Silencing Thomas Kerl
The Espionage Act of 1917 and the War Against Dissent
During the First World War the United States invested millions of dollars to persuade Americans to support the mobilization of men and resources. The government orchestrated a propaganda campaign and enlisted thousands of informants who sought to prosecute citizens who were thought to be less than loyal. This biography explores the life of one of those who was prosecuted. Originally from Nebraska, where he had thousands of acres of farmland, Thomas Kerl was a resident of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He was a farmer, developer, educator, philanthropist, state legislator and an attorney. His story reminds us of how the media can manipulate public opinion and how easily the truth can be overlooked.
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