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Spider WebThe Birth of American Anticommunism$
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Nick Fischer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040023

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040023.001.0001

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The Spider Web Chart

The Spider Web Chart

(p.71) Chapter 4 The Spider Web Chart
Spider Web

Nick Fischer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how the anticommunist movement created the so-called Spider Web Chart that articulated its narrative of a vast and deadly conspiracy against America mounted from within by Bolshevik spies, agents, and dupes. Representatives of government, big business, high finance, and the military were linked ever tightly by the rallying cause of anticommunism. The anticommunist movement sought to coherently define their cause and promote it in the wider community. Soon enough, the movement produced its ideal propaganda in an image that satisfied its members' political and psychological needs: the Spider Web Chart. Produced by the Chemical Warfare Service of the US Army, the chart proved to be a scheme of unique power, ideal for spreading the message of anticommunism. This chapter first considers how the Spider Web Chart was conceptualized before discussing its enduring effects. It shows that the Spider Web Chart encouraged anticommunists to develop an extensive and highly connected network of kindred associations and a monolithic ideology.

Keywords:   anticommunism, Spider Web Chart, propaganda, Chemical Warfare Service, US Army, anticommunists

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