WHEN, early in 1917, events began so to shape themselves as directly to point to the entrance of the United States into the Great War, Edward Bok set himself to formulate a policy for The Ladies Home Journal. He knew that he was in an almost insurmountably difficult position. The huge edition necessitated going to press fully six weeks in advance of publication, and the preparation of material fully four weeks previous to that. He could not, therefore, get much closer than ten weeks to the date when his readers received the magazine. And he knew that events, in war time, had a way of moving rapidly.
Late in January he went to Washington, consulted those authorities who could indicate possibilities to him better than any one else, and found, as he had suspected, that the entry of the United States into the war was a practical certainty; it was only a question of time.
Bok went South for a months holiday to get ready for the fray, and in the saddle and on the golf links he formulated a policy. The newspapers and weeklies would send innumerable correspondents to the front, and obviously, with the necessity for going to press so far in advance, The Journal could not compete with them. They would depict every activity in the field. There was but one logical thing for him to do: ignore the front entirely, refuse all the offers of correspondents,