The Greatest Public Relations Coup of All Time

The branding campaign which transformed the labor movement into the "Worldwide Communist Conspiracy"

By Jack Barkstrom

Red Scare - What's In a Name?

An Epic Struggle With Humble Origins - A Private Fight Blown Out of Proportion

When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it was celebrated as the triumph of freedom over a bankrupt Communist system. Although China still remained as a major Communist power, the Soviet Union represented the first victory, and the symbolic birthplace, of a misguided doctrine. Like the Crusades, it seemed a struggle more of ideas and beliefs than of the conventional reasons for conflict, land and power. If it represented a philosophical struggle, it had been translated into a very real and dangerous conflict, given the weapons with which it was fought. But was the conflict, as realistic and dangerous as it was, a true reflection of the reality of the struggle? The ideas around which Marx and Engels formed their Marxist ideology started out as a battle, or limited war, between laborers and factory owners, or between capital and labor. With the Russian Revolution, this limited war was transformed into a major ideological battle.

The conflict took on elements of a marketing campaign. The 'Fall of the Berlin Wall' was just one more advertising tool, important because, as a visual symbol, it conveyed the message that Capitalism had won. But had capitalism, in contrast to countries or nations, actually participated directly in the war? or was it taking credit for battles others had fought? Did it get credit for winning one war - the struggle between Capitalism and Communism - when it was intent on fighting its own war? Capitalists were trying to establish who, between business owners and workers, would decide control of individual businesses. The battle for control pitted business and factory owners against union organizers and laborers. Was a limited conflict blown out of proportion and projected onto a world stage, there to be carried on by nations as their own struggle. Karl Marx himself would have to share some of the blame. In his use of hyperbole and eye-catching exaggeration, he had expanded the dispute between German or English factory owners and factory workers into a worldwide class conflict, and capitalists went him one better and converted his worldwide class conflict into a moral struggle for the hearts of men, a battle to the death between good and evil. Marx was hoping for a little publicity and a worldwide strike action, what he ended up with was a Crusade. Pope Urban II, in calling the First Crusade in 1095, wanted an inspirational message which would put an end to conflict in Europe and invigorate the Church. What he got was a military conflict in the Middle East which, in 1203 would result in the sacking of Constantinople.

In the struggle between Capital and labor, Capitalism won, in marketing terms, because it was able to define its opponent, labor, first, by associating labor with the communist movement. Although it was able to paint the labor movement as a product of Marxist theory, it also got away with defining Communism without really saying what Communism was. Its definition lacked a definition. It was a classic marketing campaign - Capitalism beat labor to the punch by defining labor before labor had a chance to define itself. The broader campaign, between Capitalism and Communism, was carried on in a similar manner where one side was able to substitute its own definition of its opponent for that of its opponent? That may be the very definition of any successful marketing - or political - campaign. Someone may be marketing an orange building block, but their competitor convinces the world that the color is really blue. A political candidate stands for one thing but their opponent defines them first by convincing voters that they stand for something else.

Marx and Engels - Prussian Anti-Communist Beginnings

In February 1845, Friedrich Engels, having finished 'The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844' quit his job and went on a lecturing tour of the Rhineland, promoting communism. The police took notice of his activities, describing him in one report, which ended up in the Ministry of the Interior, as a 'rabid communist.' Whether he was that committed to the cause is questionable. When his father, fearing he was about to be arrested, sent him enough money for a visit to Karl Marx, then living in Brussels, he gave up the tour and took up residence in the city.[1], [2] The Communist Manifesto would not come out in print until February 1848, and Marx would remain largely unknown as the architect of communist theory, until May 1871, when his pamphlet 'The Civil War in France' came out. After that he was attacked in the world press as the Red Terrorist Doctor, responsible for revolutionary labor unrest.

However communism was defined, there were indications, even during Engels' 1845 tour, that factory and business owners had a well-developed sense of communism and class conflict. One of Engels' lectures, held at the popular Zweibrücker Hof theater in Elberfeld, and attended by about two hundred, mostly liberal and upper class, involved a speech by Engels where he outlined the principles of communism. Engels believed the evening had been a success with new supporters. One Elberfeld resident described the evening somewhat differently. The manufacturers present greeted Engels' and Moses Hess,' the other speaker, discussion of communism with laughter and jeers. It was left to the director of the theater to defend capitalist society. The more violently he attacked the possibility of communism, the more enthusiastically the notables drank to his health.[3]

Whatever communism was, the propagation of communist ideas had been banned in Prussia, even before Engels' 1845 Rhineland tour. An arrest warrant for Marx, on a charge of high treason was issued following the publication of the single issue of the Franco-German Yearbooks in February 1844.[4] It is a little unclear, from reading a 'Contribution the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right,' Marx's contribution, whether the treason charge was related to his thoughts about the proletariat and the abolition or private property, or to his inflammatory language criticizing the Prussian government in terms which came close to openly advocating revolution.[5]

The trial was a show trial, not meant to determine guilt or innocence, but to shift the blame for the events of 1848 away from the monarchy. Frederich William IV wanted a plausible explanation for the revolution. Little was publicly known about the Communists or the Cologne branch, other than its association with workers and the labor movement. Keeping those arrested in jail and solitary confinement until trial added to the ominous atmosphere surrounding those involved. The evidence produced involved secret informers and nearly all was manufactured, both forged documents and false testimony. Marx, hearing of evidence which seemed to implicate him, sent sworn affidavits countering the accusations. It never reached the court, with no impact on the final verdict.[6]

Frederich William may have achieved a victory of sorts for his image within Prussia, but With Marx in London, it did little to tarnish Marx's international reputation, or add to his name recognition. It did little serious damage to his reputation. He was fairly well regarded for his journalistic skills and liberal views. From 1856 until 1857, he served as journalist and European correspondent for the 'New York Tribune,' under Charles Dana.[7]

International acclamation for Marx would finally come in 1871, although the attention he received was not the positive recognition he had long sought. In May 1871, he distributed a pamphlet, along with a speech he gave at the International Working Men's Association (IMWA) Council meeting in London. The pamphlet was called 'The Civil War in France.' It was a success, as a print run, selling thousands of copies in a few months. It was a discussion of the Paris Commune, which, at the time, was in its final death-throes. The French government was both looking for Communards and for an explanation of the unrest. Like Frederich William, they settled on a small conspiratorial group, the communists, as the party to blame. This time, Marx, in London during the Commune, was blamed as the mastermind, the Red Terrorist Doctor who had pulled the strings.[8] Perhaps the label stuck because Paris and France, unlike Cologne and Prussia, caught more attention as the cultural center, if not the 'center of culture,' of the Western world. Perhaps more importantly, it was viewed that way in the United States. It also coincided with the rise of the labor movement there.

The Workingmen's Benevolent Association (WBA), had been formed in 1869 to organize the anthracite coal miners in Pennsylvania.[9] The trials of the Mollie Maguires would begin in 1876.[10] This was followed the next year by the Great Uprising, or the Great Strike of 1877, and by the Great Upheaval, the nationwide unrest which hit the United States in 1886 and the Homestead Strike in 1889.[11]

The United States - A Slow Start for Name Association

When Frank Gowan began his campaign against the Mollie Maguires in Pennsylvania he claimed that the Irish Ancient Order of Hibernians were "Communists." The campaign fell flat. He had more success when he suggested that they were brigands who rode the hills terrorizing the countryside.[12] The campaign to brand union organizers and members as outside agitators was off to a slow start. In contrast to racial or ethnic divisions, which provoked an immediate, instinctive reaction, there was no immediate association.

Perhaps part of the reason for the lack of an instinctive reaction to communist ideas was the lack of any clear idea of what communism was. It was complex enough to require an extended explanation, for or against. In the Colorado mining sector, the mine owners were able to exploit the subject. If a socialist state tried to implement state ownership of all property, they claimed, it meant that the state would confiscate everything, including personal property, and lease it back to individuals. If unions found a sympathetic public audience, when it came to explaining dangerous working conditions or low wages, they lost their audience when they tried to explain Marxist ideas concerning the nature of property rights or private ownership of 'productive goods.'[13]

Still, at a basic level, many writers understood the idea of class war and the struggle between capital and labor. Following the 1877 unrest during the Great Upheaval, the 'New Orleans Times,' commented that "War between labor and capital has begun in earnest." The violence of that summer was "America's first experience in communism."[14] The New York Times grouped communism with other terms in its condemnation. The rioters of the summer were described as blacklegs, looters, communists, rabble, lawbreakers, tramps, and bummers.[15] While community and business leaders were not necessarily focusing on communism or socialism, they were alarmed by the threat of uncontrolled violence and labor radicalism. Such fear prompted an increased interest in an expanded National Guard and the construction of armories in many northern cities.[16]

If communism was an inexact concept, the term began to come into ordinary use as a description for labor agitators. General George R. Snowden, commander of the Pennsylvania militia, charged with restoring order following the Homestead Strike in 1892, considered the striking workers communists, which it was his duty to suppress.[17] Not all the uses of the word communism were necessarily negative. If there was one theme which came through, it was the idea of revolution. The Democratic party candidate for lieutenant government in Colorado during the 1878 campaign, perhaps in hopes of promoting an activist image, emphasized the resort to revolution: "there's nothing that will relieve the working people of their distress but revolution...And when it [the revolution] comes you will find Tom Field with the Communists." [18]

From alliance to opposition

One of the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (the Wagner Act), known as the Taft-Hartley Bill, was a requirement that union officers had to sign statements that they were not members of the Communist Party. [19] It was symbolic of the reversal in thinking, on the part of unions and the public at large. At the time of the Great Strike of 1877, union members seemingly welcomed communist or socialist support. Newspaper accounts, using Marxist terminology, talked of class warfare.[20] There were expressions of sympathy for the plight of the poor, although they were mixed with a sense of alarm, and concrete measures to deal with potential future unrest. Northern cities, with the support of business leaders, began building armories in concentrated urban industrial areas. As Harper's Weekly noted, "The country has learned the necessity of a thorough and efficient local armed organization."[21]

Attempts to explain the unrest, or to fix the blame on communism, were not entirely successful. Editorialists, who had sent reporters out to talk to participants, noted that few rioters had any understanding of Communism. President Hayes, focusing on Marx's theories about private property, pointed out that the rioters had focused on the railroads, not property per se.[22] Still, there were comparisons with Marx. "America's first experience in communism is now the most significant episode of the most extraordinary year in our political history," wrote the New Orleans Times. "War between labor and capital has begun in earnest." Harper's Weekly would make similar observations: the strike had exposed "a vast movement of the poor against the rich, of labor against capital, which is nothing less than absolute anarchy."[23]

Not all the protesters were unaware of Marx or his revolutionary theories. The Pittsburgh Leader quoted what it said was a representative workingman reflecting on the 1877 unrest, who said that the events "may be the beginning of a great civil was in this country, between labor and capital." In his opinion, the capitalists might win a round or two, but the workers would finally "have our revenge on the men who have coined our sweat and muscle into millions for themselves." One of the steelworkers offered a similar opinion. "I won't call employers despots; I won't call them tyrants. But the term capitalists is sort of synonymous and will do as well."[24] One sympathetic Pittsburgh paper condemned the actions of the owners. "Capital has raised itself on the ruins of labor. The laboring class cannot, will not stand this any longer. The war cry has been raised.... The principle that freed our nation from tyranny will free labor from domestic aggression."[25]

Economic Growth and Class Warfare Following the End of the Civil War

In 1864 Karl Marx helped form the International Workingmen's Association in London (First International or Internationale).[26] Although the idea of an eight-hour workday fell somewhat short of an all-out revolution, the Internationale included it as part of its program. The idea did not catch on among workers in Europe. However, Marx was encouraged by events in the United States at the end of the Civil War, where workers and the labor movement enthusiastically endorsed the idea. Chicago's Eight-Hour League, formed in 1865, was strong enough by May 1866, to call for a statewide convention of the Grand Eight-Hour League, whose goal was to get the Illinois legislature to pass an eight-hour day system.[27] The efforts proved successful and, on March 2, 1867, the Republican governor, Richard J. Ogelsby, signed the nation's first eight-hour law.[28]

The law did not sit well with Chicago's manufacturing employers. Seventy manufacturers agreed among themselves to resist implementing the statute. On May 2, the day after the law was to go into effect, the largest Chicago employers ordered their employees to continue working beyond the eight hours. Rather than complying, many workers protested, closed their shops, shut down the packinghouses and mills, while many union workers simply walked off their jobs at the end of eight hours. The following day gangs of workingmen and boys began attacking workers who continued working. On May 4, the gangs grew larger and, in addition to intimidating workers to stop working, began vandalizing equipment. Chicago's mayor, J. B. Rice, calling on the Dearborn Light Artillery to support the police, managed to restore order in some areas by May 5 and to fully establish control by May 8. Workers returned to shops and factories, but not under the eight-hour limitation they had hoped for. The strike had been broken and union leaders were unable to muster enough support nationwide to reverse the defeat.[29]

For the next few years the Chicago economy boomed, while the labor movement declined. The upper classes found opportunity and became wealthier. The city's reputation for opportunity drew people from overseas, but the growing supply of workers allowed employers to cut wages. The ranks of the unemployed grew and many were forced to rely on charity.[30] While the well-to-do found an almost unlimited supply of goods in stores, the poorest were forced to live in slums next to open sewers. In 1870, some 20,000 homeless roamed the streets during the day and sheltered in alleys and under bridges at night.[31]

Events in France during the summer of 1870 provided a distraction for Chicago's residents, who followed reports of foreign correspondents about the course of the Franco-Prussian War. Part of their interest may have been sparked by the presence of the Civil War hero, General Philip Sheridan, who was serving as an observer on behalf of President Grant. The signing of the armistice in January 1871 seemed to signal an end to the war coverage, but was soon replaced by reporting on the Paris Commune and events between March and May as the French army laid siege to Paris and then engaged in street fighting as it re-took the city. The end of the fighting and the final defeat of the Commune on May 29 brought an end to the press coverage, or at least to coverage by the foreign correspondents of the American press. In Chicago things seemed to return to normal and interest in events in Paris faded.[32]

Chicago - From the Great Fire to the People's Party

Chicago was still enjoying a business boom and expansion, accompanied by speculation and lending. It all came to an end on October 8, 1871, when a fire which started in one of the slum districts on the city's West Side, lept the Chicago River, destroyed the entire downtown business district and part of the North Side. Some 17,450 buildings burned down in all and 64,000 people were left homeless. Perhaps fearful of a repeat of the unrest in Paris, several downtown businessmen hired the former Union spymaster Allan Pinkerton to guard their property. He gave his guards orders to shoot any person stealing or attempting to steal. Property owners also persuaded the mayor to place the city under martial law. If there were objections to the order's legality by the governor of Illinois, few were seriously willing to object when General Sheridan assumed command of militia and regular regiments.[33]

If the Chicago Fire was a serious blow, the city seemed to recover. Then, on September 18, 1873, the banking firm Jay Cooke & Company, closed its New York branch, followed by its other branches and, two days later, on September 20, the New York Stock Exchange closed for the first time in its history. These events, known as the Panic of 1873, turned into a depression across the United States, which would last until 1879.[34] In July 1874, Chicago experienced a second fire, this time on its South Side.[35], [36]

The 1874 fire had one important political result. It led to the formation of a new business association. Fearful that Chicago would lose investment capital, a week after the July fire, one hundred of the city's top business leaders formed the Citizens Association. In light of the city's recent experience with the devastation caused by fire, one of the association's concrete goals was to bring the city into compliance with Fire Insurance Underwriters' Association's demands for an extension of the city's fire limits, the professionalization and depolitization of the city's police and fire departments, and a more centralized municipal administration. In other words, the Underwriters wanted the implementation of a uniform fire code and the creation of professional fire and police departments. The Citizens Association did have a philosophical connection with capitalism and private property. Franklin MacVeagh, the Association's first president, in an address to the members emphasized the need for the "protection of property" which he thought was not possible when the elected officials were people with no property to protect.[37]

MacVeagh's reference to defending property rights was clearly taking on the tones of the larger Marxist debate over privilege, private property, and the capitalist class. At the same time he was pointing to very specific local circumstances, since Chicago was experiencing socialism first-hand. In the November 1873 elections, the People's Party swept to power, with the election of Harvey Colvin, as mayor, and control of the city council. Among its members were self-proclaimed socialists. The People's Party program drew comparisons in the press to the Paris Commune, when it provided relief for the unemployed, four times the amount paid out before, during the winter of 1873, as well as an attempted jobs-creating proposal for a new courthouse. The circumstances which had contributed to the People's Party victory were an unemployment rate of 20 percent among the manufacturing workforce and the organizational skills of the Sozial Politischer Arbeiterverein (Social Political Workers' Society), loosely affiliated with Karl Marx's First International. The Workers' Society was able to mobilize thousands of unemployed men in a series of marches demanding municipal-supplied jobs or increased use of relief funds.[38]

Corruption allegations and a mobilized opposition put an end to the People's Party control. In the April 1876 elections, then-mayor Harvey Colvin lost, along with the People's Party members of the city council. Republican Monroe Heath became the new mayor.[39]

If the Citizens Association seemed to be advocating for private property in a Marxist context, the debate over property holdings and political representation had started long before Marx, even before the start of the Revolutionary War. Colonial governments had maintained a system or systems requiring that only those with a certain level of property, or the means to pay taxes, could serve representatives or even be allowed voting rights.

