SAVAGE PEACE-Hope and Fear in America-1919


In a quite amazing book by the title above by historian Ann Hagendorn published in 2007 the year 1919 is documented from an American perspective, including race relations and lynching, Wilson’s efforts to forge a world peace and League of Nations, and more important to me the background of the rise of J.Edgar Hoover and the Palmer Raids named after Attorney General Palmer that rounded up and deported many Communists, anarchists and syndicalists in the US.

The heroic story of the returning Black vets of WWI including discussion of their magnificant performance in the trench warfare of that war, and their unwillingness to accept the deep racism in the US is important for the knowledge of all Americans. A number of them were lynched in uniform. 

The efforts of the US government to enlist private spys in its efforts to destroy radicals, many of whom just opposed US efforts by military intervention to end the rule of Lenin and the Russian Revolution is also well documented. The so-called “Polar Bears” the US forces in the region of Archangel and Northern Russia is also well discussed.

But popular culture also makes it appearance as does the amazing story of Hellen Keller and her tutor Anne Sullivan.

My bottom line is that understanding that year sets the stage for much of the later McCarthy/McCarran era and the UnAmerican Activities Committee and the collusion of HOOVER on various witch hunts.

When I reported for active service in late summer 1967 having been drafted I was working at 1111 Constitution Ave for IRS. The then new FBI headquarters was under construction. When I returned in summer 1970 that building was just reaching ground level so that my guess is more of it is underground than above ground. Not all parking since the vicious and corrupt parking lobby in D.C. in that era was very successful in ensuring that no large buildings had adquate parking for its workers.

But that monument to HOOVER who through his personal and official corruption and misuse of government files for his own purposes terrorized Washington for almost three generations (he died in 1972) makes certain that all should understand “that it CAN happen here”!

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