John Fabian Witt, “Weapons of Truth: Money, Propaganda, and Civil Liberties in World War I America”

A century ago, World War I set the modern First Amendment into motion. But wartime propaganda also gave rise to a critique that has shadowed speech rights right up through Citizens United and into our own time. For the war showed speech not only to be a form of protest, but also a form of power. In his lecture, Professor Witt tells the story of a small but diverse group of Americans who took control of a Wall Street fortune to battle power with power, establishing a foundation with a breathtaking aim: to change the American mind.

John Fabian Witt is Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His most recent book, Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History, was awarded the 2013 Bancroft Prize, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, was selected for the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and was a New York Times Notable Book for 2012.

This Fulton Lecture was presented on April 19, 2016.

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