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Reviews in American History 23.4 (1995) 744-755
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Gerda W. Ray

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas's 1963 review of William Preston Jr.'s Aliens and Dissenters was characteristically emphatic. "A brilliant work," the book revealed "the seamy side of America... bigotry, intolerance, hatred, suspicion of foreigners, and the use of class power to pulverize the less privileged." An outspoken defender of civil liberties (except, importantly, for Japanese Americans during wartime), Douglas appreciated the "meticulous detail" with which Preston used the recently declassified records of the Justice Department, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and other federal agencies to analyze the rationales and techniques of state repression enlisted against the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). 1 Douglas's enthusiasm for Aliens and Dissenters reflected personal ties as well as his commitment to civil liberties. Sixty years earlier, as a teenager, Douglas had worked with IWW members in the wheat and fruit harvests of eastern Washington's Yakima valley. He remembered the IWW respectfully in his 1974 autobiography: "I traveled extensively with the IWW's and came to know them as warmhearted people who... had higher ideals than some of the men who ran our banks and were the elders in the church." Douglas had seen the police treating poverty like a crime: "though few who rode the rods were criminals, we were all treated as outcasts or vagrants; we were even fired on by the police in railroad yards." 2

Most reviewers agreed with Douglas's favorable assessment of Aliens and Dissenters. Milton Cantor, writing in the Nation, applauded Preston for breaking with the practice of professional historians who "display indecent coyness when dealing with 'controversial' subjects" to write instead "with passion as well as precision" making "the reader share his concern for the contemporary relevance of his findings." In the American Historical Review, Theodore Saloutos termed the 1950s extension of the screening process described in Aliens and Dissenters "frightening" and noted its stifling impact [End Page 744] on dissent. In the Political Science Quarterly, Stanley Coben called the book "not only a comprehensive history of federal policies, but a plea for revision of those policies as well." Unlike the reviewers sympathetic to Preston's civil libertarian agenda, Benjamin Wright, in Annals of the American Academy, dismissed the book's "indignant narrative" and suspected that the author would advocate tolerating anarchism "even when there is incitement to violence." 3

Two political activists provided the most searching criticisms: Fred Thompson, IWW historian, and Socialist party leader Norman Thomas. In a largely appreciative review in the IWW's Industrial Worker, Thompson argued that Preston's emphasis on nativism failed to account for similar repression of radicals and unionists "duplicated in European countries that had no immigrants to blame for their revolutionary upsurge." Thomas's "A Case Poorly Made" in Dissent also saw radicals, not aliens, as the most important target and criticized Preston's benign portrayal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's stance on civil liberties, especially in light of Japanese internment. On the whole, Thomas wrote, "the racial aspect of the problem of aliens in the U.S. is slighted. 4

I did not notice these limitations when I first read Aliens and Dissenters in a Berkeley, California, study group in 1974. Anti-Vietnam War organizing and a useless stint as a VISTA volunteer had left me with many questions about politics, power, and human agency, which modernization theory did not address. Aliens and Dissenters, by contrast, seemed to depict an earlier version of the government-sponsored outrages of Attica, the murder of Black Panther Fred Hampton, the repression of the Chicano Moratorium and Wounded Knee, against which defense committees formed so large a part of left politics in the 1970s. I met the book's author sixteen years later when the discovery of some political surveillance files led me to consult him, and we became good friends.

More than friendship, however, leads me to welcome the second edition of Aliens and Dissenters (published this year by University of Illinois Press, with a new foreword by Paul Buhle and a new epilogue by the author) as both a classic and a work of clear contemporary significance. The book attracted attention initially for its use of recently declassified government records to document government crimes and for specific revelations, such as J. Edgar Hoover's unequivocal acknowledgment of the unconstitutionality of the antiradical raids he organized in 1919 and 1920 and his advocacy of denying bail to force confessions from accused immigrant radicals. Hoover remained head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation until his death in 1972, while Aliens and Dissenters went out of print after a brief stint in paperback; so at one level the book met its match. Nevertheless Aliens and Dissenters still provides [End Page 745] an important perspective for understanding political repression in the United States.

