Cafe CIA Roma: Mary McCarthy's Cold War
Cafe CIA Roma: Mary McCarthy’s Cold War By Michael Holzman
Mary McCarthy had, and has, a formidable reputation in American intellectual life. Brilliant, beautiful, much feared for her biting wit, she is a major figure in the histories of her time and in the biographies of her friends, lovers and enemies -- notoriously unstable categories. She was, with her great friend, Hannah Arendt, a certain archetype of the independent and engaged intellectual. Although she began life as a member of the provincial Seattle upper middle class, and in her final years she constructed a life in Maine not remote from the ideals of that class, its constraints and decorous pleasures, in her youth and early maturity she lived a myth of New York bohemia: poverty-stricken, promiscuous, politically of the Left. Such is her image. It is not an inaccurate story. It is merely incomplete. For during much of that time, for fifteen or twenty years, her milieu was defined not so much by the culture of the Left, as by that of the CIA. Not that she was an official of the Agency; nor was it that she was one of those -- like Arthur Schlesinger or Philip Rahv -- who more or less free-lanced for it. She simply lived in a cultural matrix saturated with its influence, where she published in its journals, attended its conferences, stayed in the homes of those who were in its employee or who were members of the families of CIA officials. It is not, or should not be, controversial that such circumstances had an influence on her thought and work as it had on the thought and work of her contemporaries.
The dense archive of McCarthy’s correspondence preserved -- along with the memories of her Group -- at Vassar, contains a meticulous record of a network of friendships, of parties, affairs, European pleasure trips, conferences and dinners that summon up not so much political struggle as, to use a somewhat dated term, cafe society. Cafe society is a pleasant phrase, redolent of Cole Porter songs, the Carlyle Hotel in New York, Parisian bistros, gleaming white pianos in luxury hotel suites. It adjoins, on the one hand, the lower reaches of “high society,” known to its denizens as Society itself, the essentially biological association of families enjoying great wealth acquired at least a generation earlier; it adjoins, on the other hand, the worlds of the arts and of letters. In this country many of those of its inhabitants who made their livings by writing were, in the period from the late-1930’s to the early 1960’s grouped around a small number of magazines: the New Republic, the Partisan Review, the New Yorker, and, finally, the New York Review of Books. It is a world well-described in the diaries of Edmund Wilson devoted to those decades, a world where a writer may have the great good luck to publish a best-selling novel, or may take refuge from time to time in a small college, but where for the most part income was a matter of
Copyright © Michael Holzman 2004
occasional checks for occasional essays and book reviews. But there were always others in that world, the publishers of some of those magazines, college friends, the hosts of weekend parties (such as those who would later sponsor Jacqueline Kennedy’s emergence from widowhood), whose entrée -- and welcome -- was smoothed by their wealth. As the symbolic poles of friendship across this social space had been defined in an earlier generation by Fitzgerald’s equal attachment to Wilson and the Gerald Murphy’s, it was for McCarthy defined by her friendships with Hannah Arendt and a little-known figure, Carmen Angleton, who between them dominate McCarthy’s personal correspondence. This trans-Atlantic world, that of the New York intellectuals, is now the object of nostalgia. We see it as a culture of idealism, of high principle ardently, from time to time, viciously, upheld. We regret its passing, seeing in its place either academic stolidity or simply a vacuum north of Wall Street. We are reluctant to view it in another way, figured by the family of McCarthy’s friend Carmen Angleton, as an extension of a deliberately fostered ideology and patronage system of the secret intelligence apparatus of the state. In this we are cousins to those bewildered ex-citizens of the unlamented German Democratic Republic, although it is more difficult for us to realize, let alone to understand what happened: they, after all, lost; “we” won.
An ideology can be defined in many ways. A comparatively neutral definition might see ideology as a system of ideas and their cultural manifestations through which a society, in all its multifarious aspects, can be more or less accurately reciprocally depicted and grasped. It is this sense of ideology that is deployed when some speak of educational systems as the way in which a state’s ideology is reproduced from one generation to the next. Another way to talk about this is to call it culture, in the anthropological sense, more familiar when applied to non-European forms of social interaction, less so when applied to the pastimes and expressions of our own place and time. An ideology can be disseminated, a culture can be created, by patronage, say, through doctrines and activities of various types which implicitly conform to its goals, without making those goals explicit. Ideologies are often the creation of intellectuals—Rousseau, say, or Burke, Jefferson and Marx. The creation of an ideology, as opposed to its dissemination, is an unusual undertaking for a democracy’s governmental intelligence service. And yet this is exactly what was done in the West after the Second World War. The influence of the Central Intelligence Agency on cultural affairs between the late-1940’s and the early 1960’s was both subtle and crudely direct. The main vehicle for that influence in the Agency’s early days was the Congress for Cultural Freedom, at first an “active measure,” as the KGB would put it, like Radio Free Europe, of the CIA’s Office of Policy Coordination; ultimately, according to Michael Warner of the
CIA’s own History Staff, “one of the CIA’s more daring and effective Cold War covert operations.”1 Thanks most recently to the work of Francis Stonor Saunders we know quite a bit how this was done.
The Congress for Cultural Freedom was patterned on the Communist front organizations put together by the Comintern’s star recruiter of “innocents,” Willi Münzenberg (who had been assisted, circa 1933, by Arthur Koestler). Almost from the moment that the Bolsheviks came to power, there had been this outreach to the Western European intelligentsia, as if Lenin believed that victory would go to those with the bigger battalions—of intellectuals and journalists. This effort, “‘The Münzenberg Trust[,]’ [had] quickly gained the support of a galaxy of ‘uncommitted’ writers, academics and scientists . . . In the course of the 1920s, the Münzenberg Trust established is own newspapers, publishing houses, book clubs, films and theatrical productions.”2 In the same way, and, ironically enough, by means of the efforts of some of the same people—Koestler, for example—through the Congress, its conferences and publications, much of the so-called anti-Communist Left during the period from the late-1940s to the 1960s was implicated in the work of the CIA not only abroad but also, perhaps especially, domestically. Indeed, it would probably not be too much to say that the post-war anti-Communist Left itself was a creation of the Agency, it was “the strategy that would soon become the theoretical foundation of the Agency’s political operations against Communism over the next two decades.”3 These operations resulted in a “blowback” effect, so that those who lent their voices to political operations abroad were also those who spread the same ideology at home. This became a kind of cultural and ideological ventriloquism, where the CIA was the animating performer, the illusionist whose words appeared to come not from it, but from university lecturers, newspaper and magazine columnists and many of the New York intellectuals: Mary McCarthy and her friends.
