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Leonard Bernstein's The Age of Anxiety : A Great American Symphony during McCarthyism

Leonard Bernstein's The Age of Anxiety : A Great American Symphony during McCarthyism PHIlIP GeNTrY In 1949, shortly after Harry Truman was sworn into his first full term as president, a group of american writers, artists, scientists, and other public intellectuals organized a "Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace," to be held at the Waldorf-astoria Hotel in New York City. They were joined by a number of their counterparts in the Soviet union, or at least as many as could procure a visa from the uS State Department. most prominent among the visitors was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who through an interpreter delivered a lecture on the dangers of fascist influence in music handcrafted for the occasion by the Soviet government. The front-page headline in the New York Times the next morning read, "Shostakovich bids all artists lead War on New `fascists.'"1 The Waldorf-astoria conference was at once the last gasp of the Popular front and the beginning of the anticommunist movement soon to be known as mcCarthyism. Henry Wallace's communist-backed thirdparty bid for the presidency the previous fall had garnered 2.4 percent of the popular vote, but the geopolitical tensions undermining the Popular front coalition since the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 were out in plain view a decade later. once-communist http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Leonard Bernstein's The Age of Anxiety : A Great American Symphony during McCarthyism

American Music , Volume 29 (3) – Nov 12, 2011

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349
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Abstract

PHIlIP GeNTrY In 1949, shortly after Harry Truman was sworn into his first full term as president, a group of american writers, artists, scientists, and other public intellectuals organized a "Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace," to be held at the Waldorf-astoria Hotel in New York City. They were joined by a number of their counterparts in the Soviet union, or at least as many as could procure a visa from the uS State Department. most prominent among the visitors was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who through an interpreter delivered a lecture on the dangers of fascist influence in music handcrafted for the occasion by the Soviet government. The front-page headline in the New York Times the next morning read, "Shostakovich bids all artists lead War on New `fascists.'"1 The Waldorf-astoria conference was at once the last gasp of the Popular front and the beginning of the anticommunist movement soon to be known as mcCarthyism. Henry Wallace's communist-backed thirdparty bid for the presidency the previous fall had garnered 2.4 percent of the popular vote, but the geopolitical tensions undermining the Popular front coalition since the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 were out in plain view a decade later. once-communist

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Nov 12, 2011

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