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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 394

guidance, as authoritative as anything could be in times of war when no human vision can actually foretell what the next day will bring forth, he acted. The result, as one now looks back upon it, was truly amazing; an uncanny timeliness would often color material on publication day. Of course, much of this was due to the close government co-operation, so generously and painstakingly given.

With the establishment of the various war boards in Washington, Bok received overtures to associate himself exclusively with them and move to the capital. He sought the best advice and with his own instincts pointing in the same way, he decided that he could give his fullest service by retaining his editorial position and adding to that such activities as his leisure allowed. He undertook several private commissions for the United States Government, and then he was elected vice-president of the Philadelphia Belgian Relief Commission.

With the Belgian consul-general for the United States, Mr. Paul Hagemans, as the president of the Commission, and guided by his intimate knowledge of the Belgian people, Bok selected a committee of the ablest buyers and merchants in the special lines of foods which he would have to handle. The Commission raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, with which it purchased foods and chartered ships. The quantities of food ran into prodigious figures; Bok felt that he was feeding the world; and yet when the holds of the ships began to take in the thousands of crates of canned goods, the bags of peas and beans, and the endless tins of condensed milk, it was amazing how the piled-up

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