The original project of the Congress for Cultural Freedom was to construct a “filter” through which intellectuals in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa would view the world, one that emphasized the conflict between Communist totalitarianism and Western democracy; one that interpreted the world in those terms; one that projected a Whig interpretation of post-war history, co-opting the Marxist teleological view, so that in every sphere of political and cultural life it would seem to be unquestionably the case that the military and economic power of the United States were external signs of the inner grace of appropriate political and cultural hegemony. It was to this end, with unconscious irony, that John Foster Dulles spoke of the need to “regain our confidence in our spiritual heritage”
and to “reject totally the Marxian thesis that material things are primary and spiritual things only secondary.”4 This was to be accomplished through a system of national committees, conferences, cultural festivals, and publications, all drawing on a common pool of “liberal” artists and writers, all promoting a relatively small group of American artists and writers as the representatives of Western Civilization itself. It was an audacious enterprise, but not impractical, given the centralization of cultural institutions in Paris, London, and New York, given the poverty of Europe in the early 1950’s, and, therefore, crucially, given the effectively unlimited financial resources of the Central Intelligence Agency at that time.
As it happened, that effort was extraordinarily successful. In a period in which, in retrospect, the great masters of the visual arts were as before those of the School of Paris (Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Giacommetti), in which music continued a relatively uninterrupted development of the German and Russian traditions, and poetry was represented at its highest levels by Celan, Auden, and Montale, it was made to appear that all of these had been superseded by the work of their American epigones. The bitterest struggle was in the realm of philosophy and the sociology of knowledge, where the great enemy of American cultural hegemony was taken to be that quintessential anti-hegemonist Jean Paul Sartre (a typical member, in his own way, of a French version of cafe society), or, rather, a certain image of Sartre. As a matter of fact, it could be said without much exaggeration that the entire effort of the CIA’s foreign cultural policy was not so much a struggle with Soviet intellectual life—which could hardly be said to have existed—but at least symbolically with a single French intellectual, whose “crime” was to be an anti-anti- Communist.5 Sartre became the scapegoat, the focus of this great campaign for the mind of Europe. It was Sartre, and more broadly, what he stood for—his belief that it is the duty of intellectuals not to choose sides between unacceptable alternatives—that the Congress was designed to combat.6 As Mary McCarthy commented in a letter to Hannah Arendt, “the [American] Committee [for Cultural Freedom], acknowledging that there is really no Communist menace here, is principally interested in raising funds to fight Communism in Western Europe, or, rather, to fight neutralism, which is taking first place as a Menace.”7 A “core community” was defined in this way by the exclusion of Sartre and his friends: it was the community where it was insufficient to be a non-Communist, where the only permissible political position was anti-Communism. This core community at first claimed the name of liberalism for itself, later, more accurately, many of its members referred to themselves as neo-conservatives. Their mistake, if it was a mistake, was to imagine that the civilization of the West could be divided in this way, that an assault on the cultural center of
Europe would not affect the cultural centers of the United States. Or, perhaps, it was not a mistake. Perhaps that was its intention.
The first public move in this game between what many Europeans felt were two “barbarisms” for the fate of Europe came from the East. An important part of the post-war Soviet effort to legitimate its domination of Eastern and Central Europe, and to lay the ground-work for possibilities that might arise in Western Europe, was the Münzenbergian organization of conferences and associations of artists and intellectuals rallying to the Communist “peace offensive.” The Soviets were at first very successful in this, mounting huge congresses decorated with committees including such Western cultural figures as Einstein and John Dewey. However, from the on-set there were seemingly individual protests from anti-Communists. At the October 1947 Communist German Writers Congress, for example, which was held in the Soviet Sector of Berlin, “a twenty-seven-year- old [U.S. Army] journalist, Melvin J. Lasky, gave a sensational thirty-five minute speech in which he paid homage to the persecuted writers and artists of the Soviet Union and pointedly named Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Zoshchenko, and Sergei Eisenstein as victims of Stalinism . . .” Then, “In the following year, in September 1948, [at] the larger Wroclaw (formerly Breslau) Cultural Conference for Peace . . . [where] Ilya Ehrenburg declared there was no such thing as “Western culture,” and Georges [sic] Lukacs explained that Soviet culture was beyond the understanding of the Western bourgeois intelligence . . .”8 (Akhmatova seems to have been a favorite shuttlecock of the Cold War, repeatedly spotlighted by such as Lasky and Isaiah Berlin (her famous “visitor from the future”) for the attention of Stalin’s secret police.)
The Wroclaw conference was followed by one in New York in March 1949, featuring, among others, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Paul Robeson, and Leonard Bernstein and then by yet another Soviet-sponsored conference, this time in Paris, the following month.9 Again there were seemingly individual voices raised in opposition. Mary McCarthy’s friend Sidney Hook, an ex-Communist professor of Philosophy at New York University led an attempt to disrupt the New York City “Waldorf” conference, forming “a counter- organization, the ‘Americans for Intellectual Freedom,’ whose members included . . . Dwight Macdonald, Mary McCarthy, Nicolas Nabokov, and Arnold Beichman.”10 They were minimally successful with efforts to divert mail intended for the conference organizers and similar tricks, more successful in finding a spokesman, to their own surprise, in the then young and left-wing novelist Norman Mailer, who gave an impassioned speech in favor of artistic freedom. In the annals of the New York intelligentsia, the Waldorf Conference
achieved nearly mythological status, marking the emergence of the “Non-Communist Left” and mobilizing a set of writers and cultural figures who would remain at the center of Western intellectual life for the next thirty years: Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell, Nicolas Nabokov, Dwight Macdonald, Nicola Chiaromonte, Arthur Schlesinger, William Phillips, Philip Rahv, among others. This intervention, with its exciting hotel room command center and sense of engagement reminiscent of City College struggles within the left itself, was, as it happened, financed and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency, for which a young World War II veteran named Michael Josselson acted as case officer. Among the Waldorf group, Hook, at least, was “witting” of the CIA’s role in these matters, a circumstance he concealed for the remainder of his life. Presenting himself as a lonely and embattled independent voice fighting the good fight, he was actually a sort of Commissar of Ideology, an American Mikhail Suslov, during the McCarthy era.11 Far from being a spontaneous response to the Waldorf conference, Hook’s “American Committee for Cultural Freedom was just a [CIA] front,” according to the Director of the CIA’s Office of International Organizations, Tom Braden, who would have been in a position to know.12
But if the most prestigious of the Congress’s publications was in London, the intellectual heart of the Congress was in New York, among the writers who had gathered first in the pages of the Partisan Review, later in those of the New York Review of Books. In the 1940’s and early 1950’s,
Literary New York, light-years away from when it fancied itself a Bolshevik soviet, was now welcoming veterans of the wartime Office of Strategic Services, who were busy laying the groundwork for the U.S. government’s postwar cultural offensive against communism. It would be two decades before the rumored facts became public, but at the end of the 1940s and the start of the 1950s, New York was where the pipeline was laid, via a handful of dummy foundations, between the CIA, offshoot of the OSS, and the intellectuals . . . the important alliances were forming in the late 1940s in the living rooms where Koestler, McCarthy, et al. were gathered.1 3
