Lee Jones, Historian and Former Teacher, Now a Published Author

Richard Pan

Lee W. Jones earned his doctorate degree under historian and John F. Kennedy advisor Arthur Schlesinger Jr. He taught high school History at BWL, including his signature Advanced Placement American History course, for over 35 years. A contributor toThe Nation as well as other magazines (see links below), he has now written a chapter for a timely book about the Second World War: D-Day, 75th Anniversary: A Millennials Guide (Jay Wertz, Monroe Publications, June 2019). Here is an excerpt from Dr. Jones’s upcoming chapter entitled “Men and Women in Uniform”.

The book’s Second World War subject matter and millennial audience are ideally suited to Dr. Jones. While teaching at BWL, he focused on developing a highly rigorous yet accessible approach to history for young adults, emphasizing critical thinking and encouraging his students not to take propaganda at face value. His classroom walls were covered with a wide range of period posters, including many from the Second World War era.

Among the various protest and period posters in Dr. Jones’s classroom were images of enlarged bubble-gum cards, a little known propaganda tool that the United States government and others employed during the war years through Gum Inc., a producer of bubble-gum and cards. At first, bubble-gum cards produced by Gum Inc. depicted graphic imagery, in the so-called Horrors of War  set—during a time when the country was staunchly isolationist. (Dr. Jones has written a book about the Horrors of War set that is currently pending publication.)

However, in an abrupt reversal, the bubble-gum card industry was soon co-opted by the U.S. government to help promote the war effort. Dr. Jones tackles the intriguing ways in which the portrayal of the Second World War through bubble-gum cards reflected the country’s shifting perspective in two articles: “When Bubble-Gum Cards Were The Rage” April/May 2018, America in WW II; and “Stacked for War” February 2019, World War II (from the HistoryNet magazine consortium).  

Book Cover Image Credit: Copyright 2019 Monroe Publications