I tried to capture some of the important elements of Budd Schulberg’s life in “What made Schulberg run.” One of the critical moments of Schulberg’s life was his 1951 appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee testifying about his three years in the extremely active Hollywood chapter of the Communist Party.
Schulberg’s testimony provides something of an education and is readily available in Eric Bentley’s Thirty Years of Treason. Schulberg never repudiated his testimony to keep up with Hollywood fashion or to make amends with Hollywood’s leftover left. In his testimony Schulberg sought to turn his experience in the Communist Party to the benefit of his fellow citizens.
In today’s Los Angeles Times, John Meroney meditates on Schulberg’s heroism. It’s a terrific column for whose publication the Times should be congratulated. Schulberg’s Hollywood years and 1951 testimony also lie at the heart of Red Star Over Hollywood by Ronald and Allis Radosh. I highly recommend their book.
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