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This book focuses on the beleagured position of the SPD in Imperial Germany after the fall of Bismarck and underlines the enormous difficulties the party faced in establishing a right to political dissent. Dr Hall describes the development of the party press and analyses the relationship between SPD journalists and officialdom. He looks at Wilhelmine society and politics through the magnifying glass of the socialist press and shows how the law courts and the police were directed towards the suppression of free speech, as well as highlighting the important role of non-democratic forces in the state, such as the military. This use of the law as an instrument of repression, coupled with official discrimination against the working class, and the plethora of political malpractices, together with evidence of the personal failings and weaknesses of leading establishment figures, were all used by the SPD press as propaganda against the establishment and as a barometer of the impending collapse of society. The book will appeal to political scientists, especially those interested in the development of socialist thought, as well as to historians of Imperial Germany.