While the Citizens Association focused much of its energy on short-term political goals and the need to reverse the election results of 1873, it also looked to implement other long-term projects. In addition to placing Chicago on a firm financial footing, the Association hoped to create a more stable social environment. In April 1874, some of its members, together with other business leaders began raising funds for a "businessman's militia," officially called the First Regiment of the Illinois National Guard.[40] Most of its early members were white-collar managers, clerks and bookkeepers. Its first success came in April 1875 when, in support of the local police, it intimidated socialists into staying away from a planned demonstration.[41] German workers, in response, created their own militia company, the Lehr und Wehr Verein.[42] To counter this threat, the Citizens Association went to the state legislature. In May 1877 the Illinois legislature created a new military code to govern the militia. In May 1879 the Association persuaded the legislature to outlaw workers' militias. The Illinois Supreme Court upheld the ban, even though it was effectively a ban on only the workers' militias and not the business-supported First Regiment.[43] In spite of these successes, the business community suffered another loss in the spring 1879 elections, when the Kentucky-born Democrat, Carter Henry Harrison, was elected mayor. Even more galling was the fact that the Chicago socialists appeared to have been a decisive factor in the loss, since the Socialist Labor Party candidate, although coming in third, had received 12,000 votes.[44]

Socialist hopes of a revolutionary beginning were dashed by a recovering economy. Democratic workers, who had enthusiastically supported socialist public relief programs when out of work lost much of their enthusiasm when offered real jobs. Carter Harrison offered socialists city jobs.[45]

Chicago was not the only city where business leaders organized to keep order and to limit worker activities. In Colorado, some twenty-five years later, businessmen and employers would create similar organizations. The names were a variation of the Chicago organization. In Denver, in 1903, it was the "Citizens' Alliance," or the "Denver Citizens' Alliance" rather than the "Citizens Association."[46] Prior to that name, the organization had been called the "Citizens' Protective League."[47] There were branches in different mining towns, such as the "Citizens' Alliance of Idaho Springs," or the "Victor Citizens' Alliance." The "Business Men's Association of Telluride" resolved into a "Citizens' Alliance."[48] In Minnesota, a Minneapolis Chapter of the Citizens Alliance, formed in 1908, would figure prominently in the 1917-18 trolley car strike, and would confront the Teamsters local in 1934.[49] In Arizona, during the unrest in Bisbee in 1917, it would be called the "Citizens' Protective League."[50] In Centralia, Washington, in 1919, it was simply the "Protective League."[51] In San Francisco, in 1877, the organization formed would be known as the "Citizen's Committee of Safety."[52]

Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives

In 1878, Allan Pinkerton, the founder of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, published a book called "Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives," intended as a history of the Great Strikes of 1877. If it was written from the perspective of a conservative law enforcement officer, which Pinkerton was, it contains many objective observations, and some interesting historical facts and analysis. Pinkerton clearly did not like communism. At the same time his writing shows a familiarity with the recent history of the movement and a grasp of the fundamental arguments Marx and other contemporary socialists were making.[53]

Pinkerton sketched a brief history of the movement, beginning with the inaugural meeting of the International Working Men's Association (IWMA), generally known as the First International, in September 1864 through the Basle Congress of 1869.[54] He mentioned the disagreements between Marx, Bakunin, and the exiled Italian nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini. He summarized communist theory as the elimination of capital and the capitalist class, the elimination of private property, and government ownership or control of industrial enterprises.[55] In his mind, communism was associated with violence and conflict, and the Paris Commune exemplified the communist commitment to destruction and revolutionary violence.

At the end of May 1871, Karl Marx finished a thirty-five-page pamphlet, called "The Civil War in France," a brief history, or defense of, the Paris Commune. Given that it was only thirty-five pages, it was not a lengthy or detailed history of events in France. It was remembered more for Marx's portrayal of the Commune as an heroic struggle by working people and the symbolic creation of the ideal communist and egalitarian state, perhaps summarized by its closing lines: "Working men's Paris, with its Commune, will be forever celebrated as the glorious harbinger of new society. Its martyrs are enshrined in the great heart of the working class."[56], [57], [58]

Attacks in the world press soon followed, labeling Marx as the Red Terrorist Doctor and the IMWA as the organization directing the attacks. Marx himself was oddly pleased by the notoriety, a belated recognition of his influential ideas.[59] The pamphlet sold thousands of copies and went through three editions in two months - his most successful writing to-date. If critics saw the International Working Men's Association as behind the Paris Commune, there was no evidence supporting that. Of the ninety-two Commune council members, only seventeen belonged to the IWMA.[60] Even Pinkerton conceded that Marx had withdrawn from the IWMA by 1869, two years before the Commune.[61]

Pinkerton, like Marx, viewed the Paris Commune as historically significant to the development of communism, but drew totally different conclusions about what it symbolized. He saw the Commune, not as a possible first step toward the creation of an ideal society, but as an example of the evil and depravity to which human nature could sink if the communist revolution eliminated the established order. His story focused on the wanton killing of innocents and the blood lust displayed by the Commune's leaders - an example of what would be unleashed on society if communism succeeded with its revolutionary goals. For Pinkerton, the figure most representative of the bloodthirsty nature of the Commune and of communism was Raoul Rigault, who assumed the post of Prefect of Police. He would have the deputy Gustave Chaudey, and three ordinary policemen, summarily executed and was involved in the execution of the Archbishop of Paris, then being held as a hostage.[62], [63]

In analyzing the Great Strike of 1877, he did not attribute the unrest entirely to communism or union activists. In fact, he acknowledged that many of the participants in different cities were not even union members or workers, but unemployed street toughs, gangs, and young men. At the time, there were at least a million workers jobless, perhaps as many as three million, out of a population of 45 million.[64]

Much of Pinkerton's criticism of communism and Karl Marx, seemed to focus on the Paris Commune and the events of 1871. Whether this represented primarily his own views and experiences or was simply a reflection of public sentiment is unclear. Whatever the source, Pinkerton was highly critical of communism. He compared it to a disease, using phrases such as "spread of the infection," a "pestilential spirit," a "deadly foothold," and "dangerous spirit among the masses," or a "poison" absorbed into the political systems of Spain and Russia.[65] This necessitated communisms' "prompt and utter extermination."[66] The American Communists, he believes, have shown an 'inveterate hatred of society.' "Fire, pillage, murder were their object and aim." he adds and, from an overheard conversation, he cites an Internationalist who intended to "repeat the savage scenes of massacre in Republican America that visited Paris in 1871." He refers to "communistic scoundrels" and labels communism as "another term for scoundrelism" and Communism is a 'cowardly doctrine,' and its representative "confessed thieves."[67]

Pinkerton seemed to be taking one play from the Prussian playbook, which featured in the 1852 Cologne Communist trial - the charge that there was a secret conspiracy involved or that the defendants were members of a secret organization. The International, he charged, at its first Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, had been established with a "strongly conspiratorial foundation."[68] Pinkerton references an August 1877 Philadelphia Times letter of an "Internationalist" claiming the existence of a "secret, all-powerful, ceaseless organization."[69] He cites a foreign correspondent who refers to the International as a "secret organization with agents always actively at work in Europe and the United States." He includes the experiences of his and his Pinkerton Agency operatives with the influence on workingmen of secret societies held together by a 'mysterious dread and fear.' One of his agents had joined the Universal Brotherhood, under the control of "communistic scoundrels who in stealth and secret continue their conspiracies against civilization."[70] If Pinkerton focuses, for the most part, on the elements of secrecy and conspiracy, he also makes reference to the 'foreign-born element' and its influence on the unrest of 1877.

Distinguishing Pinkerton's own ideas and views, displayed in his 1878 essay, from those of his contemporaries, is difficult. He did introduce some of his personal experiences, as head of the Pinkerton Agency, but many of his thoughts and examples seemed to be drawn from those of other, earlier writers. That Pinkerton incorporated the thoughts of earlier writers should not minimize their role in shaping Pinkerton's worldview. What was the significance of his book? Was it important because it reflected current thinking about Marx and communist ideas and shed light on attitudes during the 1870s? Or was it more significant as a 'propaganda piece,' intended to suggest that the labor movement was guided, not by an interest in worker welfare, but by secret, mysterious, (and foreign), organization. If it was a public relations effort, was its real intent more to shape public opinion than to recount historical events?

The phrases used by Pinkerton in 1878, were similar to those heard in 1871. The French government, following the suppression of the Paris Commune in May 1871, was seeking a simple explanation for the unrest, an explanation which would suggest a simple solution to its problems. Just as the Cologne Communist Trial of 1852, had pinned the blame on a secret society of communist conspirators, the French government found a similar scapegoat in Marx's International, the secret organization behind the unrest. On June 6th, a week after the suppression of the Commune, the French foreign minister requested that other European governments hunt down the members of the IWMA, a group which had proved the "enemy of family, religion, order and property."[71]

Shortly after Marx's "Civil War in France" came out, 'Fraser's Magazine' accused the International of being "in fact the real motive force whose hidden hand guided, with a mysterious and dreaded power, the whole machine of the Revolution." The Catholic weekly, the 'Tablet,' claimed that the International was a "society whose behests are obeyed by countless thousands from Moscow to Madrid...whose disciples have already waged desperate war against one government."[72]

The age of yellow journalism, seemingly a label applied to the time of the Spanish-American War in 1898, had not formally begun, yet stories of secret societies, even in 1871 made good copy and sold papers. The Pall Mall Gazette, a London paper, came out with a seemingly first-hand acquaintance of the International: "I have before me an elaborate account of this society from which it would appear that.... it counts upwards of two million five hundred members...." On June 3, the New York World claimed that "Papers have been seized which show that these men... are now planning new schemes designing to make Lyons, Marseilles, Madrid, Turin, Rome, Naples, Vienna, Moscow, and Berlin scenes of conflagration." The Chicago Tribune, on June 5, apparently thought the 'secret papers' idea gave the article more credibility: "Papers have been discovered which show that the operations of the communists have been directed from London." The paper cites an 'insider:' "Another notable insurgent boasts that the burning of Paris will be considered insignificant when the London docks, with all their wealth, are consumed as a great lesson to the middle classes of Europe." On June 23, another London paper, the Evening Standard, sounded an apocalyptic note: "Unfortunately for Europe a new revolutionary party more terrible than any previously existing has come into existence."[73]

For American employers, almost any subject involving labor agitation, violent or not, even proposed Federal eight-hour legislation, now became painted with the communist label. In 1872, the Nation characterized support for the eight-hour law as: "This, disguise it as we may, is Communism, doubtless imperfectly developed and unorganized, but still Communism, and it is at the bottom of the movement which is now forcing the eight-hour system on the capitalists and the soberer and more peaceable and industrious workmen." Strike activity was clearly anathema to employers. A steam pump manufacturer in the same year, condemning a wave of strikes in New York that summer, told a meeting of 300 employers: "I see behind all this the spectre of Communism."[74]

Newspapers coming out in 1877, were still comparing the events of the Great Strike to the Paris Commune and in language similar to that used in 1871. The Pittsburgh leader, in July, published an editorial, which included a supposed claim by a workingman of the beginning of a civil war in which the workers would win, and were powerful enough to take on the military. The editorial writer made the comment: "It will be seen that he is really a communist."[75] On July 21, 1877, the National Republican of Washington, D.C., the day after riots in Baltimore, came out with an editorial entitled "The American Commune." American workers, it claimed, were receptive to communist ides. "The fact is clearly manifest that communist ideas are very widely entertained in America by the workmen employed in the mines and factories and by the railroads. This poison was introduced into our social system by European laborers."[76] On July 23, the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, referred to its unrest as "this display of Communism."[77] In Philadelphia, the Inquirer condemned the unrest and the strikers who "have declared war against society...They have practically raised the standard of the Commune in free America." The Philadelphia Bulletin referred to "this present rebellion of the Railroad Communists."[78] The Chicago Daily news branded the crowds forcing the closure of factories around the city as "committees of the Commune."[79] Some union officials did worry that the employer-led campaign was achieving some success. Grand Chief Arthur, head of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, on July 24 felt compelled to distance the union from communism. "Of course we [Brotherhood leaders] are in sympathy with the railroad men who are on a strike, but not with Communism."[80]

The 1886 Haymarket Bombing and Trial

Rain began falling around 10:00 p.m. on May 4, 1886 at a rally in Chicago's Haymarket Square. The crowd, which had numbered about three thousand, dwindled to around five hundred. The mayor, who had showed up to monitor events, decided to leave, tipping his hat to the crowd as he departed. The police were told they could leave. However, the final speaker made some incendiary remarks, and they were ordered back in. They were advancing towards the crowd when a bomb was thrown into their ranks, followed by a loud explosion. Seven police died, and sixty-seven were wounded. Four workers were killed and fifty were wounded. Not all the injuries were caused by the bomb. The surviving police began firing at the crowd, but many of their shots hit police officers. There were conflicting accounts as to whether some in the crowd had fired at the police. Investigators could not settle on the facts of the bombing nor identify the bomber.[81]

Seven defendants were charged, although none were charged with throwing the bomb. The bomber was never identified. The trial began on June 21, 1886, although the trial proceedings did not really start until July 15. The defendants were convicted in August, not of murder, but of conspiracy. Seven of the eight were sentenced to death. Two were pardoned, one committed suicide in his cell the night before he was to be executed. The other four were hanged on November 11, 1887.[82]

Was the Haymarket bombing trial a repeat of the 1852 Cologne Communist Trial? There were certainly similarities. The Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, had personally involved himself in the Cologne trial, ordered his subordinates to manufacture evidence, to perjure themselves on the witness stand, to refuse consideration of exculpatory evidence offered by Marx, and to use the most inflammatory language to paint the defendants as revolutionary subversives.[83] In Chicago, the prosecution began the trial knowing they had no witnesses who could identify the bomber, started the trial within a month of the bombing, refused to move the trial out of Chicago, picked a jury whose members admitted they thought the defendants were guilty and some who even admitted to being friends of the policemen present at the square, and based nearly their entire case on proving the defendant's anarchist beliefs and sympathies, rather than their participation in a murder.[84]

From a judicial standpoint, the trial might be viewed as a failure - if its main goal was to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendants on a charge of murder. From a different perspective, the trial serves as a rough indication of the public mood. If it has shortcomings, in terms of judging the overall fairness of the justice system, it nevertheless might prove useful when it comes to gauging popular attitudes and how they had changed, particularly views related to communism and the labor movement.

Interest in a speedy resolution, rather than a thorough examination of the evidence, led to an almost immediate convening of a coroner's jury. It began hearing evidence on May 6, two days after the bombing.[85] By May 27, a grand jury concluded it had heard enough evidence to return murder indictments against ten anarchists.[86] The grand jury report, which was released on June 5, read: "We find that the attack on the police of May 4 was the result of a deliberate conspiracy...." [87] The trial opened on June 21, 1886, although between jury selection and preliminary trial proceedings, it was July 15 before the trial phase began.[88]

If the Constitution guaranteed defendants the right to a speedy trial, the presiding judge, Joseph Eaton Gary, did his best to ensure that there were no delays. He refused to delay the start of the trial, refused a request for a change of venue, which would have moved the trial out of Chicago, and refused a defense request to try the defendants separately. [89], [90]

Under time pressure, with the trial location being Chicago, the normal process of selecting jurors proved inadequate.. A special bailiff was appointed to find potential jurors. Rather than randomly selecting members, the bailiff hand-picked many for service. If the jury was supposed to be a jury of one's peers, only 14 potential jurors, out of the final pool of about 980, identified themselves as wage earners doing hand labor. The defense was allowed to strike potential jurors for cause, with minimal proof, but the number of challenges allowed was limited. Above that quota, it had to prove bias, with Judge Gary making the final determination. In one case, he allowed a juror to remain even though the juror admitted he was related to one of the slain officers.[91] Judge Gary went so far as to allow some to remain on the jury, even after they admitted they thought the defendants were guilty. His only requirement was that they thought they could still be fair.

