Naming Names

Naming Names

Victor S. Navasky

Language: English

Pages: 528

ISBN: 0809001837

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

With a New Afterword by the Author

"An astonishing work concerning personal honor and dishonor, shame and shamelessness. A book of stunning insights and suspense." ―Studs Terkel

Half a century later, the investigation of Hollywood radicals by the House Committee on Un-American Activities still haunts the public conscience. Naming Names, reissued here with a new afterword by the author, is the definitive account of the hearings, a National Book Award winner widely hailed as a classic. Victor S. Navasky adroitly dissects the motivations for the investigation and offers a poignant analysis of its consequences. Focusing on the movie-studio workers who avoided blacklists only by naming names at the hearings, he explores the terrifying dilemmas of those who informed and the tragedies of those who were informed on. Drawing on interviews with more than 150 people called to testify―among them Elia Kazan, Ring Lardner Jr., and Arthur Miller―Naming Names presents a compelling portrait of how the blacklists operated with such chilling efficiency.











disregarding this further protest: “I would like to get something to eat. But couldn’t we continue another day? Or do I have to come back?” Thereupon there took place … what proved to be the coup de grace, after which she made a full disclosure of what she knew: a very large part of it what Remington had told her during their marriage and before they separated in January 1947. … I shall assume for argument that, had there been nothing more than I have mentioned, the indictment might have stood

want to be in it. Before she died Isobel Lennart taped an interview with the actor and writer Robert Vaughn: “When they came to me and they wanted names, I could have hurt—I felt—an enormous number of people, because I knew a great many people [who had been in the Party]. I told them that since I was out of the Party, I didn’t know who else was out of the Party…. “They said, ‘What position would you take if you’re subpoenaed?’ And I said, ‘I will answer all questions about my own

the first place. As Trumbo wrote to Maltz: Whatever else may be said of Communists and the goals they pursued, I think you and I can agree that those who joined the Party were animated by a sincere desire to change the world and make it better, even at the cost of affiliating with an organization that had, from its beginnings, been subject to constant federal harassment, popular hatred, and sometimes physical violence … The impulses which caused them to affiliate with the CP were good impulses,

ready to go before HUAC to get a clean bill of health became longer than had been anticipated, and HUAC quietly canceled the service. It took until March 1952 before the movie industry and its adjuncts had organized procedures by which one could get off the graylist as predictably as one got off the blacklist. Any number of organizations, individuals, publications, and journalists were ready to step in as guardian at the gate of rehabilitation. The American Business Consultants, publishers of

lot about this. But you see, I was a cop. I’d been trained as a cop. And when you work for Congress you say to yourself, ‘If this is what I’m assigned to do, I’m going to do it and I’m going to do a good job.’ But if I had known as I know now, I don’t know. I destroyed a lot of people and I think they destroyed themselves.” At the outset, it appeared as if the profit ethic might subordinate itself to the anti-Communist ethic. How else explain what happened to Howard Da Silva, the actor who

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