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The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters.

The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters by Frances Stonor Saunders The New Press. 509 pages. $29.95.

In a deftly written narrative, Frances Stonor Saunders presents the stunning history of the CIA's involvement in the Cold War's intellectual landscape.

While most people accept that the CIA was heavily involved in the Cold War climate of Latin America (the 1954 coup in Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs, 1980s Nicaragua), Saunders's impressively researched chronicle shows the surprising reach of the CIA. Writers and artists, some willingly and others unwittingly, became key figures in the CIA's fight against Communism.

Authors as celebrated as Isaiah Berlin, Vladimir Nabokov, and Jorge Luis Borges became key contributors to the magazine Encounter, a CIA-funded project which was at the fore-front of post-war intellectual life from 1953 to 1990. Saunders maintains that even the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in New York was bogged down in the CIA's muck, and that CIA funding was instrumental in the success of prestigious journals, such as The Kenyon Review, The Sewanee Review, Poetry, and, especially, Partisan Review.

The main goal of the CIA's cultural campaign? To counteract the socialist-leaning American aesthetic of the 1930s with one that celebrates individualism and capitalism.
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Author:Bakopoulos, Dean
Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2000
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