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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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The Other War

The Other War

(p.143) 5 The Other War
Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech
Stanford University Press

In April 1924, Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent started publishing a series of articles attacking Aaron Sapiro. However, the newspaper made crucial mistakes that Sapiro would exploit in his lawsuit, including inaccurate and false reporting. Meanwhile, Ford continued to eye Muscle Shoals. After January 1922, the Independent stopped publishing negative comment about Jews, but Ernest Gustav Liebold and Fred Black secretly commissioned a series of articles designed to bolster Ford's Muscle Shoals campaign, burnish his rural image, and reveal how trusts and financial institutions exploit American farmers. One of the Independent's contributors was freelance writer Harry H. Dunn, who wrote the series of articles attacking Sapiro, Jewish involvement in agriculture, and international Jewish financiers' subversion of the cooperative movement. Sapiro knew that libel law was on his side in his legal battle with Ford, whom he knew would never be converted from his anti-Semitism. On April 22, his lawyer, William Henry Gallagher, filed a libel suit against Ford in Detroit's federal court, ushering in the saga of Sapiro v. Ford.

Keywords:   Henry Ford, Dearborn Independent, Sapiro v. Ford, libel, Aaron Sapiro, Jews, anti-Semitism, Harry H. Dunn, agriculture, Muscle Shoals

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