In Chapter 36, the authorities arrest Emma Goldman for her supposed involvement in Coalhouse's siege of the Morgan property; however, she in fact has had no role in the incident. Doctorow uses this police action to address the tendency of the authorities to unfairly accuse leaders they may consider threatening. Doctorow writes, "There was a national obsession of law enforcement officers to connect her to every case just as a matter of principle whether they believed she was guilty or not." Here the author addresses both the possibility of injustice in the government's treatment of non-conformist leaders and recurrent trend in American history toward thought control and the suppression of potentially powerful movements.