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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Harry R. Hopps. Destroy This Mad Brute, Enlist—U.S. Army. San Francisco Army Recruiting District, April 4, 1918. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (025.00.00)

Mad Brute

In this 1918 propaganda poster artist Harry R. Hopps depicts Germany as an enraged gorilla stepping foot on an American shore as Europe lays in ruin in the distance. This enlistment poster issued by the San Francisco Army Recruiting District was intended to rouse its audience to join the cause against the "German militarism" threatening American liberty. In this powerful image, liberty takes the form of woman whom the brute clutches in his one arm, while his other carries a bloody club marked "Kultur."