Ever since I was a student in Harvard College more than thirty
years ago, I have been involved in the struggle for civil hberties.
This book tells of the main battles in which I personally took part
and at the same time tries to give an over-all survey of the on¬
slaught against the American Bill of Rights since the end of the
Second World War.
My first participation in a free speech battle occurred in 1924
when, as a Senior at Harvard, I actively supported a movement
to have a few radicals invited now and then to address the under¬
graduates concerning economic and political issues. I and some
of the other students had grown tired of hearing lectures (wiih
lantern sHdes) on such subjects as "Wild Lffe in Darkest Africa,"
"Arctic Explorations of the Twentieth Century," and "The Flora
and Fauna of the Amazon." We succeeded in liberalizing to some
extent the program of outside speakers for Harvard.
In 1931 civil hberties became a definite field of concentration
for me when I was elected to the Board of Directors of the Amer¬
ican Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Since then I have spent con¬
siderable time in working, speaking and writing in defense of the
Bill of Rights. In 1934, when Boss Frank Hague had set himself
up as the anti-labor dictator of Jersey City, I undertook a test case
for the ACLU by peacefully picketing a factory where members
of the Furniture Workers Industrial Union were on strike. Mayor