Anti-War Propaganda and Leftist Politics

Exploring the Anti-War Propaganda and Leftist Politics Collections provides researchers with an insight into left-wing politics in the twentieth century, with content on communism, socialism and liberalism, alongside other leftist ideologies. Researchers can delve into the press articles, leaflets, pamphlets and books produced by these left-leaning and liberal organisations, allowing detailed analysis of their ideologies, politics and rhetoric.

This material also provides the ideal counterpoint to the far-right material also present in the archive, allowing researchers to directly compare differing ideologies - for instance material written from a socialist viewpoint to that advocating fascism. Assitionally, ephemera created by more conservative organisations and political parties on the political right that discusses or opposes leftism is also available; this material gives an invaluable insight into how these liberal and left-wing political ideas were viewed and approached by organisations across the political spectrum.

These Collections also address peace and anti-war movements and their politics by providing the researcher with an excellent selection of anti-war literature, such as anti-conscription posters and interviews with protesters. Included are press articles demonstrating opposition to the Vietnam War in America, which slowly began to gain momentum from 1964. What started in college campuses in America as a demand for peace grew more quickly as the war became deadlier, leading to the creation of other organisations to oppose the war, such as the GIs and Veterans against the War in Vietnam, and the civilian Cleveland Area Peace Action Council. Ephemera detailing opposition to other conflicts are also made available to researchers, from the war in El Salvador to the invasion of Grenada and the Persian Gulf War. The anti-war literature includes calls for peace aimed at the government, interviews with humanitarians and protesters, anti-conscription posters and appeals to the public to join the campaign. 

 

  • The American Radicalism Collection

    Since 1970, the American Radicalism Collection at Michigan State University has been collecting ephemera on radical political groups across a range of extremist movements in the country, including those involved in religion, race, gender, the environment, and equal rights. The collection covers four general categories, each with a different focus: left-wing politics and anti-war movements; religion and the radical right; race, gender and equal rights; and social, economic and environmental movements. The collection also includes materials on such topics as survivalism, Holocaust denial, creationism, and anti-Catholicism. The materials represent a wide range of viewpoints, from the far-right to the far-left, on political, social, cultural, sexual, and economic issues in America.

    The aggregation process did not end with materials from the late 1960s and 1970s; the collection includes materials from the 1980s, the 1990s, and the beginning of the twenty-first century. As a totality, the American Radicalism Collection provides a non-idealised and minimally brokered snapshot of social change concerns in the United States from 1970 to the present.

    This expansive collection offers researchers the opportunity to study, as well as compare, multiple fringe political movements in the country and to examine what impact they have had on today’s society.

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  • British Security Service Personal Files. Subseries on Right Wing-Extremists, Communists and Suspected Communists, and Soviet and Other Communist Front Organisations

    The Security Service: Personal (PF Series) Files series contains selected files from the First and Second World War periods and the inter-war years having to do with suspected spies, renegades, communist sympathizers, right-wing extremists, and other groups in which the British Security Service took an interest, including pacifist and anti-conscription groups.

    The government records of the Security Service, better known as MI5, are grouped by topic. This collection provides access to the 'Right-Wing Extremists'; 'Soviet and Other Communist Front Organisations'; and 'Communists and Suspected Communists, including Russian and Communist sympathisers' subseries. These series cover a period of roughly 50 years (1910s–1960s) and details the surveillance of several notable groups (British Union of Fascists, Imperial Fascist League, and the Communist Party of Great Britain) and individuals (Oswald Mosely, Arnold Leese, George Orwell, Alan Nunn May, Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin, Sylvia Pankhurst, Doris Lessing, and Unity Mitford) who were considered a threat by Britain's government.

    The records cover a variety of subjects that span the Second World War and post-war era up to the mid–1960s, and covers both leftist and right-wing individuals. Since these files are personal files on private individuals, they were closed for an obligatory time period but are now available to the public.

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  • Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda

    The Hall-Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda from the John Hay Library at Brown University began as a selection of material gathered by Gordon Hall. After returning from the war, Hall investigated hate groups in the United States for Friends of Democracy, an anti-totalitarian group. He built a substantial offering of propaganda materials, mainly focused on anti-integrationist, anti-Semitic, and racist groups, such as the American Fascist Union and Ku Klux Klan.

    Hall-Hoag Printed Propaganda is a treasure trove of primary source materials for academic researchers of modern American extremism. Extremist literature has always been difficult to find because its authors intended the material to be read only by a limited number of readers who identified as true believers. Consequently, media print runs tend to be small and erratic. It takes a dedicated effort to amass and organize offerings of this type. Most of the extremist literature in this offering range from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s, which were the most contentious days of the civil rights campaigns. Publications represent a cross-section of extremist opinion toward integration and civil rights activism, but it also contains propaganda materials on anti-Semitism, Christian Identity theology, neo-Nazi groups, and white supremacy movements.

    These propaganda materials are the products of decades of collaboration between Gordon Hall and his research assistant, Grace Hoag. Hoag first worked with Hall as a volunteer and later as a collaborator. They were able to collect materials, known to be difficult to maintain, from major extremist organizations and groups from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s.

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