It may have been true that “[b]y subsidizing American journals [such as the Partisan Review, and the New Leader], the CIA was acting in breach of its own legislative charter, which prohibited support of domestic organizations,”14 but, for the most part, the New
York intellectuals were eager enough to go along with the anti-Communist, pro-American line of the Congress and its magazines. According to Christopher Lasch,
By the mid-forties, the editors of Partisan Review, horrified by Stalinism in Russia and weary of inconclusive struggles at home, were taking the position that politics at best offered “partial answers” to questions. In the context of generally diminished political expectations, this view melted almost indistinguishably into the retreat from ideology and the emerging postwar “realism.” A 1948 symposium on “The State of American Writing” showed what was happening: the defense of “high culture” had come to be identified almost exclusively with anti-Stalinism, while the search for “alternatives to naturalism,” as Leslie Fiedler put it in one of the contributions to this discussion, took on the quality of a search for alternatives to politics in general . . . By 1952 the accommodation of literary intellectuals was complete. Noting that American intellectuals had “ceased to think of themselves as rebels and exiles,” Partisan Review announced a symposium on “Our Country and Our Culture.” The “reconciliation” of the intellectuals, according to Rahv, reflected not merely the collapse of “Utopian illusions and heady expectation” of the thirties but American culture’s coming of age . . . Norman Mailer found the entire symposium “shocking”; and it is hard to avoid his judgment that the fashionable sneers at economics and the concern with “the human dilemma,” reversing without correcting the distorted perspectives of the thirties, indicated a pervasive belief that “society is too difficult to understand and history impossible to predict”—indicated, that is, a wholesale defection of intellectuals from social criticism . . . This capitulation not only contributed to the cold war, it obscured the degree to which American culture, far from having reached maturity, remained essentially what it had been in the thirties . . . American culture remained primitive and provincial.15
This adherence to a party line, beginning just to the left of the junior senator from Wisconsin, puzzled even participant observers like Mary McCarthy, who writing about her colleagues and cocktail party companions during the era of the other McCarthy, observed:
I can’t believe that these people seriously think that stalinism [sic] on a large scale is latent here, ready to revive at the slightest summons, but if they don’t think this what do they “really” think or are they simply the victims of momentum? My impression is that the fear is genuine but so to speak localized. They live in terror of
a revival of the situation that prevailed in the Thirties, when the fellow-travelers were powerful in teaching, publishing, the theatre, etc., when stalinism was the gravy-train and these people were off it and became the object of social slights, small economic deprivations, gossip and backbiting. These people, who are success-minded, think in terms of group-advancement and cultural monopoly and were really traumatized by the brief stalinist apogee of the Thirties, when they suspected that their book, say, was not being pushed by their publishers because of stalinist influences among the salesmen or even the office-workers. In their dreams, this period is always recurring, it is “realer” than today. Hence they scarcely notice the deteriorating actuality and minimize Senator McCarthy as not relevant . . .16
Intellectuals like Sidney Hook—Trotskeyites, who had parted from Stalinism before World War II—covered their left, as it were, by their opposition to Senator McCarthy. But this was just within the family. For example, on April 1, 1952, Arthur Schlesinger wrote to a colleague as follows: “I must frankly say that it would seem to me intolerable if the American Committee does not take a clearcut anti-McCarthy position. I certainly could no longer take part in a Committee for Cultural Freedom which tries to straddle the McCarthy issue . . .”17 When Schlesinger tried to obtain the CIA’s approval for a definite anti- McCarthy stand by the American Committee, he was stopped by Frank Wisner, head of the CIA’s clandestine warfare unit, who wrote to his Deputy:
My offhand reaction to this mess is that the position of neither the pro- McCarthyites or anti-McCarthyites is the correct one from our standpoint, and that it is most unfortunate that the matter ever came up in such a way as to bring it to this kind of head. I can understand how an American committee for cultural freedom, standing alone, and being in fact a group of American private citizens interested in cultural freedom, would feel that it would have to take a position on McCarthyism. However, that is not the nature of the American Committee for Cultural Freedom which, according to my recollection, was inspired if not put together by this Agency for the purpose of providing cover and backstopping for the European effort. If such is the case, we are stuck with the Committee in that we have an inescapable responsibility for its conduct, its action and its public statements. Under the circumstances the raising of the issue of McCarthyism, whether to condemn it or to support it, was a serious mistake in my opinion. The reason is simply that this injects us into an extremely hot American domestic political issue, and is sure to get
us into trouble and to bring down on our heads criticism for interference in a matter that is none of our concern whatsoever.18
Wisner paid the piper, as Francis Saunders put it, and knew his rights for having done so.
Of those who participated in the Waldorf Conference’s anti-Communist “war room,” Mary McCarthy has left the most complete record of her subsequent encounters with the CIA’s cultural apparatus. Much of this was by way of her relationship with Carmen Angleton, daughter of an officer in the wartime intelligence organization, the Office of Strategic Services, a sister of Hugh Angleton, also a participant in U. S. secret intelligence work, and of the long-serving Chief of the Counterintelligence Staff of the CIA, James Jesus Angleton. McCarthy’s second husband, Bowden Broadwater, had an affair with Carmen Angleton,19 a circumstance which, in the manner of their set, did not serve to alienate the two women, quite the contrary. Carmen Angleton, who with her parents established herself in Rome after the war, was also close to McCarthy’s friends Nicola and Miriam Chiaromante, Nicola Chiaromante being the editor of the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s Italian political and cultural magazine. For the rest of her life McCarthy used Carmen Angleton’s apartment in Rome as a base for her European travels, on many occasions traveling with her about the Mediterranean and Western Europe, and later, after McCarthy’s marriage to the American diplomat James West, Carmen Angleton was a frequent visitor at the West’s Paris apartment and country house.20 The relationship was sufficiently close that when McCarthy and West married in 1961, Carmen Angleton gave them their wedding supper.21 McCarthy’s social life in Rome, and she was as often in Rome in those years as she could manage, revolved around dinner parties with Carmen Angleton and the Chiaromantes. These occasions sometimes included McCarthy’s other great friend Hannah Arendt and other members of the New York intelligentsia when they were in Rome, and, in turn, Carmen Angleton went to their parties when she was in New York. McCarthy’s correspondence includes many references to the Angletons, to Carmen and her sister Dolores, to their brother Hugh, to their parents. One series includes letters to her husband Broadwater from August to November 1955:
Lausanne: I went to Chartres with Carmen in the MG one day . . . We were terribly thorough; Carmen wanted to know the legend of every tiny pane of stained glass and was outraged because the books she bought on Chartres did not supply this information . . . Carmen thinks she might go to Milan for the Conference; she wants to meet Hannah Arendt, as she always calls her -- in full. She’s envisioning
renting a bus to take our group on a sightseeing tour of Milan, and perhaps, just perhaps, Zelbio? . . . I’m encouraging her to come but discouraging the autobus. Dolores says Carmen will only come if she thinks she can be “of use.”
A bus rented by Angleton, loaded with McCarthy’s group, is a nice image.
