The Loyalty of Free Men

Title:                      The Loyalty of Free Men

Author:                  Alan Barth

Barth, Alan (1951). The Loyalty of Free Men. New York, Viking Press

LOC:       51009093

JC328 .B3

Date Posted:      June 14, 2013

This review is based on a KIRKUS REVIEW

The author, an editorial writer on the Washington Post, presents a plea for speech not silence, caution not panic, free and unlimited discussion not repression, in these days of attacks on national liberty in which loyalty is mistaken for orthodoxy and rigid conformity. He shows how, in the cult of loyalty, the hunt for heresy has developed and substantiates his thesis by an examination of the investigations of the Committee on Un-American Activities, the debits (and credits) of the F.B.I., the Federal Employee- Loyalty Program, the techniques of publicity punishment and character assassination, the lines of procedure in the Coplon, Chambers-Hiss and other cases, the witch hunting brought about by the threat of the CPUSA, the secrecy in scientific circles, the dangers to academic freedom, and stresses the piecemeal encroachments on personal freedom all of these are breeding.

An argument for the eternal vigilance that is the price of liberty, this discussion is based on Constitutional principles, long upheld by jurists, and quotes from the records for its proof, and makes a clear case against the vitiation of national security through distrust, negativism, and the disregard of procedural safeguards. A thinking book well worth reading, and highly appropriate to thinking about the McCarthy Era.