Writers and the CIA

"The struggle for academic patronage and the strained conditions of nearly all media properties have led to fewer jobs and fewer venues for substantial writing..."

- The New Republic

Writers and the CIA

There is a really interesting story in The New Republic about writers, literary magazines and the CIA. Patrick Iber writes about the history of the CIA’s attempt to impact culture and ideas. It’s fascinating literary history>

“Today’s intellectuals approach their labors in a very different set of circumstances,” he writes. “The struggle for academic patronage and the strained conditions of nearly all media properties have led to fewer jobs and fewer venues for substantial writing; the possibility of leading a public-facing life of the mind now seems vanishingly small, which only heightens nostalgia for the golden age of the 1950s. Yet the shadow of the CIA lurks behind the achievements of that time. The free play of ideas—the very thing that was supposed to distinguish the United States from the Soviet Union in the first place—turned out to be, at least in part, a carefully constructed illusion. What if the prominence of midcentury intellectuals, the sense that they were engaged in important political and artistic projects, is inseparable from the fact that they were useful to America’s Cold War empire?”

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