Angela Calomiris and her Red Masquerade

When Angela Calomiris completed her seven years of posing as a Communist for the FBI's Subversive Squad in 1949, she was asked to testify as to the reading habits of Party members before Judge Medina in New York's Foley Square, where eleven of the nation' s top Communists were on trial for advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government. Calomiris identified and commented upon a variety of Communist works that had been entered as evidence. Unlike her fellow infilitrators, Matt ("I Posed as a Communist for the F.B.I.") Cvetic and Herb (I Led Three Lives) Philbrick, both of whom also testified for the government, Angela Calomiris was not able to parlay this moment in the spotlight into a full-time career as an American watchdog against Communism. But in 1950 Lippincott did publish her story as Red Masquerade: Undercover for the F.B.I., the Appendix of which provides us with the following excerpts from Marx, Lenin, Stalin et al. that she read into the trial record. Since the eleven Reds were found guilty and sent to prison, it may be said that Ms. Calomiris left her own mark on history, even if her heroism wasn't immortalized on film, radio, and/or television.

  • Citation

  • For more on anticommunists' interest in subversive texts, see an account of the Smith Act prosecutions.


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