Venice: “[Carmen] agreed to come back to Venice with me, traveling as far as Bologna with Hugh and [his wife] Ludmilla in a family party. But Pasqua refused to stay alone in the house; Angleo was away and Dolores was off to Naples with a girl friend. So she has to wait till Angelo’s return, which will be tomorrow or Thursday. Then she’s coming; Hugh assures me she really is. From my point of view, this has slight disadvantages, for it will mean no work in the evenings and more alcohol than I’m used to. I had my first Italian hangover this morning, thanks to a glamorous Angleton dinner in a restaurant, followed by brandy and five hours’ sleep. But I’m glad she’s coming anyway, both for selfish and unselfish reasons. We had a long discussion of her problems on the train; Hugh thinks I can persuade her to come back to America with me. I think it would be the best thing for her, and I’ll try. Meanwhile, when she comes back to Rome, Miriam is going to introduce her to Nicky’s doctor brother, who’s a bachelor . . . I liked Hugh better than I ever had before; in fact I liked him genuinely. Ludmilla too, who has become very handsome, like a gigantesque Piero pregnant madonna. She’s going to have the baby in about two and a half weeks and is in splendid condition. She is, however, very, very dumb, as Carmen softly remarked to me . . . There’s a strange fey touch of Mama Angleton about her . . . All Angletons and Chiaromantes send you much, much love and wished for your presence. I too . . . Do you want to marry Carmen? I can’t make out from what you say. If you do, it would be, I guess, a solution; for her too. As for me, my bruised spirit would probably take it; I don’t know.
Perhaps I say that because I don’t really contemplate it as actual.
The Angletons were their divine selves . . . . They’re all here -- Carmen and Dolores, as well as the proud young parents, and a very nice baby in the hospital. In their sheltering presence, I’m relaxing, getting clean (there’d been no hot water for three days when I left) and warm and feeling less hallucinated . . . Hugh has just come
home from the office and we’re about to have a cocktail. (We -- the girls and I -- are staying in Perè Angleton’s apartment, he being still in Idaho.)
Now I am in Carmen’s bedroom, surrounded by her books, trunks, magazines, and (in the bedroom itself) five dressmaker boxes and a hatbox. Last night there was a Hughish cocktail party that started at six and lasted till one in the morning, without dinner. That I was not sick today is a testimonial to the quality of Passetto’s hors d’oeuvres, of which I must have eaten a hundred and fifty. Hugh, however, was sick. There were lots of strange guests; the Angletons spoke to none of them, conversing with each other in low voices as the party proceeded. Dolores has two school friends staying with her; she doesn’t look well, much too fat. But I found Carmen quite cheerful, a little high-pitched and over-gay, if anything. In any case, quite sane; Hugh’s letter and Ludmilla had prepared me to find her (seriously) katatoic [sic]. But she didn’t feel right about the Paris trip, which was a failure, and now, I think, she is frightened by the vistas of the future that open up from the Villa Angleton. We talked last night all through the party and a few minutes after it, but mostly about how terrifying it is to spend too much time with homosexuals; Jacob Beau was her nemesis, apparently, in Paris, where there was a choice between homosexuals and Ernest--nothing else . . . (Ludmilla has just stolen in with a private letter to me from Hugh, about Carmen, of course. He wants me to do something to get her a job or friends in Europe, as he puts it, or New York . . . She needs “faith in herself,” he writes . . . But anyway I shall talk to her; she’s very open and affectionate with me now and perhaps we can get somewhere.)
In a July, 1957 letter to McCarthy, Philip Rahv mentions that she and Carmen Angleton had gotten him a hotel reservation at the Danieli Palace, in Venice. A letter from Sonia Orwell to the Broadwaters on July 28, 1958, is addressed “presso Miss Carmen Angletoss [sic], Villa Angleton, Via Adolfo Cancani 6, Roma.” Another letter of Sonia Orwell’s gives a sense of Carmen Angleton’s company:
Well: that lunch with Carmen! It seems a bit distant now but in some odd way it stands out fairly clearly, partly I think because it came after a rather depressing week for me and I went to it somehow determined to enjoy myself and succeeded, partly because I couldn’t stop gossiping with Carmen and partly because we had a fair
quantity of Greek wine! But the real thing was that I felt how much I looked forward to seeing her again . . . 22
And in 1960 Broadwater wrote to McCarthy from New York:
Carmen is still here and seems to be pretty well, though I think she’d be even better if she ate a bit more sensibly and has less social life. Of the latter she has plenty -- tonight it’s Bobby and ballet and tomorrow it’s a lunch for Robert Graves at Sam Barber’s in Mt. Kisco and then dinner and a play with bob (Silvers); last night I actually had dinner with her myself, but that was at Sylvia’s, after which she went to Jerome Robbins with Bobby.
Many of McCarthy’s Italian visits involved the Congress for Cultural Freedom. She even, on one occasion, took Carmen Angleton with her to a Congress meeting in Milan. McCarthy describes the conferences none too seriously, gatherings of friends and interesting foreign intellectuals in pleasant cities. The discussions, when mentioned, never varied much from the channels of the Non-Communist Left. Such was the price of admission. There was not much mystery over the source of the lavish funding for these jaunts:
Mary McCarthy, like other anti-Stalinists on the conference circuit, wasn’t supposed to know that the Congress for Cultural Freedom got its money from the CIA . . . McCarthy maintained . . . she didn’t . . . [however] Nicolas Nabokov had once told Stephen Spender about the CIA connection . . . Spender told [McCarthy about the incident] in 1966 . . . William Phillips . . . got some money from the State Department in 1950, when he traveled on a Rockefeller Foundation grant to Europe, and then again in 1962 when he made the “big jump”—what was called a world tour . . .
Mary McCarthy was one of Phillips’s references for that trip, which was sponsored by “a combination of State Department and the branch of the Cia [sic] Dwight is interested in,” he wrote her in May 1962. “It’s the Congress and State.”23 Which establishes that Phillips knew, in 1962, that his travels were funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. As did Dwight Macdonald. As did McCarthy. As did they all. How could they not, considering the company they kept?
The second great line of Congress activity, after the deluxe conferences and the world tours of American symphony orchestras and art, was a set of magazines published in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Australia, and elsewhere, patterned on Lasky’s invention, Der Monat. The establishment of this effort had received attention at the highest levels:
Accompanied by Washington-based MI6-CIA liaison Kim Philby [who no doubt had his own business to conduct] . . . Wisner had travelled to London [early in 1951] to discuss with British intelligence “matters of common interest”. . . It was during the Wisner ”mission’” to London that the question of a high-level publication aimed at encouraging a leftist lexicon free of Kremlin grammar was first aired . . . Wisner and his Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) counterparts . . . settled on a joint operation.24
The magazine that emerged from these meetings was the London Encounter, first edited by Irving Kristol and Stephen Spender.25 Support of Encounter, was viewed as part of the Anglo-American secret intelligence community’s special relationship.
