HIGHLIGHTS

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BIG THINKING

Liberty magazine explored some of the big ideas of post-war America, discussing many issues at the forefront of the national consciousness. Well-known figures contributed on important ideas of both domestic and international relevance, and this guide had picked out samples from: Albert Einstein (1879-1955) writing on why civilization would not come to an end; H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) writing on why capitalism would survive now and in the future; in a famous piece, the benefits of marijuana being argued by a diverse range of voices, from medical professionals to government officials; and developments in healthcare, including diet-led methods for overcoming cancer.

 

Einstein, Albert. “Why Civilization Will Not Crash.” Liberty, 12 Aug. 1933 

Mencken, H. L. “Capitalism Won’t Die.” Liberty, 1 June 1935

Chidester, Chidester E., A. M., Ph. D. “Science Fights Cancer with Diet.” Liberty, 9 Sept. 1939

Kutner, Nanette. “The Truth about Marihuana.” Liberty, 1 May 1949

FASCISM

Alongside the social issues and ideas, Liberty also followed important developments in international politics and society. One development it maintained a long-running interest in was the rise of fascism in Europe, and its potential effect on the United States. It closely followed the rise of both Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) in Germany and Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) in Italy, and the consequences this may have for international relations and the potential of starting wars. The realisation that the rise of fascism could start future warfare became of increasing interest, including articles that openly asked the question as to whether the fascist leaders could bring about conflict.

 

Seldes, George. “Fascism (Alias Bolshevism) in Italy.” Liberty, 19 Sept. 1925

Viereck, George Sylvester. “’When I Take Charge of Germany’ Hitler Shows His Hand.” Liberty, 9 July 1932

Franklin, Jay. “Is Mussolini’s Power Crumbling?” Liberty, 7 Mar. 1936

“Envoy”. “Will Hitler and Mussolin Start Stalin’s War?” Liberty, 5 Feb. 1938

POLITICS

Whilst considering the developments in international politics, Liberty also covered their potential impact on domestic politics for their readership. Many areas of politics were covered, from Mussolini’s statement that President Roosevelt (1882-1945) was a dictator to debating whether the United States had an outdated and outmoded approach to diplomacy. Well-known contributors also considered political issues, including Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) contributing an essay on Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), and Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) writing on the future of Japan.

 

Mussolini, Benito. “Roosevelt Dictates Too!” Liberty, 25 Mar. 1939

Reston, James. “Horse-And-Buggy Diplomacy Is Hurting Us.” Liberty, 29 Mar. 1947

Gorky. “Lenin.” Liberty, 8 May 1926

Trotsky, Leon. “Will Japan Commit Suicide?” Liberty, 18 Nov. 1933

SHORT STORIES

One of Liberty’s most famous outputs were the short stories, many of which were considered classics of the genre for their tight editing and twist endings. Both well-known and unknown writers turned out almost 1,300 stories of just 1,000 words, and this guide has selected examples from: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), author of modern classics including The Great Gatsby; P. Wodehouse (1881-1975), British author famous for his comedic books featuring his enduring characters Jeeves and Wooster; Agatha Christie (1890-1976), hugely influential crime and detective fiction writer known for creating fictional detective Hercule Poirot; and John Galsworthy (1867-1933), novelist and playwright famous for The Forsyte Saga, and winner of the 1932 Nobel Prize for Literature.

 

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “Strange Sanctuary.” Illustrated by Marthe Moore. Liberty, 9 Dec. 1939

Wodehouse, P. G. “The Inferiority Complex of Old Sippy.” Illustrated by Wallace Morgan. Liberty, 17 Apr. 1926

Christie, Agatha. “The Peril at End House.” Illustrated by W. D. Stevens. Liberty, 13 June 1931

Galsworthy, John. “Soames and the Flag.” Illustrated by Herbert M. Stoops, et al. Liberty, 15 June 1929

SOCIAL DEBATES

The interwar years in America saw significant shifts in society, and many issues came to the foreground of public awareness. Liberty considered the issue of increasing divorce rates, and some of their pieces gained significant attention, especially those that suggested remedies for the problem. Racial politics were also considered, including an article selected for this guide asking whether the rise of racial violence is reflected in the possible re-emergence of the Klu Klux Klan. Liberty also considered gender politics, writing on the increasing prominence of women, including the question of whether the United States could have a female president. Sexual politics also featured, including a debate between Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) and Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) on the topic of birth control.

 

Byng, Edward J., Ph. D. “The Real Cure for Our Divorce Epidemic.” Liberty, 1 May 1948

Evans, Hiram W. “Is the Klan Coming Back?” Liberty, 20 Nov. 1937

“Why Not a Woman President?” Liberty, 8 Nov. 1924

Gandhi, Mahatma, and Margaret Sanger. “Birth Control, Love.” Liberty, 5 Aug. 1939

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