David Halberstam has pointed out in The Powers That Be (1979): “Luce’s politics hardened in the postwar years and Time had become increasingly Republican in its tone. He had been stunned by Truman’s defeat of Dewey in 1948. Then in the fall of 1949 China had fallen, the Democratic administration had failed to save Chiang, and that was too much; Truman, and even more Acheson, would have to pay the price. Time was now committed and politicized, an almost totally partisan instrument. The smell of blood was in the air. There was a hunger now in Luce to put a Republican back in power. It was as if Luce, between elections, stood as the leader of the opposition, a kingmaker who had failed to produce a king. The fall of China and the rise of a post-war anti-Communist mood had produced the essential issue to use against the Democrats: softness on Communism.”
Luce used his magazines to get Dwight D. Eisenhower elected as president. In 1953 Eisenhower appointed Clare Booth LuceClare Booth Luce ambassador to Italy; the first American woman ambassador to a major country. Claudio Accogli, a Italian historian, argues that luce was heavily involved in covert anti-communist activities with local cia personnel. Larry Hancock adds: “With no-holds barred political activism and heavy spending (including the support of the SIFAR/Italian Army Secret Service), Luce and the CIA managed to block the probable takeover of the center-left governments, an alliance between Christian Democrats (DC) and the Socialist Democratic Party (PSI).”
It is fascinating look at the myriad ways the CIA attempted to help control and spread Communism, not just in the United States, but in Europe, South America, and ultimately Southeast Asia, via front organizations. How myriad groups, such as women, blacks, educators, etc., were provided money and guidance clandestinely over the course of the 1940’s through 1967, when fronts were exposed by the periodical Ramparts and the New York Times. Ultimately, one walks away wondering if anything socially important that came from that period wasn’t touched by the CIA, and, considering the explosiveness of the 1960’s in the United States, if the CIA even considered the affects of the steps they took to stop the Red Menace from spreading. My guess is no then and no today.