When Books Went to War centers around armed-service editions of books that were sent to soldiers during World War II. These books were the first paperbacks ever published, and the Silversides Museum is fortunate to have an extensive collection of them.
Partially as a result of the Great Depression, many American soldiers were undereducated when the went to World War II. Between battles, they read voraciously: not just novels, but also books on electronics, engineering and psychology. These books laid the groundwork for the U.S. to boast the highest number of college graduates by 1950.