The American Fund for Public Service: Charles Garland and Radical Philanthropy, 1922-1941

By Gloria Garrett Samson | Go to book overview

17
Surveying the Left

Freda Kirchwey surely rivaled Robert Morss Lovett in the number of organizations to which she lent her name as sponsor, adviser, or committee member. Like Lovett, she identified with the purpose of many communistled organizations, if not particularly with their backers.

Michael Wreszin says that Kirchwey"sincerely felt that Communists, fellow travelers, Socialists, and liberals could all work together for a humane and reasonable world." Her biographer claims that Kirchwey rejected dogma and disapproved of theoretical and tactical divisions, which only aided those opposed to the common goal. This alone would have made her an appropriate candidate for the Garland Fund's board of directors. Carey McWilliams said that she was fun-loving, lighthearted, vivacious, totally lacking in self-righteousness, and courageously unflappable under stress. 1 With the addition of Kirchwey and the often witty Elizabeth Gurley Flynn to the board, the meetings must have been much livelier than the previous all-male deliberations.

Mary Frederika Kirchwey was born in Lake Placid, New York, in 1893 and inherited her activism from her father, George Kirchwey, a criminologist, warden of Sing-Sing Prison, dean of the Columbia Law School, an early president of the League to Abolish Capital Punishment, and one of the dangerous pacifists included in the government's "Who's Who." At Barnard, Freda Kirchwey joined the suffrage club, began a movement to abolish sororities, walked picket lines in the city's strikes, and worked in the Connecticut suffrage campaign. In her Barnard valedictory speech she was a model of fashionable pragmatism, directing her classmates to "test their beliefs and feelings in the hot fire of experiment and experience." 2

Following graduation, Kirchwey married Evans Clark, an antiwar socialist. She commuted from Princeton, where Clark was teaching, to her job at the New York Morning Telegraph, reporting "fires, police, everything." While working for the Sunday Tribune in 1918, she heard that Oswald Garrison Villard had sold the Evening Post but had retained the

-117-

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The American Fund for Public Service: Charles Garland and Radical Philanthropy, 1922-1941
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Labor Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1 - An Inheritance Rejected 1
  • Notes 3
  • 2 - From Progressivism to Radicalism 5
  • Notes 12
  • 3 - The Aclu and a New Social Order 15
  • Notes 18
  • 4 - Free from the Bonds of Old Institutions 19
  • Notes 24
  • 5 - Workers Will Lay Down Their Tools 27
  • Notes 31
  • 6 - To Promote the Well-Being of Mankind 33
  • Notes 38
  • 7 - Pacifists as Radicals 41
  • Notes 46
  • 8 - It Takes Warm Hearts 49
  • Notes 56
  • 9 - Chosen to Box the Left Compass 59
  • Notes 63
  • 10 - A Sane Enough Radicalism 65
  • Notes 68
  • 11 - Spend It Here and Now 69
  • Notes 73
  • 12 - Scientific, Pragmatic, Efficient 75
  • Notes 81
  • 13 - Emancipation of Their Class in Every Sphere 83
  • Notes 90
  • 14 - Bolsheviks in Patriots' Clothing 93
  • Notes 100
  • 15 - Tempers Flare 103
  • Notes 109
  • 16 - The Rebel Girl Comes Aboard 111
  • Notes 115
  • 17 - Surveying the Left 117
  • Notes 122
  • 18 - Enemies on the Left 125
  • Notes 131
  • 19 - Education and Culture 133
  • Notes 139
  • 20 - Recipient Testimonials 141
  • Notes 147
  • 21 - Negro Work"" 149
  • Notes 155
  • 22 - Passaic 157
  • Notes 162
  • 23 - Vanguard Press 165
  • Notes 169
  • 24 - Friction Within and Without 171
  • Notes 177
  • 25 - Little Left to Repress 179
  • Notes 190
  • 26 - The Manifold Discriminations That Beset Him"" 193
  • Notes 201
  • 27 - Shift to Low Gear 205
  • Notes 216
  • 28 - We Did Quite a Lot of Good 219
  • Notes 224
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 253
  • About the Author 265
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