The trial concluded at 2:50 p.m. on August 19, and apparently the jurors spent little time deliberating that evening. Shortly after 10:00 a.m. the following morning they announced their verdict. Seven of the defendants had been found guilty as charged and sentenced to death. The eighth was found guilty, but sentenced to fifteen years in prison. If the city of Chicago had been in a hurry to try and convict the defendants, the state of Illinois, with its appeals process, took its time. The execution, by hanging, of four of the defendants, which was carried out in Chicago, did not take place until November 11, 1887.[92]

Newspaper coverage following the bombing and surrounding the trial seemed both a reflection of the public appetite for news and an ingredient which inflamed fears. The scene of the bombing attracted scores of curious onlookers in the days following the attack. Curiosity was combined with fear. People in surrounding suburban towns feared attacks by marauding gangs from Chicago, and in Chicago itself, gun sales soared, despite a strong police presence on the streets. People couldn't seem to get enough news, particularly about the existence of dangerous conspiracies and the progress of the investigation, although confirmation of their worst fears only added to their apprehension. As a Chicago journalist noted, no rumor of a deadly plot seemed too fantastic to believe for an already hysterical public.[93]

Communism had yet to achieve a category of its own. Newspaper editorials alternated between the term communist and anarchists, when it came to condemnation. However, even if there was no formal campaign, the labor movement found itself on the defensive - if nothing else it was becoming associated with violence, revolution, and foreign subversive elements. Still, if not used exclusively, the term communism was being used. An editorial in the Chicago Tribune, which appeared on May 6, labeled the bombing as part of a "murderous Communist conspiracy."[94] The St. Louis Globe-Democrat condemned anarchists, claiming "There are no good anarchists except dead anarchists." The Chicago Tribune squeezed more terms into one of its editorials than seemed possible, to which it added inferences about a foreign element. The anarchists, it claimed, came from "the worst elements of the Socialistic, atheistic, alcoholic European classes." These alien invaders were the "scum and offal" of Europe, both its "human and inhuman rubbish."[95] The Democratic Chicago Times took up the foreign theme: "Let us whip these slavic wolves back to the European dens from which they issue, or in some way exterminate them."[96]

The Chicago papers made clear their beliefs that the violence had a direct link to the labor movement. The Tribune editorialized that every drop of blood spilled in the bombing could be "attributed to the malign influences, teachings, resolutions...of the Knights of Labor." It added a memorable label and line: "Why should the dynamite knights be allowed to exercise the rights of free citizens?"[97] Not to be outdone, the Chicago Times decided that all the indicted anarchists in custody should be tried and hanged for murder, along with every leader of the Central Labor Union. Not quite finished, it added the demand that every organization, society or combination calling itself socialist or anarchist should be "absolutely and permanently suppressed."[98]

In such an atmosphere, union members retreated. Warned by police not to assemble in public, or, if they did, attacked by police, many formerly militant strikers returned to work. Some employers who had agreed to an eight-hour day, went back on their word and reinstituted a ten-hour work requirement. Union workers felt powerless to stop employers from hiring strikebreakers.[99]

The 1903 Anarchist Exclusion Act and the Wobblies

The hysteria surrounding the Haymarket bombing and trial faded with time. On June 26, 1893, John Peter Altgeld, the newly elected governor of Illinois, announced that he was pardoning the three surviving defendants of the 1886 trial, still held in prison: Samuel Fielden, Michael Schwab, and Oscar Neebe.[100] The red scare of 1886 and the fear of anarchy may have been receding but were resurrected in September 1901, when a deranged anarchist of Polish descent, named Leon Czolgosz, shot President McKinley twice while he was attending the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. The shooting occurred on September 6, and McKinley survived for a week, then succumbed to an infection on September 14.[101] Czolgosz himself did not survive much longer. New York authorities gave him a speedy trial and executed him in October - using the electric chair to carry out the sentence.[102]

It would take over a year but, in response to the shooting, Congress would pass the Anarchist Exclusion Act, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. It barred anarchists from entry to the United States (as well as paupers, prostitutes, and the insane). Any immigrants who converted to anarchism during their first three years in the country could also be departed.[103] Membership in an anarchist group was considered sufficient proof for deportation.[104] State legislatures had been quick to respond to the threat. In 1902 the New York legislature had passed a "criminal anarchy" statute, which outlawed speeches or writings which advocated or supported the idea that "organized government should be overthrown by force or violence, or by assassination."[105]

The federal attempt to reduce the anarchist threat did not prevent the formation of what would be considered the most radical of the labor organizations, the Industrial Workers of the World, or IWW, better known as the Wobblies, in 1905. Meeting in Chicago in June of that year, it attracted only 200 workers.[106] The language and speeches heard at the convention could not have been more revolutionary, radical, socialist - or communistic. The congress clearly embodied the revolutionary spirit of Karl Marx, with language he would have liked. Big Bill Haywood, the secretary-treasurer of the Western Federation of Miners, set the tone of the conference with his opening speech. Recalling the revolutionary times of the American Revolution, he called the meeting the "Continental Congress of the working class." Referencing Marx he continued "We are here to confederate the workers of this country into a working class movement that shall have for its purpose the emancipation of the working class from the slave bondage of put the working class in possession of the economic power, the means of life, in control of the machinery of production and distribution, without regard to the capitalist masters."[107]

The conference went on to pass a resolution endorsing the Russian Revolution of 1905 and to write a revolutionary-sounding constitution. The preamble included Marxist language, while condemning the income disparity which would sound familiar today: "The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of working people and the few who make up the capitalist class have all the good things in life."[108]

The Wobblies may have provided inspiration for activists, but their zeal was creating (or exposing) divisions in the labor movement. Mainstream labor organizations began to distance themselves from more radical members - and any association with communism. Samuel Gompers dismissed the IWW meeting as a futile effort by radical Socialists to "divert, pervert, and disrupt" the American labor movement. Haywood refused to tone down his rhetoric: "I despise the law and I am not a law-abiding citizen." More defiantly he added: "We are the Revolution!"[109]

An Assassination in Idaho, Clarence Darrow, and a Murder Trial

Haywood may have believed his rhetoric suggested a man of action. His enemies labeled him the new American apostle of dynamite. It put him in real danger when he was charged with murder in Idaho, some seven months after the founding of the Wobblies in Chicago. On December 30, 1905, the former governor of Idaho, Frank Steunenberg, had been killed when a bomb exploded as he closed the gate of his home in Caldwell, Idaho, near Boise.[110] Whether it was a murder, designed to look like a political act, or a more political assassination, carried out in retaliation for Steunenberg's anti-union actions as governor, was never known. The trial would not begin until May 1907 and when it ended two months later, in July, Haywood would be acquitted. While the acquittal would be a vindication for Haywood, the charges and the trial probably added to the public's association between the labor movement and violence, as well as a reinforcement of the perception that communism was a mysterious force.

Among the handful of suspects held after the murder was a man who gave his name as Harry Orchard. Wanting someone experienced to handle the investigation, the chief justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, Charles Stockslager, looked to the Pinkerton Agency, and the new manager of the Denver office, who Stockslager knew. The man was James McParlan, the Irish immigrant who had gone undercover in the Pennsylvania coal fields to build a case against the Mollie Maguires.[111] After several meetings with Orchard, McParlan got him to admit to being the bomber who had killed the former Idaho governor. He also admitted to killing seventeen other men, including the thirteen who died at the Independence rail station near Victor. He claimed that the leaders of the Western Federation of Miners, Charles H. Moyer, its president, William Haywood, its secretary-treasurer, and George A. Pettibone, an honorary member, had ordered the murders.[112]

On February 12, 1906, a county attorney in Idaho, filed complaints against the three WFM officials. The problem was that the three were living in Denver at the time. The Colorado governor nevertheless signed extradition papers, Denver sheriff's deputies, without arrest warrants, arrested the three and placed them on an Idaho-bound train. By February 19, they were in prison in Boise.[113],[114]

Harry Orchard was called to the witness stand on June 5, 1907.[115] Despite twenty-six hours of cross-examination, which ended on June 13, the defense was unable to shake his testimony.[116] He did claim that the union had paid him from two hundred to five hundred dollars a job. He also claimed that he had met with Haywood in the summer of 1905 and that Haywood had directed him to kill Steunenberg, for which he would be paid several hundred dollars and a ranch where he could retire.[117] The problem was that the state had only one corroborating witness, a former miner named Steve Adams, who had signed a confession, under James McParland's questioning, implicating the WFM leadership.[118] He would later repudiate the confession.[119] Perhaps more damaging was the testimony of Morris Friedman, a former clerical employee in the Pinkerton Agency Denver office, who identified Pinkerton agents who had infiltrated a number of union branches in Colorado and acted to undermine the WFM. Almost as damaging to McParland was the testimony of his own brother, Edward, who had become a shoemaker in Victor, Colorado, and, as a union sympathizer, had been held in the Cripple Creek bullpen for several days, then deported to Kansas.[120]

Big Bill Haywood himself, when he took the stand, added to the state's problems. He admitted to having met Harry Orchard in January 1894 at a labor gathering in Denver. He denied that Orchard had admitted to the Vindicator mine bombing or that he had asked for payment. He also denied every claim Orchard made about other explosions and assassinations.[121] Edmund Richardson, one of the defense attorneys, suggested in his closing argument that Orchard's activities at the time of the assassination seemed calculated to draw attention to himself, as if he wanted to be noticed as a suspect. Richardson suggested the heavy involvement of the Pinkerton Agency.[122]

Clarence Darrow, after the case went to the jury, thought that his clients would lose. Perhaps he believed early rumors that the jurors were one vote short of the twelve votes needed for a murder conviction.[123] When the verdict was announced on July 30, Haywood was found not guilty. George Pettibone would be acquitted in a separate trial in January 1908, after which prosecutors dropped charges against Charles Moyer. Harry Orchard was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death following his own trial in March 1908. A religious conversion, brought out during the Haywood trial, persuaded the state board of pardons to commute his sentence to life. He would survive until 1954, when he died at the age of eighty-eight.[124]

There were questions about the reasons for jury's acquittal verdict. Clarence Darrow's closing argument was said to have moved some of the jurors. The judge's instructions were considered another factor. His instructions emphasized that Orchard's testimony alone was not sufficient for a conviction, unless there was corroborating evidence. The person who the state counted on as a corroborating witness, recanted an earlier confession and refused to testify. There were also suggestions that some of the jurors feared retribution by vengeful miners if they sent Haywood to the gallows, along with rumors of jury tampering or bribery.[125]

Apart from Harry Orchard's (real name Albert E. Horsley), confession and testimony, physical evidence pointed to his guilt. A pair of muddy rubber-soled shoes found in a trunk in his room matched a set of tracks found near the murder scene. The trunk also contained fishing gear, a sawed-off shotgun, and explosives.[126] At the same time, competition between the Pinkerton Agency and a rival, the Thiel Detective Service, headed by Captain Wilson S. Swain, a former Denver Chief of Detectives, sometimes led to shady methods and cut corners.[127] Sometimes they failed to share evidence or information with authorities. Sometimes they used informants and oftentimes ignored legal protections for suspects. The problem was not just that they violated rights but that the evidence they gathered was not always reliable. James McParland had gotten Harry Orchard to implicate the officers of the Western Federation of Miners in the murder, but there was always the question of whether the confession was slanted in hopes of cutting a deal or leniency, or gaining the support of the powerful mine owners. Did Orchard calculate that the mine owners had powerful friends and would be grateful enough to anyone helping to destroy the union that they would, at some future time, find a way to reward those who helped them? Was the physical evidence overwhelming or, given the competition between detective agencies, was there a motive to manufacture or tamper with it?

The trial served two purposes. In one sense the major question was whether the defendants were guilty of the murder of the former governor. The other purpose had nothing to do with the crime itself. There was an intent to convict based on an association with a dangerous ideology. There was also an unintentional reliance or assumption about public perceptions. If the trial was intended to play to public fears, it was also an indication of how prosecutors and politicians perceived the public mood. It also served to reinforce the idea of socialism or communism as a mysterious, powerful - and dangerous force. It could be said, in one sense, that socialism and anarchy were on trial. It would probably be more accurate to say they were on display or at least figured prominently. The prosecution, as well as Clarence Darrow, for the defense, included references to socialism. The trial was another opportunity to condemn communism, but it also served to add to and reinforce, public notions about communism and communist ideas.

World War I, the 1917 Espionage Act and the 1918 Sedition Act

Things seemed to quiet down, politically, following the Haywood trial. The labor movement found an ally in President Teddy Roosevelt, at least when it came to corporate America. He said once: "I strongly favor labor unions. If I were a wage worker in a big city I should certainly join one."[128] When he wasn't pushing the Panama Canal project, he was attacking big business. When mine owners in the same anthracite coal region which had produced the Mollie Maguires attempted to break a strike, Roosevelt intervened and mediated a settlement.[129] He attacked the monopoly power of some of the bigger corporations.

Things were almost quiet, but not entirely. In 1908, streetcars were blown up during strikes in Cleveland and Chester, Ohio, and in Elgin, Pennsylvania. Bridges and dams were bombed in Oakland, California, and in New York, at Buffalo and on Blackwell's Island.[130] In the years following, a number of bombings and attempted bombings tarnished the labor movement. The activities or suspected involvement of the Wobblies in such unrest gave new meaning to the IWW initials - "those bomb-throwing I Won't Works."[131]

From labor's standpoint, the most damaging event took place in 1910. On October 1st of that year a suitcase containing sixteen sticks of dynamite exploded in Ink Alley behind the Los Angeles Times building. Twenty-one workers died, some from the explosion, many from the smoke and fire which resulted, a few from missing the fire nets when they jumped from the upper stories to avoid the flames.[132], [133] The publisher of the Times, Harrison Gray Otis, was regarded as one of the most virulently anti-union capitalists. There had been a number of other bombings around that time of factories, bridges, and public buildings built by firms associated with the National Erectors' Association, an anti-union steel-industry group.[134]

On April 12, 1911, the younger brother of the secretary-treasurer of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers, was arrested in Detroit. When arrested, Jim McNamara, and a colleague, Ortie McManigal, were carrying a suitcase of dynamite. J. J. McNamara, the secretary-treasurer was himself arrested ten days later in Indianapolis. All three ended up in Los Angeles. J. J. was suspected in the Christmas morning bombing at the Llewellyn Iron Works.[135] The case seemed to parallel the Idaho bombing case, since Clarence Darrow was heading the defense team. This time there would be no trial. In the face of overwhelming evidence, and hoping to avoid a death sentence, Darrow advised the McNamaras to plead guilty. Jim McNamara, in his guilty plea, admitted to planting the Times bomb. He was sentenced to life in prison. J. J. admitted to ordering the Llewellyn Iron Works bombing and received a fifteen year sentence.[136]

World War I would begin in Europe in August 1914, although it would be April 1917 before America officially became involved, when the U.S. declared war on Germany. While bombings and violence associated with the labor movement would continue at a lower level during the war, the fear was less focused on socialism or communism as an ideology, and more generalized as a fear of the foreign element. With the war effort aimed at Germany, the socialist hysteria associated with the era of the Haymarket bombing and 1886 would not focus on communism until after the War's end. In some ways the Bolshevik seizure of power in October 1917, went largely unnoticed at the time. Only in 1919 did the outside world become seriously concerned.

There has been speculation that the deaths at the Ludlow tent colony around Easter time, in April 1914, known as the Ludlow Massacre, were the reason for at least some of the violence in America in 1914. The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo occurred two months later, on June 28, 1914, pushing the European powers into World War I. Less than a week later, on July 4, there was an explosion at a townhouse on Lexington Avenue in New York City. When the police arrived, they found a corpse dangling from the building's fire escape, and the torso and a leg of a second body nearby. There was no third body, but in the course of their investigation, police believed that someone else had been killed in the explosion, although they simply listed him as 'missing.'[137] The preliminary investigation went quickly. During the morning of July 4, the police were able to identify the three bombers: Arthur Canon, Carl Hanson, and Charles Berg. The investigators came to believe that the intended target of the bombing was John D. Rockefeller Jr., owner of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I), the company involved in the strike of the Ludlow miners.[138]

In the wake of the Lexington Avenue blast, nothing happened, or at least nothing happened immediately. That changed in October. Beginning on October 12, 1914, New York experienced a rash of bombings, which lasted until July 5, 1915, collectively known as the "Anarchist Scare" of 1914-15.[139] For the most part, they shattered windows, blew out doors, and physically damaged buildings, but did not cause any deaths or injuries. The first was at St. Patrick's Cathedral. The next, on October 13, at St. Alphonsus Church, a second at St. Alphonsus again, a week later, on November 11, at the Bronx Court House, and finally, on November 14, at the Tombs police court. Whether the bombers intentionally avoided attacks against individuals, they apparently changed tactics and targeted one of the court magistrates, who found a bomb sputtering beneath his chair as he went to sit down. It may have been a dud or somehow malfunctioned, but it did cause the police to take the threat seriously.[140]

Those who had advocated violence publicly thought it wise to leave town, believing that the bombers were taking the rhetoric too seriously - not only giving the anarchist movement a bad name, but also posing a real danger to the public. There was an arrest of two would-be bombers in February 1915, but an undercover member of the New York City bomb squad had both supplied the explosives and taught the bombers how to make the bomb, so it looked more like a set-up. The last two incidents were a bombing on May 3, 1015, which wrecked the southeast corner of the Bronx Borough Hall and a bombing of police headquarters on Centre Street, on July 5, which blew off the front doors of the building.[141]

The July 5 bombing was the last incident in the Anarchist Scare. Over the next few months, according to police reports, there was a sharp decrease in "bomb-throwing" in New York.[142] The increased police activity, toned-down rhetoric on the part of the most public and vocal activists, and the loss of news outlets, no doubt contributed to the decrease. The violence had cost them the financial support of donors who were willing to help them when their revolutionary ideas seemed more idealistic and abstract. Socialism, communism, and anarchy, as ideas, may still have been associated with revolutionary violence in the public mind, but there were no longer the daily reminders of how dangerous they might be.

America managed to avoid involvement in the war in Europe for a time. The temptation to make money from the trade was too much to resist for American industry. The attitude toward the belligerents was more-or-less neutral, although the volume of trade was lopsided in favor of the Allies. Germany declared a blockade of Britain in February 1915 which prompted Britain to stop suspected shipping bound for Germany. The U.S. protested when American ships suspected of carrying supplies to Germany were stopped. The German U-boat campaign continued.[143] It may have been more effective, when it came to a single ship and shipment, but the potential loss of life was riskier from a public relations standpoint. On May 7, 1915, one of the U-boats sank the passenger liner Lusitania. The American millionaire Alfred Vanderbilt was among the 128 Americans who died, of the total of 1,198 lives lost. The ship was not a totally innocent victim, since, along with the passengers, it was carrying 173 tons of rifles and ammunition.[144] President Wilson, seeking to avoid war, issued a warning to Germany.

A renewed U-boat campaign was more effective, but on February 3, 1917, President Wilson felt forced to cut off diplomatic relations with Germany. On April 2, he asked Congress for a declaration of war. On April 6, 1917 he signed the resolution and America entered the war.[145]

President Wilson may have been reading the public mood at the time of the War Declaration. Public sentiment against Germany had been building before that time, although it increased as the Declaration date approached. Suspicions about aliens and the foreign element, which, in earlier labor struggles had been directed against Russian, Italian, and eastern European immigrants, focused on Germany and German immigrants. Sauerkraut became "Liberty Cabbage." German-sounding surnames and place-names were changed in cities and towns across the country.[146]

Seeing that the U.S. was likely to enter the war in Europe on the side of the Allies, Wall Street and business interests fell behind a so-called "preparedness campaign," whose goal was to make the U.S. ready to enter the war, with an expanded army and navy, manufacturing base, as well as plans for a draft. Coastal cities, particularly those involved in trade, such as New York and San Francisco, were heavily involved in promoting the campaign. In San Francisco, employers pushed it for another reason - they wanted to reduce or eliminate the influence of unions and establish an "open shop" system. The Chamber of Commerce established a Law and Order Committee to end the "tolerance of lawlessness and intimidation."[147]

On July 22, 1916, supporters of the campaign organized a "Preparedness Day" parade in San Francisco. A bomb went off among a crowd of spectators, killing ten and sending forty-four others to the hospital. Five local anarchists and socialists were arrested within a week.[148] Tom Mooney, an IWW member, would receive a life sentence for the crime.

