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This volume commemorates the 25th anniversary of a singularly American organization and also serves as the first formal record of its activities. That organization is known as Freedom House. Conceived in the shadow of World War II, given form urgently in the face of the Hitler-Stalin pact, it has ever since been involved in the everthickening struggle with threats of totalitarianism from both right and left. The peculiar aspect of this association is that none of its members or even its founders, who included Wendell Willkie, Herbert Agar, Rex Stout, Dorothy Thompson, and Herbert Bayard Swope, would ever have been able to agree on what they meant to be for; it was, and still is, enough that they knew what they were against: Fascism, Communism, the Klan, the John Birch Society, any body inimical by definition to that stubbornest of indefinables, freedom. That Freedom House has managed to function at all, let alone as energetically as it has upon occasion, is surely an admirable American phenomenon. Professor Levenstein is a genial gentleman and scholar whose lively sense of the larger aspects of his story redeems what could have been an overly generalized history.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1965
Publisher: Viking