Emanuel Julius (1889-1951) was a socialist journalist who came to Girard, Kansas in 1915 to work at the nation’s leading socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, which had been published in Girard since the late 1890s. Eight months after his arrival in Girard, Julius married Anna Marcet Haldeman, the only child of a prominent and wealthy banking family. Marcet, as she went by, was also the niece of Chicago social reformer, Jane Addams. The couple decided to use a hyphenated version of their names, Haldeman-Julius, to indicate their collaborations in writing, publishing, and business. Emanuel Julius would be known as Emanuel Haldeman-Julius from that point on. In January 1919 Haldeman-Julius purchased the Appeal using Marcet’s money. He renamed the paper The Haldeman-Julius Weekly and in 1939, The American Freeman. In 1919 Haldeman-Julius began the publishing venture he is probably best known for: The Little Blue Books. These were small inexpensive pocket-sized booklets on a variety of subjects. Although the emphasis in the early numbers was on socialism, these books would also feature works by well-known writers. Over the next several decades they would change the reading habits of America, and be instrumental in helping citizens self-educate themselves, especially during the Great Depression. By the time of his death in 1951, the “Little Blue Book” series included over 2,000 titles, and it is estimated he sold over 500,000,000 copies during his lifetime. In 1925 Haldeman-Julius also started a series of “Big Blue Books” that would total over 1,000 titles. Due to many having socialism, sex, and free-thought themes, many of these Haldeman-Julius publications were controversial at the time they were published. Its mission was the self-education of the American public.

Finding Aid: Haldeman-Julius Collection, 1895-1996 (MS013)


Browse the Haldeman-Julius Collection, 1895-1996 Collections:

Haldeman-Julius' Big Blue Books

Haldeman-Julius Photograph Collection, 1889-1968

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