Martin first came to prominence as a journalist and anti-war activist in the 1930's. His 1944 book The Secret History of the Watson Administration is Sobel's source for the fateful Cabinet meeting of 8 May 1933, where Governor-General Watson was presented with evidence of the growing alliance between Germany and the United States of Mexico and the military buildup in both those nations. Sobel casts doubt on the specific quotations from speeches given at that meeting, particularly given what he considers Martin's antiwar bias, but believes his account to be essentially sound.
In the immediate run-up to the Global War in 1937-8, Martin toured the entire nation to survey voter opinion. In 1949 he repeated the tour and resurveyed many of the same voters, discovering that about two-thirds of those who had actually voted for the anti-war candidate Bruce Hogg later claimed to have voted for his opponent Watson.
Challenge to Mason
With the election of Richard Mason as Governor-General in 1953 (Sobel erroneously says 1950 in some places), Martin emerged as the most prominent critic of the administration in his columns in the New York Herald. Four months after the election, Martin wrote "...the nation wanted a Jesus, not a St. Paul. Sad to say, they got one. Nothing would have pleased Mason more than to be so crucified." Mason's New Day program, with its messages of compassion for foreigners and anti-materialism, came in for particular scorn directed at Mason's religiosity. How, Martin asked, could rustic anti-materialists provide the wherewithal to help other nations as Mason proposed? Sobel argues that the respective supporters of Mason and Martin were speaking two different languages, one emotional and the other rational, and quotes German observers who recognized the cultural division even in dress styles.
By 1958 Martin was editor of the Herald, had a weekly vitavision program, and was widely admired by voters on his side of the cultural divide. He used this prominent position to seek and win the People's Coalition nomination for Governor-General in the 1958 election, defeating Roswell James and Perry Jay on the seventh ballot in a raucous convention held in Norfolk in the Southern Confederation. Sobel notes the paradox that the emotionalism that Martin so decried in Mason propelled his own rank-and-file supporters, roused by an anti-Mason speech, to choose him over the more experienced James and Jay.
Mason secured a very narrow re-election with a 77-73 margin in the Grand Council. According to a later analysis by Frank Rusk, the vote was divided not by section or race but by "class, education, and occupation". Mason won the support of professionals and other office workers, and of those educated in the humanities. Martin was the choice of both managers and employees in industry, and of those educated in the sciences.
Martin again led the criticism of Mason in the spring of 1961, when Mexican military moves in the Caribbean led Councilors of both parties to question the pacifism of the administration. He again mocked Mason's Christianity, saying that the Governor-General actively sought a crucifixion that would destroy the nation. Martin urged rearmament, particularly in the light of Kramer Associates' demonstration of an atomic bomb. He sought the People's Coalition nomination again in 1963 Grand Council elections, but was defeated by Jay, who then defeated the divided Liberals and assumed office.
Sobel does not mention Martin after 1963.
Sobel cites Martin's 1944 book, The Secret History of the Watson Administration, in his bibliography. Other quotes from Martin are taken from his writings in the New York Herald.