Preston gracefully reconstructs the convoluted evolution of federal policies toward the IWW in the first two decades of the twentieth century. He develops a subtle analysis of how repressive laws and policies were imagined, implemented, and challenged. His view of state repression includes the foibles and obsessions of individuals, but focuses on understanding how powerful private interests are able to force their desires into legislation and public policy. Close description of specific cases underpins a careful argument about the relationship between class power and the state.

Preston locates the source of repression in "human nature's" demand for conformity, coupled with the state's commitment to self-preservation. His analysis focuses on how disparities of wealth and power structure state action. In some cases, private interests simply implemented their policies with the use of state authority. During the 1917 copper strikes in Arizona and Montana, for example:

Military intelligence agents operating under cover accepted the reports of the private detectives paid by the corporations. The troops themselves were quartered in barracks erected and owned by the mining companies, a practice that gave workers the idea that federal troops were guests of the management. (p. 109)
Similarly, the Anaconda copper company had "its paid agents help organize a wartime strike against itself as a ruse for the indictment and elimination of the local radical menace" (p. 113). In Preston's account, private initiative and official policy, opposed often inchoately by a shifting and uncertain alliance of IWW, middle- and upper-class radicals, and a few "fervent supporters in Congress and in the executive branch of government," shape the extent and character of state repression (p. 3). Neither side was able to impose its image exclusively on the resulting policy, but the outcome was not arbitrary.

Federal policies were often spurred by insistent demands from powerful local interests, such as sugar capitalist John D. Spreckels in California in 1912 or the copper mining corporations in Arizona and Montana in 1917. States requested federal help not because they had exhausted their police, National Guard, and other forces, but rather because the IWW had not broken any state laws which could provide a rationale for state action. The federal government, by contrast, had access to the potent combination of the criminal conspiracy codes and the war statutes, although it was, significantly, the Minnesota Commission of Public Safety, not the U.S. Department of Justice, which devised this new legal theory for the 1917 Chicago IWW trial. 5

State and federal officials at times disagreed over the necessity and legality of particular tactics. Nor was even one branch of government consistent. [End Page 746] When the oil companies of the mid-continent field called on two regional federal attorneys to suppress IWW organizing in 1917, the U.S. attorney in Kansas City promptly ordered the arrest of some one hundred Wobblies "as a preventative matter to prevent possible violence in the oil region of southern Kansas." The U.S. attorney in Tulsa, however, "quietly rebuffed the corporate invitation for an anti-Wobbly roundup" (pp. 130-31; emphasis in original). Nor did individual states limit themselves to calling on federal law enforcement to suppress IWW organizing. During the war emergency, "while other departments of the federal administration searched anxiously but slowly for some legal procedure suitable for the disruption of the Wobblies, the army moved decisively and quickly" (p. 116). Dogmatism about the state's role in repression collapses under such disparities.

Repression of the Wobblies was both a class war and a war within the working class. Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), urged the Department of Justice to act against the IWW, and government agents forwarded seized IWW membership lists to AFL headquarters. Melvyn Dubofsky's argument that "labor needed the state to prosper" does not extend to those workers whose only alternative was the IWW. Whatever the mix of accommodation and cooptation in federal policies toward the AFL, there was never any question of tolerating the IWW or other radical labor organizations. 6

Preston details the successive changes in immigration law, sedition and conspiracy statutes, and blatantly illegal state actions which made up the practical workings of the "rule of law" in dealing with the IWW. As inadequate as constitutional protections proved to be for the IWW, they nevertheless provided the only legal arguments with which attorney George F. Vanderveer was able often to delay and sometimes to prevent the legal prosecution of the IWW. Preston built on the work of Zechariah Chafee to contend that avoiding indictment was the only road to freedom when the outcome of a jury trial was "predetermined": "The Department of Justice was in effect eliminating mob violence against I.W.W.'s and other nonconformists by removing the enraged citizen from the mob and placing him in the jury box. While this followed the form, it lacked the essence of judicial procedure" (p. 122). Aliens and Dissenters, while endorsing the IWW's critique of the state as the agent of the bourgeoisie, documents a contradictory and contingent process of state action. 7

