America's Forgotten Terrorists
The Rise and Fall of the Galleanists
Jeffrey D. Simon
Though largely forgotten today, one of the most destructive terrorist groups in the United States was the Galleanists, a fiery band of Italian anarchists active during the early 1900s. In America's Forgotten Terrorists, Jeffrey D. Simon shows how alienation and frustration among segments of a community were transformed into a militant extremist movement. Luigi Galleani, a gifted writer and speaker, tapped into widespread disappointment among Italian immigrants concerning their lives in America. Unemployment, low wages, long working hours, discrimination, and a poor quality of life made many Italian immigrants receptive to his words. The Galleanists introduced terrorist tactics and strategies that are still used today: they were the first group to send package bombs across the country and to exploit the media for their own advantage. One of their members is also suspected of launching the first vehicle bomb in the United States in 1920, considered the worst act of domestic terrorism until the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The story of the Galleanists is a chilling journey through a volatile period in American history, including labor-management conflicts, World War I, and the Red Scare. An expert in terrorism, Simon offers striking insights into the Galleanist era and some of its eerie connections to modern America, calling us to recognize the risks of repeating our history. How the Galleanists operated and how the U.S. government responded hold lessons for today as we continue to deal with the threat of terrorism.
Jeffrey D. Simon is president of Political Risk Assessment Company, Inc., a security and terrorism research consulting company in Santa Monica, California, and a visiting lecturer in the Department of Political Science at UCLA.?He is the author of The Alphabet Bomber: A Lone Wolf Terrorist Ahead of His Time (Potomac Books, 2019), Lone Wolf Terrorism: Understanding the Growing Threat, and The Terrorist Trap: America's Experience with Terrorism. Visit his website at www.futureterrorism.com. ? ? ?
"America's Forgotten Terrorists tells the incredible tale of the Galleanists?and tells it well. Little known today, the Galleanists made headlines a century ago with dramatic acts of terrorist violence, recounted here in fascinating and often shocking detail. In doing so, they forced Americans to confront issues of civil liberties, inequality, immigration, and state power that still resonate today."?Beverly Gage, professor of history and American studies at Yale University and author of The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror
"Astute and valuable. . . . Simon's book is a long-overdue examination of the Galleanists. It is a major contribution to the field of terrorism and an indispensable research gift for future historians."?Dennis Pluchinsky, former senior intelligence analyst in the Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis, U.S. Department of State
"This is a fascinating and compelling story of a little-known terrorist movement in which we find wisdom to navigate the terrorism of our times."?J. Reid Meloy, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California?San Diego and consulting psychologist for the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit