Dupes and Fellow Travelers Dress up Communist Fronts
LIFE, Apr 4, 1949
Jo Davidson, Sculptor
Dorothy Parker, Writer
Guy Emery Shipler, Editor of "The Churchman"
Vito Marcantonio, U.S. Congressman
Arthur Miller, Playwright
Russel Nixon, Labor lobbyist
Henry W. L. Dana, Writer
Adam Clayton Powell Jr., U.S. Congressman
Kirtley F. Mather, Geologist
C.B. Baldwin, Wallace party secretary
Langston Hughes, Poet
Paul L. Ross, Lawyer
Albert Einstein, Physicist
Albert J. Fitzgerald, Labor union president
Henry P. Fairchild, Sociology professor emeritus
Stephen H. Fritchman, Unitarian clergyman
Ralph Barton Perry, Philosophy professor
J. Raymond Walsh, Radio commentator
William B. Spofford, Episcopal clergyman
Mark Van Doren, Poet
Maud Slye, Pathologist
Clifford Odets, Playwright
Aaron Copland, Composer
Leonard Bernstein, Composer and conductor
Edward L. Parsons, Episcopal bishop
Corliss Lamont, Writer, philanthropist
Arthur Upham Pope, Authority on Persian art
Susan B. Anthony II, Grandniece of suffragist
Norman Mailer, Novelist
James Waterman Wise, Author son of Rabbi Wise
Charles Chaplin, Movie actor and producer
Philip Morrison, Atomic physicist
Olin Downes, Music critic
O. John Rogge, Lawyer
Lyman R. Bradley, Professor of German
Thomas Mann, Novelist
Vida D. Scudder, English professor emeritus
Dean Dixon, Orchestra conductor
Kenneth Leslie, Editor of "The Protestant"
Frederick L. Schuman, Political science professor
Harlow Chapley, Astronomer
William Rose Benet, Poet
Walter Rautenstrauch, Engineering prof. emeritus
F. O. Matthiessen, History professor
Donald Ogden Stewart, Writer
Louis Untermeyer, Poet
Georges Seldes, Editor
Lillian Hellman, Playwright
William Howard Melish, Episcopal clergyman
Gene Weltfish, Anthropologist
Red Visitors Cause Rumpus
In New York City last weekend a strange furor surrounded the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Inside was gathered an oddly assorted group of thinkers from all over the world. Outside milled a loud and angry group of pickets, proclaiming that the proceedings were strictly pro-Communist propaganda. Between the picketing and the chance to see some real live visitors from behind the Iron Curtain, things were really in an uproar.
The meeting was called the Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace, and it was an outgrowth of the cultural conference of 1948 in Wroclaw,Poland — at which the U.S. writer and artist were described as producing"disgusting filth"marred by the dollar sign. Its host was the U.S.'s own National Council of Arts, Sciences and Professions, dominated by intellectuals who fellow-travel the Communist line. The foreign guests were mostly from Russian-dominated countries where intellectuals can travel in only one direction. Russia sent seven delegates, headed by Novelist A.A. Fadeev and Composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Poland sent three, Czechoslovakia four, Yugoslavia five. Some 20 other would-be delgates were forced to stay home by the U.S. State Department, which refused them visas. In this connection, the State Department was torn between two motives. It hesitated to extend more privileges to Communists than Russia would give the U.S. Yet it wanted to show that free speech is still granted in America — even to severest crtics.
The Russians Get a Big Hand from U.S. Friends
In many respects the Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace was a comic opera — even though it had tragic implications. There was no doubt that it had been engineered by Americans who knew exactly what they were doing — i.e., providing a sounding board for Communist propaganda. Every time the Russian delegation stood up it got a tremendous ovation. But among the speakers were many gentle souls, a little bewildered by the world outside their laboratories and textbooks, who were sincerely looking for world peace and who embarassed the fellow travelers mightily by putting at least half the blame for the cold war on the Russians — which was the last sort of heresy the fellow travelers wanted to hear.
Also among the speakers was one absolute ringer, Editor Norman Cousins of the Saturday Review of Literature, who got up at the main banquet in the Waldorf's plush Grand Ballroom ... and made a ringingly pro-American speech (which brought some hisses). There was one hillarious incident when Dr. Sidney Hook of New York University, leader of the anti-Communist intellectuals, burst into the hotel room of Dr. Harlow Shapley of Harvard, the chairman of the conference, to protest being frozen off the list of speakers. Dr. Shapley cleverly manuevered Dr. Hook into the hallway, then quickly retreated back to his room, locking the door and refusing to come out again. All told the pro-Communist propaganda fell a little fat, as far as the vast majority of Americans was concerned, and the meeting seemed to wind up in a victory for free speech.
Dupes and Fellow Travelers Dress Up Communist Fronts
Offhand it might seem that a propaganda meeting like the one in New York last week would have been regarded by almost all Americans with scorn. But the Communists prepare carefully for such eventualities. Their weapons are the fellow traveler and the so-called "innocent dupe." These are the prominent people who, wittingly or not, associate themselves with a Communist-front organization and thereby lend it glamor, prestige, and the respectability of American liberalism. They are not the most notorious 50 [shown below] but a representative selection ranging from hard-working fellow travelers to soft-headed do-gooders who have persistently lent their names to organizations labeled by the U.S. Attorney General or other government agencies as subversives.
In the beginning such people were prominent liberals who were lured into sponsoring or joining organizations that seemed American enough at the time. When the Moscow-directed line emerged, numerous liberals quit. But others like those below stuck it out. Some of them were receptive to shrewd Communistic persuasiveness. Some in high position stubbornly ignored their critics in the honest belief that there would eventually be a meetings of minds. Still others cynically pursued a personal ambition, thinking that the Communists could help them along their careers. Not a few became so notorious that they were accused of being actual members of the party. Some of those pictured here publicly and sincerely repudiate Communism, but this does not alter the fact that they are of great use for the Communist cause.
Indeed membership would damage their special usefulness. Innocently or not, they accomplish quite as much for the Kremlin in their glamorous way as a card holder does in his drab toil. The Communist-front organizations have been exposed often enough, however, so that by now the perennial joiner whose friends try to excuse him because he is "just a dupe," is clearly a superdupe.