SIS wished to maintain a financial interest in the project, a small contribution which would come from IRD’s secret vote . . . earmarked for the salaries of the British editor [of Encounter] and his secretary . . . the Foreign Office’s principal interest in such a project was to acquire a vehicle for communicating anti-Communist ideas to intellectuals in Asia, India and the Far East. To guarantee distribution of the magazine in these spheres of influence, the Foreign Office would buy up a specified number of copies to be shipped and distributed through the British Council.26
Here again the target of the CIA’s psychological warfare effort was Sartre, or what the CIA thought Sartre stood for. “What was needed was a journal which could compete with Les Temps modernes and encourage defections from Sartre’s stronghold.”27 Given that T. S. Eliot was already occupied with his own publishing interests, the Anglo-American secret intelligence community settled on Stephen Spender as their cultural paladin to enter into the lists against world Communism and Jean Paul Sartre.
Encounter was a great success, acquiring an important position in the trans-Atlantic market place of ideas. It was in effect two magazines: a political journal, edited by self-consciously witting Cold Warriors, and a cultural journal, edited by Spender, whose relationship to his paymasters was reminiscent of those who, the morning after, claim not to be able to
remember anything of the debauch of the night before. Kristol was soon replaced by Melvin Lasky, who remained as political and managing editor for most of the life of the magazine. As with the conferences, the ideological effect of the Congress’s magazines was achieved by offering a prestigious forum for writers, who could publish there what they liked so long as they were critical of the Soviet Union and refrained from criticizing the United States. It attracted cultural figures from the small worlds of the New York and London intelligentsia—and from some of their Continental equivalents—who published there because their friends published there, and because it paid well for articles they knew it would publish, which mattered, given the uncertainties of their incomes. The wider cultural effects of this were not much appreciated on the political side of the house, where out-right pro-American commentary was the order of the day. But how much more effective to give the appearance of providing an open forum in contrast to the prisonhouse of the Soviet system, even when most of those utilizing that forum knew that it had quite definite walls around it. In 1978, long after the Congress for Cultural Freedom had ceased to function, its impact was interestingly summed up by Allen Ginsberg in a fantasy entitled “T. S. Eliot Entered My Dreams.” Ginsberg remembered himself
On the fantail of a boat to Europe, Eliot was reclining with several passengers in deck seats, blue cloudy sky behind, iron floor below us. “And yourself,” I said, “What did you think of the domination of poetics by the CIA? After all, wasn’t [James] Angleton your friend? Didn’t he tell you his plan to revitalize the intellectual structure of the West against so-to-speak Stalinists?” Eliot listened attentively—I was surprised he wasn’t distracted. “Well, there are all sorts of chaps competing for dominance . . . But I did, yes, know Angleton’s literary conspiracies, I thought they were petty—well meant but of no importance to Literature.” “I thought they were of some importance,” I said, “since it secretly nourished the careers of too many square intellectuals, provided sustenance to thinkers in the Academy who influenced the intellectual tone of the West . . . The subsidization of magazines like Encounter . . . failed to create an alternative free vital decentralized individualistic culture. Instead, we had the worst of Capitalist Imperialism.”28
Ginsberg’s association of the Congress for Cultural Freedom with James Angleton may have been merely a matter of finding a convenient name to attach to his fantasy. On the other hand, Angleton’s close friend Cord Meyer took over the International Organizations Division of the CIA from Tom Braden in 195429 and Angleton did run “a completely independent group of journalist-operatives who performed sensitive and frequently
dangerous assignments,”30 in addition to another set of agents, including Jay Lovestone, who employed the Congress’s advisor Irving Brown. Perhaps rumors of matters of this kind had reached Ginsberg.
Publishing almost at will in Encounter, those whom the English call “the chattering classes” and those who in America were to take on the more honorific title of the New York (or more recently, Public) Intellectuals, had less time to write articles that Encounter would not publish. In a world where there were a limited number of general periodicals devoted to the serious discussion of ideas, many of them also supported in one way or another by the CIA, this mattered enormously. Certain ideas were put into circulation; others remained in desk drawers. When Dwight Macdonald, for example, caused trouble by writing a critical article about the U.S., the steel beneath the velvet made a brief appearance. His contribution was delayed, and then delayed, and then canceled.31
. . . the cold-war liberals have not hesitated to criticize American popular culture or popular politics, but the question is whether they have criticized the American government or any other aspect of the officially sanctioned order. And the fact is that Encounter, like other journals sponsored by the Congress for Cultural Freedom . . . consistently approved the broad lines and even the details of American policy, until the war in Vietnam shattered the cold-war coalition and introduced a new phase of American politics. Writers in Encounter denounced the Soviet intervention in Hungary without drawing the same conclusions about the Bay of Pigs . . .32
Gradually such factors as a network of magazines, an on-going program of conferences, fellowships and the like create a climate of ideas, a culture: these matters are easily discussed, those are not; if discussion—or publication—is the goal, why be difficult? Spender, who contributed so much to this process, eventually brought in Frank Kermode as his replacement as cultural gatekeeper for the Cold War, having made enough out of Encounter (out of the Congress, out of the CIA) to afford a beautiful house in St. Johns Wood. That house was a satisfactory image for the atmosphere of the times, for the atmosphere created by the Congress for Cultural Freedom: the retreat into an exquisite private world (the Bloomsbury decorations, the Cocteau drawings in the lavatory) after the exhausting engagement of the 1930s, a retreat financed by the CIA, the Psychological Warfare Board and the IRD.33 What better reply to Sartre’s philosophy of engagement? The disengagement of Anglo-American intellectuals from politics (aside from the
mandatory anti-Communism) was not a by-product of the cultural policy of the Western secret intelligence institutions, it was one of its primary aims.
The CIA’s cultural policy under Allen Dulles, as embodied in the Congress for Cultural Freedom and similar efforts, created a Potemkinized European political culture, which, when seen from one point of view, that of the Empress in her carriage, as it were, or that of the American public through the lense of the Luce publications, seemed to entranced power that the world was in fact what they would have it be.34 Yes, there was Sartre, regrettably enough, but Americans who cared about such things were told over and over (well into the 1990’s) that Sartre was isolated, not important, short and wall-eyed, a Communist puppet, and so forth, and that de Beauvoir was even less significant. She was, after all, a woman, and therefore could be maligned in various ways that even Sartre was spared, or taken on by an American equivalent, Mary McCarthy, for example, who could write vicious reviews of books like de Beauvoir’s travel writings in America, which McCarthy did her best to ensure were not read. Wisner, Cord Meyer, and Tom Braden, intended that European public opinion would be inoculated against Communism, in the first instance, and against “fellow- travelers,” in the second. The Agency’s European psychological warfare activities acted on a number of levels to affect the climate of opinion. On the one hand, through the journals and other activities of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, it sought to provide occasions for the development of opinions and points of view sympathetic to American policy among the intelligentsia. On the other, through the Italian and other European press organizations themselves, it placed specific stories thought valuable for influencing wider sectors of the public. A typical example is described in William Colby’s memoirs. In 1954, in Rome, the CIA “turned to the OSO ‘side’ of the station [James Angleton’s group] and its friends in the Italian security field.”
With their help, we located an editor interested in publicizing little-noticed facts about life in the Communist countries (the bulk of Washington’s interest) and some other occasional tidbits of international politics, with particular attention to highlighting material about Communist world-wide activities . . . The material we supplied this editor was fundamentally true, to maintain the news agency’s credibility, and the local press began to use it regularly.35
“Fundamentally true” is a revealing term.
