Friday, 09 February 2018 00:06

John Allen Stern, C.D. Jackson: Cold War Propagandist for Democracy and Globalism

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Michael Le Flem finds this brief book on one of the most important figures in the history of United States psychological warfare and propaganda, Time-Life managing director C.D. Jackson, an engaging, nuanced and timely addition to Cold War historiography.

I. “The American Century”

In this concise and penetrating analysis of a largely forgotten Cold War propagandist and public relations figure, John Allen Stern paints a complex picture of the genesis of the Cold War, capturing not only the singular influence of C.D. Jackson on 1950s American foreign policy, but the broader contradictions of the ideological battle waged against the Soviet Union by the United States.

As has been exhaustively portrayed in many a book on the Cold War, almost immediately following the cessation of hostilities after the Japanese surrender in August of 1945, the United States found itself alone among the world’s nations in terms of hegemonic potential, nuclear capabilities and industrial might. There exists much debate as to the actual established beginning of the Cold War, and the breaking with Franklin Roosevelt’s more friendly American/Soviet aims. Many have placed the milestone—at least thematically—shortly after Churchill’s famous March of 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri. There Churchill decried an “Iron Curtain” descending over Europe, a phrase previously used by Nazi Foreign Minister Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk a year earlier. Others have pointed to George Kennan’s “Long Telegram,” sent in February, 1946 while he was the U.S. Chargé d’affaires in Moscow as the most tangible departure in U.S. Foreign policy vis-à-vis the Soviet Union for the coming decade.

In his message to the Secretary of State, Kennan described the CCCP as, “a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with the U.S. there can be no permanent modus vivendi.” His prescription was for “a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.” (George Kennan, “Telegraphic Message from Moscow”, 2/22/1946)

It may be accurate to judge the posture of U.S. policy planners towards the Soviet Union in the wake of World War II as provocative, belligerent, and essentially counter-productive to their purported goal of fostering global stability. But it is worth getting into the minds of those who had just witnessed the apocalyptic horror of an unprecedented total war, the death toll of which exceeded 60 million in only six years. The unlocking and eventual unleashing of the devastating power of atomic weaponry, coupled with the economic and ideological vacuum into which Western Europe descended after the defeat of the Nazis, presented a formidable challenge to even the most sophisticated foreign relations experts. To many, everything west of the Berlin Occupation Zone lay open to communist infiltration, particularly those nations like France with previously strong socialist factions. To others, like C.D. Jackson, the new mantle of global authority gained in the wake of the Second World War presented a unique opportunity for the United States to lead the world on a moral crusade for the hearts and minds of people in beleaguered communist territories. For those who stood at this great juncture in the 20th Century, the Soviet Union loomed like a dark shadow, poised, many felt, to marshal its forces and complete its unfinished conquest of the “free world.”

Charles Douglas Jackson stepped into this tense scene of early Cold War uncertainty when he accepted his role as special assistant to President Eisenhower. Coming from Life—where he worked alongside Henry Luce, the publisher of this quintessentially American magazine—Jackson brought both his persuasive charm and astute political observations to the job; earning the admiration of many disparate personalities, from the president to the newly appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Allen Dulles. One of the first global flash points on which Jackson cut his teeth was the coup the CIA sponsored against the democratically elected leader of Guatemala, Jacobo Árbenz, in which capacity Jackson quietly aided intelligence planners in the dissemination of disinformation preceding the overthrow. While ostensibly executed as a clandestine removal of a potential communist leader about to fall into Moscow’s waiting hands, an equally compelling financial motive from the board of directors at United Fruit was also responsible for the green-lighting of the caper. It was, after all, Sullivan and Cromwell, a top American law firm that covertly supported the Nazi war machine during WWII, who represented United Fruit. And it was also John Foster Dulles, made partner at the firm during the 1930s, who was Secretary of State under Eisenhower in the summer of 1954 when the plot was unfolding, and his brother Allen, who was Director of the CIA and also a leading board member of the firm.

