By A.V. Schaffenberg
William Pelley was born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1890. He grew up with his family in abject poverty. When he was of working age he found a job in a paper factory. His one over riding passion was reading. When he was 18 he was hired as a reporter for the local newspaper. His descriptive powers were highly regarded and with the next few years he had feature articles in magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and Colliers where he was admired by millions.
In 1918 he was commissioned as a foreign correspondent on assignment to Eastern Europe. He was also given the diplomatic rank of Consular Courier. This job took him all over Russia and he saw at first hand the horrors of communism in action. After some time in Japan he returned to the USA and in addition to his considerable skills as a novelist, he went into script writing and moved to Hollywood.
His increasing interest in politics led him to form The Silver Shirt Legion and by 1933 its growth was extraordinary with a membership of 75,000. When war was threatening the Silver Shirts joined forces with the American-German Bund and the Klu Klux Klan. He launched a very successful newspaper entitled Roll Call and due to an article he published – of which the booklet gives details – and legal trickery – he was given a 15 year prison sentence. He was released on parole in 1950 and produced a magazine called Valour which was religious and philosophical. He died in 1967.