Radio Free Europe’s “Crusade for Freedom”

Rallying Americans Behind Cold War Broadcasting, 1950–1960


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About the Book

From 1950 to 1960, millions of Americans participated in Radio Free Europe’s “Crusade for Freedom.” They signed “Freedom Scrolls” and “Freedom Grams,” attended Crusader meetings, marched in parades, launched leaflet-carrying balloons, and donated Truth Dollars in support of the American effort to broadcast news and other programming to the peoples of communist-governed European countries. The Crusade for Freedom proved to be a powerful tool of the state-private network’s anti-communist agenda. This book takes an in-depth look at the Crusade for Freedom, revealing how its unmatched pageantry of patriotism led to the creation of a dynamic movement involving not only the government but also private industry, mass media, academia, religious leaders, and average Americans.

About the Author(s)

Richard H. Cummings was the director of security for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty for 15 years beginning in 1980. He currently lives in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Bibliographic Details

Richard H. Cummings
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 265
Bibliographic Info: 28 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4410-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6207-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1. How It All Began      9

2. A Roll Call of All Americans Who Love Freedom      29

3. Help Truth Fight Communism: Join the Crusade for Freedom      47

4. From Freedom-Grams to Flying Saucers      75

5. Help Stop World War III Before It Starts: With Truth Dollars!      96

6. How YOU Can Help Fight Communism!      116

7. Newspaper Boys and Balloons Against Communists      135

8. The One Thing the Iron Curtain Can’t Keep Out—TRUTH      148

9. Freedom Is Not Free!      161

10. Truth Broadcasts, Bowling and Harlem Globetrotters      177

11. Concluding the Crusade for Freedom      193

Appendix A. National Committee for a Free Europe Press Release      209

Appendix B. Dwight D. Eisenhower Labor Day 1950 Speech      211

Appendix C. Crusade for Freedom Articles of Incorporation (October 20, 1950)      215

Appendix D. Costs and Contributions      217

Appendix E. Chronology of RFE, NCFE, and Crusade for

Freedom (1949–1959)

Chapter Notes      233

Selected Bibliography      245

Index      249

Book Reviews & Awards

“well documented and contains a useful chronology of major events”—Studies in Intelligence; “his book provides the first major study of the Crusade for Freedom…the first to provide a full and in-depth expose of the secret state involvement in the Crusade. Cummings’s detailed documentation provides the first important tent pole in our understanding of the Crusade for Freedom”—Journal of American Studies; “the level of carefully footnoted detail incorporated by Cummings is so substantial that his book may be used as a reference work by those wishing to further explore the topic…at a time when Americans are giving every appearance of having forgotten how to work together for the greater good of all, Cummings has provided a heartening reminder that building and sustaining a national consensus on a critical issue—in this case, the necessity of opposing Communist expansionism—was once an achievable goal”—International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence.