Basically, this pattern of slavishness tonthe CP continued. The CP formed anclub, so he joined. He wanted to makenhis song-publishing outfit succeed, so henlistened to what the Party had to suggest.n(He should have listened to a capitalist,ninstead: People’s Songs went bankruptnin ’49.) The Party supported HenrynWallace for President in ’48, so Seegernstrummed and sang like mad on his behalf.nIn 1950, when Congressional heatnwas being put on domestic communists,nSeeger left the Party^—but Dunaway assuresnus that the act was motivated’ ‘morenfrom an instinct for self-preservationnthan any political differences.” Seegernwas in another blue funk the followingnyear because his musical group, thenWeavers, was losing bookings because ofnhis listing in Red Channels. Hero as Victimnonce again. How did he come tongrips with this sad state of affairs?nDunaway notes, “Fortunately for hisnpsyche, Pete received word that the Partynsupported the Weavers.” The groupndidn’t last. However, Dunaway citesnanother tribute that undoubtedlynwarmed the synapses of Seeger’s Partyprescribednbrain: the Rosenbergs askednto hear a Weavers’ tune on their way tonthe electric chair.nIf there was ever a dupe to the CP, Mr.nBanjo has to be it. The presentation innthis biography is supposed to put a halonaround Seeger’s head, and I’m surenmany readers see the glow: otherwise,nthey probably wouldn’t make it throughnthe introduction. In some cultures, lunaticsnare held sacred. Applying that, thennthis book qualifies as hagiography: Seegernis certainly on the fringe, or at least hensuffers from arrested mental development.nEven overlooking the fact that henwas cut adrift from intellectual mooringsnwhen there was no Party guidance, Seegerndid—and undoubtedly continues tondo—some things that are characteristicnnot of a mature adult but of a spoiled,npetulant child. For example, he becamena popular success, which meant a substantialnincome. But he didn’t want tonknow about that income. His wife had tonChronicles of Culturenput a blank sheet of paper over his incomentax form so he could sign it withoutnseeing how wealthy he was. He madennumerous recordings and urged his fansnnot to buy his records. He begged to benput on TV. He ached to be on Hootenanny,nbut ABC resisted, saying that Seegernwasn’t right for the medium: Seeger’snfans called for a boycott of the show andnpicketed the studio. (Remember the liberals’nire when the other side called for anboycott of programs it considered borderingnon the immoral?) After muchnwhining, he got a chance to be on Today.nSeeger told the show’s producers that henwas going to perform a song called “Garbage.”nAsked for other options, he saidnthat it was either the antinuke, antifinanciernsong or “Walking Down DeathnRow” or “If a Revolution Comes to MynCountry.” He got his way. This is the oppressivensociety and system which he devotednhis life to destroying.nFor over 300 pages the reader is supposednto pity and admire this man. Pitynhim for all of the abuse he has receivednfrom the right and the government, admirenhim because he was always loyal tonthe Party: “He did not criticize thenParty” writes Dunaway, an honest biographer.n”An anti-Communist bard likenBurl Ives could have a Hollywood career,nbut Pete would not break ranks.” Still,nthe strength of his conviction was somewhatnwanting: as we know from Dunaway,nduring the 50’s Seeger didn’t acknowledgenhis Party relationship becausenhe was afraid of the consequences.nThe following comment from Seegernis illuminating: “‘If rulers really knewnhow important songs can be,’ PetenSeeger once said, looking back on his life,n’they would probably have done somethingnto Woody Guthrie and me andnother people long ago.'” All along, henhas obviously wanted an America innwhich people do something to othernpeople when they dislike the latters’nsinging. An America of Gulags.nAnother paean to the radicalism ofnnoxious dolts is A Fearful Innocence bynFrances Davis. It is basically the autobi­nnnography of Davis and a history of her environment,nprimarily a sixty-acre plot ofnland in Massachusetts known as “thenFarm.” What makes this place notable isnthat in the years after the turn of the centurynthe Farm was the weekend haven fornstudents from M.I.T. and for others whonshared a radical outlook. The idyllic settingnfor the likes of young Walter Lippmann,nSamuel Eliot, Jr., Lawrence Langnernand Lincoln Steffens was, of course, anUtopian community founded by Ralph •n(“Rory”) Albertson, a Congregationalnminister who planned to help reform thenworld (“win the victory for the wretchednof the earth,” Davis says), and his wifenHazel, who had a penchant for wearingnwhite bloomers. The Farm functionednabout as well as could be expected, operatednas it was by a bunch of social reformersnwho pretended (on weekends, generally)nthat they were farmers and who preferredntalking to shoveling manure. Thisngang was presided over by the earthnmother in white who seemed to be in anconstant Whitmanesque reverie. T^nfarmer, Rory, wasn’t much -‘nhand when it came t-:nnominally a man ofnnature a man of the SKUI . i. „, -,nthe arms of a “Madame X” in Boston,nthe Farm behind him. It hadn’t been hisnfirst attempt at creating a Utopian societyn(nor had it been his first fling). Thenwhole story of the Farm is pathetic andnridiculous. These people who were goingnto save the world couldn’t even cultivatentheir own garden. For that matter, theynhad serious problems seeding the earth.nIf some pragmatists hadn’t periodicallynarrived (none of whom wore whitenbloomers or went to M.I.T.) and operatednthe Farm as a farm, those who livednthere full time would have gotten morenthan a little thin living on the paucity ofntheir grand ideals.nUavis’s own story adds a touch ofnmelodrama. She decided to become anjournalist, apparently to let the worldnknow what was really going on. Whilenthat smacks of Pete Seeger,.at least it cannbe said that she achieved her goal. Hadn