Neal Kozodoy is right to criticize me for stating that the Congress for Cultural Freedom
(CCF), created and funded by the CIA, "subsidized" Commentary; I should not have written that.
In 1967 it was revealed that the Congress for Cultural Freedom
had received some CIA finding.
432-456; Irving Howe, "The Culture Conference," Partisan Review 16 (1949), 509; Michael Warner, "Origins of the Congress for Cultural Freedom
, 1949-50," Studies in Intelligence, <http://www.odci.gov/csi/studies/95unclas/war.html> (Accessed March 2, 1997).
The CIA was to pump tens of millions of dollars into the Congress for Cultural Freedom
and related projects.
The linchpin of this effort, from 1950 until its link to the CIA was exposed in 1967, was the Congress for Cultural Freedom
. Through the Congress and parallel organizations, the CIA secretly underwrote international conferences, art expositions, music festivals, and more than 20 magazines, including the highly respected Encounter, which was edited originally by Stephen Spender and Irving Kristol.
The CIA, under the prodding of Sidney Hook and Melvin Lasky, was instrumental in funding the Congress for Cultural Freedom
, a kind of cultural NATO that grouped together all sorts of "anti-Stalinist" leftists and rightists.
As early as 1962, Kenneth Tynan wrote a skit for 'That Was the Week That Was', showing how another impressive front for the CIA, the Congress for Cultural Freedom
, operated as a Kulturkampf for NATO.
It was certainly a better career move, after World War Two, to side with the anti-Soviet Congress for Cultural Freedom
than to leave oneself open to black-listing and the shattering of careers endured by those who plodded on, bolstering faith in a dubiously socialist Soviet Union or in the embattled Communist Parties of Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Like his fellow founder of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol, he received CIA propaganda funds for much of the 1950s and '60s, via the agency's Congress for Cultural Freedom
, a shop for anti-communist liberals that subsidized both Commentary and the influential Encounter.
The debate between Rodriguez Monegal and Fernandez Retamar is elucidated in detail in this study, along with a skilful unpacking of the cultural-ideological agenda of funding organizations such as the Congress for Cultural Freedom
and the ILARI (Instituto Latinoamericano de Relaciones Internacionales).
The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (Granta Books), a survey of the way in which the CIA enlisted Western intellectuals to its cause in the 1950s through the Congress for Cultural Freedom
. This volume was short-listed for the History Today-Longman Book of the Year award, and was reviewed in these pages in December 1999.
Along with Arthur Koestler, Andre Gide and Richard Wright, he contributed to the 1950 collection The God That Failed and directed the Italian section of the Congress for Cultural Freedom
, with his journal Tempo Presente receiving--just like its British equivalent, Encounter--a covert subsidy from the CIA.