Fellow Traveler, Organic Intellectual: J. Raymond Walsh and Radio News Commentary in the 1940s

Nathan Godfried

Abstract


J. Raymond Walsh was a leftist radio news commentator during the latter half of the 1940s. Although often dismissed and denounced by contemporary critics as a fellow traveler of the air, Walsh’s interpretations of local, national, and international events reflected his life experiences as an educator, economist, and trade union activist. The following article explores Walsh’s commentaries on Cold War America in the context of his family background, education, and political activism. Rather than interpreting Walsh as a dupe of the Communist Party, the article suggests that he was an organic intellectual for counter-hegemonic groups during their war of position with the dominant economic and political forces in U.S. society.


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