Preston's commitment to civil liberties stems from his own experience and the training, formal and informal, that he received at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the 1950s. One of the luckier and more privileged members of his generation, Preston finished college at Columbia and started graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1949 after barely [End Page 747] surviving thirty-two days as a tank gunner in Normandy in 1944. None of the other four men in his tank lived to see V-E Day. Looking back on his army experience fifty years later, Preston credited it with teaching him the ineptitude and irrationality of government, a view shared, and in part inspired, by another radical in his upper-class eastern establishment family, his uncle, American Civil Liberties Union founder Roger N. Baldwin, to whom both editions of the book are dedicated. 8

As Preston recounts in the new epilogue, California's loyalty oath requirement spurred his move to more tolerant Madison. 9 Professors Howard K. Beale, Merle Curti, Merrill Jensen, William Hesseltine, and others were inspired by the example of progressive historians such as Charles and Mary Beard in their commitment to critical intellectual work coupled with social activism. Beale organized against racial, religious, and gender discrimination within the profession. Curti denounced McCarthyism and promoted democratic rights for African Americans and women. Both Beale and Curti criticized the intellectual dishonesty and cowardice of the profession, and Beale insisted on the need for open access to government documents and the end to privileged access for official historians. 10 Preston's work reflects this commitment to activism, as does that of other Madison graduate students, such as Warren Susman, Herbert Gutman, and Harvey Goldberg, whom Preston credits as stronger influences on him than his sometimes aloof professors. Lifelong friendships with them and other Madison students sustained a sense of responsibility to both teaching and public life.

As was common in the postwar educational boom, especially for white, upper-class males, Preston got a job (at Denison University) three years before completing the dissertation which provided the basis for Aliens and Dissenters. Written during the ideological repression of the 1950s, Aliens and Dissenters emphasizes the state's ongoing role in that repression. Unlike accounts which center on outbursts of popular xenophobia, Preston's work looks at how government policies shape and are shaped by persistent patterns of elite and mass self-interest and prejudice. His characteristically Progressive ambition was that "a study of the earlier decades may throw into relief... the policies and practices from which the present spirit and structure evolved" (p. 10), which explains in part the book's continued importance.

The historiographical and political context within which Aliens and Dissenters was written, however, also limited its analysis. Invoking John Higham and Oscar Handlin, Aliens and Dissenters locates the repression of the IWW within a specifically American nativism. 11 As the IWW historian Fred Thompson pointed out, however, similar state repression of syndicalism took place elsewhere both with and without nativist rhetoric. 12 Like Higham, Preston's concept of nativism neglected the racism against Native Americans, African Americans, and most importantly for a study of immigration, the Chinese. [End Page 748] From this perspective, Preston emphasizes the restrictive significance of the Immigration Act of 1903 without analyzing the series of Chinese Exclusion Acts which started in 1882. The 1903 act, which excluded anarchists, was the first to establish ideological criteria, but it was far from the first to impose "important restrictions on the personal liberties of aliens" (p. 4). The Chinese Exclusion acts legalized racial discrimination and provided the basis for a series of Supreme Court rulings "that the exclusion of a particular 'class' of immigrant was constitutional, thus paving the way for other restrictions." 13

Leaving out Chinese immigration means missing important precedents for the suppression of radicals. Focusing on nativism to the exclusion of racism also means missing the federal surveillance, harassment, and provocation of radicals which had more to do with race than with labor or radicalism. Hoover, for example, was obsessed with both the IWW and African Americans. 14 Preston does not develop the comparison with repression against people of color and other targets needed to support his claim that "the IWW was the decisive influence in the evolution of federal policy" (p. 8). Similarly, Aliens and Dissenters implies that the IWW was all men. It is true that none of the IWW members involved in deportation hearings were women, but, as the author himself wrote later, women too organized as Wobblies and "were the most militant at Lawrence and Paterson." 15 The federal suppression of women for IWW or suffrage agitation, anarchism, and pacifism is missing from this account.

