What the FBI Had on Pete Seeger (and Vice Versa)
- EVT 477
- Oct 13
- 7:30 pm
- Cubberley Auditorium, School of Education
No Registration Required
It is no understatement to say that the FBI, and its director, J. Edgar Hoover, did not like folk music or its singers. Over and over again, agents were sent to spy on hootenannies with the explicit intention of disrupting them. In fact, we now know that the US intelligence community mounted a sort of “Hootenanny Squad” to disrupt and suppress those they identified as perfidious banjo-pluckers and guitar-players.
After a six-year battle with the FBI, David Dunaway finally succeeded in having hundreds of documents declassified. In this presentation, he will reveal the “secrets” the FBI collected and how American folk singer and social activist Pete Seeger led the way in triumphing over their efforts. We’ll end the evening with a “Sing Along with Pete” (through his recordings). Bring a healthy skepticism for government investigations of the arts, and your singing voice.
This program is co-sponsored by the Stanford American Studies Program and Stanford Continuing Studies.
David King Dunaway, Professor of English, University of New Mexico David King Dunaway received a PhD in American Studies from UC Berkeley. He is the author and editor of ten books, including biographies of Pete Seeger (How Can I Keep from Singing) and Aldous Huxley. His documentaries for NPR and PRI have aired on hundreds of stations nationally and internationally.
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