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J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the MoviesThe FBI and the Origins of Hollywood's Cold War$
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John Sbardellati

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450082

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450082.001.0001

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The Coalescence of a Countersubversive Network

The Coalescence of a Countersubversive Network

(p.106) 4 The Coalescence of a Countersubversive Network
J. Edgar Hoover Goes to the Movies

John Sbardellati

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at the House Un-American Activities Committee. HUAC had shown occasional interest in Hollywood since its inception in 1938, but the committee largely neglected the film industry until postwar labor unrest in Hollywood drew national attention and red-baiting became prevalent. The labor strife, the cooperation of anti-Communist allies in the Motion Picture Alliance and the FBI, and the conservative victories in the 1946 midterm elections all encouraged HUAC to finally prepare for public hearings on the question of Communist infiltration of the motion picture industry. Subsequently, acknowledging that the FBI had a far more thorough surveillance program, HUAC appealed to the bureau for assistance. The FBI's documentary proof of the existence of Communist members in the film industry would be used to support the ideological claims of the existence of Communist propaganda in the films.

Keywords:   HUAC, Hollywood labor strife, Motion Picture Alliance, FBI, Communist infiltration, Communist propaganda

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