Corliss Lamont (March 28, 1902 – April 26, 1995) was an American socialist philosopher and advocate of various left-wing and civil liberties causes. As a part of his political activities he was the Chairman of National Council of American-Soviet Friendship starting from the early 1940s.
Lamont in 1934
|Born||March 28, 1902|
|Died||April 26, 1995 (aged 93)|
|Alma mater||Harvard University, Columbia University|
|Occupation||professor, philanthropist, political activist|
|Known for||support for Socialism, Popular Front, and civil liberties|
|Spouse(s)||Margaret Hayes Irish (1), Helen Boyden Lamb (2), Beth Keehner (3)|
|Parent(s)||Thomas Lamont, Flora Lamont|
|Relatives||Ned Lamont, Jonathan Heap|
Lamont was born in Englewood, New Jersey on March 28, 1902. He was the son of Florence Haskell (Corliss) and Thomas W. Lamont, a partner and later chairman at J.P. Morgan & Co. Lamont graduated as valedictorian of Phillips Exeter Academy in 1920, and magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1924. The principles that animated his life were first evidenced at Harvard, where he attacked university clubs as snobbery. In 1924, he did graduate work at New College University of Oxford, where he roomed with Julian Huxley. The next year Lamont began graduate studies at Columbia University, where he studied under John Dewey. In 1928, he became a philosophy instructor there. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1932 from Columbia. Lamont taught at Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and the New School for Social Research.
Lamont became a radical in the 1930s, moved by the Great Depression. He wrote a book about the Soviet Union and praised what he saw there: "The people are better dressed, food is good and plentiful, everyone seems confident, happy and full of spirit". He became critical of the Soviets over time, but always thought their achievement in transforming a feudal society remarkable, even as he attacked its treatment of political dissent and lack of civil liberties. Lamont's political views were Marxist and socialist for much of his life.
Lamont began his 30 years as a director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1932. In 1934, he was arrested while on a picket line in Jersey City, New Jersey, part of a long battle between labor and civil rights activists and Frank Hague, the city's mayor. Lamont later wrote that he "learned more about the American legal system in one day .. than in one year at Harvard Law School".
In 1936, Lamont helped found and subsidized the magazine Marxist Quarterly. When the Dewey Commission reported in 1937 that the Moscow trials of Leon Trotsky and others were fraudulent, Lamont, along with other left-wing intellectuals, refused to accept the Commission's findings. Under the influence of the Popular Front, Lamont and 150 other left-wing writers endorsed Stalin's actions as necessary for "the preservation of progressive democracy". Their letter warned that Dewey's work was itself politically motivated and charged Dewey with supporting reactionary views and "Red-baiting". Lamont wrote an introduction to an anti-Polish pamphlet Behind the Polish-Soviet Break by Alter Brody.
Lamont was a key founder of the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship (NCASF) (originally National Council on Soviet Relations or NCSR). (Other founders included: Professor Ralph Barton Perry of Harvard University and Edwin Seymour Smith.) He served as its first chairman from 1943 to 1947.
Lamont remained sympathetic to the Soviet Union well after World War II and the establishment of satellite Communist governments in Central and Eastern Europe. He authored a pamphlet entitled The Myth of Soviet Aggression in which he wrote:
The fact is, of course, that both the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations, in order to push their enormous armaments programs through Congress and to justify the continuation of the Cold War, have felt compelled to resort to the device of keeping the American people in a state of alarm over some alleged menace of Soviet or Communist origin.
When called to testify in front of Senator Joseph McCarthy's Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 1953, he denied ever having been a Communist, but refused to discuss his beliefs or those of others, citing not the Fifth Amendment as so many others did but the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech. The committee cited Lamont for contempt of Congress by a vote of 71 to 3 in August 1954. Some senators questioned McCarthy's authority and wanted a federal court to rule on it. and in November Lamont donated $50,000 to create a $1,000,000 Bill of Rights Fund to support civil rights advocates, citing anti-Communist legislation, travel restrictions, and blacklisting in the entertainment industry. That same month he challenged the subcommittee's authority in court.
