[sixties-l] Re: Residents Express Outrage Over Howard Zinn

From: Ted Morgan (epm2@lehigh.edu)
Date: Sun Dec 02 2001 - 17:04:36 EST

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    Interesting to hear Bill's report on his Hazleton, PA experience. Kind
    of fills in some gaps on how this labor-intense area I live in moved
    from the great labor militance of John L, the Molly McGuires, etc. to
    the hopelessly conservative labor bastion it now is --a very peculiar
    politics to this Pa. outsider (who's nonetheless been here for 25
    years). Our local Labor Party efforts got virtually nowhere with
    organized labor in 5 years of trying. I keep running into what seem like
    residues left over from the decades of Red Scare tactics, etc.
    Ted Morgan

    >My identical experience was at the turn
    > of 1946-7 when McCarthy wasn't yet on the scene, but Truman's Loyalty
    > Oath and prosecution of a hero, Leon Josephson, who had entered Nazi
    > Germany before World War II to make contact with the underground, led to
    > an atmosphere in which my expression of dissent against the brand-new
    > Cold War resulted in my being barred from lecture platforms outside the
    > Left:
    > "Hazleton, Pennsylvania, cooked my goose. There, I had been booked into
    > the Presbyterian Church and the Kiwanis Club, with radio broadcast. The
    > response was splendid, and the superintendent of schools asked me to
    > speak to the junior and senior classes of the high school. A few days
    > later the Hazleton Sunday Times carried a very lengthy letter by a Naval
    > SeeBee. He wrote of my 'active participation and campaign last November
    > for the only Communist now seated in the U.S. Congress, Vito
    > Marcantonio.' Marcantonio, who I later knew personally, was never a
    > Communist. He was the only member of Congress to vote against U.S. entry
    > into the Korean War.
    > "The Hazleton newspaper ran an editorial, which said, 'A front page
    > story in today's Times tells how one William Mandel...after delivering
    > TWO addresses in Hazleton [their emphasis here and below],...was
    > permitted to lecture to the students at Hazleton High School, without
    > even the pretense of proper rebuttal made available....WE call on the
    > Hazleton city school board...to investigate the conditions which permit
    > an ostensibly tainted propagandist to be foisted on the faculty and
    > student body of our school system, and to inform the public why the
    > incident was at all possible and what will be done to preclude any
    > recurrence.'
    > "The news story was a classic example of the technique we wrongly call
    > McCarthyite--wrongly because it antedated his use of it by several
    > years. I quote: 'It has been learned through the offices of Plain Talk,
    > a magazine for the purpose of disseminating information on
    > Totalitarianism, that Mr. William Mandel, from 1945 to 1946 was an
    > instructor at the Jefferson School of Social Sciences...New York City.'
    > The article then specified that my two books were used in classes of the
    > Jefferson School and were sold currently in Communist book stores. That
    > was quite true. They were also sold in every serious bookstore in the
    > country. The later one was in use as a text at Yale, Stanford, and
    > elsewhere. The earlier one had actually found its way into use at a
    > university in South Africa....I had been mentioned twice in the past
    > five months in the Daily Worker. One was for a local speech I had given
    > at a Communist-sponsored summer camp, the other for a statement I made
    > on a national radio broadcast. In the latter case, I quote the Hazleton
    > Times, I 'very vehemently and emphatically demanded that United States
    > troops be recalled from China and other outposts of the world. Everyone
    > immediately recognized this kind of chatter as regular Communist Party
    > talk.' But it was also the view of the then Secretary of Commerce, Henry
    > Wallace, who had been vice-president under Roosevelt and, earlier, his
    > Secretary of Agriculture, and whose thirteen years in the U.S. cabinet
    > amounted to more time spent there than any other non-president in
    > American history before or since." -- from my autobiography, SAYING NO
    > TO POWER,
    > pp.139-141.
    > So my lecture contract with the country's top management, which later
    > managed Roosevelt's widow, was cancelled. A period of about 15 years
    > began during which Americans could hear only proponents of the Cold War
    > (regrettably, Eleanor Roosevelt, a loyal Democrat, did not combat it). I
    > did play a part in slowing and then reversing that situation by my
    > testimonies as an "unfriendly witness" when subpoenaed by the Senate
    > Internal Security Subcommittee, next by Sen. McCarthy, and finally, in
    > 1960, by the House Un-American Activities Committee.
    > William Mandel
    > ========================================================
    > My autobiography, SAYING NO TO POWER (Creative Arts, Berkeley, 1999),
    > is designed for the general reader. However, if you teach in the social
    > sciences, consider it for course use. It was written as a social
    > history
    > of the U.S. for the past three-quarters of a century through the eyes
    > of
    > a participant observer in most progressive social movements (I'm 84),
    > and of the USSR from the standpoint of a Sovietologist (five earlier
    > books) knowing that country longer than any other in the profession.
    > Therefore it is also a history of the Cold War. Positive reviews
    > in The Black Scholar, American Studies in Scandinavia, San Francisco
    > Chronicle, etc. Introduction by Howard Zinn. Chapters are up at
    > http://www.billmandel.net where you may also hear/see my defiant
    > testimonies before Sen. Joe McCarthy in 1953 and
    > the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1960. Available via Amazon
    > and Barnes&Noble. Bookstores that don't have it will get it for you
    > virtually
    > overnite from wholesalers. For autographed copies, postpaid, send me $23
    > at
    > 4500 Gilbert St., Apt. 426, Oakland, CA., 94611.
    > William Mandel
    > ========================================================

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