Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from contributor Curtis Vreeland's book project, "Candy Goes to War." Readers with additional suggestions for wartime confectionery uses should contact Vreeland at cvreeland@vreelandassociates.com.
In 2017, Nella Henney and C.W. Green published best seller Manners Maketh Man: The Complete Book of Business Etiquette and Good Manners. It provides guidance on proper and polite manners for business people in an age of etiquette slackers. 
Gum chewing is usually considered a polarizing mannerism. Some people don’t mind it, while others contend that chewing is an act better suited for cows. It might surprise the reader that this debate has been going on for some time — in fact, it goes back to World War I, when gum was first issued to our troops. Even the Soviet revolutionary Leon Trotsky offered an opinion. Here is the rest of the story. 
Chewing gum became popular because it helped quench thirst. The War Department quoted a field artillery officer who claimed that “250 pounds of chewing gum would save several hundreds of gallons of water when most needed … that chewing gum is cheap and that there are times when water is very expensive and almost unobtainable.” The Quartermaster Corps rose to the occasion, and in January 1919, for example, 3.5 million packages of gum were shipped overseas.
And when Allied troops reclaimed French towns, they found that the retreating German soldiers often had poisoned the wells. This potentially dire situation prompted the American Red Cross to send 4.5 million packages of chewing gum to France.
Supplying our troops during World War I with chewing gum wasn’t universally favored at first. Citizens voiced their disproval in numerous letters to newspaper editors. Gertrude Atherton was one such anti-gum crusader. A prominent American writer — The Californians, published in 1898, was her best known work — she adopted causes to keep what we would call "traditional American values" from being undermined by early 20th century mass marketing culture that often produced crass but profitable products. 
One of her letters was published by the New York Times on September 8, 1918. This same issue gave space to an aeronautical instructor arguing that all pilots should be issued parachutes, and another citizen who believed that the recent murder of the tsar would turn him into a powerful martyr. 
Dreadful, nay hideous, news comes from France. Once more I invoke the powerful aid of The Times to right a wrong. 
I have heard from a reliable authority … that all France has fallen victim to the vulgarist of American habits, not excepting the justly renowned toothpick. I fear that the French jaw is working as one. That great and famous Generals, in their scant leaves of absence, promenade the boulevards grinding away like the historic cow on its cud… Oh shades of pre-war Paris, when the world sat to her feet and humbly learned all that it knew of fashion, of style, of supreme elegance!
It had been my fond hope that the contact of our boys with the politest nation in the world would send them home vastly improved in manners…. Now, on the contrary, the French, in their spontaneous enthusiasm for all things American were prepared to sit at our feet, to imitate us, and this beautiful enthusiasm appears to have done something dreadful to their famous powers of cool discrimination, as well as to their ironic souls.  
She ended her plea with the hope that Herbert Hoover, then director of the wartime Food administration, would stop all gum exports; that we should contribute to the French "our lives and our billions, but not our filthy habits.”
Atherton’s position found an unlikely ally. The Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky postulated that capitalists invented gum to prevent working men from thinking. Seeing workers tired from a long day’s work returning home in packed subway cars, he commented:
Thus it is with these people [in the subway] …. Capitalism does not like the working man to think and is afraid… It has therefore adopted measures … It has put up automats in each station and has filled them with disgusting candied gum…. And they grind it with the automatic chewing of their jaws… It looks like a religious rite, like some silent prayer to God-Capital. 
What circumstances led the Russian revolutionary to rail against gum? 
Prior to the outbreak of World War I, Trotsky had been deported from his homeland and booted from a half-dozen European countries before arriving in 1917 in the U.S., where he settled in the Bronx. It was during this 10-week stay, while making a living by writing articles and editorials for the Russian Yiddish language newspaper Novy Mir (he was born Lev Davidovich Bronstein to a Ukrainian Jewish family), that he observed American culture up close. And what could be more American than gum?
When the Russian Revolution broke out in February 1917, and Tsar Nicholas II was overthrown, Trotsky left the U.S. to return to Russia and throw his support eventually behind Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  
Trotsky’s observation that gum chewing encourages mindlessness was prescient. Nearly 60 years later, it was used, rather derogatorily, to describe President Gerald Ford. The 38th president had the reputation of being a klutz. He twice tripped down the Air Force One stair ramp, leading Lyndon Johnson (the 36th president) to opine that, “Jerry Ford is so dumb that he can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.” 
To Trotsky, gum chewing was a degenerate act that must be eliminated from working men’s habits if the revolution was going to gain traction. To rephrase Karl Marx’s maxim that religion is the opiate of the people, then Trotsky believed that gum chewing was like a rubber pacifier given to deceive a hungry child when food isn’t available.
Gum chewing so irked Trotsky that he used it as a final fillip in his 1934 essay “If America Should Go Communist.” He was prompted to this essay in response to “Capitalist witch hunter” anti-communism rhetoric prevalent during the Great Depression that purported that communism is totally alien to American life. On the contrary, noted the revolutionary theorist:
Should America go communist … it will discover that communism, far from being an intolerable bureaucratic tyranny and individual regimentation, will be the means of greater individual liberty and shared abundance. 
The essay ends with this surprising anti-liberty prophesy: “In the third year of the Soviet rule in America you will no longer chew gum!” 
Perhaps it was this bleak image of a gumless society under communism that one gum manufacturer was inspired to urge its customers to keep chewing for the sake of democracy. That manufacturer was Topps, who introduced the Fight the Red Menace brand during the height of the Cold War.