Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: 'There's toilet paper at the A&P!'

Thursday, March 13, 2008

'There's toilet paper at the A&P!'

In Paul Fussell's book Wartime, on page 197 of the chapter titled 'Deprivation' is quote that ably depicts the way WW2 turned America's social-economic structure upside down. The shortages of almost everything became so severe, it led to some unusual behavior:

"A neighbor woman, an otherwise normal, modest woman, came running down the street one day shouting at the top of her lungs, 'There's toilet paper at the A&P!' "

In this day and age of conspicuous ( some say obnoxious) consumption of consumer goods, it may be hard to understand what is like to do without. But in WW2, almost everything was rationed. It certainly gave people appreciation for what they did have...


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post. Deprivation needed to be justified, sacrifice made noble and dramatic. Giving up consumer goods for the war effort was a shared experience that brought the population together. It had a unifiying effect that could be used to mobilize the population.

3/24/2008 12:05 AM  

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