Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Rainbow Books
(583 words)

Rainbow Books

Official printed texts or collections of diplomatic documents, appearing on an ad hoc basis treating primarily questions of foreign policy. A government published “rainbow books,” frequently during or after an international crisis, in order to inform its parliament and/or public, to legitimize its own policy, and/or to criticize the policy of a foreign state. The books owe their name to the colors of their bindings, used on a consistent basis by the various governments: Great Britain blue; Germany white; France yellow; Italy green; Russia orange; Austria-Hungary red;…

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Zala, Sacha, “Rainbow Books”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 12 May 2021 <>
First published online: 2015

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