Distinguished Dissenters and Opposition to the 1919-1920 Red Scare
|Author: ||Gengarelly, W.|
This study traces the activity of an important civil liberties coalition which developed in response to the 1919-1920 Red Scare, a time when national and state governments used the fear of Russian Communism to justify persecution of left-wing organizations, and mass deportation of suspect radical aliens. The threats to freedom of speech and due process of law were so severe that influential people organized a loose but highly effective civil liberties movement to block passage of draconian sedition laws and rescue thousands of innocent aliens from deportation. The book examines the political strategy and follows its networking from the American Civil Liberties Union and Harvard Law School to the United States Department of Labor and federal courts. The historical narrative provides a basis for the development of a theory of opposition to cycles of political repression, the 'libertarian check,' and provides an opportunity to evaluate the strengths and limitations of civil liberties in the United States. No other studies have focused as closely on the multifaceted opposition to political and legal repression during this Red Scare period.
"Like a biologist searching for a rare and possibly endangered butterfly species, W. Anthony Gengarelly has discovered and classified the libertarian establishment elite fluttering in the thickets of government repression and political demonology. . . . he forces us to confront anew the origins, motivations, tactics, and successes of those individuals and organizations that created a counteroperation against the worst excesses of that traumatic event." - The Journal of American History