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May 19, 1917


Author Affiliations

Jefferson, Iowa.

JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(20):1501. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270050203026

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To the Editor:  —Truly we are a race of hysterical extremists! We surge madly from the condition of license known as a "wide open town" to the puritanic restraint which follows the Billy Sunday type of religious campaign in the smaller community. We emerge from an era in which thrift was lauded as the greatest of the private virtues to a mad national extravagance which includes every class. We are either very "wet" or so dry that ginger ale and root beer are looked on askance. Either we are so peaceful that the author of "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier" is nearly canonized, or so warlike—in emotion, at least—that those of our legislators who wish to observe some system and economy in our going to war are candidates for lynching, a practice in itself which too well expresses the national impulsiveness. We have gone in for

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