Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain, 1942

  • by U.S. War Department
  • Narrated by Alexei Grebisch
  • 0 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is a recording of a War Department pamphlet aimed at U.S. Servicemen in Britain in 1942. The jovial tone of the document and its advice about how NOT to offend the British make for a nostalgic - and in places humorous - relic of World War II.

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Audible Editor Reviews

This audio, performed by Alexei Grebisch in a deep voice that connotes the concern of a big brother, subtly amplifies the charmingly dated affect of its source material: an instructional pamphlet from 1942 for US soldiers heading to England. It had the specific goal of fostering good relations with the US’s WWII allies and preventing the misunderstandings that might arise from cultural differences, such as use of slang. So many years later, taken out of context, it has become an endearing document of a different time; stripped of military intention its message can be more clearly seen as one of tolerance and mutual respect.

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What the Critics Say

"Before coming to Audible, my job was to sell book rights in the UK to British publishers on behalf of a major trade publisher, so I spent a week in London each spring. One day I ducked into an independent bookstore in Piccadilly where Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain, 1942 called to me. I read it all, standing in the vestibule of the shop, and bought several copies as gifts. I loved the nostalgia value of the pamphlet: its jovial (and now inadvertently humorous) tone, and most of all, the impressive scope of the War Department's preparation for entering the European theater in World War II. Over time I've come to appreciate that the book isn't such a nostalgia piece after all—take out the references to Hitler and a lot of the advice still holds up today!" (Christina Harcar, Director, Editorial Business Development)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Feeling nostalgic?

I'm not ashamed to say that this recording had me close to tears more than once! I grew up in the Britain of the 1950s & 60's, just a few years after this document was issued, and have lived in the US for the past 35 years. It brought back memories of a nation so familiar to me, and now so changed! The stories my parents told - my mother a munitions worker, my Dad a "Tommy" in the Royal Artillery - echo throughout this document. Yes, it's quaint and funny, and frankly propagandist, but it really struck a chord. Thank you, Audible, for making this available!
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- Alan "Drumlin"

Most Valuable Free Audiobook Ever

This is a wonderful and unexpectedly, unintentionally hilarious short course in WWII U.S. Defense Department propaganda. What a fascinating peek into history! The listener easily imagines the hapless enlisted young man, still green behind the ears, having this booklet shoved into his hands as he steps onto the ship that will transport him to the Europe he has only seen in movies--a Europe now at war--a Europe from which he may not return--and reading about how the British "don't handle the ball as cleanly as we do, but they are nimble on their feet" and how one must "never, ever make fun of the king or queen." The chapter on language, idioms and pronunciation differences alone is priceless.

Audible, thank you so much for offering this terrific free gift to listeners!
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- Gretchen SLP "Avid listener on my daily commute!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-19-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios