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Red StrainsMusic and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc$
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Robert Adlington

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265390

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265390.001.0001

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‘Put My Name Down’

‘Put My Name Down’

US Communism and Peace Songs in the Early Cold War Years

(p.119) 10 ‘Put My Name Down’
Red Strains

Robbie Lieberman

British Academy

At the height of the McCarthy era, a period that marked the low point of both communism and peace activism in the United States, the communist left continued to promote its ideas about peace through song. Beginning with the Progressive party campaign of 1948, communists and their supporters sang their opposition to U.S. Cold War policies and promoted brotherhood among men, usually in those (male) terms. Intense anticommunism limited the impact of songs written and disseminated by ‘people's artists’ in the early Cold War years. Nonetheless, their work had an impact in the long run despite the repressive era in which they sang. Through hootenannies and records, and in the pages of publications such as Sing Out!they kept alive a movement culture that influenced the next generation of musicians, whose peace songs reached a popular audience in the 1960s.

Keywords:   communism, Cold War, peace movement, folk music, anticommunism, atom bomb, Sing Out!, McCarthyism, Pete Seeger, United States

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