[N.p., likely New York: American Defense Society, ca. 1919]. 20,pp. printed on a continuous accordion- fold strip, each panel 3 x 4 inches, eleven of the pages containing full-page illustrations. Light soiling and wear. Near fine. Item #WRCAM57792
A small, unrecorded propaganda booklet produced by the nationalistic American Defense Society (ADS) in the early days of the First Red Scare. The accordion-fold pages print arguments against Bolshevism, each presented opposite a political cartoon demonstrating the dangers of Russian Bolshevist ideology to the American laborer and his family. Some of the cartoons, most of them signed "Erickson," include an enormous dragon blasting a flame labeled "Bolshevism" over "Holy Russia," an ape pushing down the twin pillars of "Capital" and "Labor" which hold up "Civilization & Progress," and a comparison of a prosperous American worker coming home with a paycheck to a ragged Russian laborer returning to his browbeaten family empty-handed. The booklet ends with a blank form soliciting subscriptions for membership in the ADS.
The American Defense Society was founded in 1915 to encourage immediate and overwhelming offensive action against Germany during World War I. The group also launched an attempt to outlaw German-language instruction in the United States, suggested incarceration of foreign nationals during the War, and cast aspersions on so-called "hyphenated Americans." After the war, their focus shifted to the threat of Bolshevism. "Look Out for the Snake!" was their chief slogan, which appeared on flyers, newspaper advertisements, and even as the title of an ADS-produced propaganda film that played in theatres nationwide. We find no record of this particular booklet on OCLC or in any other source, although the New-York Historical Society holds an archive of ADS booklets which are not individually cataloged. A rare and ephemeral example of the anti-Bolshevik propaganda produced in the United States during the Red Scare.