Joel Whitney - Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers
The Cold War operated on a number of fronts, from the arms and space races to culture. Expanding on his 2012 Salon article tracing the CIA’s influence on The Paris Review, Whitney documents the Agency’s connections with writers ranging from Ernest Hemingway to James Baldwin to Gabriel García Márquez. While many of these figures later became critics of the government, in the 1950s they accepted CIA support in return for advancing its anti-communist agenda. But the cooperation often went further, with the founders of The Paris Review, for instance, paid to keep their sponsors informed about activities within the expatriate community. In this unsettling and timely investigative history, Whitney, co-founder and editor-at-large of Guernica, shows the dangers of interaction between the media and a government preoccupied with national security. Whitney will be in conversation with Chris Lehmann, editor of The Baffler.