Hot Books in the Cold War
The West's CIA-Financed Secret Book Distribution Project Behind the Iron Curtain
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Central European University Press
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...throughout the Cold War, the United states and the soviet Union waged âpolitical warfareâ against each other and their respective allies. this form of interaction, unlike the global military standoff between the two sides, was intended by each superpower to affect the percep-tions, attitudes, motives, andâultimatelyâpolitical behavior of the ...
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This book could not have been written without the assistance of many individuals and organizations. My particular thanks go to the Hungarian American Enterprise Fund and its Hungarian director Elisabeth Simon and its Board of Directors for their generous Senior Scholar Fellowship, ...
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My original intent when planning this book was to write up the entire story of the Westâs secret Cold War book distribution project, a period of 35 years, from July 1956 until the end of september 1991. For reasons beyond my control, iÂ was able to locate and access only the first 17 years of the complete archival documents covering the project. ...
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...archives, it can be ascertained that the idea of creating radio Free europe and radio liberty and of using radio to penetrate the iron Curtain with news from the West first grew out of discussions held then director of the state department Policy Planning staff, and other with the office of strategic services (oss) in europe during the war. ...
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The Minden Papers in the Hoover Institute Archives do not contain materials on the early book mailings operations in which the Munich office of Free Europe Press (FEP) played a crucial role. Fortunately, close to 40 monthly statistical reports and 36 summaries of responses received have been preserved by John Matthews, then director of the FEP Office in Munich. ...
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...during the 1970s, new coversâthe international advisory Council, inc., and, after 1975, the international literary Centre, ltd.âwere used to make the book project even less visible to the âother side.â Following the resignation of sam Walker, the Free europe organization and Publication (FeoP) division was established on July ...
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...during the long lifespan of the book project under the short director-ship of sam s. Walker Jr., and the much longer directorship of George Minden, a fairly small group of dedicated people were involved with its practical implementation in the so-called new York Book Center. Many of them have since passed away, and most of those still alive ...
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...although no monthly reports for the years 1960 through 1962 (except Hoover institution archives, a number of FeP office memos and a draft summary from 1962 prepared by Minden that includes annual and cumulative totals help fill the gap. the worsening of the inter-national situation in 1959â1960 did not influence the book mailing ...
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Since 1957, FEC regularly sent the Polish Ã©migrÃ© periodical Kultura and the Czechoslovak Ã©migrÃ© magazine SvÄdestvÃ to Poland and Czechoslovakia, respectively. Throughout the 1960s, Free Europeâs West European Operations Division (WEOD ), later renamed Press and Special Projects Division (PSPD), ...
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From its beginning, the Free europe Committee was eager to estab-unsigned office memorandum from 1959 dealt with the ways in which to conduct successful new operations in the field of east-West con-tacts by creating new instrumentalities and improving existing tech-niques. FeC recognized the fact that, because it was known as a âcold ...
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...30 June 1970, the last report he submitted to Free europeâs new $419,985, 33% less than the $619,858 budgeted in the first half of 1969. this made it possible to distribute roughly 111,000 books and periodicals to approximately 39,000 persons and institutions in six countries of east europe, 14% less than in the second half of 1969. ...
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Much has been written about the internal state censorship system of the east european communist regimes modelled after the system launched by the Bolsheviks as early as octoberânovember 1917. emulating the soviet model of central censorship office established in 1922, known as âGlavlit,â the authorities achieved within their borders ...
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...the communist regimes of eastern europe and their soviet overseers could not fail to notice the steadily growing flow of Western litera-ture reaching them from different points of origin in the U.s. and in Western europe. Being well aware of the inherent threat these ideo-logically unwanted and unsuitable books and periodicals posed to ...
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...the person-to-person distribution program for Polish visitors to the West started in January 1958 under the auspices of the Free europe Press (FeP) in new York, with andrzej stypuÅkowski, aÂ young Polish 1958, the programâs activities were transferred to the east europe institute, inc. (eei), with offices at 35 east 53rd street in new York. ...
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Because mailed books were subject to censorship, most of the books about international affairs and politics, as well as selected books with political impact about philosophy, religion, law, history, social sciences, economics, business, and labor, were distributed hand to hand to east european visitors to the West. this method was given the name ...
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Because of its geographical proximity to communist-ruled eastern europe, austria and its vibrant capital city, Vienna, played a key role throughout the duration of the book distribution and book mailing programs. Many people, austrians and east european Ã©migrÃ©s, were involved in this endeavor, as well as a number of austrian organiza-...
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For a period of over 30 years, thousands of letters acknowledging receipt of books sent and requesting other books arrived at the new York Book Center, forwarded by the numerous sponsors involved in the book program in the U.s. and in Western europe. the original letters are no longer available; they may have been shredded when the ...
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Because censorship was most severe and cautiousness prevailed in Czechoslovakia, responses barely trickled in when the book program was launched: 12 responses in the last five months of 1956, 103 by the end of 1957, and aÂ cumulative total of 1,142 by the end of 1959. From 1960 onwards, responses and requests doubled every year. Following ...
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While most responses from Hungary came from individuals, letters from institutions rose to more than 15% of the total at the beginning of 1963, many from organizations that had long received books but had never replied before. letters from institutions continued to increase steadily in 1965, again with many of them responding for the first time. ...
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Between July 1956 and december 1959, a total of 97,000 books were mailed to romania, but only 218 responses with 146 requests for books were receivedâa rather discouraging result.1 Very few letters arrived during March (22 responses and 28 requests) and april 1963 (21 and 10). Minden reported: âthe rumanian regimeâs ongoing ...
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...of the five east european countries targeted by the book project, Bulgaria, together with romania, was in the hold of a very strict cen-sorship. this was one of the main reasons why responses and requests Czechoslovakia. in 1963, except for the month of december, Bulgaria was ahead of its northern neighbor romania. in March 47 responses ...
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...there is evidence that the involvement of Free europeâs radio liberty in the book mailings to the soviet Union was preceded by a similar project undertaken by the american Committee for liberation from with financial support from the Cia to deal with russian refugees and Ã©migrÃ©s. Readerâs Digest editor eugene lyons was its first presi-...
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...aÂ U.s. Government official aptly described the power of the book when he stated at aÂ senate hearing: âBooks differ from all other pro-paganda media, primarily because one single book can significantly change the readerâs attitude and action to an extent unmatched by the impact of any other single media.â1 a recent U.s. Government docu-...
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Page Count: 320
Illustrations: photographs, tables, photocopies of documents
Publication Year: 2013