Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Spring 2010

By David Edgar.

Beverly Gage has presented a readable, detailed, and enlightening history of the Wall Street bombing of 16 September 1920, the worst terrorist act in the United States until the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995. The similarities between this bombing and later attacks in New York are obvious, but several significant aspects of this first car bombing in history merit study, including the abuse of intelligence, the suspension of constitutional safeguards in the name of patriotism, and the trajectory of radical movements. The ability of a small and still unidentified group to affect politics, business, and public confidence dramatically through the use of a simple but well-placed and highly effective explosive is unarguable, even today.

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