control, "How to play Stud Poker," and "Best Lawyer Jokes of 1928." In an information-starved age, Haldeman-Julius's pocket-sized 5 cent booklets were a smash, with over half a BILLION printed and sold. Little Blue Books educated and entertained millions of people with information and literature they would not otherwise have had easy access to. This, as the kids say, was praxis. Minicasts are short stories for fans of quick, to-the-point podcasts and as a nice change of pace from the longer full episodes of Mass for Shut-ins. Get full episodes on Stitcher, Apple Music, Spotify, and more. I value your support on Patreon.
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