Linton- Life in the Collections
William James Linton:
Boston 1871 / 2010
Bound copies, 29 pages
During the tumultuous events of the Paris Commune and the hysterical debates around Linton remained “one of the handful of people in the United States courageous enough to speak out and informed enough to understand.” (F.B. Smith) Although he recognized a decisive weakness in the activities of the Commune, which he saw caused by the Communard’s anarchic individualism and isolation, he did welcome it as a dawning of radical democratism. In this remarkable essay, he accuses the venerable New York Tribune, which would preen itself of its accurate coverage, of having loaded their columns “with infamous rumours and malignant insinuations.” Linton provides detailed evidence of a tactics of slander by the popular press. His Answer to the Calumnies of the “New York Tribune” thus provides a profound analysis of a crucial case of constructed history, a topic with which dealt with six years later in his conversation piece Voices of the Dead.