Common Cause


Common Cause

A Novel of the War in America

Samuel Hopkins Adams
Annotated and with an introduction by John Maxwell Hamilton and Amy Solomon Whitehead

396 pages


July 2019


$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

July 2019


$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

July 2019


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

A lost literary relic of the First World War, Common Cause tells the story of Jeremy Robson, a crusading newspaper editor in the fictional midwestern town of Fenchester. The Guardian’s muckraking has led special interests to withhold advertising in order to drive Robson out of business. But he and local plutocrats put their differences aside when war is declared in 1917 in order to attack the German-American community for its supposed fealty to their Fatherland. Common Cause provides a vivid picture of the America-first fear and hate that gripped the midwestern United States during the Great War.

Author Bio

Samuel Hopkins Adams (1871–1958) was an American muckraker and World War I propagandist. He wrote for the New York Sun, McClure’s Magazine, and Collier’s Weekly and authored dozens of books, including Revelry and Common Cause. John Maxwell Hamilton is the Hopkins P. Breazeale Professor at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication and a Global Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He is the author and editor of many books, including the award-winning Journalism’s Roving Eye: A History of American Newsgathering Abroad. Amy Solomon Whitehead is a Baton Rouge based writer and communications consultant.


“Samuel Hopkins Adams was the embodiment of the perplexing and confounding American nature careening between patriotism and bigotry, idealism and war mania. His book Common Cause: A Novel of the War in America is a pertinent lesson for our times when values clash with each other and good men do things that they may regret. There is much here to ponder.”—Alex S. Jones, Pulitzer Prize winner and former director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School

Common Cause, in this superbly annotated edition, is an unexpected and timely reminder of the distorted emotions that spike in moments of heightened patriotism. Samuel Hopkins Adams was a first-rate polemicist, and the target of his novel, while set a century ago during World War I, is a familiar bogeyman: the hyphenated American whose country of origin is at war with the United States. Back then it was German-Americans; later, it would be Japanese-Americans and Arab-Americans. Reading this wartime novel one hundred years after its first publication is a disturbing reminder of the enduring characteristics of xenophobia.”—Peter Finn, coauthor of The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book

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