Woodrow Wilson Center Press Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty:The CIA Years and Beyond

February 10, 2011


Written by A. Ross Johnson, "Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty: The CIA Years and Beyond" is co-published with Stanford University Press. The book examines the first 20 years of the organization, policies, and impact of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, arguably one of the most important and successful policy instruments of the United States during the Cold War. The book is based on extensive archival research in the United States, Germany, Poland and Hungary, as well as interviews and the author's own experiences. It uses Central Intelligence Agency materials, in part declassified at the request of the author. Johnson concentrates on the origins and role of RFE/RL in the context of U.S. national security strategy, with particular attention to the role of the CIA in covertly organizing and funding RFE/RL from 1949 to 1971. And he details RFE activities during the most important East European crises of the era – uprisings in Poland and Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968. The study concludes with an analysis of the factors that accounted for RFE/RL's effectiveness.

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