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Social Justice (periodical)

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Social Justice
A Michigan couple listens to the radio
and reads Father Coughlin's newspaper
Social Justice (1939).
Owner(s)Thomas J. Coughlin
Amelia Coughlin
PublisherNational Union for Social Justice
EditorCharles Coughlin
E. Perrin Schwartz
Staff writersCora Quinlan
FoundedMarch 13, 1936
Ceased publication1942
HeadquartersRoyal Oak, Michigan
OCLC number01773391

Social Justice was a topical political periodical published by Father Charles Coughlin from 1936 to 1942.[1]


Social Justice being sold on the streets of New York City (July 1939)

Social Justice was controversial for printing antisemitic polemics such as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Coughlin claimed that Marxist atheism in Europe was a Jewish plot against America. The December 5, 1938, issue of Social Justice included an article by Coughlin which reportedly closely resembled a speech made by Joseph Goebbels on September 13, 1935, attacking Jews and Communists, with some sections being copied verbatim by Coughlin from an English translation of the Goebbels speech. Coughlin, however, stated, "Nothing can be gained by linking ourselves with any organization which is engaged in agitating racial animosities or propagating racial hatreds."[2] Furthermore, in an interview with Eddie Doherty, Coughlin stated: "My purpose is to help eradicate from the world its mania for persecution, to help align all good men. Catholic and Protestant, Jew and Gentile, Christian and non-Christian, in a battle to stamp out the ferocity, the barbarism and the hate of this bloody era. I want the good Jews with me, and I'm called a Jew baiter, an anti-Semite."[3]

After America's entry into World War II, Coughlin's broadcasts were ended by the National Association of Broadcasters. In 1942, the periodical's second class mailing permit was revoked under the Espionage Act of 1917 as part of Attorney General Francis Biddle's efforts against "vermin" publications.[4][5][6] The paper remained available on newsstands in cities such as Boston, where it was distributed by private delivery trucks.[7]

See also



  1. ^ "Crackdown on Coughlin". TIME. 27 April 1942. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  2. ^ The New York Times, Feb. 27, 1939
  3. ^ Charles Edward Coughlin. Spartacus-Educational.com Archived 2009-10-04 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Mails Barred to "Social Justice"". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 15 April 1942. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  5. ^ Stone, Geoffrey R. (2004). "Free Speech in World War II: When are you going to indict the seditionists?". International Journal of Constitutional Law. 2 (2): 334–367. doi:10.1093/icon/2.2.334.
  6. ^ "The Press: Coughlin Quits - TIME". time.com. 1942-05-18. Archived from the original on October 14, 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-13.
  7. ^ Norwood, Stephen H. (2003). "Marauding Youth and the Christian Front: Antisemitic Violence in Boston and New York During World War II". American Jewish History. 91 (2). The Johns Hopkins University Press: 233–267. doi:10.1353/ajh.2004.0055. JSTOR 23887201. S2CID 162237834.