American Committee for Cultural Freedom
The American Committee for Cultural Freedom (ACCF) was the U.S. affiliate of the anti-Communist Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF).
The ACCF and CCF were organizations that, during the Cold War, sought to encourage intellectuals to be critical of the Soviet Union and Communism, and to combat, according to a writer for The New York Times, "the continuing strength of the Soviet myth among the Western cultural elite. Despite all that had happened - the Moscow show trials, the Nazi-Soviet pact, the assassination of Leon Trotsky, the Russian attack on Finland, the takeovers in Eastern Europe, the mounting evidence of the gulag - Joseph Stalin still retained the loyalty of many writers, artists and scientists who viewed the Soviet Union as a progressive alternative to the 'reactionary,' 'war-mongering' United States." The CCF was funded by the CIA, as well as the ACCF (via the CIA officer James Burnham and front organizations like the National Committee for a Free Europe (NCFE).
The dominant figure in the organization was Sidney Hook. Its 600-strong membership encompassed leading figures on both the Right and the Left, some of whom included:
- Roger Baldwin
- Daniel Bell
- James Burnham
- Alexander Calder
- John Chamberlain
- Whittaker Chambers
- Elliot Cohen
- Robert Gorham Davis (chairman 1953–1954)
- Moshe Decter
- John Dewey
- John Dos Passos
- Max Eastman
- James T. Farrell
- John Kenneth Galbraith
- Henry Hazlitt
- Sidney Hook
- Karl Jaspers
- Elia Kazan
- Irving Kristol
- Melvin J. Lasky
- Sol Levitas
- Dwight Macdonald
- Reinhold Niebuhr
- Mary McCarthy
- J. Robert Oppenheimer
- William Phillips
- Merlyn Pitzele
- Jackson Pollock
- David Riesman
- Elmer Rice
- James Rorty
- Richard Rovere
- Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
- George Schuyler
- Sol Stein
- Norman Thomas
- Diana Trilling
- James Wechsler
The committee's central or executive committee varied over time. James Turnham, who worked for the CIA, was a member until he left the group circa 1954. Whittaker Chambers joined in late 1954 and was also a member of the executive committee. Diana Trilling became chair person at some point.
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