Historians report Hemingway had contacts with the KGB over several years
EDITOR’S NOTE: We now know more than ever before about Soviet intelligence operations in the United States, thanks to the efforts of John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev. Their just-published book, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, is based on material from the KGB archives in Moscow. It presents new evidence on the activities of Alger Hiss, I. F. Stone, and many others. In this exclusive NRO excerpt, they impart previously unknown information about author Ernest Hemingway and his contacts with the KGB.
The mere fact that Ernest Hemingway toyed with Soviet intelligence is one of the more surprising revelations in the KGB files. Although the future Nobel Prize winner never provided any significant information to the KGB, he was in contact with several of its agents for a few years and remained an object of interest into the 1950s.
While principally a novelist, Hemingway also wrote as a journalist, providing topical essays and reports on contemporary events that appeared in newspapers and magazines. After the Spanish Civil War broke out, he traveled to Madrid with press credentials from the North American Newspaper Alliance to cover the conflict. Once there, he grew close to the Communist movement and cooperated with party front organizations in the aftermath of the war. Although the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) was unhappy with his portrayal of International Brigades’ chief Andre Marty in the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway’s fame and willingness to cooperate on selected issues ensured that he remained close to the CPUSA....
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