If the San Francisco bombing resurrected the general fear of anarchy, a more serious incident occurred in New York City at the end of the month. On July 30, 1916, ammunition stored at the Black Tom munitions depot, on an island not far from the Statue of Liberty began exploding. Some two million pounds of ammunition had been stored there, for shipment to the Allies. The explosion nearly destroyed lower Manhattan, blowing out windows as far north as Forty-second Street, leaving four people dead and hundreds injured. Sabotage by German sympathizers or agents was suspected.[149] Another explosion, at the Kingsland, New Jersey munitions factory in 1916, was also believed to have been the work of German saboteurs. German agents were suspected of having committed nearly 200 acts of sabotage before the U.S. entered the war.[150], [151]

Once the decision to enter the war had been made, Congress decided it was necessary to reduce or control opposition. In June 15, 1917 it would pass the Espionage Act, which, from its title, suggested it covered traditional spying. Espionage was defined in broader terms than spying. The act banned interference with war manufacturing and, more broadly, criminalized the relating of false reports or false statements that had the potential to interfere with the U.S. military, as well as acts aimed at causing insubordination among military personnel, and acts intended to obstruct military enlistment or recruitment. In May 1917, it passed the Selective Service Act (or Conscription Act), which created the mechanism for a military draft. Among its provisions was a requirement that aliens were required to register. The Act also made it illegal to encourage individuals to refuse to comply with registration.[152],[153] On February 5, 1917, before President Wilson asked for a declaration of war, Congress passed a new immigration law which ordered the deportation of anyone "found advocating or teaching the unlawful destruction of property, or... the assassination of public officials." It modified the 1903 immigration law which denied them entry before they arrived. The new law allowed for deportation after they had gained entry.[154]

Almost as soon as the Conscription Act was passed, federal law enforcement took action to enforce it. On June 15, a month after it was passed, the U.S. marshal in New York served a warrant on Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, charged with "conspiracy to induce persons not to register," based on their foundation of the No Conscription League, whose purpose was resist the military draft, a month before. On July 9, a federal jury convicted them of the charges, and the judge imposed the maximum sentence: two years in jail, a $10,000 fine, and, at the end of their sentence, deportation to Russia.[155]

In 1918, Congress would strengthen and expand the laws, to cover, not just acts, but speech as well. Vague and unclear, as to what was illegal, they were broader in scope. The Espionage Act of June 15, 1917 was supplemented by the Sabotage Act of April 1918, which was supplemented the next month by the Sedition Act of May 1918. On May 16, 1918, the Sedition Act clarified (or muddied) the intent of Congress.[156] Section 3 of the Act, (enacted as the Federal Espionage Act of May 16, 1918) was limited in the sense that it applied only while the United States was at war, but covered almost any anti-government expression: "Whoever...shall... willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abuse language about the form of government of the United States...or the flag...or any language intended to bring the form of government of the United States...into contempt, scorn, contumely, or disrepute... shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than twenty years, or both."[157]

To deal with the presence of alien anarchists, Congress passed another revision to the Immigration Act, just a month before the November Armistice formally ended the war. The Immigration Act, as revised on October 16, 1918, allowed the government to deport any alien (individuals who had not become citizens) who was an anarchist, a member of any group advocating the violent overthrow of the US government. The only requirement was that the Secretary of Labor had to make a legal finding.[158]

If the 1918 additions to the Espionage Act were intended to plug any loopholes in the original act, federal officials found the 1917 act sufficient to limit opposition. On September 5, 1917, Department of Justice employees raided forty-eight IWW halls across the US, seizing some five tons of documents. On September 28, a federal court in Chicago indicted 165 Wobblies, accused of violating the Espionage Act.[159] The Chicago trial of 101 of the Wobblies would not begin until April 1, 1918, while other trials were held in Omaha, Wichita and Sacramento.[160] The Chicago trial took four months, but resulted in a guilty verdict on August 31, 1918. Fifteen of the defendants received prison sentences of twenty years, thirty-three received ten-year sentences, and thirty-five got five year sentences.[161]

While the level of hatred against Germany had risen to fever pitch, and the Espionage and Sedition Acts had, as their stated purpose, the furtherance of the war effort, and not the suppression of communism or socialism, their implementation had almost created an atmosphere which mirrored the class struggle suggested by Marxist theory. It was as if the revolutionary struggle and the class differences suggested by Marx had been enacted into law. If the laws focused on Germany, they had the effect of freezing the differences between the capitalist and laboring classes in place, if only for the duration of the war effort. The capitalist manufacturers and financiers who supported the war were able to force labor leaders to retreat and submit to their wishes. The laws were intended to put America on a war footing, and to that end, protected manufacturers from both the real German sabotage threat and the threat posed by the labor opposition, but the laws also may have been a reminder of the revolutionary violence associated with Marxist theory only a few years before.

State legislatures were eager to get in on the anti-anarchist act. In March 1917, the Idaho legislature passed a "criminal syndicalism" law, which provided for prison sentences for those advocating "sabotage, violence or unlawful methods of terrorism as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform."[161A] Syndicalism was a socialist doctrine or movement which focused on key industries, calling for militant unions to seize control of those industries. If socialism generally favored state ownership of the means of production, syndicalists believed that state ownership of major or key industries was more important than state ownership of everything or all means of production.[162] Legislatures in other western states passed criminal syndicalism laws, or at least tried to.[163]

A. Mitchell Palmer and the Red Scare of 1919-1920

In retrospect, it is difficult to say whether the fear of communism which resulted in the Red Scare of 1919, was real or manufactured. The fear itself was real, prompted by some violent and radical activities, but the connection to communism was somewhat contrived. The Bolshevik overthrow of the Russian government in October 1917 had been reported in the West, to mixed reviews. Former President Teddy Roosevelt applauded Russia's decision to move away from dictatorship and toward freedom, while President Wilson favored recognition of the new regime. There was some disillusionment when the Bolshevik government withdrew from the fight against Germany in 1918. Press reporting of events in Russia took on a more negative tone. On June 2, 1919, a series of bombs, nine in all, had gone off, in various cities, mostly in the East, apparently targeting people associated with recent crackdowns against socialist radicals.[164]

Claims of communist influence had been reported in the press during the Seattle general strike in January and February 1919. Labor had been accused of capitulating to Bolshevism and one of President Wilson's advisers, termed the Seattle unrest "the first appearance of the Soviet in this country."[165] When federal troops arrived in the city, Seattle major Ole Hanson rode at their head in a large sedan with an American flag. He swore in more than two thousand special deputies to help maintain order, threatened to shoot anyone attempting a takeover, and raided selected radical offices in the city. Articles and newspapers applauded his efforts, especially his rejection of the "Bolshevik experiment" on American soil.[166] Shortly afterwards, he resigned as mayor to go on a national speaking tour, giving speeches denouncing Bolshevism, with a vow to fight that menace single-handedly. "If the government doesn't clean them up, I will," he promised. In seven month the lectures brought him $40,000.[167]

In Washington, a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Lee Slater Overman, began holding hearings in mid-February 1919 on domestic radicalism. When the hearings ended after a month, the committee concluded that Communism represented a true global threat, one against which the wide Atlantic and Pacific oceans were no safeguard.[168]

In March 1919, the New York legislature created an anti-sedition task force, known as the Lusk Committee, named for State Senator Clayton R. Lusk. Its first investigative assignment was to discover if radicals were plotting - through labor activism, bombings, and the spread of propaganda - to establish a "Dictatorship of the Proletariat."[169]

Clearly someone had been angered by government policy or public officials. On April 28, 1919, a package arrived in the mail at the Seattle office of the mayor Ole Hanson. The package contained a bomb. He was not present and the contents were harmlessly disposed of. The next day a package was delivered to the Atlanta home of former U.S. senator Thomas W. Hardwick, a co-sponsor of the Immigration Act of 1918. This time, when a maid opened the package, it exploded, blowing her hands off and injuring the senator's wife, standing nearby. Several days later, a New York post office employee, reading newspaper accounts of the mailed bombs, thought the descriptions of the packages matched those of packages received at the New York station. A police inspection of the sixteen packages revealed them to be bombs. Eighteen bombs were discovered at other post offices around the country. Some were addressed to wealthy individuals, such as J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, Jr., or members of the judiciary, such as Judge Kenesaw Landis and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. With no suspects identified, the assumption was that "Reds" or anarchists were behind what became known as May Day mail bomb conspiracy. As a precaution, on May 1, police raided left-leaning offices in Boston and New York.[170]

In March 1919, Alexander Mitchell Palmer was named Attorney General by Woodrow Wilson.[171] Palmer was no stranger to Washington, having served three terms as a Pennsylvania congressman, a judge on the U.S. Court of Claims, and, during the war, as Alien Property Custodian. On June 2, a Monday, around 11 o'clock at night, he had turned out the lights in the downstairs library of his home on R Street in Washington and gone upstairs. Not feeling sleepy, he sat in a chair in his bedroom, reading by a small lamp. About 11:15 pm he heard the sound of a car coming down his street, then stopping in front of his house. There was the sound of footsteps coming toward the house, then a crash downstairs, followed by an explosion. The explosion was strong enough to knock Palmer out of his chair and throw his wife out of her bed and onto the floor. Downstairs he found the front door blown in, with broken glass and debris covering the floor - the entire front of the house had been destroyed.[172]

Along the rest of the street, cars had been blown over by the blast, tree limbs knocked down, and windows shattered. The future president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, lived directly across the street from the Palmers. He kept his car in a garage a few blocks from his house, a relatively safe distance that night, and had just finished parking the car when the explosion occurred. Running down street to their home, they found all their front windows blown out, littering the floor with broken glass.[173]

When the police arrived they were able to identify the explosive (or explosives) - dynamite and nitroglycerin - from the fumes still hanging in the air. The blast had left a large hole in the ground in front of the Palmer house. It appeared, from evidence found at the scene and the area in front of the house, that the bomber had been walking or running toward the house, carrying a suitcase, when he tripped and fell. Whether he tried to cradle the suitcase as he fell, in hopes of cushioning it against a physical jarring which would set it off, or lost total control and let it slip out of his hands, is not known. What caused him to trip was also unknown. One witness thought he had tripped on the curb. Other evidence suggested he had reached the garden, close to the house before he fell.[174]

However close (or far) from the exploding bomb, the bomber had taken the full force of the blast. Splatters of blood and flesh could be found for hundreds of yards, on many of the lawns and doorways in the neighborhood, along with scraps of clothing and fragments of bone. Across the street, Franklin Roosevelt had to step over patches of blood on his doorway, as well as the collarbone of a body. In the Palmer yard, along with the blood, police found larger body parts - parts of an arm, bones, the remains of two legs, a piece of scalp - along with some physical evidence which survived relatively intact - an English-Italian dictionary, a shirt collar, and a soft brown fedora hat, with a gold band inside with writing: "De Luca Brothers, hatters...Philadelphia."[175]

As the investigators searched for clues under twenty large searchlights around the scene, reports reached Washington of other bombings - eight in all - in cities across the country. What they shared was a connection with recent crackdowns against socialist radicals. Two were directed at elected officials - Massachusetts state representative Leland W. Powers and Cleveland mayor Harry E. Davis. One had targeted Paterson, New Jersey silk manufacturer Max Gold, who had recently fired two employees in a labor dispute and whose factory had suffered violent strikes.[176] Philadelphia's Church of Our Lady of Victory, also bombed, did seem an odd target, if it was intended as a political statement. Three of the bombs had been directed at members of the judiciary: Boston municipal judge Robert Hayden; New York general sessions judge Charles Nott, Jr.; and Pittsburgh federal judge William P. Thompson. There was a discernible motive in the attacks on the judges, since all three had given out lengthy jail sentences to anarchists and socialists in recent criminal trials. All of the bombings took place just after 11 pm, possibly a calculated move to minimize casualties. There were only two deaths, the bomber at the Palmer residence, and a watchman on duty outside Judge Nott's home in New York City.[177]

There was one clue which provided tangible evidence of a common motive behind the bombings. At each of the bomb sites the bombers had left handbills, printed on pink paper in black ink. Fifty copies had been found scattered on the ground at the Palmer residence. The handbills began with the headline "Plain Words," and ended with something of a signature or claim of authorship: "The Anarchist Fighters." The message and language contained in the handbill was clearly socialist and revolutionary in tone. The first line contained the phrase: "...class war is on and cannot cease but with complete victory for the international proletariat..." The message took on a violent tone: "...Since the press has been suffocated...we mean to speak for them the voice of dynamite, through the mouths of guns....It is war, class war, and you were the first to wage it..." Toward the end, revolutionary language was used: "There will have to be bloodshed; we will not dodge; there will have to be murder; we will kill because it is necessary; there will have to be destruction..." The final sentence read: "Long live the social revolution! Down with tyranny!"[178]

The message could have been written by radical anarchists. It probably was. It also could have been written by Karl Marx or Friedrich Engels, although they were no longer alive. It was the kind of no-compromise, join-the-revolution language they would have liked - and sometimes used. On the other hand, it could have been written by anybody. The one person who could say - the Palmer house bomber - had been killed. The eight other bombers that night had gotten away.

A. Mitchell Palmer

Alexander Mitchell Palmer has been compared to Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy. Like Joseph McCarthy, Palmer has been portrayed as an ambitious politician who hoped to use his anti-Communist crusade, and what became known as the 'Palmer Raids' - roundups of suspected socialists and subversives - as a vehicle to carry him into the White House. Seemingly repudiated by history, coming under congressional investigation during the 1920s, and sued by some of the victims of his raids, he fell into political obscurity, and died of a heart attack on May 11, 1936.[179] Yet, if he was later condemned, in June 1920, at the Democratic convention in San Francisco, it took forty-four ballots before the Democrats could settle on a nominee, and Palmer had stayed in contention through thirty-nine of the ballots before withdrawing.[180] On Saturday, July 3, they would finally nominate Ohio governor James M. Cox, who would go on to lose to another Ohio native, Senator Warren G. Harding. Even a bombing on Wall Street, on September 16, which killed twenty-nine people, failed to arouse the electorate to the hysterical levels of 1919. Reporters even challenged Palmer at a press conference, when he claimed the bombing was a new radical attack - did he have any proof, they asked?[181] Warren Harding won the election in November by a landslide - not quite 2-to-1, but close - Harding received 16,152,200 votes to James Cox's 9,147,353.[182]

Palmer had graduated from Swarthmore College, then returned to his hometown, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, to start a law practice. If his legacy would be that of the arch-conservative politician, he began his political career as a Progressive Democrat, elected three times to Congress. He took the side of Pennsylvania coal miners and steel workers and received the support of their unions, in return. While in Congress, he introduced the bills to give women the right to vote and to bar child labor. He was an ally of President Wilson, and helped in the creation of a Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve monetary system, tough enforcement of anti-trust laws, and a federal income tax. He had been raised a Quaker, and even turned down an offer by President Wilson in 1912 to become Secretary of War, a position, he claimed was inconsistent with his pacifist beliefs.[183]

In 1914, at the request of President Wilson, Palmer would make a run for an open senate in Pennsylvania. He lost the race but Wilson appointed him a judge on the U.S. Court of Claims. In 1917, after America declare war on Germany, Palmer assumed a new role - Alien Property Custodian. Palmer accused German industrial concerns in the U.S. of being spy centers - his agents discovered 23 trunks of what were claimed to be German espionage files at the Bayer Company - and he saw his role as preventing them from damaging American interests. German investors, at the start of the war, owned almost a billion dollars in American-based assets. Palmer seized dozens of firms, including Bayer, the Hamburg-American shipping line, and the German-American Lumber Company, and sold them to new American owners. Over four thousand German chemical patents were seized, and transferred to a new American company. Germans labeled him the "official American pickpocket," but in Washington his efforts proved popular, earning him the nickname the Fighting Quaker. By war's end, he had grown his staff to 300 employees who occupied four office buildings.[184]

The Mitchell Palmer who had turned down the Secretary of War position in 1912 as inconsistent with his beliefs, had seemingly done a complete about face. If his Quaker beliefs once caused him to avoid an active military connection, once involved, he grew to relish the role of pursuing and punishing potential enemies. Reluctant to become involved initially, Palmer, like America, had become an enthusiastic supporter of the war effort. The problem for America, as President Wilson recognized, was the need to wind down the war effort. As the war entered its final months in 1918, Wilson, whose Justice Department had played such an active role in promoting the war by prosecuting opponents, now had to find a way to lower the temperature or, at least to re-direct the passionate feelings away from perceived threats and enemies. It would not be easy.

