Master of Arts
Art holds an unparalleled power to encapsulate and carry political aspirations forward in time. Perhaps no art form does this as effectively as music. This essay explores how one particular work created at the height of the Red Scare—Pete Seeger’s 1953 album, Folksongs and Ballads: A Pete Seeger Concert—preserved and then transmitted the Popular Front ideology of the Communist Party of the United States to the author in 1990. Through a mix of personal reflection and critical analysis, this essay examines the album’s meaning at the time it was created, when the author encountered it in 1990, and within the context of our current political moment and beyond.
Reese, Brian, "The Red Menace in the Cellar: Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Enduring Power of the Old Left to Subvert Young Minds" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 5699.
Available for download on Friday, February 26, 2021