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Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech$
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Victoria Saker Woeste

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804772341

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804772341.001.0001

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Ford's Megaphone

Ford's Megaphone

(p.19) 1 Ford's Megaphone
Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech
Stanford University Press

In America, it was common for industrial magnates to acquire newspapers or start their own. One of them was Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company. In late 1918, Ford's public image suffered, in part due to his legal battles with the Chicago Tribune and Ford Motor Company's minority shareholders. Ford blamed the national press for these troubles and decided to buy his own newspaper. That newspaper turned out to be the Dearborn Independent, which he bought for $1,000 and served as his print version of a megaphone that would amplify—but not modify—everything he wanted to say. This chapter focuses on the events surrounding Ford's acquisition of the Dearborn Independent and some of the people he hired to run it, including William J. Cameron, Fred Black, and Ernest Gustav Liebold. It also looks at the Independent's publication of a series of anti-Semitic articles based on the document Protocols of the Elders of Zion that explicitly racialized views of Jews and took anti-Semitism to a different level.

Keywords:   Henry Ford, newspapers, Dearborn Independent, anti-Semitism, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Jews, Chicago Tribune, Ford Motor Company, William J. Cameron, Ernest Gustav Liebold

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