Why this familiar incident bears repeating is that throughout his monograph, Stern does an excellent job of exposing this revolving door of mid-century American politics. With a near-monopoly on credibility, magazines like Life were, along with other titans of journalism like the Washington Post and The New York Times, arbiters of truth, and promulgated to a large extent the narratives of what America stood for, what its enemies sought, and how hardworking officials in Washington were vigilantly keeping them safe in their peaceful suburban enclaves. As authors like Carl Bernstein have detailed, Luce was deeply supportive of the CIA. In a 1977 exposé entitled “The CIA and the Media,” he writes, “For many years, Luce’s personal emissary to the CIA was C.D. Jackson, a Time Inc. vice-president who was publisher of Life magazine from 1960 until his death in 1964.” (Rolling Stone, 10/22/1977) It was Life which later bought the rights, within a day of its shooting, to the infamous Zapruder film in November of 1963, and closely guarded it from the public until its eventual leak on Geraldo Rivera’s “Good Night America” show in 1975, deeming it unsuitable for the American psyche. The film—altered or original—shows President Kennedy’s head snapping dramatically back and to the left. Could that possibly have persuaded Luce and his associates in the intel community from releasing it? Honest folks that they were? But I digress.

What’s also of note is a December 6, 1963 Life article written by Paul Mandel. This extremely telling piece of the cover-up includes statements like, “Oswald was an ex-marine sharpshooter,” and “Oswald had both the time and the ability to zero-in three times.” (Life, 12/6/1963) This is interesting, given that no one—without cheating—has been able to recreate the fantastic feat in the allotted six seconds of the Warren Commission’s official findings. This includes the legendary Carlos Hathcock, a USMC sniper during the Vietnam War who held a world record—later surpassed—for a confirmed kill at 1.4 miles. (James DiEugenio, “The Lost Bullet: Max Holland Gets Lost In Space,” 11/30/2011) When he left the service, Oswald was a poor shot according to his marksmanship performance reviews. Similarly, Mandel states unequivocally that a Clayton E. Wheat Jr., director of the NRA, actually reproduced this shot in a controlled setting for Life. He “fired an identical-make rifle with an identical sight against a moving target over similar ranges for Life last week. He got three hits in 6.2 seconds.” (“The Lost Bullet”) However, as researcher Pat Speer has observed,

Someone at the (Warren) Commission recalled the claim in the December 6 issue of Life Magazine that Oswald’s purported shots had been duplicated by someone at the NRA, and asked the FBI to look into it. The FBI report forwarded by Hoover is quite damaging to Life’s credibility. While Life claimed the shooter was an official of the NRA, it turned out the shooter had merely been recommended by the NRA. The shooter, Clayton Wheat, moreover, admitted that he’d had 8 or 9 practice shots and had used a 7.35mm Carcano in his tests, not the 6.5 mm Carcano purportedly used by Oswald. He also acknowledged that he’d fired on a moving deer target traveling slowly, 3-5 mph, right to left over 33 feet, and not at a human head and shoulders-sized target traveling 12 mph away on an angle over a distance of 100 feet or so. He also mentioned that that he’d fired at the target from a distance of 150 feet, from approximately 10 degrees above horizontal, as opposed to firing from a distance of 160-265 feet from approximately 22-16 degrees above horizontal for the purported shots on Kennedy from the sniper’s nest. In short, he didn’t reproduce the shots at all.” (Patrick Speer, A New Perspective on the John F. Kennedy Assassination, Vol. 2, p. 22)

Equally telling is the other blatant lie in Mandel’s piece for Life, which seeks to explain the testimony of a Parkland Hospital doctor who had told investigators that the president’s throat wound was an entrance wound. Mandel claims this was due to Kennedy’s turning and waving at the crowd: “His throat is exposed—to the sniper’s nest—just before he clutches it.” (Life, 12/6/1963) Mandel cites the then-unreleased Zapruder film as proof of this, having personally viewed it. Yet no extant version of the film actually portrays this, raising serious doubt over his conclusion.

That C.D. Jackson, on behalf of Allen Dulles, also had a CIA asset, Isaac Don Levine, ghostwrite Marina Oswald’s story for Life is equally suspect. (Stern, p. 122) Though the piece was never published, Levine, a member of the Tolstoy Foundation, a CIA-backed anti-communist front organization with ties to C.D. Jackson’s Psychological Strategy Board going back to the 1950s, spent a full week with Marina Oswald immediately before her testimony to the Warren Commission. (George Michael Evica, A Certain Arrogance, p. 225)

Life’s publisher Henry Luce, a dedicated and vocal anti-communist, was quick to realize the unprecedented historical opportunity afforded America in the wake of the Allied victory in Europe. No serious historian can deny that the Soviet Union, however repressive and internally corrupt it truly was, actually saved Europe from fascism. Yet this was almost never spoken of in the West, and to be honest, rarely is today. During Operation Barbarossa, the German codename for the June, 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union, Hitler sent 180 divisions (nearly 3.8 million men, 3,800 tanks, 5,400 aircraft and 18,000 artillery pieces) on a mission of conquest and racial extermination which ultimately left over 20 million Russians and Ukrainians dead, as opposed to the forty-five German divisions facing the combined British, Free French, Canadian, Australian, New Zealander, and American forces in late 1942.