Aliens and Dissenters is not, then, a perfect book. As a historian, however, Preston went on in his later work to address these issues and to overcome the single most common limitation of radical history, that of being written only for other historians. 16 Leaving Denison University in support of a black students' protest in 1970, Preston worked with two Boston-based efforts at educational reform, Campus Free College and Institute for Creative Change. This work reflected his call in a 1971 essay for a "critical history," which required analyzing "why large segments of the population have been 'born to lose'... And with that understanding, there must be some readiness to act." 17 After the Denison protest, Preston was unable to get a regular academic appointment until selected to be chair of the History Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York in 1973.

Working at John Jay meant sometimes teaching civil liberty history to over one hundred police officers at a station house. It also meant working once again with a group of historians, including Blanche Wiesen Cook, Jerry Markowitz, John Cammett, Michael Wallace, and others, which encouraged political activism. Drawing on Aliens and Dissenters, Preston wrote for an educated public about an expanded realm of civil liberties concerns. 18 Repudiating his earlier assumption of a relatively free nineteenth century, Preston started writing about the civil liberties implications of the crop lien system, as [End Page 749] well as the "expropriation, removal and genocide" faced by Native Americans. 19 No longer viewing the New Deal as an interlude of civil liberty, Preston decried the lack of integration in the armed forces, the weakness of the Fair Employment Practices Commission, federal support for continued housing segregation, and the government's indifference to lynching. 20 Far from ignoring racism, Preston now argued that racial justice was a requirement of civil liberty.

He continued the portrayal in Aliens and Dissenters of state repression activated by ideology, bureaucratic self promotion, partisan competition, personal ambition, and other factors, using techniques as varied as the law, corruption, and vigilantism. Going beyond the American exceptionalism implicit in Aliens and Dissenters, however, Preston directed his work toward a critique of the increased power and interpenetration of government and the media on a global basis. 21 He argued that although the government and the media always affect civil liberties, their influences became more diverse and pervasive after the second world war. The rapid growth of government coincided with an unprecedented "loyalty security" program. While amassing data on its citizens, the government sought to tighten control over sources of information about itself with "classification, overclassification, secrecy, and media manipulation." 22 One important innovation was CIA ownership of "wire services, newspapers, magazines, and book publishing complexes." Government disinformation ranged from the blatant use of fraudulent reporters through much more subtle means such as the National Endowment for Democracy, an initiative in public diplomacy to "win the war of ideas." 23 He emphasized the importance of looking at how, even without government censorship, the media's profit imperatives "limited the freest, most diverse circulation of opinion." "Restrictions on the dissemination of ideas may not involve any violation of the First Amendment.... Monopoly, technology, and economic self-interest had made the power to inform a scarce resource." 24

Drawing a parallel between the Watergate scandal and the revulsion following the Red Scare of 1919 which he analyzes in Aliens and Dissenters, Preston criticized popular complacency about the possibility of reforming federal agencies accustomed to covert operations. Carter's appointees to the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency would not find it "a simple matter to change ingrained habits of bureaucratic arrogance" and they would face the challenge of monitoring "electronic and computer technology that can explore new avenues of surveillance and illegal intrusion without much regard for presidential authorization and control." 25 Specific laws might be repealed, or particular practices abandoned, without weakening the potential for abuse.

The shift from overt, often violent, suppression, which had been more common in the nineteenth century, to the less visible techniques described in [End Page 750] Aliens and Dissenters and Preston's subsequent work makes the defense of civil liberties more difficult yet imperative: "Undercover intimidation, provocation, and harassment has enabled the government to wage a secret guerrilla war against its opponents without legal restraints. Covert vigilante activity has proliferated while constitutional protections developed elsewhere." 26 Even the ideology of freedom was invoked to mask domination, as when corporate power borrowed "the free enterprise label from the individual free enterprisers it was crushing." 27

Continuing to confront the self-congratulatory myth of liberty in America, Preston's work attracted criticism as well as praise. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. condemned Preston's portrayal of civil liberties in the 1940s: "One must sympathize with his indignation, but hardly with the damage wrought by that indignation on his professional obligation as an historian to make rational discriminations." 28 Paul L. Murphy criticized "committed history, working off a set of prior absolutes, and viewed as a tool to achieve social and political change." Echoing the Progressive-era critique of frames of reference in historical analysis, Murphy argued that "the past be taken on its own terms," and historians have a professional responsibility "to keep the past inviolate." 29

Preston, by contrast, rejected the notion of a dichotomy between objective and subjective history: "Since no historical work can avoid selectivity, present-mindedness, and the particular perceptions of the investigating agent, all reconstructions of the past represent a political intervention.... The historian... can rightfully express both a passion for justice and a passion for truth without betraying his professional responsibility." 30 Part of the historian's affirmative responsibility is to take radicalism seriously. He criticized the "predisposition not to accept the rebel's honesty and integrity. It has been easier to discredit the radical than deal with his criticism of an unjust status quo." Taking radicalism seriously also meant recognizing that state action, whether overt repression or legal regulation, has consequences for popular movements. Criminal charges may have turned the IWW into a defense organization almost from its inception, but the Wagner Act both protected an arena for labor and encouraged "the decline of union democracy and the leadership's abusive contempt for the basic rights of the... membership." 31 Little is simple or one-sided in this perspective.

Committed to the importance of acting, as well as writing, to promote civil liberties, Preston worked with both a new OAH committee on access to information set up by president-elect William Appleman Williams, and with FOIA, Inc., an organization which promoted use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). With his colleague and friend Blanche Wiesen Cook, Preston co-chaired a committee of Athan Theoharis, Anna K. Nelson, and others, [End Page 751] which spurred the OAH to join a 1979 lawsuit which stopped the destruction of FBI field office records. 32

FOIA, Inc. helped people, ranging from labor activists needing information from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to "atomic veterans" seeking data from the departments of Energy and Defense to negotiate the increasingly difficult steps of using FOIA. The group published a guide to FOIA, organized training workshops, and included popular articles on civil liberty history in its periodical, Our Right to Know. 33

Committed to reinterpreting civil liberty in a global context, Preston responded to the Reagan administration's attack on UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Social, and Cultural Organization) by co-writing Hope & Folly: The United States and UNESCO, 1945-1985. 34 Preston sketched the change from the United States' early unchallenged domination of global communication to its hostile rejection of smaller nations' efforts to regain some degree of autonomy. Much as the corporations in the late nineteenth century had cloaked themselves in the mantle of free enterprise, Preston argued, the multinationals were now invoking free speech (and free enterprise) as the rationale for global communications monopolies. The amplification of the U.S. government's voice drowns out alternatives: "The voices of dissent in the U.S. do not speak on VOA [Voice of America] or the other outlets any more than ghetto residents do on prime-time TV network news." 35 Free speech requires both the means and the right, as the Wobblies had discovered so long before.

In reexamining the relationship among information, disinformation, and human action, Preston speculated that the interaction was more complicated than that of an eager-to-know public versus a secretive and deceptive government:

It is even possible to suggest that the idea of "plausible deniability," an attractive policy position for chief executives... is something the populace itself has adopted as a way of freeing themselves from any responsible action and blame. One need only remember the holocaust to realize that terrible atrocities can be described as "secret" when, in fact, an amazing supply of information about the exterminations... was circulating throughout the allied world and its press. 36
"Willful amnesia," Preston wrote, could account for the media's portrayal of the National Security Council's role in the Iran-Contra scandal as unprecedented, as if the international covert operations of the 1950s had never occurred.

