Fellow Traveler, Organic Intellectual: J. Raymond Walsh and Radio News Commentary in the 1940s


  • Nathan Godfried Professor of History, University of Maine.


J. Raymond Walsh was a leftist radio news commentator during the latter half of the 1940s. Although often dismissed and denounced by contemporary critics as a fellow traveler of the air, Walsh’s interpretations of local, national, and international events reflected his life experiences as an educator, economist, and trade union activist. The following article explores Walsh’s commentaries on Cold War America in the context of his family background, education, and political activism. Rather than interpreting Walsh as a dupe of the Communist Party, the article suggests that he was an organic intellectual for counter-hegemonic groups during their war of position with the dominant economic and political forces in U.S. society.

Author Biography

Nathan Godfried, Professor of History, University of Maine.

Nathan Godfried is Professor of History at the University of Maine. His publication include, WCFL, Chicago’s Voice of Labor, 1926-78 (University of Illinois Press, 1997), Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor: American Economic Development Policy Toward the Arab East, 1942-1949 (Greenwood Press, 1987), and several articles on labor and the mass media. He currently is working on a study of leftist radio news commentators during the period 1940-1960.