Luce and his pal Jackson, like many Americans in the wake of the Second World War, viewed the outcome as something akin to divine providence, and were quick to draft a persuasive narrative of good versus evil, of a benevolent emancipatory American intervention which paved the way for the liberation of Hitler’s Fortress Europe—a narrative which continues to persuade today. There is no denying the tremendous sacrifices of the American forces in their quest to free Europe from the dark bondage of the Nazi regime. My own grandfather, a French Resistance fighter who helped rescue downed Allied pilots, never forgot that striking image of Operation Overlord’s enormous flotilla anchored off his foggy coast. But it was not a singular effort. Hitler officially declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, four days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. It was not until November, 1942 that the American expeditionary force touched down in North Africa to begin its actual combat operations against the Afrika Corps led by Erwin Rommel. After a slow and bloody slog across Tunisia, a 1943 invasion of Sicily and subsequent landings on the Italian mainland, a full three years had elapsed from when Soviet troops began fighting for their existence as a people until the D-Day landings in June, 1944. Stalin never forgot this. And, as history would have it, the famous image of American GIs and Soviet troops embracing on the sunny banks of the Elbe river before the Russians stormed Berlin quickly dissolved into the dreaded specter of the Red Menace in the wake of that tragic global conflagration.

For figures like C.D. Jackson, the arc of the post-war era of the late 1940s and early 1950s represented the unfolding of Luce’s “American Century,” the title of a sensational feature Luce wrote in a February, 1941 issue of Life Magazine. This thematic portrayal and its subsequent economic, strategic and propagandistic initiatives are best summarized by Stern, who explains,

It entailed economic liberation for the United States through the integration of American business with markets and resources worldwide, for which governmental institutions were to provide the necessary “atmosphere” for expansion. That amounted to the extension abroad of American business interests, long strapped by the backward thinking of many corporate leaders. The American Century would bring as well, political and economic unity between the United States and Western Europe, along with Japan. It promised to raise living standards around the world, especially in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Latin America—areas soon to be collectively defined as the “Third World,”—where a wealth of natural resources made them vulnerable targets for communist incursion. Above all, the American Century was to instill among Americans a sense of destiny and mission, a conviction that our way of life was right for the world, and that it was our time to rule. (Stern, p. 25.)

II. “It’s Not Propaganda if You Tell the Truth”

Author Stern goes to great lengths to explain the various propaganda methods and delivery systems the United States employed in its quest to combat Soviet encroachment, both in continental Europe and the world over. Citing cases like Radio Free Europe, which C.D. Jackson actually designed and helped run, and lesser-known programs, like the comical anti-communist pamphlets shoved in balloons and floated over the Iron Curtain by the tens of thousands, he does a nice job of detailing the subtler methods of Cold War spy-craft and propaganda, and gives a compelling, if cursory exposition on the intellectual history of Western social manipulation. He states,

C.D. Jackson and President Eisenhower would answer the bellicose cries of the saber-rattlers with a clarion call of their own. Jackson outlined his “Strategy for Survival” in a rapidly changing and dangerous world: What would win the day, he promised in sermon-like prose to a wide and diverse audience, was propaganda: ‘We had better get used to it, because goodness knows we need it, and just because Dr. Goebbels and the Kremlin have debased it, that is no reason why we cannot elevate it.’ He made palatable the idea of ‘an official propaganda organization’—which, he confessed, many citizens found dishonest and un-American—by comparing it to teaching ‘a word of wonderful meaning.’

