Author Robert Vaughn
Publisher Limelight; 1st Edition 1996 signed by the author
Condition Extra Fine
A necessary book with a necessary goal – stressing the importance of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and citing the dangers of what happens when its cherished tradition is jeopardized. In the name of combating Communism liberties were jettisoned, while the art of stool pigeon information dissemination reached a feverish pitch during Hollywood's blacklist period beginning shortly after World War Two with the advent of the Cold War.
In a dramatic change of role, the noted television and film star has written a vivid and incisive account of the House Committee on Un-American Activities' probe of the entertainment industry from 1938 to 1958. Formed to investigate alleged subversives, by the late fifties the committee had succeeded in ruining the careers and sometimes the lives of many of Hollywood and Broadway's top writers and performers. Quoting generously from transcripts of its hearings, Vaughn shows how the committee's primary purpose was punitive rather than legislative, and concludes that its most serious damage to American theatre and film is not easily documented: the loss of all the words never written or spoken because of the impact - and the fear - of the committee's misdeeds.
Robert Vaughn gained worldwide recognition when he starred in the smash hit series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Equally important was his involvement in the politics of the 1960s. The first actor to publicly speak out against the war in Vietnam, he served as national chairman of Dissenting Democrats, the largest antiwar organization in the U.S. He gave hundreds of speeches denouncing the war, debated William F. Buckley on national TV, and helped persuade his friend Robert F. Kennedy to run for president in 1968---only to see the race end in tragedy.