A magazine from dad’s old stash is probably one of the most interesting periodicals I’ve ever held in my hands. The publication date is one year before the tragic attack on Pearl Harbor. The issue of LOOK is a glimpse into the popular mindset of America before the United States declared war on the Axis Powers.
This copy of the magazine is seriously contaminated by mildew and other fungi, so I had to skim through it and photograph it outdoors in the sunshine. I’ll be more carefully archiving it later during a day with no wind and overcast skies for optimal copying. In the meantime, this magazine is stored inside a large food storage bag to protect my house from contamination.
A great number of you share my love of history and enjoyment of vintage/antique items, so I’m happy to share some highlights of this slice of history with you today.
Obviously, the cover was composed and ready for publication before the declaration of war. There was the electoral contest between Wilke and Roosevelt a controversy and concern that year. There’s also the obvious error that Hitler was married, printed in the promotional square at the bottom left.
Among the more interesting visuals is found just inside the covers on the masthead page. It’s one of the first Gallup polls I’ve ever seen.
The Wendell Wilkie story was certainly authored before the war. It is a purely partisan political piece and has no mention of what he might do in the event of war. He is clearly against FDR’s run for a third term.
A sign of the times photo essay also mentions a factoid in the yellow box. “Ninety Niners are businesslike airwomen, ready to take over men pilots if we go to war.”
The most important feature story is the incomplete and somewhat inaccurate biographical sketch of Adolf Hitler. The piece may have been informed by the Nazi propaganda version of the dictator and his “personal” life. The giveaway is the misinformation about Eva Braun.
The Hitler piece continues with this double-page spread.
Within the collection of speculative writing is a puff piece designed to stroke the egos of LOOK magazine’s major advertisers.
Famed journalist Drew Pearson co-wrote a short article about a possible US-USSR wartime alliance.
Here’s another puff piece, that I’m glad was included.
There’s also the obligatory sports story of the day.
Watch this space for another post about a World War Two era magazine issue of note.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. “In fact, I probably learned more about photography from studying black-and-white photography in those magazines (LOOK and LIFE) than I did from watching movies here. That’s the truth.”