Today the rationale for increased government wiretapping, expanded access to search and seizure, and further limitations on habeas corpus is more likely to be the fight against crime or terrorism than that against political [End Page 752] nonconformity. Aliens and Dissenters, read for its analysis as well as its atrocity stories, deepens our appreciation of the tenuousness of civil liberties. Repressive structures designed to meet particular emergencies persist long after the emergency is over. Popular outcry can win partial redress for some, such as the white separatists of Ruby Ridge, while others, such as Leonard Peltier of Pine Ridge, remain in federal prison as the result of a similarly ambiguous federal assault. Participating perhaps in "willful amnesia," historians routinely cite Aliens and Dissenters without confronting Preston's argument that repression is integral to the functioning of the state rather than the result of periodic outbursts of mass hysteria. 37 Aliens and Dissenters is a classic which needs not only to be cited, but also to be read for its understanding of the relationship among the state, labor, and radicalism. This book, and Preston's other work on civil liberty and the media, are the impressive results of a career shaped by the maxim that, with understanding, "there must be some readiness to act."

Gerda W. Ray, Department of History, University of Missouri, St. Louis is completing Public Powers, Private Interests: Policing the States, 1890-1970. She wishes to thank Martha Kohl, Stanley I. Kutler, and Jerry Markowitz for their help with this essay.


1. William O. Douglas, "U.S. Dirty Linen on Full Display in Liberty Study," Washington Post Books, August 4, 1963.

2. William O. Douglas, Go East, Young Man (1974), pp. 77-78. See also, James G. Newbill, "Yakima and the Wobblies, 1910-1936," in Joseph R. Conlin, ed., At The Point of Production: The Local History of the I.W.W. (1981).

3. Milton Cantor, "Agitation Against Agitators," Nation, May 18, 1963, p. 427; Theodore Saloutos, American Historical Review 69 (1964): 484-85; Stanley Coben, Political Science Quarterly 80 (1965): 459-60; Benjamin F. Wright, Annals of the American Academy 353 (1964): 146-47.

4. Fred Thompson, "Why They Hounded the Wobblies," Industrial Worker, July 31, 1963; Norman Thomas, "A Case Poorly Made," Dissent (Autumn 1963): 395-96.

5. William Millikan, "Defenders of Business: The Minneapolis Civic and Commerce Association Versus Labor During World War I," Minnesota History 50 (1986): 2-17, extends the discussion of local influence.

6. Melvyn Dubofsky, The State and Labor in Modern America (1994); David Montgomery, Review of Melvyn Dubofsky, The State and Labor in Modern America, H-Net program at UIC History Department ( December 21, 1994.

7. Zechariah Chafee, Jr., Free Speech in the United States (1941), pp. 64-66. See also, Arnon Gutfeld, "George Bourquin: A Montana Judge's Stand Against Government Despotism," Western Legal History 6 (1993): 51-63.

8. William Preston, Jr., "On Omaha Beach," New York Review of Books, July 14, 1994; p. 46; Roger N. Baldwin, "Free Speech Fights of the I.W.W.," in Twenty-Five Years of Industrial Unionism, ed. I.W.W. (1930); Roger Baldwin, "Recollections of a Life in Civil Liberties," Civil Liberties Review 2 (Spring 1975): 39-72.

9. Peter Novick, That Noble Dream: The "Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession (1988); Paul Buhle, ed., History and the New Left: Madison, Wisconsin, 1950-1970 (1990).

10. Howard K. Beale, "The Professional Historian: His Theory and His Practice," Pacific Historical Review 22 (1953): 227-55; Merle Curti, "The Democratic Theme in American Historical Literature," Mississippi Valley Historical Review 39 (1952): 3-28 and "Intellectuals and Other People," American Historical Review 60 (1955): 259-82.

11. John Higham, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925 (1955); for Higham's evolving thought on nativism, see the afterword to the 1988 edition, "Reflections on the Life of Strangers in the Land. " Oscar Handlin, The Uprooted: The Epic Story of the Great Migrations that Made the American People (1951).

