The Safety of the Kingdom: Government Responses to Subversive Threats

The Safety of the Kingdom: Government Responses to Subversive Threats

by J. Michael Martinez
The Safety of the Kingdom: Government Responses to Subversive Threats

The Safety of the Kingdom: Government Responses to Subversive Threats

by J. Michael Martinez


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The horrendous events of September 11, 2001, heightened awareness of terrorism unlike all but a handful of major catastrophes in American history. Like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, 9/11 is a date forever enshrined in our national memory.

But 9/11 once again raised the question: What should government do to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of a future attack? How should national leadership balance its responsibility to protect the civil liberties of U.S. citizens with its sworn duty to protect their lives?

In The Safety of the Kingdom, J. Michael Martinez takes up the question of how the United States government has responded to terrorist attacks and, in the absence of an attack, the fear of foreign and subversive elements that may harm the nation. In some cases, the government “overreaction” led to a series of abuses that amplified the severity of the original threat. Rather than selecting every instance of government reaction to threats, Martinez examines representative cases, from the alien and sedition acts in the eighteenth century to the post-9/11 “war on terror.”

Edward Snowden’s disclosure of classified information related to the NSA’s surveillance program brought to the fore an important debate about government scrutiny of its citizens. As J. Michael Martinez makes clear in this book, it is a debate that has been ongoing for centuries.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history—books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631440243
Publisher: Carrel Books
Publication date: 08/25/2015
Pages: 300
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

J. Michael Martinez is an attorney and author of numerous articles and ten books on history, political science, and public administration, including Coming for to Carry Me Home: Race in America from Abolitionism to Jim Crow.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgments vii

Chapter 1 The Alien and Sedition Acts 1

Background 1

The Alien and Sedition Acts 4

The Lyon-Griswold Incident 9

Backlash 11

The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions 12

Conclusion 17

Chapter 2 Lincoln and the Suspension of Habeas Corpus 21

Lincoln and the Challenges of the 1860s 22

The Great Writ of Liberty 26

Copperheads on the Rise 33

The Arrest and Trial of Clement Vailandigham 39

The Aftermath 42

Chapter 3 The Espionage Act Of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 51

The Espionage Act of 1917 53

The Committee on Public Information (CPI) 57

Amendments: The Sedition Act of 1918 60

Court Cases 61

Postwar Hysteria: The Red Scare and the Palmer Raids 74

Conclusion 78

Chapter 4 The Smith Act of 1940 83

The Context of the Statute 84

Wartime Threats 90

Dennis v. United States 95

Yates v. United States 100

Chapter 5 Internment of Japanese-Americans During World War II 103

The Internment Decision 105

Executive Action and Its Consequences 111

Court Cases 117

The Aftermath 123

Chapter 6 The Internal Security Act of 1950 (The McCarran Act) 129

The Desire for Internal Security 130

Court Cases 135

Selective Enforcement and the Paul Robeson Episode 140

Chapter 7 The House Un-American Activities Committee (Huac) 147

Origins of the Dies Committee 148

Elizabeth Bentley: The Blond Spy Queen 155

The Hiss-Chambers Case 159

Assessing HUAC 168

Chapter 8 The FBI and Cointelpro 171

The Counterintelligence Program 173

The Civil Rights Movement and Black Nationalist Hate Groups 176


Exposure and Legacy 186

Chapter 9 The Post-9/11 War On Terror 191

Origins of the Attacks 192

September 11, 2001 203

The Aftermath 207


Chapter 10 Lessons Learned 219

The Hutchinson Letters Affair 222

Eugene V. Debs and the March of Socialism 225

Joseph R. McCarthy and the Hunt for Communists 227

Conclusion 231

Notes 235

References 261

Index 275

About the Author 289

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