Colby’s Rome initiative was a relatively small and routine psychological warfare operation, well within the writ of the Central Intelligence Agency’s foreign intelligence charter. Less routine, perhaps less conscious, were the cumulative effects of CIA activities on the culture of the Cold War at home. Part of this manifested in school lessons and newspapers stories. There were also effects among the independent thinkers of the Upper West Side of New York:
And what of the intellectuals themselves? In the end, an attraction to powerful patrons proved stronger than the “peculiar spell” . . . that a socialist vision of society had once cast over their imaginations. They had been flattered and fed for too long to break the tie themselves . . . Without the CIA subsidy, in Mary McCarthy’s opinion, the Congress magazines would have failed, period . . . what kind of “freedom” is it that requires the secret services of government to protect it from its competitors?36
Carol Brightman, McCarthy’s biographer, goes on to reflect on the fact “[t]hat so many distinguished poets, novelists, artists, critics, sociologists, philosophers, and physicists involved in cultural exchange programs in the 1950s and ‘60s would find themselves beholden not to a representative arm of government or to the marketplace but to a U.S. counterintelligence team remains one of the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s most provocative legacies.”37 Reading CIA-funded publications ostensibly edited by the “Non- Communist Left” of European intellectuals, or reading The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books or The Partisan Review, journals also either supported by the Agency or publishing many of the same writers who published in the Congress for Cultural Freedom’s magazines and who attended its lavish meetings, Americans found similar themes continually repeated by these outlets for Frank Wisner’s “Mighty Wurlitzer” of psychological warfare. Eventually, their depiction of European conditions would be taken as real: painted sets displacing in consciousness the everyday life they concealed.
The end for the Congress for Cultural Freedom, Encounter, and the rest of the CIA’s Cold War cultural apparatus came in the late-1960’s, when a series of articles appeared in The New York Times: “On April 27, 1966, The New York Times, in a long article on the CIA, reported that the CIA had supported the Congress for Cultural Freedom and other organizations through a system of dummy foundations, and that ‘Encounter magazine . . . was for a long time—though it is not now—one of the indirect beneficiaries of C.I.A. funds.’”38 The Agency at first panicked: “James Angleton of the CIA, Ambassador
Charles Bohlen, and Secretary of State Dean Rusk tried without success to persuade the New York Times to abandon the story.”39 But things appeared only to worsen. In the May 20, 1967 edition of the Saturday Evening Post Thomas Braden published “I’m Glad the CIA Is ‘Immoral,’” In which he wrote: “And then there was Encounter, the magazine published in England and dedicated to the proposition that cultural achievement and political freedom were interdependent. Money for . . . the magazine’s publication came from the CIA and few outside the CIA knew about it. We had placed an agent in a Europe-based organization of intellectuals called the Congress for Cultural Freedom. Another agent became an editor of Encounter. The agents could not only propose anti-Communist programs to the official leaders of the organizations but they could also suggest ways and means to solve the inevitable budgetary problems.”40 Braden was unrepentant:
I remember the enormous joy I got when the Boston Symphony Orchestra won more acclaim for the U.S. in Paris than John Foster Dulles or Dwight D. Eisenhower could have bought with a hundred speeches. And then there was Encounter, the magazine published in England and dedicated to the proposition that cultural achievement and political freedom were interdependent. Money for both the orchestra’s tour and the magazine’s publication came from the CIA . . .41
Christopher Lasch thought that “Braden revealed a contempt for their kept intellectuals which the officers of the CIA could not conceal. Whatever the intellectuals may have thought of the relationship, the CIA regarded them exactly as the Communist party regarded its fronts in the thirties and forties—as instruments of its own purpose.”42
Braden’s article created a sensation that still reverberates. Why did Braden write it?
“Tom was a company man . . .” said John Hunt . . . “My belief is that he was an instrument down the line somewhere of those who wanted to get rid of the NCL [Non-Communist Left]. Don’t look for a lone gunman—that’s mad, just as it is with the Kennedy assassination. There were lots of interested parties. Braden is witting only up to a point. Maybe [Richard] Helms called him and said ‘I’ve got a job for you.’ I do believe there was an operational decision to blow the Congress and the other programs out of the water . . .’”43
Carol Brightman agrees with Hunt: “The likelihood that Braden’s revelation was originally calculated by an embattled President Johnson to deliver the deathblow to the Congress for
Cultural Freedom has been suggested by a veteran of the period . . . [who] speculates that Johnson became furious when he discovered that some of the anti-American sentiments from Europe were coming from CIA-supported magazines and conferences.”44 Johnson’s war had split the New York intellectual community, turning some of its inhabitants against the government. The strategy of using the Congress for Cultural Freedom, its conferences and publications, to disengage the Public Intellectuals from politics, had foundered on the rock of the Vietnam War. Enraged, Johnson destroyed the failed instrument of that strategy.
There is a common story that people like Schlesinger and Rahv had found kindred spirits, “liberals,” within the Central Intelligence Agency, with whom they allied themselves against McCarthyism. Typically, William Sloane Coffin of Yale said: “I’ve a mixed set of feelings” about the CIA, “knowing that during the Joe McCarthy period liberals in the CIA won a great victory—they were able to use the non-Communist left to beat the Communist left. The CIA financed the non-Communist left; they gave with minimal strings attached . .
. ”45 This is analogous to the later tales of liberals in the KGB, associated with Andropov. But the recently released documents concerning the Congress for Cultural Freedom and other CIA initiatives—as well as such public documents as Cord Meyer’s memoirs—indicate that this is a myth. While there may have been CIA officials who were personally liberal in the meaning of the word used by the New York intellectuals—and here Richard Helms is as likely a candidate as any—they did not allow this to influence their work. There is no evidence of political policy debates within the Agency. It was unified, under Dulles as it had been under Smith, as an instrument of government for intelligence gathering and covert action in support of the policy of the president. The creation of the concept of the Non-Communist Left, and its support, was one way in which this was done. It was a means, not an end. By the late-1960’s it had served its purpose. The surviving New York Intellectuals were turning against the government of the day. Why support those like Mary McCarthy who were traveling to Hanoi and in other ways doing all they could to oppose the government’s policies? It was time for the piper to go home. If he did it with one final song, an article in a popular magazine placing the blame for what had happened on the dancers (and not on that man behind the curtain), what of it?
Amidst the subsequent uproar, those involved with the Congress for Cultural Freedom and its magazines scrambled to proclaim their innocence, naiveté, unwittingness. But according to the CIA’s Donald Jameson: “I think that almost everybody in a position of significance in the Congress . . . was aware that somehow or other the money came from some place,
and if you looked around there was ultimately only one logical choice. And they made that decision.”46 Who actually knew? “The list of those who knew—or thought they knew—is long enough: Stuart Hampshire, Arthur Schlesinger, Edward Shils . . . Denis de Rougemont, Daniel Bell, Louis Fischer, George Kennan, Arthur Koestler, Junkie Fleischmann, François Bondy, James Burnham, Willy Brandt, Sidney Hook, Melvin Lasky, Jason Epstein, Mary McCarthy, Pierre Emmanuel, Lionel Trilling, Diana Trilling, Sol Levitas, Robert Oppennheimer, Sol Stein, Dwight Macdonald.”47
“And McCarthy herself,” writes Carol Brightman, “for whom knowingness was next to godliness, how could she not have known who was running the gravy train in the ‘50-s and ‘60s . . .
