There are certain projects that end up being greater than the sum of their parts, that serve to preserve critical moments of history and spark a larger conversation.
Therefore, Skyboat Media very proudly presents:
THIRTY YEARS OF TREASON: EXCERPTS FROM HEARINGS BEFORE THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES 1938-1968; COMPLETE SET
Eric Bentley is a British-born American critic, playwright, editor, and translator known for being one of the preeminent scholars of Bertolt Brecht. Now in his nineties (check out his 94th Birthday Bash), Bentley lives in New York City and continues to be active in the literary community. He taught for many years at Columbia and Harvard Universities, which is where he first crossed paths with a student named Stefan Rudnicki.
Now, all these years later and with Blackstone Audio‘s generous support, Stefan sought to revisit their connection by producing Bentley’s one-of-a-kind tome.
“We have Bentley to thank for this bittersweet vaudeville show, this congressional cabaret of the absurd, this peptic epic…What he has done is give us HUAC as spectacle, and the perspective is shattering.” —New York Times
We have proven to the world we can make a “quiet” audiobook; well, this is a “noisy” audiobook. We opened the doors in Skyboat’s Studio A, cranked up several microphones, and went to town. We wanted the actors to be able to play off of each other, and to accomplish this massive work (over 40 hours of dialogue) on our budget, we threw caution to the wind and let the actors tear into this fascinating and chilling text.
In addition to archival recordings from Burt Reynolds, Theodore Bikel and Roscoe Lee Browne, we have Harlan Ellison®, Scott Brick, Orson Scott Card, Jim Meskimen, Stefan Rudnicki and more: your full SkyCast list here.
The result is three volumes of chilling reenactments and commentary from the Federal government’s anti-Communist investigations. Each available separately and now brought together in one boxed set, complete with a Behind-the-Scenes DVD, including interviews and footage of the in-studio action.
VOLUME 1: Eric Bentley has chosen highlights from the thirty-year record of the House Un-American Activities Committee to demonstrate HUAC’s focus on artists, intellectuals, and performers. THIRTY YEARS OF TREASON: VOLUME 1: 1938–1948 includes the testimonies of Hallie Flanagan, Ayn Rand, Adolphe Menjou, Robert Taylor, Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, Bertolt Brecht and many others.
VOLUME 2: The beginning of the Korean War in 1950 reopened the war on Hollywood Communists. THIRTY YEARS OF TREASON: VOLUME 2: 1951-1952 includes the testimonies of Clifford Odets, Edward G. Robinson, Elia Kazan, Jose Ferrer, Bud Schulberg, Sterling Hayden, Abe Burrows, Lillian Hellman, and many others.
VOLUME 3: THIRTY YEARS OF TREASON: VOLUME 3: 1953-1968 includes the testimonies of Robert Gorham Davis, Jerome Robbins, Pete Seeger, Zero Mostel, Arthur Miller, and many others.
This absorbing collection of significant excerpts from the hearings shows with painful clarity how HUAC grew from a panel that investigated possible subversive activities in a “dignified” manner to a huge, unrelenting accusatory finger from which almost no one was safe.
Thirty Years of Treason serves as a warning for the future and creates living history from the documentary record. We must never forget. We listen and we remember.