James Aronson

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Allan James Aronson (died October 21, 1988), was a Soviet propagandist who along with KGB operative Cedric Belfrage, founded the radical[1] extremist[2] National Guardian in October 1948. Pro-Communist writers such as Agnes Smedley, KGB operative Anna Louise Strong and Wilfred Burchett contributed significantly to Aronson's and Belfrage's publication. The Report on Communist Activities in California cited the Guardian under Aronson's editorship as "a medium for the spreading of the most vicious kind of Communist propaganda, this publication ranks with the People's World in California and the Daily Worker in New York."[3]


Prior to the Guardian Aronson worked in the Sunday Department of the New York Times and later Frontpage, the journal of the New York Newspaper Guild.[4]

Aronson, in sworn testimony before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee on January 4, 1956, invoked the fifth amendment as a basis for refusing to testify as to whether or not he accepted directives from the publications commission of the Communist Party, as well as to his membership in the Communist Party.[5]

Aronson was a sponsor of the American Committee for the Foreign Born, a cited Communist front group on the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations, along with Frank Marshall Davis, Abe Feinglass, and Scott Nearing.[6]

After Cedric Belfrage was deported to Great Britain in August 1955, Aronson continued to publish the National Guardian until 1967, when he resigned when New Left members of the staff took the paper over. They changed the paper's name to the Guardian.

Further reading

See also


  • The Press and the Cold War, James Aronson, Boston: Beacon Press, 1970.
  • Something to Guard: The Stormy Life of the National Guardian, 1948-1967, by Cedric Belfrage and James Aronson (Columbia University Press, New York), 1978.