Dark Burgundy Line

In 1917, war fever was sweeping the country. So was anti-dissent hysteria. Opponents of America’s entry into World War I — along with socialists and suspected draft evaders — faced prosecution, censorship, and violence.
It was in this climate that Crystal Eastman and Roger Baldwin created the Civil Liberties Bureau as part of the American Union Against Militarism. Three years later, in 1920, that small committee within an anti-war organization would evolve into the American Civil Liberties Union.
Since its founding, the ACLU has operated under Eastman and Baldwin’s guiding star: the principled defense of civil liberties without compromise based on political considerations. That principle has led us through a series of monumental events and policy decisions in the last century.
On the occasion of the ACLU’s centennial, this essay collection will explore many of those critical moments in the organization’s history. Together, it tells not only the ACLU’s story, but America’s as well.

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