Detective Radio I Was A Communist For the FBI McCarthyism Red Scare

“I Was a Communist for the FBI” Radio Show Broadcast 58 Years Ago Today

The series capitalized on America’s Second Red Scare and the era of McCarthyism. In many ways the series reflected the Film Noir genre of Detective movies; the radio show was actually a takeoff on a film of the same name. Seventy-eight (78) radio broadcasts were produced. Although asked for input as well as endorsement, the F.B.I. made it a point to not cooperate with the production.

I was a Communist for the FBIAnti-Communist hysteria was at a peak during as taping began, and by the end of 1952, I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. was scheduled on more than 600 stations nationwide. The Show was a well done and well financed endeavor, and worth preservation for that reason alone. A big selling point was that the show was based on the real life adventures of Matt Cvetic.played by Dana Andrews.

The Man at the center of these stories faced double edged conflicts; Cvetic constantly jockeyed for information, walking a tightrope among suspicious Party Officials who would laughingly have him shot as a traitor if they found his true mission. All the while he is shunned by his family and community. He cannot reveal his mission to them because they may accidentally betray him, so they heap him with scorn as a traitor to his country and all they hold dear.


Enjoy this episode entitled “The Little Red Schoolhouse” broadcast 58 years ago today:

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