In concluding this, the most important and most dangerous book I have ever written, I have a personal word to leave with the reader. I have here attacked the most powerful interests in America, and it seems to me hardly conceivable that they will permit the attack to go out to the world, to be circulated among the general public, without some attempt at interference.
What will they do? I cannot say. There are things on every page of this book that are libelous unless they are true. If I am brought into court and required to prove them, I may be facing a judge who has been appointed by the interests I have exposed, a jury which has been selected by the interests I have exposed, a prosecuting attorney who is looking to these interests for his campaign-funds and his publicity at the next election. The trial will be conducted on this simple basis that everything favorable to me is kept from the public, and everything that can be made to seem unfavorable to me is sent by telegraph and cable all over the world.
I would not mind losing what little property I own in the world; I would not mind going to jail for this book. There are only two things I would mind, first, having the book barred from circulation, and second, being discredited in the eyes of those I seek to influence in favor of Social Justice. So in this, the last word I may be able to get to you on the subject, I wish to warn you of one crucial fact, which is this:
Our police and prosecuting authorities, our political machines and Big Business interests, are many of them practiced in the art of producing in court whatever testimony may be required in an emergency. There are few traction interests or other public service corporations in America which do not regularly employ perjured witnesses in case of need; and those which have given up the custom have done so merely because they have got the courts and the jury system so completely in their hands that they no longer care what evidence is introduced against them. We have seen Tom Mooney held in jail for three years, entirely upon the basis of perjured testimony. Even the trial judge has written that he is satisfied that Tom Mooney is innocent, but still Tom Mooney stays in jail!
I am doing what I can to get this book to the people. I intend to go on doing what I can to that end. Meantime I say to you, my readers, what I said to my wife when I went out to Colorado on behalf of the coal-strikers: "Whatever you read about me, don't worry. If there is any scandal, pay no attention to it, for that is the way they fight in Denver."
That is the way Big Business fights all over America. …