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Series III. Anti-War Propaganda

Scope and Content Notes:

Four waves of peace and antiwar activity played major roles within the twentieth century American Left. First Socialists before and during WW1 opposed military preparation and American participation in the war after 1917. In the 1930s revulsion against the memory of WW1 and fear that the world was drifting towards an even more devastating world war fueled large scale antiwar and peace agitation. Antiwar activity overlapped with antifascism (as in the title of one of the largest organizations—The League Against War and Fascism) because activists perceived the militarized fascist right as the primary source of war threats. College students played a key role in the movement circulating mass petitions urging draft refusal and staging several one day national strikes for peace. In the late 1950s and early 1960s the biggest focus of peace agitation was nuclear disarmament, but by the late 1960s opposition to the War in Vietnam predominated. Peace and antiwar agitation continued through subsequent decades but never reached the levels of mass support of these earlier waves. Communists also campaigned actively for peace in the late 1940s and 1950s and opposed US participation in the Korean War, but they did not generate mass support because most Americans, including those who also opposed the Korean War, believed that Communist antiwar efforts were motivated by support for Soviet national interests rather than a more general commitment to peace.

The American Left Ephemera collection includes items from of all of these eras. Communist material from the Cold War and Korean War are overrepresented, compared to the support they actually commanded, because even as the Party declined, it still had sufficient resources to support substantial publication of its materials.


Box 1
Folder 143 "Address of Dr. Harry F. Ward American Congress for Peace and Democracy", January 7, 1939
Folder 144 "Summary of Proceedings of American Congress for Peace and Democracy", January 13, 1939
Folder 145 "Proposed Draft of Revised Constitution of the American League for Peace and Democracy for Discussion at the Congress"
Folder 146 The World Congress Against War, August 27-29, 1932
Folder 147 The American Struggle for Peace, 1952
Folder 148 A Key to Survival, by Margret Hofmann, 1962
Folder 149 The Dean of Canterbury To the People of America, "We Can Keep Peace"
Folder 150 "Sure, War is Hell! But What Can You Do About It?, The Reverse Side of This Leaflet Tells What You Can Do About It...", March 13, 1953
Folder 151 Southern California Peace Crusade, "Peace with Jobs!", 1953
Folder 152 "Memo from a Veteran Who's Still Fighting"
Folder 153 National Defense, by John Franklin, April 1936
Folder 154 Which Way for Young Americans?, by Gus Hall, October 1950
Folder 155 "Meet Your Local Merchant of Death", compiled By Narmic, June 1977
Folder 156 "Stop Iran Iraq War, Iran-Iraq Peace Movement..." Sticker
Folder 157 "Damage Report, How Reagan Administration has hurt workers, the needy, the elderly...enriched the rich, Big Oil, the corporations, AFL-CIO Solidarity Party", September 19, 1981
Folder 158 "The Cruise Missile", by Dan Smith, 1977
Folder 159 $222 Billion Dollars
Folder 160 Assorted Holiday Cards for Peace
Folder 161 "American League for Peace and Democracy Report" by Russell Thayer, Acting Executive Secretary, 1938
Folder 162 Assorted Flyers Petitioning Against the Fleet of 244 B-1 Bombers
Folder 163 Antiwar Speak out Flyer
Folder 164 From Korean Truce to World Peace, by Robert Mann
Folder 165 The American People Want Peace, A Survey of Public Opinion, by Jessica Smith, 1955
Folder 166 The Atomic Arming of the West German Federal Republic- An Imminent Danger To Peace, 1964
Folder 167 Guns are Ready, by Seymour Waldman, January 1935
Folder 168 How to Keep America Out of War, by Kirby Page, 1939
Folder 169 The Price of Peace, by E. Guy Talbott, 1935
Folder 170 "Peace- The Present Imperative"
Folder 171 "Black Shirt Black Skin", by Boake Carter
Folder 172 Military "Glory" in the Colleges, by Paul Blanshard, February 18, 1925
Folder 173 The Menace of a New World War, January, 1936
Folder 174 "Hell in the Heavens", June 1931
Folder 175 Selections from War Without Violence, By Krishnalal Shridharani, 1939
Folder 176 "Program for Governmental Action To Keep The United States Out of War and War Out of the World", Mid 1930's
Folder 177 A Call To Peace Now, A Message to the Society of Friends, by Dorothy Hutchinson
Folder 178 Keep America Out of War
Folder 179 Report to FDR, Documentary Evidence on the Origins of the Cold War, 1955
Folder 180 Is Disarmament Possible?
Folder 181 "The United States and Disarmament", 1931

Box 13
Folder 34 Drive the Snakes Out of El Salvador; St. Patrick's Day Benefit Flyer, 1981
Folder 35 Peace Pipe, 1962
Folder 36 "Peace Walk to the World's Fair", May 5, 1962
Folder 37 "Friends! We Need Your Help!"
Folder 38 Stop The U.S. War in El Salvador, March 27, 1982
Folder 39 "Protest Protest Protest Kirkpatrick Visit" Flyer, April 26, 1981
Folder 40 This Administration Has Declared War On Americans, 1981
Folder 41 An Evening of Solidarity With The People of El Salvador, March 23 1982
Folder 42 "No More Three Mile Islands U.S. Out of El Salvador" Flyer, 1981