a lynching party


Senior Member
Dear guys
I know what lynching means but it does not fit in the following phrase, taken from biography of La Follette ( "Fighting Bob") in "The 42nd Parallel", "USA" by John Dos Passos.
In 1924 La Follette ran for president and without money or political machine rolled up four and a half million votes
but he was a sick man, incessant work and the breathed out air of committee rooms choked him and the dirty smell of politicians and he died, ... but we will remember how he sat firm in March 1917 while W. Wilson was being inaugurated for the 2nd time, and for 3 days held the vast machine at deadlock. They wouldn't let him speack; the galleries glared hatred at him; the senate was a lynching party,
Thanks in advance for your help.
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    This meaning of "party" refers to a group gathered for a single purpose; a "search party," as an example, would be a group that will set out to search for a lost hiker or skier.


    Senior Member
    Hello, Karoba.

    I agree with bibliolept's excellent explanation.

    A lynching party might mean a group of people that set out to kill someone, but in this particular context, you shouldn't take its meaning literally. They (the senators) wouldn't listen to him, shouted and made horrible noise, just like a real group of lynchers.

    The text does make us believe that, in a way, they were a cause that later lead to his death, so they were murderers after all, but not in the traditional sense of the word.


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Figuratively, Congress is being described as a maddened, vicious mob, intent only on causing harm without provocation or justification.
    Nowadays, we understand that Congress isn't so much a lynching party as it is a Blob-like entity consuming everything in its path.
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