The National Security League, 1914–1922

Wall Street and the War Machine

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About the Book

The early 20th century saw the founding of the National Security League, a nationalistic nonprofit organization committed to an expanded military, conscripted service and meritocracy. This book details its history, from its formation in December 1914 through 1922, at which point it was a spent force in decline. Founded by wealthy corporate lawyers based in New York City, it had secret backers in the capitalist class, who had two goals in mind. One was to profit immensely from the newly begun World War I. The other was to control the working classes in times of both war and peace.

This agenda was presented to the public under the guise of preparedness, patriotism, and Americanization. Although the league was eventually found by Congress to have violated election spending limits, no sanctions of any kind were ever applied. This history details the secret machinations of an organization dedicated to solidifying the grip of the capitalist class over workers, all under the cover of American pride.

About the Author(s)

Cultural historian Kerry Segrave is the author of dozens of books on such diverse topics as drive-in theaters, ticket-scalping, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking and shoplifting. He lives in British Columbia.

Bibliographic Details

Kerry Segrave
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 269
Bibliographic Info: 53 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8286-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4091-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
Part I. Preparedness, 1914–1917 (April 5)
1. Formation, December 1914 6
2. The Organization 26
3. The Politicians 35
4. Conferences and Conventions 43
5. Fear, Weirdness and Public Relations 60
6. The General Campaign 66
7. Critics and Impugners 91
Part II. Patriotism, 1917 (April 6)–1918 (November 10)
8. The Organization 108
9. The Politicians 116
10. Loyalty and Education 130
11. The General Campaign 155
12. Critics and Impugners 170
Part III. Americanization, 1918 (November 11)–1922
13. The Organization 178
14. The Reds 183
15. The General Campaign 192
16. Critics and Impugners 204
Chapter Notes 231
Bibliography 245
Index 257