A Question of Sedition

A Question of Sedition : Federal Government's Investigation of the Black Press During World War Two

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A Question of Sedition tells the story of an event that almost happened, didn't, and why it never occurred. That event was the attempt by the Rossevelt Administration to use its special wartime sedition powers to suppress publication of the major black newspapers during World War II. Historians have long believed that the massive press suppressions of 1917-1921 did not recur during World War II simply because of a relative absence of dissent. Many have also believed that Franklin Roosevelt, who generally enjoyed good relations with the press, would not have been a supporter of censorship. This book shows that in fact an intense battle raged within the highest levels of Roosevelt's government over censorship of the black press. On the side of suppressing, or at least silencing, the black press was the powerful team of Franklin Roosevelt and J. Edgar Hoover; working virtually alone on the other side was Attorney General Francis Biddle. Drawing on interviews and thousands of pages of government documents, many obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and declassified for the first time, Washburn tells the full story of the conflict, setting the record straight on this important period in the country's libertarian history. About the Author: Patrick S. Washburn is Associate Professor of Journalism at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism of Ohio Univeristy. He was formerly a newspaper reporter and columnist for more than ten years.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 306 pages
  • 142.24 x 210.82 x 30.48mm | 589.67g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019503984X
  • 9780195039849

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