The Imposter’s War with Author Mark Arsenault

October 26, 2022, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Russia was not the first foreign power to subvert American popular opinion from inside. In the lead-up to America’s entry into the First World War, Germany spent the modern equivalent of one billion dollars to infiltrate American media, industry, and government to undermine the supply chain of the Allied forces. If not for the ceaseless activity of John Revelstoke Rathom, editor of the scrappy Providence Journal, America may have remained committed to its position of neutrality. But Rathom emerged to galvanize American will, contributing to the conditions necessary for President Wilson to request a Declaration of War from Congress—all the while exposing sensational spy plots and getting German diplomats expelled from the U.S.


And yet John Rathom was not even his real name. His swashbuckling biography was outrageous fiction. And his many acts of journalistic heroism, which he recounted to rapt audiences on nationwide speaking tours, never happened. Who then was this great, beloved, and ultimately tragic imposter?


In presenting his historical biography of Rathom, The Imposter’s War, Mark Arsenault shares the truth about Rathom’s origins and revisits the propaganda wars of WWI, a surreal and too-little-known passage in American history that reverberates today.


Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2022- 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm




Books will be available for signing


This lecture has been rescheduled to Wednesday, 26 October at 6 pm from its original date. If you would like to attend on the new date, please register below.


This event will be presented in person and virtually.

To register to attend in person click here

To register to attend virtually via Crowdcast click here

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