The Writers' War Board
    The organization that came to be known as the "greatest propaganda machine in history" was ironically not even a official government agency. This group was known as the Writers' War Board and was established in January 1942.(10) The organization was made up of thousands of writers from around the country who agreed to help the government by writing anything from novels to songs that would promote the government of the United States and its war causes. These writers were headed by a group of 20 authors mainly from New York City.

Map of NYC, where a majority of the Board was from
The President of the Board was author Rex Stout. Rex Stout is known for his novels about the character Detective Nero Wolfe. (1) Many other well known people devoted themselves to the Writers' War Board including lyricist Oscar Hammerstein, dramatist Russel Crouse, author Pearl Buck, and radio commentator Elmer Davis. (1) These and other members of the organization allowed for the WWB to have connections and influence over the entire range of media, from Broadway, to magazines, to radio. This allowed the message and influence to reach millions of people nationwide. One official from the Office of War Information, which was organized by the government shortly after the formation of the WWB, stated: "With the Writers' War Board we have the services of almost 5000 writers; we reach thousands of newspapers; more then 600 radio stations; and have a vast army of writers ready to cooperate in the governmentís war work.." (2) Throughout the entire war, beginning from the time it was founded in 1942, the War Writers' Board was an independent organization that was never officially under government control. It was never censored or controlled by the government. Though it was never run by the government, the idea for the Board was initially proposed by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthaw Jr. (1) A few days after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he agreed to the initiative to seek civilian writers to help promote the war effort of the United States. After getting the initial push from the government the Writersí War Board continued to expand and evolve until it became very productive and influential. The WWB was partially funded by the government with subsidies that came from the Office of War Information. They provided the board with a nine-employee "liaison office" as well as office rental and stenographic support. (1) The writers were never directly paid by the government but because the Board projects were usually requested by government agencies the money received did in fact come from some division of the government. It was even calculated that 85 percent of the work the WWB did was at the request of the U.S. Government. (4) Because they were not censored in any way by the United States Government, the Board had total freedom in the organizations and topics it wanted to promote. But the Board tended to follow government policies exactly. They were strict supporters of President Franklin Roosevelt and everything he stood for. (2) They promoted his views and actions of the war as if directly controlled by the President himself. In a way the Board was more beneficial to the government as a private organization than it would have been if it was a branch of the government. By being a private group, it did not have any of the restrictions that it otherwise would have. Also it did not have to face nearly as much of the criticism that it would have encountered if part of the government. The mass distribution of its columns and stores would have been frowned upon if coming from the government, instead it did not face much opposition at all.