What is striking when one takes in the ramifications of these propaganda programs is the contempt with which many of their theorists viewed the American masses. Harold Lasswell, a longtime friend of political commentator Walter Lippmann, and himself an influential Yale law professor, is quoted in Stern’s book as arguing,We must recognize the ‘ignorance and stupidity (of) ... the masses’ and not succumb to democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests.” (Stern, 43) This art of “manufacturing consent,” later critiqued by the likes of Noam Chomsky in an eponymous book, became a fundamental part of American society by the time the Second World War had begun to unfold.

I should note that Edward Bernays, a cousin of Sigmund Freud, was a pioneer of American propaganda. Yet conspicuously absent from Stern’s book is a discussion of the Committee on Public Information, or “Creel Commission,” which arguably was the true genesis of full-blown American war propaganda. It employed Bernays, along with George Creel, Carl Byoir and others to sell the First World War to an isolationist general population. Though he touches on the earlier role Bernays played in Calvin Coolidge’s presidency during the mid 1920s, it’s odd that given his otherwise excellent monograph, this important propaganda think-tank, which lasted from 1917 to 1919, is not mentioned. Indeed, Josef Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Minister, often cited Bernays as the greatest influence in shaping his own policies in Germany, and Adolf Hitler was a great admirer of him as well, even citing the Committee on Public Information as a template for his own efforts. (Dan Nimmo and Chevelle Newsome, Political Commentators in the United States in the 20th Century: A Bio Critical Sourcebook, p. 66)

It would also have been nice if Stern had mentioned how Hitler glossed the cover of Henry Luce’s Time Magazine in 1938 in full regalia as “Man of the Year,”; or how the Führer had actually hired New York advertising agency Carl Byoir & Associates in 1933—the same Carl Byoir of Creel Commission notoriety—to actively promote “positive images” of the Third Reich. (The Observer, 12/22/2014). These collusive links between the purported bastion of democracy in the free world, the United States of America, and one of the most violent and destructive regimes in human history, remains a curious gap in Stern’s story, and are a necessary window into comprehending the Soviet Union’s very real fear of a re-armed Germany in the wake of the Second World War.

III. “The Hidden Hand”

What Stern does an exceptional job of showcasing is the impasse at which more nuanced thinkers found themselves when confronted with die-hard cold warriors like the Dulles Brothers and certain members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. An especially telling episode from 1953 is one in which a young Tom Braden, fresh out of the CIA academy, overhears Walter Bedell-Smith, now undersecretary of State, on a McCarthyist tirade regarding a new appointment to the U.S. Information Program, one of the departments of the wider public relations umbrella network described in Stern’s book. Braden recalled, “I remember walking into Allen Dulles’ office one day soon after I joined the CIA, and I could hear “Beetle” Smith, whose office door adjoined the Director’s, roaring out from beyond his front door: ‘They got that goddamned communist Nelson Rockefeller running psychological warfare.’ I went into Allen’s office and said I don’t want to work here anymore. I don’t want anything to do with this.” (Stern, p. 110).

For figures like Jackson, who by no means sought neutralism or appeasement with the Eastern Bloc, there existed a kind of middle ground. Stern does a fine job of showing the small ways in which people like him served as a necessary buffer to the brinkmanship of the war-hawks. As he notes,

Whereas Jackson wanted to quietly capture the loyalties of the non-aligned nations and make inroads into the Eastern Bloc, as well as strengthen our position with England and France—both of whom recognized the inherent emptiness of communist dialectics and the military threat posed by Russia, but accepted coexistence and especially trade with the Soviet States—(John Foster) Dulles opted for outright coercion and applied bullying tactics.” (Stern, p. 101)


Time and time again this story has been repeated, and Stern’s book is a necessary primer for the arm-twisting the intelligence apparatus would employ on JFK during his brief tenure as president. What is both interesting and arguably under-reported in the scholarship, is how even a former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe like Dwight Eisenhower was feeling the pressure of his newly-formed intelligence and propaganda machine.

As Stern notes, in 1956 the CIA had urged the president to parachute weapons and supplies to the disillusioned Hungarian protesters who had taken to the streets in open rebellion against the Soviet Union. This rebellion was largely due to Western propaganda imperatives broadcast over Radio Free Europe. When he refused, many members of the intelligence community saw only weakness, not Eisenhower’s real concerns over provoking a potential nuclear exchange between the superpowers. (Stern, pp. 3-4) Also interesting to note—and the author does—is how the figures the United States had selected to lead the failed Hungarian uprising were largely former members of the fascist Arrow Cross Party. Arrow Cross had been instrumental in WWII in aiding the Nazis’ Jewish extermination program in Hungary after the Germans captured and deposed the Hungarian Regent, Miklós Horthy, through a daring commando operation led by SS Major Otto Skorzeny. Stern argues, “In contrast, Jewish refugees from the uprising told the French Press that, ‘Soviet soldiers had saved their lives.’” (p. 4) And thus in the first chapter of the book, we see the contradictions and moral hazards inherent in the intelligence and propaganda communities’ Realpolitik approach to communism, a theme that would continue to generate blowback and further tarnish the image of the United States in the decades to come.

