Posted On: Wednesday - October 26th 2022 1:32PM MST
In Topics:   Commies  History  US Feral Government  Books
I mean 7 decades ago! What I'm posting about today was happening before and during the time this guy was being vilified by the US Senate and that day's Lyin' Press for trying to stop Communist infiltration:
Yes, I did finally finish the book, Blacklisted by History about 1940s-'50s Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy. A review is forthcoming, of course, but we'll have this and maybe another post or two about specific parts of the story, as Peak Stupidity has before - see Young Commies in LUV and Truman v McCarthy, McCarran, and Ike - beforehand.
This small episode that Senator McCarthy brought to light is but an insignificant part of the Communist infiltration, espionage, and (usually non-physical) sabotage that went on in the American Feral Gov't starting in the mid-1930s. We are talking the year 1953 here*, but then that's just the time when McCarthy's subcommittee investigated the VOC - (Voice Of America) and the USIS (US Information Service) reading centers. These Cold War operations had been running for a few years already, so the subterfuge had been too.
Regarding the VOA, there were even infiltrators who had purposely pushed
for unsuitable siting of the station on the West Coast - that's how bold these people were. The story here (from the next chapter after the one on the VOA) is of those USIS reading rooms, basically libraries in as-yet-nonCommunist overseas locations to spread alternate political views from Communism.
One thing this book shows is that, as McCarthy would investigate one piece of subterfuge, it would lead to cascading stories of others. That's how this investigation started, as author Stanton Evans explains it in, Chapter 35: The Burning of the Books (pp 467-477). Among other books, the subcommittee found out that the works of celebrated black poet and admitted Communist Langston Hughes were in a bunch of these libraries. In fact there were 16 different titles, a total of 200 of his books, in 51 different locations. Just to be clear, these were in the taxpayer funded anti-Communist reading rooms in Europe and Asia (including China**).
Here's where the author gets pretty entertaining. From the hearing:
QUESTION [from McCarthy's loyal council Roy Cohn]: Now let us take those [Hughes' books] that you think followed the Communist line. Do you feel that those books should be on our shelves throughout the world, with the apparent stamp of approval of the U.S. government?Here's the good part:
ANSWER: I was certainly amazed to hear that they were. I was surprised; and I would certainly say "no".
Committee counsel Cohn would further inquire if these works "should be included in a program to fight communism today?" To which the witness answered, "I would think not."*** Quizzed as to whether such books were something "you would want included in our information program," the witness responded, "I would not." Such materials, he said, ought not to be on the shelves of tax-supported U.S. libraries overseas.Haha! OK, granted, Hughes had gotten better by then. ("Broken with Communism" is how the author puts it.) Still, the guy was pretty straight honest about it.
This threefold assertion that the early works of Hughes shouldn't be in our official information centers came from the world's foremost expert on the writings of Langston Hughes, as the witness being questioned was Langston Hughes himself.
Funny subcommittee meeting aside, the point here is that the same ctrl-left behavior that we see today was happening 70 years ago. Also, the ctrl-left of the time used some of the same tactics as they do today. History shows that Joe McCarthy, as per the title of the chapter in Mr. Evans' book was a book burner. Then again, history is full of shit. McCarthy never called for any books to be banned from being written, sold, or read anywhere, much less burned. He just did not approve of the US taxpayers being charged for books on Communism being supplied to USIS overseas libraries built to counter the Communist narrative.
Nowadays, our local tax dollars pay for lots of library materials on ctrl-lefty subjects, which we don't object to. Then too, they will often neglect or refuse (probably not even worth asking) to obtain popular materials on Conservative subjects, along with featuring all the wokest, most left-wing stuff in the world out in front. Nobody complains, because Joe McCarthy has passed on.
Same shit, different decade.
* It was early '53 when McCarthy and his committees really hit the ground running. That was due to the GOP wins in the '52 elections.
** I can't easily find information on the USIS to begin with, much less all the locations of these reading rooms. As for China, I'm pretty sure that library would have changed its format by October of '49.
*** This is not the review, but it seemed like the editor got worse and worse about correcting non-sentences near the end of the book.