Paul Kengor, one of the top contemporary experts on the infiltration of the United States by Communists under the control or influence of the Soviet Union in the 1940s and ’50s, writes in today’s American Spectator a fascinating summary of Communist involvement among Hollywood actors during that period, which was real, pervasive, and which claimed Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall as prominent and influential supporters for a time. Kengor writes, in part:
The facts are that Lauren Bacall herself learned the truth about communism in Hollywood. She admitted to being badly duped by bad guys. She learned her lesson, even as her fellow Hollywood liberals to this day have not, opting instead for a false narrative that feeds a handy caricature. Here’s what really happened:
In October 1947, Lauren Bacall joined a group of high-profile Hollywood actors, writers, and producers for a major public-relations trip to Washington. Their goal was to defend the First Amendment freedoms of their accused friends and colleagues—accused, that is, of being communists dedicated to infiltrating the motion-picture industry as a means to peddle propaganda. The accused were summoned before the House Committee on Un-American Activities as “unfriendly” witnesses. (For the record, Senator Joe McCarthy had absolutely nothing to do with this.)
Unbeknownst to Lauren Bacall and friends, nearly every single one of the accused was a closet communist formally pledged to Stalin’s Soviet Union. When these individuals joined Communist Party USA (CPUSA), they swore a loyalty oath to strive to “ensure the triumph of Soviet power in the United States.” They were committed to what CPUSA general secretary William Z. Foster openly called a “Soviet America,” or what other hope-filled comrades called a “United Soviet States of America” (USSA).
Of course, these communists didn’t dare tell any of this to their liberal/progressive friends. They assured their pals that they were good liberals/progressives just like them. They would never support a totalitarian dictatorship. They insisted that they were being unjustly hounded and persecuted and silenced. This was an outrage, they said, a violation of their First Amendment/Constitutional freedoms (none of which existed in the Soviet Union).
Kengor is a superb historian, and the entire article is well worth reading. It will prove eye-opening for those who remain unaware of the huge amount of information we now have about the extent of Communist infiltration of U.S. institutions, which has become available in great profusion since the fall of the Soviet Union.