Since its original publication in 1896, the influence of Might is Right has been found in curious places, from syndicalist broadsides of the IWW to the canonical texts of the Church of Satan, but perhaps the most surprising historical example of literary “Redbeardiana” traces to the puritanical paraphrasis of a largely forgotten American writer named Julia “Bernie” Babcock.
Following the death of her husband in 1897, the 29-year-old Babcock turned to writing as a means of earning income for her large family. She found some early success and her work was championed by one of the oldest (still active) political parties in the United States: the Prohibitionist Party. It was during her brief residence in Chicago at the turn of the 20th century that Babcock most likely came across Ragnar Redbeard’s inflammatory book, which had already caused a stir in the anarchist and unionist milieu of the time in the US and abroad. She used the book as many others have since her time: as uncredited primary source material for her own work. The result of her effort was With Claw and Fang: A Fact Story in a Chicago Setting, a bizarre novel of prohibitionist agitprop that depicted anarchists conspiring with liquor barons to corrupt the hearts and minds of good Christian people. Babcock’s lurid tale was intended as nothing less than a full-on assault on what she believed to be the greatest enemy of civility: “Personal Liberty.”
With Claw and Fang: A Fact Story in a Chicago Setting
By Bernie Babcock
Introduction by Trevor Blake
6 x 9″, 126 pages, perfect bound
STAND ALONE- SA1135