For an on-and-off-again passenger like Mary McCarthy, the knowledge that a “shrewd, realistic, Jewish semi-intellectual” such as Mike Josselson was working for the CIA might have been muted by her affection for the man—friendship in her case mattering more than politics . . . Whatever knowledge McCarthy had did not, in any event, carry with it a responsibility to deceive, as it might for a magazine editor or conference organizer. Only from time to time, it seemed, would she deceive herself—as when Josselson intercepted a letter she had drafted to The New York Times around 1964 asserting the independence of CCF magazines, “because he knew it wouldn’t be true,” she recalled. “He said, ‘Just lay off, dear. Forget it.’”48
Josselson himself, in the way of bureaucracies, was forced out of the CIA after the collapse of the Congress for Cultural Freedom. He scrambled to find an alternative career only to discover that the old levers of power no longer functioned. None of his former clients would provide a retirement niche. The foundations and scholarly societies that had been so cooperative a few years earlier would neither employ him nor provide him with a face-saving fellowship. He had served his purpose and he had been dicarded. And yet, he and his colleagues had done their work well. As Francis Stoner Saunders has summed up that effort: “Over . . . seventeen years, the CIA was to pump tens of millions of dollars into the Congress for Cultural Freedom and related projects. With this kind of commitment, the CIA was in effect acting as America’s Ministry of Culture.”49
When it was all over, the Congress for Cultural Freedom closed, its subsidies wound up, Encounter and the other magazines of the Non-Communist Left shut down or finding other
funders and other ideologies, Jason Epstein, founder of The New York Review of Books, wrote echoing Allen Ginsberg’s T. S. Eliot fantasy:
What most irritated us . . . was that the government seemed to be running an underground gravy train whose first-class compartments were not always occupied by first-class passengers: the CIA and the Ford Foundation, among other agencies, had set up and were financing an apparatus of intellectuals selected for their correct cold-war positions, as an alternative to what one might call a free intellectual market where ideology was presumed to count for less than individual talent and achievement, and where doubts about established orthodoxies were taken to be the beginning of all inquiry . . .50
What was the Congress for Cultural Freedom? Was it a clever, if, in their eyes, minor maneuver by Meyer and Braden—with the backing of Dulles and Angleton—to carry psychological warfare against the Soviet Union into the cultural sphere? Or was it a beachhead of the anti-Communist intellectuals within the National Security State itself, a mobilization of the power of government on behalf of intellectual quarrels going back to the breakup of the Bolshevik old guard? It was both; a convergence, at one level, of these two traditions of mid-century Atlantic history, fed, as from a deep up-welling, by European currents best identified with figures like Arthur Koestler. Beyond that, it was a synthesis of these, a set of activities by a group that was not either the New York (London, Parisian) intelligentsia, nor the Alsopian Bold Easterners of the Ivy League CIA, but one including all these figures. Carol Brightman thinks that
for the CIA’s first generation of spooks . . . there is . . . a curious nostalgia for the life of the mind that inclined “semi-intellectuals” like Josselson to regard the secret manipulation of magazines, seminars, and conferences dedicated to the “free flow of ideas” as more than a Cold War necessity. There was something redemptive in it, something selfless . . . For the agency’s dreamers, the OSS men who had flirted with a sanitized leftism after the war, it was more important than ever to demonstrate that culture behind the golden arches was preferable to culture on the barricades.51
It is fruitless to make a distinction between the intellectuals, inside and outside the universities, inside and outside the government and their admirers in the world of secret intelligence. They met and had their pictures taken at dinner parties; they had gone to the same schools; they read the same books, wrote for the same newspapers, admired the same
artists, married and had affairs with one another. Much of this is summed up in the social life of a peripheral figure, Carmen Angleton, dining out in New York with the crowd that was at first identified with the Partisan Review, then with The New York Review of Books, the daughter of a senior OSS officer, the sister of a senior CIA official. There have been similar convergences of the intelligentsia and governing cliques—one is celebrated in the Symposium, another flourished at the court of Napoleon. Who, in such situations, is co- opted, who co-opting? The result is useful for the governing class, useful, in the short run, for the intellectuals. In the long run, however, it is fatal to the cultural life of the society. For it was not Socrates, in the final analysis, who damaged Alcibiades; it was the beloved imperialist politician who was fatal to the philosopher. The non-Communist Left had thought to use the government to secure its position in American life. In the end, it found that it had been used, that for a brief period of influence, for fifteen or twenty years of lavishly supported magazines, for one or two dozen luxurious conferences and festivals, it had sacrificed its independence, become simply one more instrument of government. The repercussions went far beyond the salons of Georgetown and the seminar rooms of Harvard:
For twenty years Americans have been told that their country is an open society and that communist peoples live in slavery. Now it appears that the very men [and women] who were most active in spreading this gospel were themselves the servants (“witty” in some cases, unsuspecting in other) of the secret police. The whole show—the youth congresses, the cultural congresses, the trips abroad, the great glamorous display of American freedom and American civilization and the American standard of living—was all arranged behind the scenes by men who believed, with Thomas Braden, that “the cold war was and is a war, fought with ideas instead of bombs.” Men who have never been able to conceive of ideas as anything but instruments of national power were the sponsors of “cultural freedom.”52
If McCarthy’s story of a trans-continental railroad love affair between a leftist intellectual and a business executive, “The Man in the Brooks Brothers Suit,” might stand as symbolic of the accommodation that the Partisan intellectuals were willing to make, finally, with capitalism, if only as an alternative to Stalin, we might imagine a later story, “The Spy in the Italian Cape,” dramatizing their affair with the cultural policy of the CIA. Starting out, in the 1930’s, to have a say in the construction of the culture of their time, Mary McCarthy and her friends found, in the period from the late-1940’s to the early 1960’s, that they could make a living doing so, and live a pleasant life, dining at the tables of those like the
“glamorous” Angleton’s. It took them some time to realize that the yacht and bus trips, the cocktail parties and the villas, were of a piece with the editorial policies of the magazines that paid for certain kinds of writing and refused to pay for others. Life at Cafe CIA Roma was cosseted and engrossing, rewarding, in its way, as long as one did not stray too close to the edges of the stage set, peak behind the scenes, and discover that it was simply one more way to fight a war.
1 Warner, Michael. “Origins of the Congress for Cultural Freedon, 1949-50,” in Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 38, No. 5, p. 89.
2 Andrew, Christopher and Oleg Gordievsky. KGB: The Inside Story. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1990, p. 57.
