The Gordon File: A Screenwriter Recalls Twenty Years of FBI Surveillance [NOOK Book]

Overview

For twenty-six years, the FBI devoted countless hours of staff time and thousands of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the surveillance of an American citizen named Bernard Gordon. Given the lavish use of resources, one might assume this man was a threat to national security or perhaps a kingpin of organized crime—not a Hollywood screenwriter whose most subversive act was joining the Communist Party during the 1940s when we were allied with the USSR in a war against Germany. For this honest act of political dissent, ...
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The Gordon File: A Screenwriter Recalls Twenty Years of FBI Surveillance

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Overview

For twenty-six years, the FBI devoted countless hours of staff time and thousands of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the surveillance of an American citizen named Bernard Gordon. Given the lavish use of resources, one might assume this man was a threat to national security or perhaps a kingpin of organized crime—not a Hollywood screenwriter whose most subversive act was joining the Communist Party during the 1940s when we were allied with the USSR in a war against Germany. For this honest act of political dissent, Gordon came to be investigated by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952, blacklisted by the Hollywood film industry, and tailed by the FBI for over two decades. In The Gordon File, Bernard Gordon tells the compelling, cautionary story of his life under Bureau surveillance. Drawing on his FBI file of over 300 pages, which he obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, he traces how the Bureau followed him from Hollywood to Mexico, Paris, London, Rome, and even aboard a Dutch freighter as he created an unusually successful, albeit uncredited, career as a screenwriter and producer during the blacklist years. Comparing his actual activities during that time to records in the file, he pointedly and often humorously underscores how often the FBI got it wrong, from the smallest details of his life to the main fact of his not being a threat to national security. Most important, Gordon links his personal experience to the headlines of today, when the FBI is again assuming broad powers to monitor political dissidents it deems a threat to the nation. “Is it possible,” he asks, “that books like this will help to move our investigative agencies from the job of blackmailing those who are critical of our imperfect democracy to arresting those who are truly out to destroy us?”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292744257
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 57 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Bernard Gordon wrote or produced more than twenty motion pictures, including Battle of the Bulge, 55 Days at Peking, The Thin Red Line, Krakatoa East of Java, Day of the Triffids, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, and Horror Express. Still active in struggles for democratic values, he helped lead the fight against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award to Elia Kazan, who cooperated with the House Committee on Un-American Activities during the blacklist era. Bernard Gordon lives in Los Angeles.
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Table of Contents

1 Before the beginning 1
2 Innocence and pain 9
3 Crash, bang, no boom 15
4 An education and a half 23
5 Starting a career 33
6 New beginnings 45
7 From sea to shining sea 55
8 Paramount/paradise 65
9 Career on hold 83
10 Endings and beginnings 97
11 Mexico 109
12 A taste of Europe 119
13 A new start and a big blow 123
14 Moving on 129
15 A grand tour 139
16 In and out of the soup 145
17 The good life 155
18 Tumult in Madrid 167
19 Beginning again 175
20 Filed away 183
App. A Selected pages from the Gordon file 195
App. B Selected pages from the Hollywood canteen file 331
Filmography : Bernard Gordon 341
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