Suppression of The Masses
Editor of the socialist journal The Masses Max Eastman openly opposed the U.S. entrance into World War I. During one anti-war speech in Fargo, North Dakota, Eastman narrowly escaped a lynching for expressing his views. Relating his experiences, Eastman wrote to President Wilson: "Is there not grave danger to our civil liberties in these hundreds of thousands of armed men, if in the name of patriotism they are allowed with impunity to degenerate into gangs of marauders?" Under the provisions of the Espionage Act of 1917, Postmaster General Albert Burleson declared the August 1917 issue of The Masses could not be mailed, effectively cutting off the magazine's distribution.