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Document Details


Title: Reminiscences of Michael Straight
RLIN number: NXCP88-A126
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: Columbia University. Oral History Research Office
Collection: Individual Interview List Oral History Project
Description: Family background, NEW REPUBLIC founded by parents; mother's remarriage to Leonard K. Elmhirst, founding of Dartington Hall, 1926; schooldays at Dartington, travel and adventures with brother Whitney; left wing activities, London School of Economics; Cambridge University, 1935-1937: president, Socialist Society, member of Apostles, association with Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess; student tour of the Soviet Union, 1936; economist, United States State Department, 1937; speechwriter, Department of the Interior, 1938-1940; Air Force Officers Training School and pilot training, 1942-1945; writer-editor, NEW REPUBLIC: political orientation, readership, financial difficulties; Henry Wallace's third party candidacy, 1948; author MAKE THIS THE LAST WAR, 1943, TRIAL BY TELEVISION, 1954; novelist: CARRINGTON, 1960, A VERY SMALL REMNANT, 1963; National Endowment for the Arts: decision to refuse chairmanship, search for chairman, role as deputy chairman; cooperation with Federal Bureau of Investigation and British Intelligence, 1964; judge, Moscow feature film competition, 1969; National Endowment for the Arts during Johnson administration, chairman Roger Stevens; appointment of Nancy Hanks to chairmanship, 1969; council directors in Hanks administration; organization and operation under Hanks; operational policy as set up in 1965 Arts and Humanities Act; obtaining appropriations; personal nominations to Endowment executive council; description of personalities, policies and programs of Endowment: architecture and design, dance, arts and education, literature, special projects, training and fellowships for professionals, music, public media, the American Film Institute, theater, cultural exchanges, union involvement in the arts; interference in programming decisions and cultural exchange, visual arts; relationship between National Endowment and State Arts Councils, funding conflicts; relationship with individual senators Javits and Pell; utilization of grant funds for projects, operations, individuals, and institutions; rationalization of expenditures, philosophy behind public funding of the arts; travel; 1976 presidential election; acting chairman of Endowment, 1977; procedure for choosing new chairman, Livingston Biddle.
Extent: Transcript: 978 leaves, Tape: 25 reels, Miscellaneous papers relating to oral history
Restrictions: Access: Written permission required from interviewee. Permission required to cite, quote, and reproduce. Contact repository for information.
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1982 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Straight, Michael, 1916- (2)
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker date of birth: 1916
Speaker occupation: Author; Editor
Age at speaking: 66
Document date: 1982
Interviewer: Jessup, Frederick Peterson
Organizations discussed: U.S. Army Air Force, 1918-1947; U.S. Department of State; U.S. Department of the Interior
Locations discussed: Asia; Europe; North America; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; United Kingdom; United States
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Asia; Authors; Editors; Espionage; Europe; Federal aid to the arts; North America; Oral history; U.S. Army Air Force, 1918-1947; U.S. Department of State; U.S. Department of the Interior; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; United Kingdom; United States
Topics discussed - Other terms: Great Britain--Intellectual life--20th century; National Endowment for the Arts; New Republic; Progresive Party, US; Soviet Union--Description and travel; Straight, Michael, 1916-
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0019084-14527