Friday, January 08, 2010

The Nation and the FBI

I've been talking a lot about Ramparts and its CIA saga, but I'm glad Richard Lingeman has returned our attention to an earlier row between the FBI and The Nation. Lingeman's article, "The File's Tale," shows how the FBI responded to Fred Cook's investigation of the bureau in 1958. Not pretty.

In fact, The Nation under Carey McWilliams shared many of Ramparts' virtues, but their styles were quite different. If Ramparts was a thoroughbred, The Nation was a workhorse, churning out its weekly on a modest budget to a smaller audience. McWilliams was incapable of Warren Hinckle's extravagance, but he turned a journal of opinion into a forum for investigative journalism and shepherded the magazine through the McCarthy era, its most difficult period.

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