12. Donald Avery, "Dangerous Foreigners": European Immigrant Workers and Labour Radicalism in Canada, 1896-1930 (1979); Larry Peterson, "The One Big Union in International Perspective: Revolutionary Industrial Unionism 1900-1925," Labour/Le Travailleur 7 (1981): 41-66; Gary S. Cross, Immigrant Workers in Industrial France: The Making of a New Laboring Class (1983); Gregory S. Kealey, "State Repression of Labour and the Left in Canada, 191420: The Impact of the First World War," Canadian Historical Review 73 (1992): 281-314.

13. Roger Daniels, Coming to America: A History of Ethnicity and Immigration in American Life (1990), pp. 271-72. (Aliens and Dissenters does describe the deportation procedures used against the Chinese and Japanese.) We now know that Preston was wrong in characterizing the Chinese immigrants as "ignorant, defenseless... and unorganized" (p. 19); see Lucy Salyer, "Captives of Law: Judicial Enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Laws, 1891-1905," Journal of American History 76 (1989): 91-117. Nor were other immigrants as conservative as Preston, following Higham, contended.

14. Robert A. Hill, "'The Foremost Radical Among His Race:' Marcus Garvey and the Black Scare, 1918-1921," Prologue 16 (Winter 1984): 216-31; Patrick S. Washburn, A Question of Sedition: The Federal Government's Investigation of the Black Press during World War II (1986), pp. 14-22; Emory J. Tolbert, "Federal Surveillance of Marcus Garvey and the U.N.I.," Journal of Ethnic Studies 14 (1987): 25-46; Theodore Kornweibel, Jr., "Black on Black: The FBI's First Negro Informants and Agents and the Investigation of Black Radicalism During the Red Scare," Criminal Justice History 8 (1988); Kenneth O'Reilly, "Racial Matters": The FBI's Secret File on Black America, 1960-1972 (1989), pp. 12-16; Mark Ellis, "Federal Surveillance of Black Americans During the First World War," Immigrants & Minorities 12 (March 1993): 1-20. Military Intelligence also saw blacks as a threat to the war effort: Mark Ellis, "'Closing Ranks' and 'Seeking Honors': W. E. B. DuBois in World War I," Journal of American History 79 (June 1992): 96-124; Mark Ellis, "J. Edgar Hoover and the 'Red Summer' of 1919," Journal of American Studies 28 (1994): 39-59.

15. William Preston, Jr., "Shall This Be All? U.S. Historians Versus William D. Haywood et al.," Labor History 12 (1971): 435-53. More recent research suggests that women's support networks were vital to sustaining militancy in IWW strikes such as that in Lawrence. Ardis Cameron, "Bread and Roses Revisited: Women's Culture and Working-Class Activism in the Lawrence Strike of 1912," in Ruth Milkman, ed., Women, Work and Protest: A Century of U.S. Women's Labor History (1986), pp. 42-61. IWW opposition to women's organizing is documented in Daniel T. Hobby, ed., "'We Have Got Results': A Document on the Organization of Domestics in the Progressive Era," Labor History 17 (1976): 103-8. On gender and the IWW, see Vicent DiGirolamo, "The Women of Wheatland: Female Consciousness and the 1913 Wheatland Hop Strike," and Colleen O'Neill, "Domesticity Deployed: Gender, Race and the Construction of Class Struggle in the Brisbee Deportation," both in Elizabeth Faue, ed., Gender and the Reconstruction of Labor History, Labor History 34 (Spring-Summer 1993).

16. David Thelan, "What Has Changed and Not Changed in American Historical Practice?," Journal of American History 76 (1989): 393-98.

17. Preston, "Shall This Be All?," p. 436.

18. William Preston, "Civil Liberty in America: A Freedom Odyssey," Massachusetts Review 17 (Autumn 1976): 445-73, at p. 456, revised as "American Liberty: A Post-Bicentennial Look at Our Unfinished Agenda," Civil Liberties Review 4 (May-June 1977): 3851.

