A Covert Life: Jay Lovestone: Communist, Anti-Communist, and Spymaster
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The extraordinary life of Jay Lovestone is one of the great untold stories of the twentieth century. A Lithuanian immigrant who came to the United States in 1897, Lovestone rose to leadership in the Communist Party of America, only to fall out with Moscow and join the anti-Communist establishment after the Second World War. He became one of the leading strategists of the Cold War, and was once described as "one of the five most important men in the hidden power structure of America."
Lovestone was obsessively secretive, and it is only with the opening of his papers at the Hoover Institution, the freeing of access to Comintern files in Moscow, and the release of his 5,700-page FBI file that biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ted Morgan has been able to construct a full account of the remarkable events of Jay Lovestone's life.
The life Morgan describes is full of drama and intrigue. He recounts Lovestone's career in the faction-riven world of American Communism until he was spirited out of Moscow in 1929 after Stalin publicly attacked him for doctrinal unorthodoxy. As Lovestone veered away from Moscow, he came to work for the American Federation of Labor, managing a separate union foreign policy as well as maintaining his own intelligence operations for the CIA, many under the command of the legendary counterintelligence chief James Angleton. Lovestone also associated with Louise Page Morris, a spy known as "the American Mata Hari," who helped him undermine Communist advances in the developing world and whose own significant espionage career is detailed here. Lovestone's influence, always exercised from behind the scenes, survived to the end of the Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union.
A Covert Life has all the elements of a classic spy thriller: surveillance operations and stings, love affairs and bungled acts of sabotage, many thoroughly illegal. It is written with the easy hand of a fine biographer (The Washington Post Book World called Ted Morgan "a master storyteller") and provides a history of the Cold War and a glimpse into the machinery of the CIA while also revealing many hitherto hidden details of the superpower confrontation that dominated postwar global politics.
Weeks, set March 29 for the sentencing. On March 28 a despondent Winitsky wrote Lovestone from Cell 113 in the Tombs: “Now I am in here and can do nothing, my folks are hysterical, and I can’t expect anything from them.… Get after the defense committee and see that the minutes of my case are printed so that an appeal can be taken immediately.” On March 29, Winitsky’s lawyer, William J. Fallon, pleaded with the judge for leniency, saying: “The boy’s mother is here, and her heart is broken to
POWs should be allowed to choose the place of their repatriation. All prisoners must be returned, he insisted, if necessary at the point of a bayonet. In reply, the senior American negotiator, Maj. Gen. William K. Harrison, said that “your side has violently opposed the humanitarian principle of no forced repatriation.… It may come as a surprise to you that this principle has been utilized by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a nation for whom your government has expressed great
he said, “and they are full of lies.” But Deverall was not deterred, reporting to Lovestone in June 1959, as the tenth anniversary of the ICFTU approached, that the organization was in bad shape, losing membership in Africa and Asia, and clearly stamped as a British colonial agent. Oldenbroek was losing his grip, Deverall said, and got drunk at a beer party. Millard had phlebitis and had collapsed in his office. Krane was hospitalized with a mysterious disease. Krane was the one who had
Democratic candidate. As Lovestone explained it, labor wanted a candidate who could beat Nixon. The New Politics wing of the party had imposed McGovern, assuming that the dumb labor people would back anybody. In November, McGovern carried only one state—Massachusetts. Lovestone noted that just 55 percent of eligible voters had gone to the polls. Millions had sat on their hands. In the postelection period Lovestone saw Nixon moving to the left on Vietnam. After secret talks with the North
headquarters staff of Military Government in the United States Zone of Germany (OMGUS) had been assembled in the IG Farben building in Hoechst, an industrial suburb of Frankfurt. Miraculously, the building was untouched, although the surrounding area had been flattened. In charge of OMGUS’s sixteen divisions was Gen. Lucius DuBignon Clay, at the same time a lowercase democrat, a civil libertarian, and a willful, thin-skinned, and authoritarian commander. Clay was an army engineer with a mind