Thursday, September 12, 2013

the second wave of winning hearts and minds?

henrymakow | FLASHBACK TO 1976 by Nancy Borman Reprinted from the Village Voice May 21, 1979, pp. 117-122. Abridged by Henry Makow

At Random House on March 15, 1976, "Feminist Revolution" was just another women's book in production. It consisted of a multifaceted analysis of the women's liberation movement edited by members of Redstockings, an early radical feminist group. A self-published edition released the previous fall had stirred up controversy with its indictment of liberals, lesbian pseudo-leftists, and foundation grant feminists. 5000 copies had sold out.

Part of the book-some say the most interesting part-was titled "Agents, Opportunists and Fools." It attempted to link the CIA and the corporate establishment to several individuals and institutions connected with Ms. Magazine... Feminist Revolution had passed an initial libel reading by Random House's legal department on March 2nd, and a contract was signed in the office that March morning. 20,000 copies of the book were scheduled to hit the stores in June.

That afternoon, an unannounced visitor appeared in the citadel of the free press. A presumably angry Gloria Steinem asked to see Random House president Robert Bernstein. She was there to hand-deliver a letter from her attorney threatening to sue for libel unless the chapter on the CIA was removed from the book.

No one knows what Steinem and Bernstein said in their private meeting, and it may have been just coincidence that, within weeks Random House was blitzed with similar threats from other people and groups mentioned in the CIA chapter: Clay Felker, Women's Action AlIiance, Warner Communications, Franklin Thomas, the Overseas Education Fund of the League of Women Voters, and Katherine Graham.

But, in any case, publication of Feminist Revolution was delayed nearly 3 years; the printing run was cut to 12,500, despite 13,000 advance orders; and when the book was finally released last month, the chapter on Gloria Steinem and the CIA had been deleted in its entirety. Somehow, the word "abridged" on the cover fails to answer the question: What happened?