19. Preston, "Civil Liberty in America," p. 456.

20. William Preston, Jr., "Shadows of War and Fear," in Alan Reitman, ed., The Pulse of Freedom: American Liberties: 1920-1970s (1975), pp. 105-53; reprinted as "The 1940s: The Way We Really Were," Civil Liberties Review 2 (Winter 1975): 4-36. William Preston, Jr., "Freedom Fighters of the Thirties: Violence and Vigilantism in New Deal America," Update on Law-Related Education 4 (Spring 1980).

21. Whipple quoted in Preston, "Civil Liberty in America," p. 471.

22. Preston, "Civil Liberty in America," p. 468.

23. William Preston, Jr., and Ellen Ray, "Disinformation and Mass Deception: Democracy as a Cover Story," Our Right to Know (Spring 1983): 1-10; reprinted in CovertAction Information Bulletin (Spring-Summer 1983), translated into Spanish and French for Gramma, (September 11, 1983); updated in Richard O. Curry, ed., Freedom at Risk: Secrecy, Censorship, and Repression in the 1980s (1988), pp. 203-23.

24. Preston, "Shadows of War and Fear," p. 119.

25. William Preston, "Protest and the Populist Legacy," Civil Liberties Review 4, (September-October 1977): 88-92; William Preston, Jr., in John Shattuck et al., "Chartering the FBI," Nation, October 6, 1979; pp. 294-301.

26. William Preston, Jr., "Historical Activism and the Vestal Virgins of Academe," Civil Liberties Review 5 (September-October 1978): 54-58.

27. Preston, "Civil Liberty in America," p. 449; "Is America Still a Company Town?," Civil Liberties Review 4 (January-February 1978): 54-58. Contrast the optimism of Marge Frantz, "We Did Overcome: The Death of the Company Town and the House Unamerican Activities Committee," Paul Lubow Memorial Lecture, University of California, Santa Cruz, Oct. 16, 1989.

28. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "An Uneven Chronicle," Civil Liberties Review 2 (1975): 134-36. My thanks to Paul L. Murphy for this citation.

29. Paul L. Murphy, "Dilemmas in Writing Civil Liberties History," Civil Liberties Review 5 (May-June 1978): 16-22.

30. Preston, "Historical Activism."

31. Preston, "Civil Liberty in America," p. 467.

32. William Preston, Jr., "Historical Secrecy and Civil Liberties," Paper to OAH Detroit Convention, 1981; Paul Buhle and Edward Rice-Maximin, William Appleman Williams: The Tragedy of Empire (1995). In 1982, the committee joined with FOIA, Inc. and many other organizations to protest unsuccessfully against President Reagan's Executive Order 12333, which extended classification to the absurdity of permitting the reclassification of previously released documents. William Preston, "Information as Obscenity: The Reagan Assault on Liberty," Our Right to Know (March-April 1982): 1-5, "Executive Overkill: Secrecy as an Arms Race," Our Right to Know (Summer 1982): 7-8.

33. Ann Mari Buitrago, with Leon Andrew Immerman, Are You Now or Have You Ever Been in the FBI Files: How to Secure and Interpret Your FBI Files (1981).

34. William Preston, Jr., Edward S. Herman, and Herbert I. Schiller, Hope & Folly: The United States and UNESCO, 1945-1985 (1989).

35. William Preston, Jr., Preface to Laurien Alexandre, ed., The Ideology of International Communications (1992), p. 4.

36. William Preston, Jr., "What Did We Know and When Did We Know it? The Uses of Information," Our Right to Know (Winter-Spring 1988): 5-6. See also, William Preston, Jr., "The U.S., Nazis, and the U.N.: Media Bias and the Cold War," Lies of Our Times 1 (July 1990): 7.

37. Important exceptions include Frank J. Donner, The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America's Political Intelligence System (1980), and Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban America (1990); Stanley I. Kutler, The American Inquisition: Justice and Injustice in the Cold War (1982); Richard Polenberg, Fighting Faiths: The Abrams Case, the Supreme Court, and Free Speech (1987).

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