né Emanuel Julius (1889 - 1951) was a socialist reformer
and publisher, most noted as the editor of Appeal to Reason newspaper
(a socialist newspaper with a large national circulation that was
mentioned, among other places, in the Jack London novel The Iron
Heel), and later for publishing the Little Blue Books.
with his wife, Marcet (whose last name he adopted in hyphenate),
Julius was an activist who published muckraking newspapers until
he came upon the idea of publishing cheaply-printed classic literature
for the masses. He opened a printing house in Girard, Kansas and
printed these books on cheap pulp paper (similar to that used
in pulp magazines), stapled and bound with a plain (usually) yellow
were first sold in 1919 for as little as 5 cents. Many titles
of classic literature were given lurid titles in order to increase
sales. Eventually, many thousands of copies per year were sold
and were popular with the so-called "drifters" of the
1920s to the 1950s. Haldeman-Julius and his wife became wealthy
from the venture but later divorced.
Haldeman-Julius drowned in his swimming pool in 1951. The books
continued to be sold from existing stock until the printing house
burned down in 1978.
are well aware that religion is not as bad an influence as it
was a short time ago, as history is counted. But it is a sufficiently
bad influence even in modern times, and its reduced viciousness
(in practice) is due plainly enough to its reduced power."
there are old terrors and powers that religion no longer can exercise
so effectively as it did only a few score years ago. But the atmosphere
and the attitude of bigotry remain. If religion cannot ordinarily
invoke the armed force of law to punish heretics, it still plays
upon the psychology of fear and predominantly its influence is
to frighten men and distort their views and poison every process
of their reasoning."
church has contributed nothing to civilization. It has progressed
somewhat, and it has become a little more decent, in reflection
of the movements of civilization that have taken place outside
of the church and usually in the face of the strong opposition
of the church. But the church has always resisted the process
of civilization. It has struggled to the last ditch, by fair means
and foul, to preserve as long as it could the vestiges of ancient
and medieval theology, with all the puerile moralities and harsh
customs and medieval styles of belief."
himself an agnostic, while to some it might appear more respectable
and cautious, would be to say in effect that he hadn't decided
what to believe."