Of all the stories I’ve told, “Blacklisted” has probably had the greatest impact.
The program, a three-hour docudrama, received rave reviews from newspapers across the country for its dramatic account of a reign of fear in this country that threatened families, destroyed careers, and undermined fundamental American freedoms and principles. The story was relevant in 1997 when it first aired nationally on NPR; it is perhaps even more relevant today.
“BLACKLISTED is about not 'going along' and what it cost. It rivals 'THE SHADOW' for scary listening.”
With an all-star cast including Stockard Channing, Eli Wallach, Ron Leibman, Carroll O‘Connor, Jerry Stiller, and Julie Harris, "Blacklisted" used the power of radio to immerse listeners in the experience of the political and personal dramas of the time. Featured in articles by Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post, “Blacklisted”was also praised by many listeners as one of the most riveting radio dramas they had ever heard.
The start of the Hollywood Red Scare and its focus on my father as one of its prime targets.
Facing the end of his career and the possible loss of his freedom, my father flees the country to Mexico.
The start of my family’s exile and my father’s struggle to make a living while under FBI surveillance in Mexico and the movie industry blacklist in the United States.
After five years in Mexico, my family loses its refuge in Mexico and, in search of anonymity and freedom from persecution, my father moves us to New Hampshire.
As the national Red Scare begins to fade, a surprise investigation of my father by New Hampshire authorities threatens what little security he has found by writing under another name.
The end of my father’s life and the revelation of a secret he kept that, had he revealed it, might have changed his life.
PRAISE FOR “BLACKLISTED!”
“‘Blacklisted!’ is a historical gem – perfecto! I laughed and cried and wrung my hands, simultaneously at times.” – Diana Anhalt, author of A Gathering of Fugitives.
“A masterpiece!” – Nancy Porter, Producer, PBS’s American Experience
“Will leave strong impressions of how political repression can affect individual lives. A legacy worth listening to and remembering.” – The Utne Reader
A remarkable story of a son’s unrelenting search for his father and his ability to turn that search into art.” – Boston Globe
“Chilling. Rivals ‘The Shadow’ for scary listening.” – Newsweek
“[Blacklisted] will help us learn we never want to go through McCarthyism again. I am grateful to you.” – Senator Paul Simon (Illinois)
“A stunning story of what can happen when mass prejudices overwhelm reasonable discussions.” – The Jewish Reporter
“The single best thing I’ve ever heard on radio.” – Peter Mehegan, A&E’s Chronicle
“I have heard it twice. After the second time I was convinced that it would teach the students in my ‘Introduction to American Politics’ more about civil liberties than I could.” – E. Storella, Professor of Political Science, Framingham State College
“A harrowing portrayal of the enormous personal toll McCarthyism imposed. It shows, above all, that McCarthyism involved much more than McCarthy and that its impact lingered on.” – Ellen Schrecker, Professor of History, Yeshiva University
“A terrific piece of work, filled by Tony Kahn’s very personal passion for the material.” – John Lithgow, actor
“Heart-rendingly beautiful; a radio masterpiece. – Paul Buhle, author of Radical Hollywood, A Very Dangerous Citizen, and Tender Comrades
“Infinitely more personal than anything else I have read, heard or seen about the blacklist. You have done what no one else has managed to do – tell a coherent story of what happened to an individual and his family in a home-grown period of political persecution. And I thank you for it.” – Maurice Rapf, blacklisted screenwriter
“Please accept my appreciation for a work so well done and so well needed.” – Jules Dassin, blacklisted director of many films, including Never on a Sunday and Rififi