While Eisenhower fully supported the CIA’s overthrows of both Mossadeq in Iran and Árbenz in Guatemala, he seemed fearful enough of a final apocalyptic showdown with the Soviet Union to pursue a watered down form of détente. And it was C.D. Jackson himself who wrote the president’s iconic “Atoms for Peace” address to the UN General Assembly in 1953. This rhetorically moving—if somewhat disingenuous—speech deserves reading, as the language is quite revealing in terms of Jackson’s power to persuade:

... for me to say that the defense capabilities of the United States are such that they could inflict terrible losses upon an aggressor—for me to say that the retaliation capabilities of the United States are so great that such an aggressor’s land would be laid waste—all this, while fact, is not the true expression of the purpose and the hope of the United States. To pause there would be to confirm the hopeless finality of a belief that two atomic colossi are doomed malevolently to eye each other indefinitely across a trembling world. To stop there would be to accept helplessly the probability of civilization destroyed—the annihilation of the irreplaceable heritage of mankind handed down to us generation from generation—and the condemnation of mankind to begin all over again the age-old struggle upward from savagery toward decency, and right, and justice. Surely no sane member of the human race could discover victory in such desolation. Could anyone wish his name to be coupled by history with such human degradation and destruction?

Eisenhower continues:

We never have, and never will, propose or suggest that the Soviet Union surrender what rightly belongs to it. We will never say that the peoples of the USSR are an enemy with whom we have no desire ever to deal or mingle in friendly and fruitful relationship. On the contrary, we hope that this coming conference may initiate a relationship with the Soviet Union which will eventually bring about a freer mingling of the peoples of the East and of the West—the one sure, human way of developing the understanding required for confident and peaceful relations. Instead of the discontent which is now settling upon Eastern Germany, occupied Austria and the countries of Eastern Europe, we seek a harmonious family of free European nations, with none a threat to the other, and least of all a threat to the peoples of the USSR. (Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Atoms for Peace,” 12/8/1953)


How much of this was purely stagecraft is debatable, and as Stern notes, many within the CIA, like Tom Braden, felt it was likely a ploy to ensure the United States remained dominant in terms of nuclear first-strike capability, and served to alleviate growing tensions with Western allies in Europe who feared a Third World War extinction event. This constant shadow play, both within the U.S. foreign policy circles and in the diplomatic tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, are a highlight of the book. As Stern reveals, it is never really clear just where even moderates like Jackson ultimately stand within this dynamic. To be clear, this is fine contribution to scholarship, for too often a monolithic Eastern Bloc is juxtaposed against a Red-baiting West in conventional narratives of the Cold War, with figures like Jackson either relegated to tertiary roles in the grand scheme of things or altogether excluded. Even sinister figures like Allen Dulles are shown in their rare finer moments, including Stern’s vignette where Senator Joe McCarthy, the towering figure of anti-communism, responsible for the nationwide purges of purported Soviet sympathizers, is attempting to fire none other than the CIA’s own Deputy Director of Intelligence, William Bundy. His crime: contributing $400 to the Alger Hiss Defense Fund.

Braden was in Dulles’ office one day with William Bundy, and the Director told Bundy, ‘get out of here and I’ll deal with it.’ Dulles then went directly to Eisenhower and said, in Braden’s words, he wasn’t going to ‘fuck about with this mess from Wisconsin.’ Dulles bluntly told the president ‘he would resign unless McCarthy’s attacks were stopped.’ (Stern, 99)

IV. Ignorance is Strength

The late American political theorist Sheldon Wolin once described the United States as an “inverted totalitarian” society. By this he contrasts its more subtle and sophisticated methods of coercion and control with the more overt and brute-force tactics seen in places like the former Soviet Union. In his prescient book Democracy Incorporated, Wolin argues,

