Wheeler's story starts in the 1920s, as young, educated men and women flocked to Greenwich Village to partake of a modernist cultural revolution with heady new ideas about the nature and purpose of sex. One of these migrants was Roger Baldwin. As a 12- or 13-year-old in the 1890s, he had been seduced by his family's Irish servant. He'd spent the next few years having sex with her, learning, as he put it, "everything that was to be known, even how to prevent getting her pregnant."
Baldwin’s radicalism caught the eye of the FBI, which quoted him in a 1924 report as having said: “The right to advocate a violent revolution, assassination, and proletarian Red guard, are all clearly within scope of free speech …”
Liberal, AntiAmerican, Communism
In the 1930s Baldwin and the ACLU became linked to the Popular Front movement, which was engendered by Stalin to strengthen the Communist Party by allowing it to make common cause with socialists and other leftist groups. Baldwin himself made two trips to the Soviet Union, and in 1928 published a book entitled Liberty Under the Soviets, which contained effusive praise for the USSR.
Hypocrisy, Liberal, Character, AntiAmerican, Communism, Censorship
While I sympathized with personal distress I just could not bring myself to get excited over the suppression of opposition when I stacked it up against what I saw of fresh, vigorous expressions of free living by workers and peasants all over the land. And further, no champion of a socialist society could fail to see that some suppression was necessary to achieve it. It could not all be done by persuasion.