During the war, the Justice Department had brought more than five thousand prosecutions under the wartime Espionage and Conscription Acts. It had augmented its agency staff numbers with members of the American Protective League (APL), a vigilante group whose membership reached 250,000. Federal agents could call on these volunteers for help in rounding up suspected draft dodgers - slackers. One of the largest of the Slacker Raids took place in September 1918 in New York City, when federal agents and APL members arrested over 75,000 during a three-day search of saloons, pool halls, and street corners, holding those arrested for days and weeks.[185]

How difficult it would be to control aroused passions could still be seen in 1919 among veterans. On May 1, 1919, May Day, army veterans in Cleveland carrying rifles with live ammunition, led hecklers in attacking a socialist Red Flag parade, killing one and injuring forty. In New York City, veterans in army uniforms stormed the Russian Peoples' House, an immigrant community center, and forced a socialist group meeting inside to sing the "Star Spangled Banner" at gunpoint. Later that day they raided a reception at the left-leaning newspaper, the New York Call, smashed furniture and drove guests into the street, beating them so badly with fists and rifle butts that seventeen had to be hospitalized. In Chicago, a sailor in uniform shot and wounded a man at a victory loan pageant for refusing to stand up and take his hat off during the National Anthem.[186] As late as November 11, 1919, army veterans and members of the American Legion, stormed the IWW hall in Centralia, Washington, during the American Legion parade. The Wobblies returned fire, leaving four of the soldiers dead. In retaliation, one of the Wobblies, Wesley Everest, was lynched on a bridge on the edge of town.[187]

When Wilson appointed Palmer to the Attorney General position in March 1919, he had hopes that, in spite of Palmer's wartime reputation, he might serve as a moderate voice. Palmer moved swiftly. In April, he recommended that 51 prisoners serving Espionage Act sentences be freed immediately by presidential pardon or commutation. He ordered the release from parole of 5,000 enemy aliens arrested during the war and also freed 2,000 prisoners still held in military internment camps, many for repatriation to Germany.[188] He attempted to end the association with vigilante groups like the American Protective League but was unsuccessful.[189]

Palmer received little credit for his efforts at returning the country to normalcy. He ordered no mass arrests following the May Day bomb plot or the riots on May Day. Although he may have found the June 2 attack on his home to be the work of radicals, he was skeptical that it was part of a Bolshevik plot to overthrow the government. Angry citizens had been sending letters to the Justice Department complaining about Palmer's failure to act against the radicals. while prominent newspapers criticized his "leniency."[190]

As Congressmen and Senators visited Palmer's home on the morning after the June bombing, one told him to "ask for what you want and you will get it...The government is behind you." The political pressure of recent events, together with the perceived opportunity proved too much. He told reporters that morning: "These attacks by bomb throwers will only increase and extend the activities of our crime detecting force."[191] Palmer may have been a late convert to the cause, but his 'overnight' conversion was complete. There were similarities to his actions as Alien Property Custodian during the war - a reluctance to get involved at first, but once committed, then throwing all his energy into the job. Instead of taking time off, he returned to his Justice Department office that morning. By the end of the day he had assembled a team to hunt for the Red Radicals: John Creighton, an Illinois lawyer, was appointed a Special Assistant; Francis P. Garvan, a former New York prosecutor, was appointed Assistant Attorney General; and William J. "Big Bill" Flynn, a former chief of the U.S. Secret Service, was appointed head of the newly created Justice Department's Bureau of Investigation.[192]

Two weeks later, on June 17, 1919, Palmer held a meeting to formulate his plans. There was the short-term danger of immediate attacks, possibly during the July 4th Holiday. There was also the longer-term problem of how to deal with alien radicals living in the U.S. One problem was that there were no federal laws dealing with espionage and sedition, since they had expired once the war ended. Thirty-seven of the states did have peacetime anti-sedition laws in effect. The plan which emerged was to have the federal government use the federal immigration laws to deport aliens, while the states would prosecute American citizens for violating their sedition laws. (The Immigration Bureau was part of the Labor Department, and it was the Labor Department which legally had the authority to approve deportation orders.)[193] A week later Palmer went to Capitol Hill and requested an appropriation of $500,000 to finance the Red-hunting campaign. As predicted outside his house, the morning of the bombing, he would get anything he asked for. Congress approved the request soon after.[194]

Palmer and his team decided they needed to come up with a new name for their task force, if for no other reason than to emphasize its importance. The new office, within the Bureau of Investigation, was to be called the Radical Division. [195] Palmer waited until August 1 to hold a press conference, where he told reporters he had created the office. The person who was to head the division was a twenty-four year old member of Palmer's office staff named John Edgar Hoover.[196] If he was unknown at the time, he had, in his career background one experience which would prove extremely useful in his new job. He had worked as a clerk at the Library of Congress cataloging new books. He had started there in 1913, about the time the Library introduced a new index card system to track the growing number of books, journals, manuscripts, and newspapers it was collecting and it clearly made an impression on him.[197]

Edgar called his file system the Editorial File System. Names received from field agents or other sources were typed onto index cards, along with information about the individual. A separate file system was created with the names of organizations. Two months after starting as the Radical Division chief, the system contained over 50,000 cards.[198] By 1920 the system had grown to contain 200,000 names.[199]

If Edgar's system offered organizational promise, the information it contained was hardly sufficient for a prosecution. Having just been created in August, the Radical Division was not in a position to take any action at the time. Palmer may have felt the need to prepare the public before any serious action was taken. Outside events seemed to occupy the news. On September 9, 1919, Boston police voted to strike and most walked off the job.[200] Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge issued a statement condemning the strikers: "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time."[201] The Boston police strike was followed by a walkout by 350,000 steelworkers in nine different states against U.S. Steel, on September 22, 1919.[202] The strike would last until January 1920. On November 1, 1919, the United Mine Workers struck for a postwar adjustment of wages and hours.[203]

Palmer was not ready to take action, but did talk to the press, linking labor unrest in the steel industry to Communism: "Radicals are taking advantage of every opportunity to instill Bolshevism and Soviet principles into the steel workers."[204] The Los Angeles Times featured similar headlines about the coal miners: "Coal Strike is a Communist Plan."[205]

When Palmer was finally ready to act, he decided on a symbolic date - Friday, November 7, 1919, the second anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. They were going after aliens. Since their goal was deportation, and not criminal convictions, they only needed the cooperation of the Immigration Department, and the only proof needed was that those arrested were aliens and not citizens of the United States. Since they were targeting mostly Russian immigrants, there was likely to be less public outcry.[206] There was one organization, within the Russian community, which Palmer was particularly interested in - the Union of Russian Workers. Edgar Hoover wanted his agents to finalize their target lists and supporting evidence by November 3.[207]

Although the raids were focused on a single organization - the Union of Russian Workers - geographically the Union was diverse, with branches across the country. Palmer had to coordinate raids in fifteen cities. New York may have been the most important - with the largest number of Russian immigrants - but apparently even some Russian arrivals hoped to escape New York City and its problems - some may have found job prospects better in smaller cities or found other communities more welcoming. There were other large cities and major manufacturing centers on the list, such as Boston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, and San Francisco. There were also smaller communities, such as Newark and Trenton, New Jersey, Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Cleveland, Ohio.[208]

There was an air of secrecy surrounding the raids. Deportation warrants were not mailed or telegraphed to local offices until hours before the raids, in case there were spies who might alert those being arrested. Such precautionary measures worked pretty well, since those being targeted had no idea the raiders were coming. Secrecy was a priority only up to a point. Almost as important to Palmer was a desire for publicity. Palmer's agents tipped off many of the newspapers beforehand. They may not have given them much advance notice, but all the major newspapers in New York had enough notice to send reporters to cover the raids.[209] The raids were not to start until 9:00 pm local time.

In New York City, undercover agents had gotten word of a meeting at the Russian Peoples House, a four-story building on East Fifteenth Street near Union Square, mostly used as a community center. The Union of Russian Workers had its office on the top floor. The raid began with Justice Department agents and detectives of the Bomb Squad arriving in black sedans, which were then parked around the building. Guards were assigned to the exits to prevent escape, while the raiding party of about thirty men formed up at the front door. They were waiting for a signal from William Flynn, the new head of the federal Bureau of Investigation, had come in to oversee the raid, before starting the raid. When he gave the signal, the raiders went through the front door.[210]

The raiding party secured the lobby. Just how much resistance they found is unclear. Those they thought were resisting were taken to waiting cars outside and taken downtown to the Justice Department headquarters building. Rather than go directly to the fourth floor, they decided to secure the third floor first. In one room was a Russian-English night-school class of about twenty-five students. In another room was an algebra class. The students in the Russian-English class were ordered out of the class and told to walk down the stairs. According to some reports, police began pushing them and, in the narrow stairs, many fell against those ahead or were injured when they banged against the hard wooden floor. Some students reported being hit with blackjacks by detectives, then pushed down the stairs. Entering the algebra classroom, the teacher, seeing an agent waving a gun, asked the agent a question and, according to the teacher, was hit on the head by the agent. The students reported being hit and pushed down the stairs. Their accounts seemed to be supported by newspaper reports. The New York Times reporter wrote: "A number of those in the building were badly beaten by the police, their heads wrapped in bandages..." A New York World reported wrote that a Russian man told him the police had used a twelve-inch steel jimmy and a stair banister when hitting members on the head. The agents finally moved up to the fourth floor. Anyone found there was beaten as well.[211]

Other than the statements of those arrested, the raiders showed little interest in gathering or preserving evidence. In fact they seemed more interested in destroying property. The New York World reported that it looked as though a bomb had exploded in each room. Desks had been broken open, doors smashed, furniture broken, and books and literature scattered on the floor. Typewriters had not just been thrown on the floor, but also stomped on. Bloodstains could be seen on floor papers and the washbowl in the back parlor was half-full of bloody water.[212]

In other locations, government agents seemed to have no clear idea about allowable procedures in an investigation; in other cases, they seemed unclear about what laws they were enforcing. In Bridgeport, Connecticut, a man came to a local jail trying to find out about a friend detained in a raid. He later charged that the lead agent had tied a rope around his neck threatening to hang him if he didn't give the agent information about the local Russian who conducted meetings and the main workers in the organization.[213] Near Pittsburgh, Justice Department agents and local police arrested twenty Russians at a pool hall. Steel company detectives had identified them as having been leaders during the recent strike.[214] Were they looking for dangerous radicals or simply involving themselves in a domestic labor dispute?

The Justice Department raids on Friday were followed, in New York City, by a Lusk Committee operation on Saturday, November 8. It was a huge operation, involving five hundred New York City policemen, thirty-five state troopers, and dozens of Bomb Squad detectives, hitting seventy-one locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. They were after members of two main groups: the Communist Party and the Socialist Left Wing Section. Perhaps because they had such a large area to cover, they took a more disciplined approach, with less violence. They brought in almost a thousand prisoners, and subjected them to all-night questioning and searches. In the end they were forced to release all but thirty-seven for lack of evidence. When questioned about the low number of charges, Senator Lusk suggested the prisoners had torn up their membership cards while being taken into custody.[215]

The Justice Department had done a little better, in terms of percentages. They had taken 211 into custody during the raid at the Russian Peoples' House, but were only able to hold 38 on charges. In Detroit, agents had briefly detained some 1,500 people attending a Russian-language play at the Turner Hall Theatre. After allowing the women to leave, they continued to hold several hundred of the men. By morning they were able to hold only forty on charges. In other smaller raids, very few of those detained were found to be members of the Union of Russian Workers, and had to be released.[216]

Mitchell Palmer had made a name for himself, and was praised in many of the nation's newspapers for fighting the Reds. Perhaps the biggest impact was on labor relations. The labor unions were put on the defensive. On November 8, the national coal strike collapsed when the United Mine Workers Union president John L. Lewis, ordered his men to return to work. Palmer, perhaps too caught up in the immediate public adulation and enamored by his new cause, failed to see the potential long-term repercussions of being seen as anti-union.[217]

J. Edgar Hoover and Mitchell Palmer may have been disappointed by the actual results of the November 7 raid. Hoover, however, was determined not to let a defeat turn into a public relations disaster; he would do everything for a victory.[218] They still had the support of Congress and the public for a tough stance. If there were problems with the raid, some wanted the Immigration Department to carry out its deportation threat against those in custody.[219] On December 21, 1921, 249 deportees were ferried out of their Ellis Island detention center to a transport ship called the Buford, nicknamed the Soviet Ark. The Buford, which had served as a troop transport during the Spanish-American War, was on loan from the War Department. When the ship sailed out of New York harbor, it was destined for Finland, where the deportees would be handed over to Russian soldiers.[220]

Hoover, as part of his campaign, looked to his agents to find anything he could use to generate newspaper headlines. When they reported finding a 'bomb factory' at the home of a Russian Union official in Trenton, New Jersey, Hoover reported that "Red flags, guns, revolvers, and thousands of pieces of literature were" taken in the raid. When his staff came out with a press release the story had grown into a headline that the Russian Reds planned to bomb Fifth Avenue stores. Proof of Lenin's involvement in local operations was "said to be in the hands of agents."[221]

Less than a week after the Buford sailed, the Labor Department was asked to approve plans for another raid, even bigger than the November action. This time the raiders wanted to go after the Communist Party of America and the Communist Labor Party. Anthony Caminetti, head of the Immigration Bureau, had hopes that the proposed raids would produce enough deportees to require a fleet of Soviet Arks. The Justice Department was asking for 3,300 warrants and they wanted them issued by Saturday, December 27th. On Christmas Eve they agreed to the request.[222]

There was a reason for the December 27th deadline. The new raids were planned for Friday, January 2, 1920 and, as in the November raids, were to take place at 9:00 pm.[223] The raids came off as planned, although the Illinois State's Attorney for Cook County, Maclay Hoyne, may have risked exposing them when he conducted his own raids in Chicago on January 1st.[224] This time there were raids in thirty-three cities and dozens of small towns, resulting in over 2,500 arrests. Twenty-seven towns were in New England. New York police needed twenty-three wagons to carry the suspects and, in Chicago, in spite of Maclay Hoyne's New Years Day raids, agents were able to arrest over a hundred radicals. Maclay Hoyne himself even participated.[225]

If Anthony Caminetti hoped to put the prisoners aboard a fleet of Soviet Arks the next day, it became apparent that federal and local officials were unprepared to handle the numbers. One of the first problems was a shortage of warrants. Although thousands had been taken into custody, many showing up on the arrest lists had not been named and agents had to request warrants from Washington, in order to continue holding them. The Justice Department may have given out little information before the raids in order to catch as many as possible, but in focusing on the arrests, it had failed to plan for the aftermath. There were few facilities ready to house that many prisoners, little thought given to feeding them, and a shortage of guards to watch them. In Boston, the local Immigration Commissioner had to ask city officials to use the newly constructed prison on Deer Island, then placed six hundred people into a facility designed to hold only three hundred.[226] In Detroit, they took over the top floor of the Old Federal Building/Post Office, and placed eight hundred men and women there. With only a single water fountain and a single bathroom. Detroit mayor James Couzens, after six days, demanded that they be moved since the lack of sanitation was a threat to the city. The police precincts they were moved to did not have the room to house them either. The Ellis Island facilities in New York were not prepared to house the five hundred detainees. Two, possibly more - would die of pulmonary pneumonia.[227]

The squalid conditions and legal deficiencies in many of the cases led to backlash. The U.S. attorney in Philadelphia quit in protest on January 12, 1920, sending a public letter to President Wilson. On January 13, lawyers in Boston filed a writ of habeas corpus, seeking the release of 112 aliens being held at the Deer Island facility. At the time these actions seemed to have little impact. Mitchell Palmer announced his candidacy for president, on March 1, 1920, in Pittsburgh.[228]

On March 5, 1920, John Abercrombie, Assistant Secretary of Labor, announced his resignation. He had been responsible for handling deportation cases and, his departure meant that Louis Post would become Acting Secretary of Labor, and would take over responsibility for the cases.[229] Post began reviewing the deportation cases, then discovered that there had been little action taken on them. The reason was that Anthony Caminetti, who was pushing for deportation of the Reds, held the case files in his office, although his Immigration Bureau had no legal authority to decide the cases.[230] Once Post obtained the files he began reviewing them. He reviewed over fourteen hundred cases by the end of March, canceling the warrants of about 80 percent of them for lack of evidence.[231]

Palmer counterattacked, through his allies in Congress. Ohio representative Marvin Davey, on April 14, 1920, attacked Post on the House floor, as "a man whose sympathies evidently are with the enemies of our government," and continued "...the friend of the revolutionists and that enemy of our Government, Louis F. Post." Palmer directed the U.S. prosecutors to ignore a Labor Department ruling and to keep pushing to deport as many radicals as possible. He got Kansas congressman Homer Hoch to introduce an impeachment resolution against Post.[232] In late April, the House Rules Committee held a public hearing on impeachment, with all the witnesses testifying against him. They decided not to formally charge him but to vote to "condemn" him.[233] Post fought back with a leaked letter to the press, demanding to appear before the Committee. At the May 7 hearing Post spent ten hours testifying and won over or at least silenced his opponents.[234] When Palmer spent two days testifying before the Committee, starting on June 1, 1920, he failed in his mission to vanquish Post. After he was done testifying, the committee members agreed to put off any impeachment action until the following year - after the 1920 elections.[235]

Worse for Palmer was his public attempt to resurrect fears of anarchist plots. In late April he issued a warning about a wave of riots and assassinations expected to occur on May Day. New York City authorities panicked and called out the entire police force to defend the city. In Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, they placed armed guards around public buildings and homes of top officials. When no attacks occurred Palmer was ridiculed in the press. The New York Tribune ran with the headline: "Red Plot Fell Flat." On May 4, 1920, the Boston American began with the line: "Everybody is laughing at A. Mitchell Palmer's May Day 'revolution.'" Palmer was attacked for surrounding himself with armed guards, for wasting taxpayer money, and for failing to reduce prices and jail profiteers. The hero of the home bombing no longer looked heroic. "The whole thing is a mixture of personal cowardice and cheap department politics." [236] --Ouch!!

Despite such setbacks, Palmer was still in the running for the Democratic nomination when he reached San Francisco. His main opponent was President Wilson's son-in-law, former Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo, popular for leading the Liberty Bond drives in World War I. He had also gained labor support as Director General of Railroads.[237] The first ballot at the San Francisco convention may have been an indication of the uphill struggle he faced. To win the nomination a candidate needed 729 votes. Palmer received 254 votes, but not as many as McAdoo, who received 266. Palmer's vote reached 264 on the second ballot, but McAdoo also gained, with 289 votes. By the thirty-ninth ballot, Palmer's vote count had fallen to 79 and he conceded, releasing his delegates.[238]

James M. Cox, the governor of Ohio, would receive 699 1/2 votes on the forty-forth ballot, and was then nominated by acclamation. He would chose Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Palmer's neighbor the night of the bombing, as his running mate.[239] Why had McAdoo lost in the end? Although he had labor support, he was accused of waffling about his candidacy by the Palmer camp, and perhaps had tried too hard to assume the mantle of the Wilson presidency.

