My Buddie Boy: Wit and Goodwill In and Out of Hospital. No. 4.
[Mendicant Literature / Disability / WWI].

My Buddie Boy: Wit and Goodwill In and Out of Hospital. No. 4.

Regular price $85.00 $0.00

New York: A. W. Bryce, 1921. 8 x 5-1/4 inches. Unpaginated, but 30pp + wrappers. Stapled tan wrappers printed in black. B&w illustrations. Ex-library, with stamps to the front wrapper; no other library markings. Few tiny tears along spine and fore-edge of wrappers; two leaves incompletely trimmed and a bit rough at the fore-edge; slight vertical crease throughout. Good.

A scarce piece of post-WWI mendicant literature, providing humor as well as addressing serious concerns about veterans' issues. Numerous doughboy-themed cartoons, jokes and short vignettes -- several quite racist -- comprise the majority of the booklet, offset by short articles on the effects of shell-shock, the US's obligations to veterans, and testimonials/letters to William S. Brewer. As explained here, Brewer founded the program funded by the sale of these booklets, which was intended to assist "without charge, all worthy and wounded ex-servicemen in procuring positions, compensation, war insurance due from the United States Government or bonuses awarded them by the different States from which they enlisted and in otherwise giving them a helping hand to rehabilitate themselves in business."

Intriguingly, articles in the New York Times from March, 1921, paint a different picture of Brewer, who was head of the Ex-Service Men's Co-operative League and was tried that month for defrauding veterans. Although Brewer appears to have established the League in part to honor his brother, a private in the Army who died during WWI, and to provide for returning veterans, the League's enormous success led Brewer into hot water: he purchased three houses in New Jersey in the name of his secretary, and the men he hired to sell League booklets wore military uniforms even when they weren't themselves veterans.

It's unclear if the legal troubles of the League led to the establishment of the program promoted by this booklet, or if this was somehow an offshoot of the League's endeavors.

OCLC locates only one holding for a different issue (from 1922), at the University of Pennsylvania.

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