Helen Laville


Laville, Helen. Cold War Women: The International Activities of American Women's Organizations. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2002.

Alonso, Journal of Cold War Studies 7.3 (Summer 2005), finds that the author "emphasizes the relationship between some U.S. women's voluntary organizations and U.S. government policy during the early years of the Cold War." Several of the organizations' international efforts were "unofficial activities of the U.S. government with some monetary support from governmental agencies." In fact, the "Committee of Correspondence ... received its funding directly from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency." A weakness of the book is that "Laville speaks of women's 'voluntary' organizations as if the few she covers represented all of the women's voluntary organizations in existence at the time," but "barely mentions the organizations whose main work was ... peace and social justice."

[GenPostwar/CW; Women/Misc/Women'sGroups]

Laville, Helen. "The Committee of Correspondence: CIA Funding of Women's Groups, 1952-1967." Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 1 (Jan. 1997): 104-121.

This is a well-conceived article on a little-researched topic. The author sees CIA financial assistance to the New York-based women's group, the Committee of Correspondence, as part of the Eisenhower administration's effort "to devolve a large part of the responsibility for overseas propaganda on to the private sector." Her conclusion that "the relationship between the government and the Committee was based on shared goals and an understanding by government that the members of the Committee were the experts in the field" is on the mark. The greatest wrong note sounded by Laville is her refusal in the face of all evidence to the contrary to give up on the idea that the CIA in some way "controlled" the Committee's activities.

[CIA/60s/Subsidies; Women/Misc/Women'sGroups][c]

Laville, Helen. "The Memorial Day Statement: Women's Organizations in the 'Peace Offensive.'" Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 2 (Summer 2003): 192-210.

The 1951 Memorial Day Statement, signed by the leaders of 10 women's organizations, "re-affirmed American women's gendered commitment to peace but defined this peace in a way which could oppose and thwart the aims of the Soviet peace offensive.... They became less partisans for peace and more advocates of a ... peace ... which demanded such corollaries as freedom and democracy."

[CA/To79; Women/Misc/Women'sGroups][c]

Laville, Helen, and Hugh Wilford, eds. The US Government, Citizen Groups and the Cold War: The State-Private Network. Studies in Intelligence Series. New York: Routledge, 2006.

The materials included here come from a 2003 conference, "The American State-Private Network in the Cold War," in Birmingham, UK.

[CA/Gen/To79; CIA/60s/Subsidies]

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