Antidemocracy (sic), executive predominance, and elite rule are basic elements of inverted totalitarianism. Antidemocracy does not take the form of overt attacks upon the idea of government by the people. Instead, politically it means encouraging what I have earlier dubbed ‘civil demobilization,’ conditioning an electorate to being aroused for a brief spell, controlling its attention span, and then encouraging distraction or apathy.” (Sheldon Wolin, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, 2008, p. 239å)

Figures like C.D. Jackson, Bernays, and Luce all served this function of the state. Stern presents a fine account of precisely how this was accomplished in mid-century America, one largely unbeknownst to the general public. With dramatically fewer outlets—no internet, for one—from which to gather a comprehensive and serious view of current events, the average American in the 1950s and early 1960s was largely dependent on what these back-channel propaganda handlers were manufacturing. Though a few independent investigative outfits like Ramparts managed to get some of the less-than-savory episodes in American foreign and domestic policies out into the world, their circulation was dwarfed by the essentially monolithic mainstream print and television media.

What truly struck me about Stern’s book was the timeliness of its publication. As we gear up for another year of the media’s predictable fear mongering— e.g., “Russia hacked the election,” “Putin murders journalists,” “Russia has weaponized Pokemon Go” (an actual CNN headline)—it’s good to have a source like this book to connect the dots. What’s fascinating is how in the epilogue, written in 2012, he notes that, with the Soviet Union gone and Russia now no longer a threat to the West, our bogeyman has become Islamic fundamentalism. Which, of course, is true; even with the alleged murder and burial at sea of Osama Bin Laden the United States is still mired in a never-ending multiple-theater “war on terror.” But how curious that even six years ago no one in America, at least not seriously, was talking about a renewed Cold War with Russia. Certainly not your average person or generally circulated periodical. And yet just last year, in an October 2017 issue, The Economist ran a sensational cover story entitled, “A Tsar is Born: As the world marks the centenary of the October Revolution, Russia is once again under the rule of the tsar.” Vladimir Putin is featured in an artistic rendering in full 19th- Century Imperial Russian military dress: in place of his bar of ribbons we find a rectangular image of a prisoner’s hands gripping a prison cell’s iron bars, under which hangs a red sickle and hammer medal. That this iconic image symbolizes the ideological opposite of their “tsar” portrait is never explained. But that’s not the point. The point is he’s a tsar, okay? Tsar = bad. Now go watch football and check your Facebook feeds folks. It would make Edward Bernays proud.

Silly headlines like this serve as reminders of the entrenched philosophical notion of what the 19th-century Prussian philosopher G.W. Hegel once called “negative identity,” or defining yourself by that to which you stand opposed. And CD Jackson: Cold War Propagandist for Democracy and Globalism is a painful reminder of this pernicious attitude that continues to saturate both our government and media. The insights gleaned from this short text are a truly valuable addition for U.S. historians and those interested in the creation and dissemination of propaganda in a professedly free and democratic society. To these ends, Stern succeeds in showing how one forgotten figure of the past played his hand at shaping the landscape of U.S.-Soviet relations behind the scenes.

While it would have been nice to know more about Jackson the human being—he serves more as a cryptic cipher around which is spun an investigative exposition on the Cold War propaganda apparatus—perhaps that was exactly the author’s intent, despite the fact that the title of the book would suggest a more biographical approach to the reader. Similarly, the subject would seem to lend itself better to a more chronological narration of how the psychological warfare departments and shell companies rolled out during the Cold War evolved, with planners learning from past successes and mistakes and adapting to the exigencies of the time. The book is, in fact, strangely disjointed in its organization, and Jackson himself is curiously quoted only a few times in the body of primary source evidence the author cites. Perhaps, as Stern mentions in his introduction, this owes itself to the relative scarcity of information on him. But the omission does weaken what ostensibly is a case study of this person’s life and times.

In conclusion, however, I must say that C.D. Jackson: Cold War Propagandist for Democracy and Globalism was a pleasure to read, and I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to fill in the gaps in Cold War historiography.

Last modified on Saturday, 10 February 2018 21:55
Michael Le Flem

Michael Le Flem is an independent researcher, author, and musician. He was a professor of history and philosophy in Chicago for ten years and holds a Master's Degree in Western Intellectual History from Florida State University. He currently lives in Mexico.

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