NEVER TIRE OF PROTESTING by George Seldes

NEVER TIRE OF PROTESTING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An informal history of Seldes' muckraking newspaper In Fact, which began in 1940 to expose press distortions and unreported news. His muckiest stories include: suppression of cigarette-cancer data, how Readers Digest commissions and plants articles, press refusal to cover Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration findings against manufacturers and advertisers, the reactionary role of the Vatican in world affairs. Some of it sounds like beating dead horses, but much of it is still significant--particularly reminders of pro-fascist sentiment among powerful Americans, as manifested in suppression of the Army's anti-fascist education program; lobbying to delay a second front in World War II until Russia was entirely devastated; the Standard Oil cartel plot with Nazi corporations exposed by Truman. Seldes' style is unfortunately repetitive and reminiscent of hack agitators (the N.A.M. is ""the most powerful organized enemy of the American people""), but he (complacently) stresses the fact that he was never a Communist. In sum, the book has more than nostalgic appeal or expose value; it serves as a reminder of the decline of American journalism, and, despite Seldes' limitations, he makes one wish In Fact had not been scuttled.

Pub Date: July 26th, 1968
Publisher: Lyle Stuart