'Crusade for Freedom' Peers Behind the RFE Curtain
Richard Cummings served as head of security for RFE/RL from 1980 to about 1995, a job which must have kept him up more nights than not. His carefully researched book should find a place in your radio library.
It won't be of much use to you in your hunt for the next DX catch, but that's hardly Cummings' intention. He makes an excellent effort to capture what went down in that decade (1950s) and fill you in on why the Crusade seemed legitimate. The book is a nice read, dished out in smooth, bite-sized slices. It sends you back to a more innocent time. It's a book you'll want to pursue if you have any radio history DNA within you.
Hayden Peake in Unclassified Extracts from Studies in Intelligence
Volume 55, Number 2 (June 2011)
Intelligence in Public Literature
Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf
Radio Free Europe’s “Crusade for Freedom” is well documented and contains a useful chronology of major events. Cummings does not comment on the overall value of CFF, but judging from this history, it is unlikely that anything like it could be attempted successfully today.
J. Ransom Clark in the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 24 (September 2011):
"Building the Cold War Consensus"
(T)he heart of the book is his presentation of the Crusade’s impact at the local level. Individuals from all walks of life were encouraged to step forward—and did so—to join in sending a message of support to the peoples of Eastern Europe whose countries had been cut off from the West by the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain. The level of carefully footnoted detail incorporated by Cummings is so substantial that his book may be used as a reference work by those wishing to further explore the topic. ... at a time when Americans are giving every appearance of having forgotten how to work together for the greater good of all, Cummings has provided a heartening reminder that building and sustaining a national consensus on a critical issue—in this case, the necessity of opposing Communist expansionism — was once an achievable goal.
Journal of American Studies (June 2011):
"He adds to the Cold War historiography by correcting some previously inaccurate detail about the Crusade and Radio Free Europe and fills in some details garnered from his research ... Cummings’s detailed documentation provides the first important tent pole in our understanding of the Crusade for Freedom."
Radio Free Europe's 'Crusade for Freedom': Rallying Americans Behind Cold War Broadcasting, 1950-1960
McFarland & Co