3 Warner, p. 89.
4. Stephen J. Whitfield, the Culture of the Cold War (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991, p. 7.
5 “Sartre-bashing, of course, was a mainstay of the Congress for Cultural Freedom,” Brightman, Carol. Writing Dangerously: Mary McCarthy and Her World. New York: Clarkson Potter, 1992, p. 513.
6 “. . . the much-publicized break between Sartre and Camus over Stalin’s terror in 1952. Arguing that the Communist party was still the vehicle of change for the working class, Sartre refused to abandon the Soviet Union despite the lates reports of internal repression . . . public opinion had sided with Sartre . . . In New York, it was as if Paris, that cosmopolis of artists and intellectuals, as Lionel trilling called it, had fallen. “[T]he commanding position of Stalinism in French cultural life does not prevent our having the old affinity with certain elements of that life,” Trilling declared in “Our Country and Our Culture,” “but it makes the artistic and intellectual leadership of France unthinkable.” Among anti-Stalinist intellectuals like Trilling, and by 1952, their silent partners in the CIA, the triumph of Stalinism in Paris appeared more threatening than the triumph of Mao Tse-Tung in China. Even today, Cold War veterans of the CIA’s cultural-affairs programs point to Sartre’s 1952 defense of the Soviet Union, and Les Temps Modernes’ “Stalinism,” as a justification for the CIA’s decision to secretly sponsor a string of European magazines more sympathetic to the American point of view.” Brightman, pp. 351-2.
7MM to HA, 3.14.52 apropos Hook et al. Brightman, Carol. ed. Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy 1949-1975, p. 5.
8 Coleman, Peter. The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe. New York: The Free Press, 1989, pp. 4-5.
9 “. . . a “Cultural Conference for Peace” was held in Breslau (now Wroclaw), Pland, from August 25 to 28, 1948 . . . This Soviet “Peace Offensive” was able to call on some of the world’s most admired artists, intellectuals, and scientists, figures like Pablo Picasso (who contributed his famous Peace Dove symbol to the movement), Charlie Chaplin, and Albert Einstein, whose immense prestige made it seem as if the mind and soul of the West had risen up to condemn containment and the Marshall Plan, and to defend the Soviet Union as the victim of American aggression . . [the following Spring] another even more spectacular group of pro-Soviet Western cultural luminaries gathered at the Paris “World Peace Conference.”” Powers, Richard Gid. Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism. New York: The Free Press, 1995, pp. 207-8.
10 Coleman, pp. 5-6.
11 Saunders, Frances Stonor. Who Paid the Piper?: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War. London: Granta Books, 1999, pp. 54-5; 46.
12Saunders, p. 203.
13 Brightman, p. 303.
14Saunders, p. 164.
15 Lasch, pp. 57-8.
16 MM to HA, 3.14.52 apropos Hook et al. Brightman, Carol. ed. Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy 1949-1975, p. 5.
17 Hook Papers, Box 124, folder 1244, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
18 Wisner, Frank. Memordandum for Deputy Assistant Director for Policy Coordination, “Reported Crisis in the American Committee for Cultural Freedom,” 7 April 1952. in Warner, Michael (ed), CIA Cold War Records: The CIA Under Harry Truman. Washington D.C.: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, 1994, p. 455.
19 “In February 1955, Mary McCarthy and [her then husband] Bowden Broadwater set sail for the volcanic cliffs of Capri . . . the Broadwaters were going to rendezvous in Rome with . . . a former girlfriend of Bowden’s, a wealthy expatriate named Carmen Angleton . . . In May, the three friends planned to tour Greece in a borrowed jeep . . . Two years later . . . Bowden told Mary that while they were in Greece, he and Carmen Angleton had had an affair.” Brightman, pp. 356-6. McCarthy was with Broadwater from 1945/6, he had graduated from Harvard in 1941. There are indications that McCarthy knew Carmen in the late 1940’s: MM to BB Postmark 10.19.48, Vassar: “There is a rather pleasant Angletonian Radcliffe girl, a niece of Allan Nevins, on the faculty.”
20“On April 15,  Carmen Angleton gave Mary and Jim a wedding supper . . . Dwight Macdonald . . . attended the ceremony . . .” Brightman, p. 462.
26 Saunders, p. 169.
27 Saunders, p. 101.
28 Saunders, pp. 248-9. 29 Saunders, p. 234.
Brightman, p. 462.
SO to MM. 19 July 1966 Brightman, pp. 499-500. Saunders, p. 167.
“One of Muggeridge’s last services [to the British Society for Cultural Freedom], he said, was to arrange for the equivalent of the salary of any English coeditor of the proposed magazine [Encounter] to be paid by British intelligence, using his friend Lord Rothschild as a conduit, a sort of British Julius Fleishmann.” Coleman, p. 146.
30 Saunders, p. 239.
31 “The absence of anti-American articles in Encounter and the half-dozen English-language journals published throughout the Third World was a telltale fact . . . Encounter . . . in Bob Silvers’s opinion, “had a peculiar blind spot--it hardly ever contained any critical articles about the United States, as if this was forbidden territory.”” Brightman, p. 501.
32 Lasch, Christopher. The Agony of the American Left. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1969, pp. 73-4.
33 A slogan of May/June 1968 in Paris was the demand to change one’s life. Later this was transformed into the satirical slogan that one should change one’s house.
34“One aspect of covert action which particularly appealed to [Dulles] was embodied in the various organizations and publications supported by CIA to combat the phalanx of Communist-dominated bodies which came into being in the postwar years. He believed strongly in the necessity of providing intellectually acceptable instrumentalities for the exchange and development of liberal thought for the center and center-left forces which were coming to the fore, or seeking means of expression, in the post-World War II world . . . Europe had no outstanding journals of liberal opionon; this gap was filled, at least in part, by CIA, which supported Encounter in English and Preuves in French. (The Partisan Review was also CIA-supported at one time.) The funds and effort spent on the Congress of [sic] Cultural Freedom, on the Asia Foundation, and on various book publishing ventures had the same motivation . . . Directly through the US labor organizations the AFL and CIO, the Agency sought to build up the non-Communists, whether they were socialist oriented or uncommitted. Dulles took a particular interest in this activity.” Jackson, Wayne. G. Allen Welsh Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence: 26 February 1953 - 29 November 1961. Washington, D.C.: Historical Staff, Central Intelligence Agency, n.d. [1973/1994], Volume I, pp.58-60.
35 Colby, William and Forbath, Peter. Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1978, p. 119.
36 Brightman, p. 507.
37 Brightman, p. 504-5.
38 Lasch, p. 102.
39 Coleman, p. 222.
40 Coleman, pp. 228-9.
41 Quoted in, Marchetti, Victor and Marks, John D. The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, pp. 48-9.
42 Lasch, pp. 108-9. 43 Saunders, p. 399. 44 Brightman, p. 506.
45 Smith, Richard Harris. OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence Agency. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972, p. 368.
46 Saunders, p. 345.
47 Saunders, pp. 394-5.
48 Brightman, p. 503.
49 Saunders, p. 129.
50 Saunders, p. 409.
51 Brightman, pp. 506-7.
52 Lasch, p. 111.