Fund for the Republic

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Fund for the Republic
Headquarters New York City, United States
Robert M. Hutchins
Key people
Ford Foundation (funder)

The Fund for the Republic (1951–1959) was an autonomous organization[ clarify ] created by the Ford Foundation [1] [2] and dedicated to protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties in the United States. [3] In 1959, the Fund moved from New York City to Santa Barbara, California, and changed its name to the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI).[ citation needed ] [4]



With the growth of McCarthyism and the Second Red Scare, the subject of communism in America began to loom large in the public consciousness. [1]


In 1951, Robert M. Hutchins became the president of the Fund for the Republic, a non-profit organization whose basic objectives were to research and analyze civil liberties and civil rights. In 1954, Wilbur Hugh Ferry became Fund vice president, responsible for administration and public relations, and moved with the Fund to Santa Barbara 1959. [5]

In August 1953, Clifford P. Case resigned from the House to become president of the Ford Foundation's Fund for the Republic. [3] He served in that position until March 1954. [6]

Walter Millis, former editorial and staff writer for the New York Herald Tribune (1924–1954), became a staff member of the Fund for the Republic (1954–1968).[ citation needed ]

Bethuel M. Webster served as legal counsel to the Fund and represented the Fund in hearings before the notorious Un-American Activities Committee of the House of Representatives (HUAC). During this period he also defended William Remington, an economist and alleged Communist accused of espionage.[ citation needed ]

Political scientist Clinton Rossiter of Cornell University directed the Fund for the Republic, which aimed to publish a full-scale history of American communism. It engaged David A. Shannon of the University of Wisconsin to write the history of the Communist Party USA during the post-war period. In 1952, it engaged Theodore Draper to write a monograph on the party's early years. Draper had already been thinking of writing a "traditional" history of the Party, based upon documentary sources and meeting scholarly standards. [1] In 1954, Millis became the director of the Fund's study of demilitarization.[ citation needed ] Robert W. Iversen wrote a book for the fund called Communism and the Schools, published in 1959. [7] [8]

Other fellows and grant recipients include Rev. Glenn E. Smiley et al. for Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story (1957), [9] David Fellman (1957–1958), [10] and Norman St John-Stevas (1958). [11] [12]



In 1956, the Fund may have[ clarification needed ] set up the Robert E. Sherwood Award, given to Jerome Coopersmith for writing the episode[ clarification needed ] "I Was Accused" (based on the true story of actor George Voskovec, interned at Ellis Island during days of McCarthyism. [13] [14] [15]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 Draper, Theodore (5 July 2017). American Communism and Soviet Russia. Routledge. pp. xv–xvi. ISBN   9781351532839 . Retrieved 8 September 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. 1 2 "Humanist Manifesto II". American Humanist Association. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2012.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. 1 2 Siracusa, Joseph M. (2004). The Kennedy Years. New York: Facts On File, Inc.
  4. Didion, Joan (1968). "California Dreaming". Slouching Towards Bethlehem. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  5. "Skipping Around". The Des Moines Register. 1959-06-05. p. 2. Retrieved 2021-04-21 via
  6. "CASE, Clifford Philip, (1904 - 1982)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress .
  7. 1 2 Iversen, Robert W. (1959). The Communists & the Schools. Harcourt, Brace. p. 423. LCCN   59011769.
  8. Hechinger, Fred M. (25 October 1959). "Subversion that Failed" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved 8 September 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. Aydin, Andrew. "The comic book that changed the world: Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story's vital role in the Civil Rights Movement," Creative Loafing (Aug. 1, 2013).
  10. 1966, February 2, “Mid-Year Grads Receive Degrees,” The Daily Nebraskan, Lincoln, Nebraska, Volume 81, No. 56, p. 7
  11. "Obituary: Lord St John of Fawsley". The Daily Telegraph . 5 March 2012. Archived from the original on 27 August 2012.
  13. "Cold War Museum". Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  14. "Brooklyn College Television and Radio". Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  15. "The Fund for the Republic is pleased to announce the Winners of the 1956 ROBERT E. SHERWOOD AWARDS". The Billboard. June 30, 1956. p. 5.
  16. Cogley, John (1956). Report on Blacklisting: Movies. Fund for the Republic. Retrieved 1 July 2020.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. Cogley, John (1956). Report on Blacklisting: Radio-Television. Fund for the Republic. Retrieved 3 March 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. Draper, Theodore (1957). The Roots of American Communism . Viking. Retrieved 8 September 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. Reichly, James (1959). The Art of Government: Reform and Organization Politics in Philadelphia. New York, New York: Fund for The Republic. OCLC   994205.
  20. Medicine: An Interview by Donald McDonald with Herbert Ratner, M.D. One of a Series of Interviews on the American Character. Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. Comment by Scott Buchanan. Santa Barbara, California: Fund for the Republic, May, 1962.

External sources