Why had Palmer lost? Perhaps he had been overzealous in his new role, in the same way he enthusiastically embraced his position as Alien Property Custodian. Possibly the raids, if they made for positive headlines, had not been as popular as Palmer believed. Perhaps the 1919 economy, which had seen inflation, unemployment from returning soldiers, the loss of wartime demand, and strikes, was on its way to recovery.[240] Perhaps it was an accumulation of things. Palmer, in championing the raids, he had gone overboard in strikebreaking - linking the labor movement to communism. A former supporter of the unions while in Congress, he had to contend with Samuel Gompers, as a representative of the four million member American Federation of Labor, telling convention delegates that Palmer was unacceptable, and, along with the American Labor Party, the Chicago Federated Union, had debated resolutions calling for his ouster as Attorney General.[241] Whether true or not, he had been accused of making secret deals. In January California conservationists accused him of a deal with the Southern Pacific Railway which allowed it to seize 160,000 acres of oil-rich public lands in California. The value of the land was put at half-a-billion dollars, and Southern's stock jumped 14 points in a single morning. In March he was criticized for approving a Louisiana sugar processors' deal to fix prices at seventeen cents per pound. In May, a Philadelphia municipal court judge charged that Palmer was using Federal prohibition agents to squeeze saloon keepers and liquor distributors for donations to Palmer's presidential campaign.[242]

Perhaps, in the end, the country was just tired of the Democrats. Warren G. Harding, for nearly the entire campaign, stayed on his front porch in Marion, Ohio, while Governor Cox traveled 22,000 miles making speeches supporting the League of Nations and Wilson's progressive causes. The Republicans hammered away at two themes: "Back to Normalcy" and "Down With Wilson."[243] The Republicans had their own anti-union strikebreaker in vice-presidential candidate Calvin Coolidge, but they avoided mentioning the Red hysteria. Harding, in his acceptance speech in Chicago in June, even downplayed the Red threat: "[T]oo much has been said about Bolshevism in America."[244] Even a bomb explosion on Wall Street on September 16, 1920, which killed twenty-nine people, was not enough to disrupt the campaigning. Mitchell Palmer and Big Bill Flynn, in New York after the bombing, told reporters the blast was a new radical attack, but failed to provide any evidence, when reporters questioned their account.[245]

The bombing seemed to have no impact on the election. Not only did the Democrats lose the presidency, the Republicans picked up ten more seats in the Senate and sixty-one more in the House. The gains only added to the majorities they already had.[246]

At the end of October 1919 Mitchell Palmer had sent Justice Department lawyers into Federal District Court in Indiana to seek an injunction against a planned coal strike by the United Mine Workers on November 1.[247] It was one thing to form a Radical Division to go after anarchists, it was another thing to assume unions had been infiltrated by communists. and to seek an injunction against a strike.[248]

On one level the story was that of a ruthless politician stopped by determined bureaucrats. At another level it was another example of actions which were both adding to and creating the mystique surrounding communism - like the Prussian agents in 1852 who manufactured evidence to convict the Cologne Communists. Making accusations and bringing criminal charges, at one level, gave the accusations a certain credibility, whether they resulted in convictions or not. Why would the government put so many resources into a legal process, if there wasn't some truth to the charges to begin with? To the outside world they suggested that there was something there. Government efforts, without actually fleshing out or adding to the definition of Communism, nevertheless seemed to add something to the definition. If nothing else it was a dangerous force. Intending to kill Mitchell Palmer with a bomb was a criminal act, dangerous in itself. It could be made to appear as something more, something ominous if it was carried out by a secret organization.

Manufacturers and business owners had long claimed that strikes and union members were dangerous, that those involved in strikes were criminals. Mitchell Palmer was trying to connect two dots. He first linked communism and socialism with anarchist plots and the danger posed to society. He then suggested another link - between communism and union activity. He added nothing to the definition of communism, but almost by a change of tone or the addition of words, could make the same definition sound more sinister. By adding a government voice to the conversation, Palmer and Hoover, made business claims about union activity more credible. They also enhanced the image of communism. It had been a revolutionary doctrine under Marx, and was still a revolutionary doctrine. What was different was that it seemed more dangerous or ominous when it was condemned over and over again in ominous tones.

J. Edgar Hoover - Influencer Extraordinaire

J. Edgar Hoover was an influencer. If the term has come to be associated with the Internet, or has been placed in a category of its own - a following on Facebook or Twitter or TV - it has attained that status only because of the global reach of the Internet and the speed with which news - and ordinary conversations - can take place. Its basic meaning is the same - someone who has influence with or over others. J. Edgar, from a marketing standpoint, was in the right place, at the right time, perhaps with the right message. The right time because the 1920s were a time when technological developments were creating new markets and audiences. Communications may not have been as 'instantaneous' as the Internet, but they were an advance over what they had been in the 1800s. Ironically, J. Edgar Hoover, in his early years, avoided the limelight. He gave others most of the credit for his projects and, perhaps, more importantly, he let them do the talking. If he was not a public figure, he fell into a government position which would allow him to influence others. He was an influencer in his own right, but he also was someone who could influence other influencers. Politicians, if they risked their following with each new election, were the influencers of their day, with a following, even if it was not a following on Twitter. Advances in communications and bureaucracy allowed individuals with little public exposure to influence policy out of public view.

Governments and businesses had tried, and largely failed, to turn Communism into the universal scapegoat. The Prussian government had been the first, with the Cologne Communist trial of 1852. It was a message ahead of its time, since Karl Marx was largely unknown and out of the country, having begun his exile in London. The French government tried again with the Paris Commune and the trials and exiles of the Communards. Karl Marx gave them some help when he came out with "The Civil War in France," in May 1871. American business had looked to enlist public support in its fight with labor unions, but none of its attacks seemed to resonate with the public. Franklin Gowen had tried to raise the specter of Communism in the anthracite strike, but found the secret Molly Maguires a much easier sell, when it came to attacking the unions. Allan Pinkerton, in 1878, had come out with his "Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives," which, in addition to specifically using the word "Communist" had also discussed Marx. From a marketing perspective, it was somewhat ahead of its time. Despite his prominence as a spy and detective, he was not that widely read and, if the 1877 strikes and unrest had been disruptive, there was more sympathy for the strikers. Even Rutherford B. Hayes, who had reluctantly committed federal troops, had questioned whether there was something that could be done to help the ordinary workers and the poor. The Haymarket bombing, in 1886, had generated public outrage and hysteria, but communism had to compete with terms such as anarchism and socialism, when it came to being the most feared or dangerous concept.

On the business side, if business owners had hoped to tarnish the image of labor unions through an association with Karl Marx, where did that plan stand in 1919? If the marketing Rule of Seven (or 20) rules were applied, what had been achieved - or how close was business to reaching the magic number Seven? One problem for business was that it had trouble settling on a single term. Business wanted to find a term that would strike terror in the listener as soon as the words were uttered. The problem was that they had been test-marketing terms - anarchy, socialism, and communism - and none had provided the instinctive reaction they were looking for. In their minds, such terms should have been terrifying, but they were disappointed when the public response was lukewarm. It was as if they had come up with the perfect marketing campaign, only to find that the campaign had fallen flat.

Or had it? If employers had been unable to come up with a single word or concept which would immediately strike terror in the minds of listeners, they had laid the groundwork for future campaigning. Listeners were beginning to associate the words anarchist, socialist, and communist with chaos and disorder. If not all groups were receptive to the message, employers were finding a growing number of people who believed the message and responded to it. In fact, there were indications that some people responded to a generic message. During the war, at a time when the focus was on Germany rather than Russia, the then-chief of the Bureau of Investigation, A. Bruce Bielski, had created the American Protective League (APL), effectively a volunteer detective force of untrained volunteers, who could be called on to help with mass raids. Some two hundred thousand or 250,000 had volunteered to serve. Their last major action came in a Slacker Raid in September 1918, in New York City, when they arrested over 75,000, too many for the city's jails.[249], [250]

Between January 1919 and the Palmer house bombing on June 2, some politicians began pushing the Red Menace theme. Ole Hanson in Seattle attacked striking shipyard workers for their ties to anarchy. Newspaper articles and editorials certainly supported his twin campaigns to crush the strike and to stop Bolshevism. His speaking tour attacking Bolshevism proved a popular draw.[251] In mid-February the Overman panel held hearings in Washington, concluding that Communism represented a global threat. In March 1919 the New York legislature created the Lusk Committee which began holding hearings to see if radicals were involved in labor activism, bombings, and propaganda, designed to establish the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat."[252] If their instincts suggested the public was behind them, public support did not rise to a level of hysteria, or at least not a level of fear which would inspire people to action.

Perhaps ironically, J. Edgar Hoover, a master of public relations and peddling influence, was the most susceptible, when it came to being influenced by others. Business had struggled finding an anti-union message which would resonate with the public at large, however it may have found, in J. Edgar Hoover, what it needed most of all - a receptive audience of one. The audience may have been a one-member audience, but Hoover assumed the reins of an organization which was not only immensely powerful when it came to enforcing the law, but immensely important when it came to shaping public opinion. He started his position as head of the Radical Division on August 1, 1919, when he was just twenty-four years old.[253]

Just when J. Edgar Hoover came to his conclusions is unknown. In his mind, Communism and Communists were the ultimate enemy. Almost as important, in his analysis, was the link between Communism and the labor movement, as evidenced by the violent strikes which seemed more and more frequent. From being just an audience member of one, Hoover became an influence of one other. He apparently convinced the Attorney General, Mitchell Palmer, that the campaign to stop the bombing and anarchists, should confine itself to Communism and Communists. Palmer, who had vowed to hunt down the violent anarchists, initially saw no indication that the bombings were the work of the Bolsheviks, but then began to focus more on the Reds - and their connection to labor. In September 1919 he warned: "Radicals are taking advantage of every opportunity to instill Bolshevism and Soviet principles into the steel workers."[254]

Palmer certainly had bought into Hoover's warnings about the dangerous influence of Communism on unions and the labor movement. On October 31, 1919, Palmer sent Justice Department lawyers into Federal District Court in Indiana to ask for an injunction against a November 1 nationwide walkout by the United Mine Workers.[255] He painted an end-of-civilization picture of the impact of a strike for the New York World on October 30: "The proposed strike, if carried to its logical conclusion, will paralyze transportation and industry....[It] will put cities in darkness, and if continued only for a few days, will bring cold and hunger to millions of our people; if continued for a month, it will leave death and starvation in its wake. It would be a more deadly attack upon the life of the Nation than an invading army."[256]

If Palmer had wanted to, he could have drawn on recent medical history for a more realistic end-of-civilization scenario. The Spanish Flu, which had hit the U.S. in 1918, claimed some 500,000 lives in the U.S., and over 25 million worldwide.[257] In suggesting that there was no room for negotiation, no middle ground, Palmer was ignoring his political roots, as a pro-labor Congressman. He was also ignoring President Wilson's progressive platform when it came to labor. It was another Pennsylvania congressman, William Bauchop Wilson (not related to President Wilson), who had worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines, served as international secretary-treasurer of the United Mine Workers, who, as congressman had authored the bill creating the Department of Labor in 1912. As the first Secretary of Labor, he mediated labor disputes in the railroad, coal, and steel industries, while avoiding strikes.[258] Woodrow Wilson had also seen passage of the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, which protected unions from abusive injunctive actions, and the Kern-McGillicuddy Act in 1916, which established workers' compensation rights.[259] Palmer could have gone back a few years earlier, to 1902 and another Pennsylvania coal strike, when mine owners refused to make any concessions. There were ominous warnings of disaster, similar to those of Mitchell Palmer's 1919 doomsday: "Darkness Threatens Chicago."[260] Yet, the national economy had not collapsed, even though President Teddy Roosevelt intervened, forcing the mine owners to grant a 10 percent wage hike, a reduction in working hours, and the creation of a permanent mediation board to handle future disputes.[261]

On Tuesday morning, June 3, 1919, the morning after the bombing, Mitchell Palmer gave friends and members of Congress who showed up, something of a tour of his house. He then rode to the Justice Department building, greeted members of Congress, local officials, and reporters, and held a closed-door meeting with John Creighton and Francis Garvin. By the next day he had his Red-fighting team assembled. He might have done well to have taken some time off. There is no indication that he suffered any serious after-effects of the bombing, and no official diagnosis of post-traumatic stress syndrome, or what was known as shell-shock, among veterans returning from the war. His wife died suddenly in January 1922, and he suffered a heart attack himself a few months later. His second heart attack did not come until 1936, after he had spent ten days hiking in the Adirondack Mountains.[262]

Still, Palmer may have come to rely a little too much on Hoover's advice and reports. He had felt confident enough to select him to head the Radical Division. If Hoover had convinced himself that Communism was especially dangerous and that it was working through the unions to bring the Revolution to America, he had all the evidence he needed to support his theory that Fall. There was the Boston police strike in September, followed a few weeks later by the strike against the United States Steel Company, and then the announcement, in late September, of the November walk-out by coal miners.[263]

From his field agents, who had infiltrated the unions, Hoover received hundreds of reports during September and October, which were summarized and sent to Palmer. The sheer number certainly reinforced Hoover's theories. When Palmer talked to reporters his statements certainly sounded convinced. The radicals were instilling Bolshevism and Soviet principles into the steel workers.[264] Palmer certainly found support for his new attitude among newspapers. When the Indiana court issued an injunction against the coal strikers, the Los Angeles Times ran with the headline: "Coal Strike is a Communist Plan." The Pittsburgh Post ran with a similar theme: "Apathy of Members, it is said, Allows Reds to Control Labor Unions." When he visited Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a short time later, he repeated a similar theme. Speaking of strike leaders William Z. Foster and John L. Lewis, he said: "They would transplant the chaos of Russia to American soil. They have gained influence in the councils of organized labor..."[265]

Hoover's obsession with Communism and its ties to Russia, came at the expense of the criminal case. Following the June 2 bombings, Hoover himself had prepared a summary report which pointed to four distinct anarchist groups as suspects: the Spanish anarchists of Pro Prensa, based in Philadelphia and New York; an Italian anarchist group named L'Era Nuova, based in Paterson, New Jersey; followers of Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman; and another Italian group, the Galleanisti, followers of Luigi Galleani, based in Lynn and Boston, Massachusetts, and Barre, Vermont. Galleani had been interviewed, but released and deported to Italy on June 24th. Too late, Bill Flynn, in charge of the investigation, concluded he might have been behind the bombing. The piece of the bomber's scalp found in Palmer's yard, they identified as belonging to Carlo Valdinoci.[266]

Andrea Salsedo, following his detention, admitted to involvement in the plot, but when he was found dead on the sidewalk outside the Bureau's Park Row office in New York, the Bureau came under criticism for its methods. With the bomber dead, the leader at large, and a secondary suspect also dead, there was no case to bring. A trial, whatever the evidence, brought some sense of finality, and without a trial the Bureau was unable to publicly display how it had solved the crime.[267]

In one sense, J. Edgar Hoover and Mitchell Palmer had succeeded in turning Communism into an everyday word, capable of discrediting any cause, whether related to the labor movement or not. Advocates of Prohibition claimed that those who disobeyed the Eighteenth Amendment, by purchasing or consuming alcohol, were guilty of "practical Bolshevism." Leaders of the anti-evolution fight blamed their troubles on "Communists" from New York City. The Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act, which discussed birth control and child labor was branded by the DAR as a "special Red weapon."[268]

Joe McCarthy - I Have in My Hand

On February 9, 1950, Wisconsin senator Joe McCarthy gave a speech for Lincoln Day festivities of the local Republican Party in Wheeling, West Virginia. The Republican Party's speaker's bureau had scheduled him to do a five-speech Lincoln Day tour, with Wheeling as the first stop, and Huron, South Dakota, as the last.[269] Still largely unknown, reports of his speech would be picked up by the national press and propel him into the spotlight. He had hardly expected to make national news that night, and had prepared two rough drafts - one dealt with housing, the other with communists in government.[270] He showed the rough drafts to reporters and asked which speech they wanted to hear. They advised him to make the anticommunist speech.[271]

The exact words McCarthy used in the speech were lost - a local radio operator accidentally erased the tape of the speech.[272] However, most listener accounts agreed that he said: "I have here in my hand a list of 205" members of the Communist Party, "still working and shaping policy in the State Department."[273] What got everyone's attention was the fact that he seemed to have real evidence, proved by the statement "I have here in my hand," which seemed more credible, given that he cited a specific number - 205. The number seemed credible enough to the Denver Post to run the AP story about the speech on its front page the next day. McCarthy's plane landed for a stopover in Denver that day, and local reporters were waiting on tarmac to talk to him. He had misplaced the list, he claimed, and threw out two numbers - it might have been 205 names or 57 names. At any rate, he would check and produce the number later.[274]

Reporters at the Wheeling event, who were in the audience listening, were able to check what he said against the draft he had handed out. They were certain the number was "205...members of the Communist Party" in the State Department. McCarthy recalled the number differently when he arrived in Salt Lake City the next day: It was actually 205 "bad risks" plus 57 "card-carrying communists." The day after Salt Lake City, he was in Reno, Nevada, where he was certain it was just 57.[275]

For some reason, the possession of a list - a list with numbers and names was hard evidence - and claims about a specific number gave the story credibility and 'legs.' Some three months earlier, in November 1949, he had attacked the Madison Capital Times, asking whether it might be "the Red mouthpiece for the Communist party in Wisconsin?" He claimed, in an eleven-page mimeographed statement, franked and mailed around Wisconsin, that the city editor was known to its publisher as a communist. Although there were printed copies of his charges available this time, the claims hardly made headlines in Wisconsin, let alone the rest of the country. He also called for en economic boycott of the paper. No one was really interested in that either, and the boycott went nowhere.[276]

McCarthy was on a roll. When he got back to Washington, two days after the Wheeling speech, he sent a telegraph to President Truman. He demanded that Truman open the State Department's loyalty and security files to Congress.[277] Taking a less than diplomatic tone, in addressing the President of the United States, he added an ominous threat, should the President not reopen the loyalty files: "Failure on your part to do so will label the Democratic Party as being the bedfellow of international Communism."[278]

Joe McCarthy's grandstanding, outrageous charges, and unproven claims would bring him a wide following, although his Red-baiting 'witch-hunts' would later also bring him history's condemnation. His name would be forever associated with a special, unflattering, term - 'McCarthyism.' On December 2, 1954, the United States Senate would vote to censure him. The resolution passed 67-22.[279], [280] His response was that the censure "wasn't exactly a vote of confidence."[281] He took to drinking - by one estimate he was consuming a bottle a day. He would die on May 2, 1957, of an alcohol-related illness.[282] There were suggestions that his deterioration was related more to the loss of public attention and the limelight than to feelings of remorse over the results of his actions.

