The 1916 Preparedness Day Bombing: Anarchy and Terrorism in Progressive Era America, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The 1916 Preparedness Day Bombing

Anarchy and Terrorism in Progressive Era America, 1st Edition

By Jeffrey A. Johnson


198 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138672833
pub: 2017-08-22
Hardback: 9781138672826
pub: 2017-08-10
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315562322
pub: 2017-08-15
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This book places the 1916 San Francisco Preparedness Day Bombing within the broader context of American radicalism and isolationism during the Progressive Era. A concise narrative and key primary documents offer readers an introduction to this episode of domestic violence and the subsequent, sensationalized trial that followed. The dubious conviction of a local labor organizer raised serious questions about political extremism, pluralistic ideals, and liberty in the United States that continue to resonate in the twenty-first century.


Interested in class conflict, radicalism, violence, xenophobia, and state repression? Curious about why the US legal system and court of popular opinion often slant rightward? Look no further. Johnson’s book on the WWI era’s most notorious bombing offers needed context for Americans seeking to understand similar issues today. The past remains prologue.

- Peter Cole, Professor of History at Western Illinois University

The protracted and brutal violence of the late Gilded Age and early 20th century constituted another civil war in America, as Big Labor and Big Capital fought a running battle over the meaning and future of the nation. Johnson’s timely study situates the infamous Preparedness Day bombing within that larger frame adeptly, reminds us that the West was at the center of the maelstrom, and highlights the scapegoated tragedy of Tom Mooney.

- William Deverell, Director, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West

Table of Contents

  1. "Perpetuated Hatred and Suspicion":
  2. Labor & Capital at Odds

  3. "The Wrath of Man":
  4. Anarchism Comes to the United States

  5. "Assassins, Murderers, Conspirators":
  6. The March of Progressive Era Radicalism & Violence

  7. "The Road to Universal Slaughter" & "This Dastardly Act":
  8. The Preparedness Debate & Bombing

  9. "The Fanatic Demon":
  10. The Manhunt

  11. "The Act of One is the Act of All":
  12. The Trial

  13. "Fighting Anarchists of America":

The Attacks of 1919 & 1920, and the Mooney Defense Onward

About the Series

Critical Moments in American History

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
HISTORY / United States / State & Local / West (AK, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY)