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"There was a story that a mob of people was going around asking Germans to kiss the flag," Mr. Milch said. "My great-grandfather told them he didn't kiss anybody's flag, whether it was American or German."
Seventy-nine Montanans were convicted under the state law, considered among the harshest in the country, for speaking out in ways deemed critical of the United States. In one instance, a traveling wine and brandy salesman was sentenced to 7 to 20 years in prison for calling wartime food regulations a "big joke."
Mr. Work, who was conducting research for the book when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred, said he had found the similarities between 2001 and 1918 to be eerie.
"The hair on the back of my neck stood up," Mr. Work said. "The rhetoric was so similar, from the demonization of the enemy to saying 'either you're with us or against us' to the hasty passage of laws."
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (KJV).