Reds of Future Past

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At the top of the image, the following text: “Examples of items seized or restricted from the U.S. Mail during WWI under the Espionage Act.” Underneath, various illustrated figures of the following text: “Fig. 1, Anti-war slogans, logos, or publications”; “Fig. 2, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) images, notably 'The Man Behind the Bars!’”; “Fig. 3, Communist or anti-capitalist postcards & pamphlets, including suffrage material related to The Socialist Party of America”; “Fig. 4, While not directly banned, radical and anti-war publications like The Masses and Mother Earth had their ‘second class’ postage privileges revoked, effectively denying them wide distribution.”

On the left, above a watercolor painting of two dapper young men at a table, the following text: “'Homosexuality is Stalin’s Atom bomb to destroy America.’ — Arthur Guy Matthews 1953”On the right, above a water color of two young men with their fists raised, the following text: “'In the land where the proletariat governs manfully and successfully, homosexuality with its corrupting effect on the young is considered a social crime punishable under the law.’ — Maxim Gorky, 1934”

John Leavitt is a writer and artist. He lives in New York City.

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