McCarthy, for his out sized impact on history, seems to have coined the phrase 'I have in my hand a list,' and any number of other Red-hunting phrases. It is more accurate to say he borrowed, rather than invented, them. In the late 1930s the U.S. House of Representatives created a special Committee on Un-American Activities. The House Committee on Un-American Activities (or HUAC), would figure prominently in the career of Richard Nixon. Its first chairman was a Texas Democrat named Martin Dies. Dies and other committee members hated Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal reforms, which they equated with treason.[283] Dies, and other Committee members were fond of using phrases such as "coddling Communists," "soft on Communism," and "I hold in my hand."[284] Communists and their dupes, Dies contended, did not need to overthrow the government because they already controlled it. If Dies and his colleagues were not attacking New Dealers for promoting Communist programs, they were accusing them of being capitalist opponents. A New Jersey Republican, J. Parnell Thomas, claimed that New Dealers had "sabotaged the capitalist system." The committee members were not exactly out of the Age of Enlightenment or Renaissance men. An Alabama Democrat, Joe Starnes, asked a witness, who had made a reference to the Sixteenth Century English dramatist, Christopher Marlowe: "You're quoting from this Marlowe. Is he a Communist?"[285]

When the committee came out with a list of possible Communist fronts, it listed 640 organizations, 438 newspapers, and 280 labor groups. Among the groups listed were the American Civil Liberties Union, the Boy Scouts, and the Campfire Girls. The Campfire Girls was suspect for attempting to "increase international understanding." In 1939, it published the mailing list of the American League for Peace and Democracy, an organization it suspected of being a Communist front. The list contained the names of 463 federal employees. A few months later it charged that 1,121 government workers were either Communists or "sympathetic with totalitarian ideology."[286]

The publication of names was a form of public shaming which, for Americans, could be traced back to the Colonial days of the Pilgrims and Puritans, where people could be placed in the stocks and held up to public ridicule for various transgressions. It came to be known, under the Dies committee, as prescriptive publicity, along with a related concept - 'guilt by association.'[287] Joe McCarthy would employ the same tactic in his hearings. When two members of the New York City Board of Education gave evasive answers to McCarthy's questions about Communist beliefs, they were fired by the Board a few weeks later.[288]

Both Dies and McCarthy found their anti-Communism themes a source of political power. According to public opinion polls, most Americans were not only familiar with the work of the Dies committee, but were sympathetic to it. He was a national celebrity, partly as a result of support from the Hearst syndicate, the American Legion, and the McCormick newspaper chain, all of which reported the work of his committee and his charges. Dies' influence would bring about the passage two pieces of legislation. In 1939, it would pass the Hatch Act, which made loyalty to America a condition of peacetime employment in the United States. It prohibited government workers from belonging to "any political party or organization which advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government."[289] In 1940, Congress would pass the Alien Registration or Smith Act, the first peacetime sedition law since 1798. It forbade all Americans to "knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise, or teach the duty, necessity, desirability or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence." It was aimed at the Communist Party, as well as the German-American Bund.[290]

Joseph McCarthy's meteoric rise to the leadership of the anti-Communist movement, following his Wheeling speech in February 1950, might be explained by events of 1949 and 1950. In September, 1949, President Truman issued a press release stating that there was evidence that the Soviet Union had exploded an atomic bomb.[291] By the end of 1949, Communist forces under Mao Tse-tung had forced Chiang Kai-sheks' Nationalist forces to flee to Formosa, and installed a Communist government in China.[292] In February 1950, British scientist Klaus Fuchs was arrested for passing atomic secrets to the Russians. In June North Korean forces launched an attack across the 38th parallel against South Korea, and, in July, Julius Rosenberg was arrested on charges of spying for the Russians, specifically of having passed U.S. atomic bomb secrets.[293]

Martin Dies' rise in 1938 does not seem to correspond to any similar earth-shattering events. There was news of the Great Purges of 1936-1938, under Stalin, and Europe seemed to be moving toward war, but such events seemed less threatening and immediate than those of 1949 and 1950. Dies had gotten approval and funding for the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in May of 1938.[294] When it finally met, on August 12, 1938, its first order of business was an investigation of Communist infiltration of the C.I.O. and other branches of American Labor.[295], [296]

When Mitchell Palmer left office in the spring of 1921, the Red Scare of 1919-1921, seemed to be receding, along with the focus on Communism. The last group of deportees, sixty-two Reds, left Ellis Island for Russia in March 1921 aboard the steamship Magnolia. The combined membership of the American Communist and Communist Labor parties had fallen to less than 10,000, from a high of 60,000. Yet Communism, as a term which could inspire fear, was not altogether dead. J. Edgar Hoover, in his 1921 Annual Report, for the June 30, 1921 year end, claimed that four hundred and twenty-seven propagandists and couriers from foreign countries had arrived that year. He would later claim that these Red infiltrators played a direct role in the 1922 coal and railroad strikes.[297]

During the 1920s the FBI successfully obtained large appropriations from Congress by portraying the Communist threat in ominous terms. "Bolshevism is becoming stronger every day in this country," declared FBI director Frank Burns in 1924. Many cities established "Red Squads" to monitor radical groups and gatherings.[298] In June 1930, the Fish Committee, chaired by Congressman Hamilton (Ham) Fish of New York, begins holding hearings to combat the threat of communism on U.S. shores, with Fish's opening statement: "We propose to deport all alien Communists." When the hearings concluded in January 1931, the Committee report recommended that the Communist Party be outlawed and that an embargo be placed on all items being imported from Russia.[299]

Between the Palmer raids of 1919 and 1920 and the 1950 Wheeling speech of Joe McCarthy, it was clear, from a marketing or branding perspective, that Communism had undergone a transformation. Communism, as a word, was not only familiar to people, but brought to mind more and more negative associations, even before Joe McCarthy came to prominence. If the marketing goal was to create an instant and unfavorable impression of Communism, then, by almost any measure, the campaign had been a success. In one sense there seemed to be a focus on Communism itself - understanding what it was, its history, and how it had developed. Lip service was paid to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and Communist theory, along with references to Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. What the campaign had really been about was not the study of Communism, but the marketing of images. More important than the study of Communism, were the stories and pictures coming out of Russia and the Soviet Union, under Stalin, which painted a picture of poverty, hardship, and brutality. Few people had the time or interest in an in-depth study of Marxism or Communism. Like today, it was easier to focus on sound-bites, summaries, and the analysis of others.

J. Edgar Hoover, having studied Marx and Lenin, concluded that communism was "the most evil, monstrous conspiracy against man since time began."[300] He considered communism "a threat to humanity and to each of us." [301] "Communism is the major menace of our time. Today, it threatens the very existence of our Western civilization."[302]

Hoover discussed some of the history of communism in Masters of Deceit, and used examples from the Soviet Union to illustrate how its practical application differed from its theory. At the same time, he seemed to spend much of his narrative embellishing the discussion with ominous-sounding terms, almost more to associate Communism with something terrible than to explain what it was or how it operated. Marxism-Leninism stood revealed as "an evil conspiracy in pursuit of power." It was "anti-God and anti-man."[303] The Communist Party members in the United States he considered fanatics: "A disciplined Party of hard-core fanatical members is now at work, with their fellow travelers, sympathizers, opportunists, and dupes."[304] He suggests the goal of Communism in the United States was an Orwellian 1984 form of thought control: "Communists want to control everything: where you live, where you work, what you are paid, what you think...[T]hey want to make a "communist man," a mechanical puppet, whom they can train to do as the Party desires."[305] Somewhat ironically, in view of his efforts to associate unions with the communist label and to interfere with union organizing efforts, he charged that, under Communism: "Labor unions, as we know them, would be obliterated....[N]o laborer would be permitted to organize a union or to strike against his "government."[306]

He clearly liked the word 'conspiracy.' "The world-wide dangers of the communist conspiracy started with the Russian revolution in 1917....[A]most immediately this conspiracy spread to the United States, seeking to take root by undermining our institutions and traditions."[307] The world of Communism, as portrayed by Hoover, goes beyond the conventional views of Marx and his concept of a perpetual revolutionary movement. Now, Communism exerts its influence through the "communist device of thought control."[308] Using techniques of regimentation and indoctrination, the goal of the Communist Party in the US is "bolshevizing its membership and creating communist puppets throughout the country."[309] Hoover also discusses the 'underground' activities of the Party involving underground couriers, escape routes, hide-outs, and clandestine meetings, which sounds more like a field manual for agents operating as part of a spy network.[310]

For Hoover, it was Russian dominance over the Party which was particularly dangerous. The Party, as it emerged in 1919 was split into various factions, however, it was unified when it came to Russia: "On one point, however, all agreed: obedience to Soviet Russia. Every communist considered Lenin a god and the Russian Bolsheviks as models of perfection." In Hoover's mind Russia had taken over: "Soviet Russia, at this time, was assuming the authority over communists in this nation that it has never relinquished."[311]

In one breath, Hoover expressed concern for the rights of union workers and the threat posed to unions if communists took over; in the next breath he was voicing suspicions about the labor movement and its communist ties. (It sounded similar to Allan Pinkerton's 1878 book, in which, on the one hand, he first expressed sympathy and admiration for workers but then, on the other hand, suggested that the movement had been taken over by tramps and communists.) When the communists were ready to move against America, claimed Hoover: "The first objective was organized labor."[312] He charged that communists multiplied labor troubles and had participated in a number of strikes, including Passaic, New Jersey in 1926, New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1928, the coal strike of 1922, and the railroad shopmen's strike of 1922.[313] On the one hand he concedes that the overwhelming majority of American labor-union members are hard-working, loyal citizens, but also claims that "Communists have probably worked harder to infiltrate American labor unions than any other group." He also suggests that strikes have been called as a result of communist infiltration, and that industrial production has been disrupted.[314]

Hoover, in Master's of Deceit, did not really try to explain Communism in economic or theoretical terms. There is some discussion of Marx and the history of the movement, but an entire book devoted to Marxist theory would have been dry, unreadable - and largely ignored. He was trying instead to create a short, but memorable impression, an image which might motivate, inspire - or even terrorize - but which would be remembered. Rather than interpret or explain Marxism, as a theory, he wanted an image which would be instantly understood. Academic treatises are read and analyzed; detective and spy novels, set in dark and mysterious places, are devoured by the public - the perfect marketing device for pulling in new readers or reinforcing the beliefs of those already persuaded.

Images and stories, as marketing tools, have been a timeworn technique for explaining the world, going back to the Greeks and Romans. Far easier to understand the power of the Greek god Zeus as someone hurling thunderbolts from Mount Olympus, than to give a lengthy explanation of the origins of Greek gods or religious beliefs. When Pope Urban called the First Crusade in 1095, he did not discuss the theological or historical roots of the Islamic faith. He would have had trouble finding an audience among Christians for a discussion of Christian doctrine, in a world where most were illiterate. Most peasants, and probably many of the knights and nobles as well, relied on stories and images to understand Christianity. Theological discussions were better left to the priests and academics in the church. Urban, for his crusade, focused instead on the reports of atrocities committed by Arabs and Turks against Christians in the Holy Land, the desecration by pagans of the holy places in Jerusalem, and similar outrages. For inspiration, he wanted knights to stop fighting among themselves and instead, undertake a mission to rescue the city of Jerusalem. He promised participants the remission of their sins if they died while taking part in such a grand undertaking.

Although Hoover, as head of the F.B.I., was in a position to bring government influence into play, the branding campaign which transformed an ordinary term into a category of its own was not entirely a government operation. For the public relations field, the Twentieth Century represented unique opportunities for promoting products and ideas. Newspapers had been around for some time, but radio would be introduced in the 1920s, closely followed by the expansion of national publications, slick magazines, and even comic books, the development of motion pictures, the rise of the movie industry, and the influence of movie makers and Hollywood. The new media both responded to public opinion and helped to shape it. Hollywood was clearly aware of government programs and goals, sometimes taking them as cues, making films about the military and even the F.B.I. But Hollywood found the public was interested in other markets as well. The West and cowboys sparked the Western genre of films, and romantic comedies also proved popular, as well as grand epics, such as "Gone With the Wind". It also found a market in terrifying people, with films such as "The Mummie," or the Count Dracula theme, or the more contemporary "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

Hollywood Westerns may seem a far cry from the subject of Communism, Joe McCarthy, and Hollywood blacklisting, yet the film industry, as a whole, both reflected public opinion and helped to shape it. Hollywood was always interested in topical subjects. In 1920, during the Palmer Red Scare, Ince/Paramount studio would come out with "Dangerous Hours," which followed bomb-tossing Bolsheviks fomenting revolution and giving incendiary speeches in American mills and shipyards.[315] Perhaps taking its cue from the election of Warren G. Harding, and Mitchell Palmer's political fall, Hollywood avoided politically-charged topics for a time. When it introduced the first full sound track movie, 'The Jazz Singer,' in October 1927, with Al Jolson, the story was about a vaudeville performer. The Soviet Union, as a topic, was dealt with, almost apolitically, through travelogues and newsreels, such as the 1932 film "Moscow, the Heart of Soviet Russia."[316] In 1939, MGM would release 'Ninotchka,' a comedy starring Greta Garbo, as the no-nonsense Party official, (and Dracula's Bela Lugosi as her Party boss) who eventually succumbs to the decadence, champagne, and luxuries available in Paris, and the West. This was followed, in 1940, by 'Comrade X,' starring Hedy Lamar and Clark Cable, another comedy, where the cold Soviet streetcar conductor falls in love with the American correspondent. Sentenced to death, they escape when Gable steels a tank and Lamar drives them to freedom.[317]

Movies were only one marketing outlet. National publications, such as Life magazine, proved popular, but there were also smaller outlets. In 1934, Elizabeth Dilling, of Kenilworth, Illinois, came out with a self-published entitled 'The Red Network: "A 'Who's Who' and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots." which provided a listing of Red organizations. It went through six printings in the next two years. It wasn't clear if she feared Communism or the Roosevelt administration more. Her next publication, in 1936 was "The Roosevelt Red Record and Its Background." One of the chapters had the title: "Fruits of American Inoculation with Communist Poison."[318]

Following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, there was an effort to promote Russia as an ally, with favorable portrayals of the Soviet war effort. Reader's Digest, in April 1943, would run an article called "The Price that Russia Is Paying," which talked about the death toll from the invasion. In June 1947, Look magazine would feature Joseph Stalin on its cover, with an article called "A Guy Named Joe" which described him spending time writing poetry and reading it to schoolchildren.[319] Hollywood would come out with such films as "Mission to Moscow," and "Song of Russia" in 1943, and the 1944 film "Days of Glory," starring Gregory Peck as a Russian guerrilla fighter.[320] Once the war was over those involved in the films would come under investigation by HUAC for their favorable treatment of Russia.

Almost as soon as the war ended, press coverage turned against the Soviet Union. There were headlines echoing the conspiracy theories of J. Edgar Hoover, such as "How to Spot a Communist," which appeared in Look magazine, in March 1947, or "Does Communism Threaten Christianity," which appeared in Look magazine in January 1948, and "Portrait of an American Communist," which appeared in Life magazine in January 1948. There was a personal account by Paul Ruedemann, which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in May 1949, entitled "I Learned About Communism the Hard Way," about his experiences as a Standard Oil executive imprisoned by the Communists.[321] Look magazine came out with a favorable piece on J. Edgar Hoover, in October 1947, entitled "J. Edgar Hoover: Communist Hunter No. 1."[322] There were other pieces linking Communism with labor unions, such as "How the Garment Unions Licked the Communists," which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in August 1947. There was a pictorial dramatization of a takeover of the city of Detroit, which appeared in Look magazine in August 1948, called "Could the Reds Seize Detroit?" which suggested that Communists could cross over from Canada and that Detroit was home to between three and six thousand "sinister" Communists.[323]

In 1935 Hollywood had popularized both the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover, when it cast James Cagney as a Bureau agent in the film 'G-Men.'[324] In 1948, it would turn to J. Edgar Hoover for inspiration, or least his anti-communist crusading message. In that year, 20th Century Fox would release 'The Iron Curtain,' the story of Igor Gouzenko, a code clerk at the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, who turned over documents to Canadian authorities showing that the Russians had been stealing atomic secrets from the Allies. If it was difficult to make the life of a code clerk exciting, the film starred Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney, ending with the family in hiding, under the protection of Canadian authorities.[325] This was followed in 1949 by Republic Picture's "Red Menace," about returning vet Bill Jones who becomes involved in the local Communist Party and is eventually forced to flee to survive.[326] In 1949, RKO Studios would release "I Married A Communist," with a plot revolving around Communist attempts to infiltrate the longshoreman's union. The film bombed, perhaps because its star, Robert Ryan, dies in a warehouse shootout with the Red cell leader.[327]

Although Communism and the Soviet Union would continue to serve as the backdrop for movie and television plots for many years, perhaps the plot-line reached its peak with the 1951 Warner Brothers movie "I Was a Communist for the F.B.I.," starring Frank Lovejoy, and the television series "I Led Three Lives," starring Richard Carlson, which ran for 117 episodes, from 1953 through 1956. Although "I Was a Communist for the F.B.I." may have been a plot portrayed by actors, Frank Lovejoy's portrayal was so convincing that the film ended up with an Academy Award nomination as the year's best documentary.[328] "I Led Three Lives" included among its episodes titles such as "Anti-Red Squad," "Communist Extortion Racket," and "Hidden Enemy." By the time the episodes aired, it was no longer necessary to explain what Communism was or even to tie it to the original theories of Karl Marx. It had become part of the conversation, with a commonly understood meaning of its own - the sign of a successful marketing campaign.

In June 1947, J. Edgar Hoover was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine, with a list of "Ten Don'ts" in dealing with Communism. It was one of the most remarkable examples of doublespeak possible. Communism wasn't this, it wasn't that, but whatever it was or wasn't, you had to watch out for it. He at least sounded as though he knew what it was. It was up to his audience to make the final decision. "Don't label anyone a Communist unless you have the facts." This was followed by a similar cautionary note: "Don't confuse liberals and progressives with Communists." Another was: "Don't give aid and comfort to the Communist cause by joining front organizations, contributing to their campaign chests, or by championing their cause in any way, shape, or form." There was also the broader, somewhat mysterious, and vague: "Don't let Communists infiltrate into our schools, churches and moulders of public opinion, the press, radio, and screen." Considering his own role in detaining people without probable cause or warrants during the Palmer raids, he counsels: "Don't be a party to the violation of the civil rights of anyone." There was a final dig at the labor movement: "Don't let Communists in your organization or Labor union out-work, out-vote, or out-number you."[329] Perhaps the real answer to the question of 'what was Communism?' - whatever you wanted it to be.


(1) Mary Gabriel, "Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution," (New York:Little, Brown and Company, 2011), p. 82.
(2) Tristam Hunt, "Marx's General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels," (New York:Holt Paperbacks, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2009), p. 123.
(3) Hunt, ibid, p. 121.
(4) David McLellan, "Karl Marx: A Biography," (New York:Palgrave MacMillan, 2006), p. 88.
(5) Robert C. Tucker, ed., "The Marx-Engels Reader" 2nd edition, (New York;W.W. Norton & Company, 1978), from Karl Marx, "Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right: Introduction," p. 61.
(6) Jonathan Sperber, "Karl Marx: A Nineteenth Century Life," (New York:Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2013), pp. 280-285.
(7) Sperber, ibid, pp. 298-300.
(8) Gabriel, op.cit, pp. 412-413.
(9) Richard White, "The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896," (New York:Oxford University Press, 2017), p. 311.
(10) White, ibid, p. 308.
(11) Richard White, "Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America," (New York:W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2011), p. 341.
(12) Philip Dray, "There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America," (New York:Anchor Books, 2010), p. 96.
(13) Michael Neuschatz, "The Golden Sword: The Coming of Capitalism to the Colorado Mining Frontier," (Westport, CT:Greenwood Press, Inc., 1986), pp. 77-78.
(14) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 119.
(15) Henry F. Graff, ed., "The Life History of the United States," Volume 7: 1877-1890, Bernard A. Weisberger, "Steel and Steam," (New York:Time-Life Books, 1964), p. 80.
(16) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 119.
(17) White, "The Republic for Which It Stands", op.cit., p. 667.
(18) Neuschatz, "The Golden Sword," op.cit., p. 69.
(19) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., pp. 406-497.
(20) White, "The Republic for Which It Stands", op.cit., p. 341.
(21) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 119.
(22) Dray, ibid, p. 119.
(23) Dray, ibid, p. 120.
(24) H. W. Brands, "American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900," (New York:Anchor Books, 2010), p. 124.
(25) Brands, ibid, p. 127.
(26) Tucker, "The Marx-Engels Reader," op.cit., p. 512.
(27) James Green, "Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement and the Bombing That Divided Gilded Age America," (New York:Anchor Books, 2006), pp. 23-24.
(28) Green, ibid, p. 25.
(29) Green, ibid, pp. 32-33.
(30) Green, ibid, p. 35.
(31) Green, ibid, p. 36.
(32) Green, ibid, pp. 39-41.
(33) Green, ibid, pp. 42 & 44.
(34) White, "The Republic for Which It Stands", op.cit., p. 266.
(35) David O. Stowell, ed., "The Great Strikes of 1877," (Chicago:University of Illinois Press, 2008), p. 79.
(36) White, "The Republic for Which It Stands", op.cit., p. 492.
(37) Stowell, "The Great Strikes of 1877," op.cit., p. 79.
(38) Stowell, ibid, p. 78.
(39) Stowell, ibid, p. 80.
(40) Green, op.cit., p. 49.
(41) Stowell, "The Great Strikes of 1877," op.cit., p. 80.
(42) Green, "Death in the Haymarket," op.cit., p. 65.
(43) Green, ibid, p. 91.
(44) Green, ibid, p. 89.
(45) Green, ibid, pp. 89-90.
(46) Neuschatz, "The Golden Sword," op.cit., p. 83.
(47) Neuschatz, ibid, p. 111.
(48) Neuschatz, ibid, p. 197.
(49) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., pp. 434-436.
(50) Dray, ibid, p. 357.
(51) Kenneth D. Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar: Hoover and the Red Scare, 1919-1920," (Falls Church, Virginia:Viral History Press, LLC, 2011), p. 121.
(52) Stowell, "The Great Strikes of 1877," op.cit., p. 147.
(53) Allan Pinkerton, "Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives," (New York:G. W. Carlton & Co., 1878)
(54) McLellan, "Karl Marx: A Biography," op.cit,, p. 357.
(55) Pinkerton, "Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives," op.cit., p. 82.
(56) Tucker, "The Marx-Engels Reader," from "The Civil War in France," op.cit., p. 652.
(57) Gabriel, op.cit, p. 412.
(58) Hunt, "Marx's General," op.cit., p. 249.
(59) Hunt, ibid, p. 249.
(60) Gabriel, op.cit, p. 413.
(61) Pinkerton, "Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives," op.cit., p. 83.
(62) Pinkerton, ibid, pp. 71-78.
(63) Alistair Horne, "The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-71," (London:Penguin Books, 1990), p. 396.
(64) Sidney Lens, "The Labor Wars: From the Molly Maguires to the Sit-Downs," (Chicago:Haymarket Books, 2008), p. 40.
(65) Pinkerton, "Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives," op.cit., p. 83.
(66) Pinkerton, ibid, p. 77.
(67) Pinkerton, ibid, p. 83.
(68) Pinkerton, ibid, p. 82.
(69) Pinkerton, ibid, p. 87.
(70) Pinkerton, ibid, p. 90.
(71) Gabriel, op.cit, p. 414.
(72) Hunt, "Marx's General," op.cit., p. 249.
(73) Gabriel, "Love and Capital," op.cit, p. 413.
(74) Robert V. Bruce, "1877: Year of Violence," (Chicago:Elephant Paperbacks, 1959), p. 227.
(75) Bruce, ibid, p. 136.
(76) Bruce, ibid, p. 225.
(77) Bruce, ibid, p. 226.
(78) Bruce, ibid, p. 232.
(79) Bruce, ibid, p. 242.
(80) Bruce, ibid, p. 226.
(81) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., pp. 143-145.
(82) White, "The Republic for Which It Stands", op.cit., p. 547.
(83) Sperber, "Karl Marx," op.cit., pp. 280-284.
(84) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., pp. 148-150.
(85) Green, "Death in the Haymarket," op.cit., p. 198.
(86) Green, ibid, p. 207.
(87) Green, ibid, p. 210.
(88) Green, ibid, pp. 208 & 213.
(89) Green, ibid, p. 211.
(90) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 149.
(91) Green, "Death in the Haymarket," op.cit., pp. 212-213.
(92) Green, ibid, p. 228.
(93) Green, ibid, p. 199.
(94) Green, ibid, p. 198.
(95) Green, ibid, p. 201.
(96) Green, ibid, pp. 192-193.
(97) Green, ibid, p. 203.
(98) Green, ibid, p. 208.
(99) Green, ibid, pp. 204-205.
(100) Green, ibid, p. 291.
(101) Brands, "American Colossus," op.cit., p. 610.
(102) Beverly Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror," (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 67.
(103) Green, "Death in the Haymarket," op.cit., p. 303.
(104) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 361.
(105) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 67.
(106) Green, "Death in the Haymarket," op.cit., p. 303.
(107) J. Anthony Lukas, "Big Trouble: A Murder in a Small Western Town Sets Off a Struggle for the Soul of America," (New York:Simon & Schuster, 1997), p. 232.
(108) Lens, "The Labor Wars," op.cit., p. 152.
(109) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 287.
(110) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 74.
(111) Lukas, "Big Trouble," op.cit., p. 157.
(112) Lukas, ibid, pp. 199-200.
(113) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 75.
(114) Lens, "The Labor Wars," op.cit., p. 153.
(115) Lukas, "Big Trouble," op.cit., p. 551.
(116) Lukas, ibid, p. 563.
(117) Lukas, ibid., p. 557.
(118) Lukas, ibid., p. 296.
(119) Lukas, ibid., p. 501.
(120) Lukas, ibid., pp. 687-689.
(121) Lukas, ibid., p. 698.
(122) Lukas, ibid., p. 706.
(123) Lukas, ibid., p. 721.
(124) Lukas, ibid., p. 748.
(125) Lukas, ibid., p. 725.
(126) Lukas, ibid., p. 92.
(127) Lukas, ibid., p. 72.
(128) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 236.
(129) Dray, ibid, p. 242.
(130) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 84.
(131) Gage, ibid, p. 88.
(132) Lukas, "Big Trouble," op.cit., p. 750.
(133) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 88.
(134) Lukas, "Big Trouble," op.cit., p. 751.
(135) Lukas, ibid, p. 751.
(136) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 90.
(137) Gage, ibid, p. 96.
(138) Gage, ibid, p. 101.
(139) Gage, ibid, p. 105.
(140) Gage, ibid, p. 104.
(141) Gage, ibid, p. 105.
(142) Gage, ibid, pp. 105-106.
(143) John Man, "The War to End Wars: 1914-18," (Pleasantville, New York:Reader's Digest, 2000), p. 83.
(144) Man, ibid, pp. 78-79.
(145) Man, ibid, p. 84.
(146) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 354.
(147) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 108.
(148) Gage, ibid, p. 106.
(149) Gage, ibid, p. 106.
(150) Peter Cole, David Struthers, and Kenyon Zimmer, editors, "Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW," (London:Pluto Press, 2017), p. 53.
(151) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 27.
(152) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 361.
(153) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 111.
(154) Gage, ibid, p. 110.
(155) Gage, ibid, pp. 111-112.
(156) Cole,, editors, "Wobblies," op.cit., p. 53.
(157) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 34.
(158) Ackerman, ibid, p. 34.
(159) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 361.
(160) Dray, ibid, p. 362.
(161) Dray, ibid, p. 366.
(161A) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 110.
(162) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 82.
(163) Cole,, editors, "Wobblies," op.cit., p. 53.
(164) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 14.
(165) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 370.
(166) Dray, ibid, pp. 370-372.
(167) Dray, ibid, pp. 373-374.
(168) Dray, ibid, p. 372.
(169) Dray, ibid, p. 373.
(170) Dray, ibid, p. 374.
(171) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 16.
(172) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 11-14.
(173) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 12-13.
(174) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 12-14.
(175) Ackerman, ibid, p. 13.
(176) Ackerman, ibid, p. 225.
(177) Ackerman, ibid, p. 14.
(178) Ackerman, ibid, p. 15.
(179) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 382-383.
(180) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 318-319.
(181) Ackerman, ibid, p. 336.
(182) Ackerman, ibid, p. 336.
(183) Ackerman, ibid, p. 17.
(184) Ackerman, ibid, p. 18.
(185) Ackerman, ibid, p. 19.
(186) Ackerman, ibid, p. 24.
(187) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 122-123.
(188) Ackerman, ibid, p. 19.
(189) David M. Oshinsky, "A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy," (Oxford:Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 87.
(190) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 87.
(191) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 25.
(192) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 26-27.
(193) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 51-53.
(194) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 32-36.
(195) Ackerman, ibid, p. 36.
(196) Ackerman, ibid, p. 40.
(197) Ackerman, ibid, p. 43.
(198) Ackerman, ibid, p. 65.
(199) Oshinsky, "World of Joe McCarthy," op.cit., p. 88.
(200) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 380.
(201) Dray, ibid, p. 381.
(202) Dray, ibid, p. 384.
(203) Dray, ibid, p. 388.
(204) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 83.
(205) Ackerman, ibid, p. 98.
(206) Ackerman, ibid, p. 119.
(207) Ackerman, ibid, p. 108.
(208) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 110-118.
(209) Ackerman, ibid, p. 113.
(210) Ackerman, ibid, p. 111.
(211) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 112-113.
(212) Ackerman, ibid, p. 113.
(213) Ackerman, ibid, p. 114.
(214) Ackerman, ibid, p. 115.
(215) Ackerman, ibid, p. 116.
(216) Ackerman, ibid, p. 114-115.
(217) Ackerman, ibid, p. 119.
(218) Ackerman, ibid, p. 118.
(219) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 394.
(220) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 153.
(221) Ackerman, ibid, p. 118.
(222) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 160-164.
(223) Ackerman, ibid, p. 175.
(224) Ackerman, ibid, p. 173.
(225) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 175-178.
(226) Ackerman, ibid, p. 184.
(227) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 186-187.
(228) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 196-198.
(229) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 231-232.
(230) Ackerman, ibid, p. 245.
(231) Ackerman, ibid, p. 246.
(232) Ackerman, ibid, p. 260.
(233) Ackerman, ibid, p. 369.
(234) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 281-286.
(235) Ackerman, ibid, p. 307.
(236) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 274-275.
(237) Ackerman, ibid, p. 120.
(238) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 318-319.
(239) Ackerman, ibid, p. 319.
(240) Ackerman, ibid, p. 22.
(241) Ackerman, ibid, p. 288.
(242) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 287-288.
(243) Ackerman, ibid, p. 334.
(244) Ackerman, ibid, p. 313.
(245) Ackerman, ibid, p. 336.
(246) Ackerman, ibid, p. 336.
(247) Ackerman, ibid, p. 97.
(248) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 88 & 98-98.
(249) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., p. 127.
(250) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 19.
(251) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., pp. 370-372.
(252) Dray, ibid, p. 373.
(253) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 62.
(254) Ackerman, ibid, p. 83.
(255) Ackerman, ibid, p. 97.
(256) Ackerman, ibid, p. 98.
(257)"1000 Events That Shaped the World," (Washington, D.C.:National Geographic Society, 2007), p. 292.
(258) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., pp. 50-51.
(259) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., pp. 254-255.
(260) Dray, ibid, p. 239.
(261) Dray, ibid, pp. 242.
(262) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 382.
(263) Ackerman, ibid, pp. 80-81.
(264) Ackerman, ibid, p. 83.
(265) Ackerman, ibid, p. 98.
(266) Gage, "The Day Wall Street Exploded," op.cit., pp. 211-212.
(267) Gage, ibid, p. 214.
(268) Oshinsky, "World of Joe McCarthy," op.cit., p. 89.
(269) Tom Wicker, "Shooting Star: The Brief Arc of Joe McCarthy," (Orlando, FL:Harcourt, Inc., 2006), pp. 6-7.
(270) Wicker, ibid, p. 7.
(271) Wicker, ibid, p. 10.
(272) Wicker, ibid, p. 13.
(273) Wicker, ibid, p. 5.
(274) Wicker, ibid, p. 13.
(275) Wicker, ibid, p. 12.
(276) Wicker, ibid, pp. 9-10.
(277) Wicker, ibid, p. 62.
(278) Oshinsky, "World of Joe McCarthy," op.cit., p. 111.
(279) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 492.
(280) Tom Wicker, "Shooting Star," op.cit., p. 182.
(281) Wicker, ibid, p. 184.
(282) Wicker, ibid, pp. 184-186.
(283) Oshinsky, "World of Joe McCarthy," op.cit., p. 92.
(284) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 93.
(285) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 92.
(286) Oshinsky, ibid, pp. 92-93.
(287) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 93.
(288) Oshinsky, ibid, pp. 340-341.
(289) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 93.
(290) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 93.
(291) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 102.
(292) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 101.
(293) Oshinsky, ibid, p. 103.
(294) Michael Barson and Steven Heller, "Red Scared: The Commie Menace in Propaganda and Popular Culture," (San Francisco:Chronicle Books, 2001), p. 28.
(295) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 22.
(296) Dray, "Power in a Union," op.cit., p. 510.
(297) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 380.
(298) Oshinsky, "World of Joe McCarthy," op.cit., p. 89.
(299) Barson and Heller, "Red Scared," op.cit., p. 22.
(300) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 18.
(301) J. Edgar Hoover, "Masters of Deceit: The Story of Communism in America and How to Fight It," (New York:Henry Holt and Company, 1958), p. v.
(302) Hoover, ibid, p. vi.
(303) Hoover, ibid, p. 331.
(304) Hoover, ibid, p. 4.
(305) Hoover, ibid, pp. 8-9.
(306) Hoover, ibid, p. 7.
(307) Hoover, ibid, p. 53.
(308) Hoover, ibid, p. 81.
(309) Hoover, ibid, pp. 81 & 159-160.
(310) Hoover, ibid, p. 274.
(311) Hoover, ibid, p. 55.
(312) Hoover, ibid, p. 67.
(313) Hoover, ibid, p. 68.
(314) Hoover, ibid, p. 214.
(315) Barson and Heller, "Red Scared," op.cit., p. 20.
(316) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 36.
(317) Barson and Heller, ibid, pp. 37-38.
(318) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 27.
(319) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 45.
(320) Barson and Heller, ibid, pp. 54-55.
(321) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 70.
(322) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 66.
(323) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 68.
(324) Ackerman, "Young J. Edgar," op.cit., p. 394.
(325) Barson and Heller, "Red Scared," op.cit., p. 74.
(326) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 75.
(327) Barson and Heller, ibid, pp. 75-77.
(328) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 102.
(329) Barson and Heller, ibid, p. 97.