[Marxism] Dangerous minds: the writers hounded by the FBI

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Jan 11 06:26:36 MST 2019

Reading through dossier after dossier on 16 American writers contained 
in Writers Under Surveillance: The FBI Files, what strikes you 
immediately is the terrifying absurdity of Hoover’s obsession with 
anyone who didn’t follow his patriotic party line and dared to express 
critical concern about the national psyche in well-written words. Susan 
Sontag got a big file opened on her for visiting Hanoi during the 
Vietnam War and speaking out on the bellicose campaign of “American 
intervention”. The African-American sociologist and civil rights 
advocate, WEB Du Bois, was investigated for being a communist (even 
though he was known not to be) because he was “in sympathy with the 
Southern Negro Youth Congress”. The FBI agent did mitigate this with the 
following racist comment – that Du Bois was considered “one of the most 
outstanding and competent negroes in Atlanta”.


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