Joseph Fels Barnes

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Joseph Fels Barnes (1907-1970) was an American journalist.


Barnes was born in 1907. he graduated from Harvard University in 1927, where he was managing editor and president of the Harvard Crimson. He studied at the London School of Slavonic Studies.[1]


Barnes worked on staff in the Soviet Union and China at the Institute of Pacific Relations from 1932 to 1934. He was a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune based in Moscow, Berlin, and New York from 1934 to 1948. That was interrupted by service as director of the Office of War Information overseas branch and Voice of America radio show (1941-1944).[citation needed]

Barnes became part-owner (with Bartley Crum) and editor of PM, which soon went out of business and was replaced by the New York Star, where he was editor until it folded in 1949.[1]

Later, Barnes worked as an editor of Simon & Schuster and was a faculty member at Sarah Lawrence College[2]

Often affiliated with left-wing causes, Barnes was accused in the 1950s of being a member of the Communist Party USA by several witnesses, e.g., Whittaker Chambers (1951):

Whittaker Chambers, confessed former Communist courier, said that a Red leader in 1937 told him that Joseph Barnes, a member of the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College, was a member of a Communist underground cell in New York. Mr. Chambers identified his informant as J. Peters... Mr. Barnes, former foreign editor of the New York Herald Tribune and former secretary of the American Institute of Pacific Relations who is now an editor of Simon & Schuster, New York publishers, denied the accusation – as he has on three previous occasions....[2]

Personal life and death[edit]

He died of cancer in New York City.[citation needed]



Barnes translated The Story Of A Life by Konstantin Paustovsky.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Reminiscences of Joseph Fels Barnes : oral history, 1953". WorldCat. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Chambers Labels Barnes a Red and Receives a Prompt Denial" (PDF). Herald Statesment. 17 August 1951. Retrieved 13 May 2012.