In April 1955, Lamont withdrew from his role as a philosophy lecturer at Columbia University pending the outcome of these legal proceedings, and the university said it was Lamont's decision, made "without prior suggestion by any officer of the university". Judge Edward Weinfeld of the U.S. District Court found the indictment against Lamont was faulty, but the government, rather than seek a new indictment, appealed that ruling. A unanimous panel of the Court of Appeals agreed in 1955 and in 1956 the government chose not to appeal to the Supreme Court.
As a director of the ACLU, Lamont had resisted attempts to purge the organization of Communists and, in 1954, he resigned his position because he felt the ACLU had not supported him in the face of McCarthy charges. The complete record of the legal proceedings in Lamont's case against the McCarthy subcommittee was published in 1957.
In 1951 and 1957, he was denied a passport by the State Department, which considered his application incomplete because he refused to answer a question about membership in the Communist Party. He sued the State Department in June 1957 seeking a hearing on its action. He obtained his passport in June 1958 following a Supreme Court decision in another case, Kent v. Dulles, and left the U.S. for a world tour in March 1959.
He ran again for the U.S. Senate from New York in 1958 on the Independent-Socialist ticket. He received more than 49,000 votes out of more than 5,500,000 cast and lost to Republican Kenneth B. Keating.
In 1964, Lamont sued the Postmaster General for reading and, at times, refusing to deliver his mail under the anti-propaganda mail law of 1962, passed over the objections of the Department of Justice and the Post Office, that allowed the Postmaster General to destroy "communist political propaganda" sent from outside the United States unless the addressee says he wants to receive such mail. The statute did not apply to sealed correspondence, but was aimed at published materials. He lost a 2 to 1 decision in U.S. District Court, after the Post Office delivered one such item of mail, and he appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the single delivery was a subterfuge designed to moot his lawsuit while continue to interrupt his mail service. On May 24, 1965, he won in the Supreme Court, which held unanimously in a decision in Lamont v. Postmaster General written by Justice William O. Douglas, that the law was unconstitutional.
It was the first time the Supreme Court invalidated a statute as a violation of the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. Lamont' attorney was Leonard B. Boudin, who worked on many civil liberties cases. He won a similar lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency in federal court the same year.
In the mid-1960s, he became chairman of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, a position that he held until his death 30 years later.
In 1971, after a congressman called him an "identified member of the Communist Party, U.S.A.", Lamont issued a statement that "although it is no disgrace to belong to the Communist party, I have never even dreamed of joining it." That same year, he financed Dorothy Day's visit to the Soviet Union and several other countries in Eastern Europe.
In 1979, Lamont founded Half-Moon Foundation, Inc. Half-Moon Foundation was a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and was incorporated in the state of New York. The Foundation was formed "to promote enduring international peace, support for the United Nations, the conservation of our country's natural environment, and to safeguard and extend civil liberties as guaranteed under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights."
Lamont was president emeritus of the American Humanist Association and in 1977 was named Humanist of the Year.
In 1981, he received the Gandhi Peace Award.
In 1928, Lamont married Margaret Hayes Irish. They divorced in the early 1960s. In 1962, he married Helen Boyden Lamb; she died of cancer in 1975. In 1986, Lamont married Beth Keehner; she survived his death. He died at home in Ossining, New York, on April 26, 1995.
Following the deaths of his parents, Lamont became a philanthropist. He funded the collection and preservation of manuscripts of American philosophers, particularly George Santayana, as well as Rockwell Kent and John Masefield.
He became a substantial donor to both Harvard and Columbia, endowing the latter's "Corliss Lamont Professor of Civil Liberties."
Lamont was a prolific author. He wrote, co-wrote, edited, or co-edited more than two dozen books and dozens of pamphlets, and wrote thousands of letters to newspapers, magazines, and journals on significant social issues during his lifelong campaign for peace and civil rights.
In 1935, he published The Illusion of Immortality (originally published in 1932 as Issues of Immortality: A Study in Implications), which was a revised version of his doctoral dissertation. According to James Leuba the book is considered to remain the standard work on the subject and shows conclusively that the arguments for immortality are totally insufficient. Lamont argued that people can live satisfactory lives without belief in life after death and that human life may be recognized to be more precious if it is realized that it only comes once to each man.
His most famous work is The Philosophy of Humanism (originally published in 1949 as Humanism as a Philosophy), now in its eighth edition. He also published intimate portraits of John Dewey, John Masefield, and George Santayana.
Aside from books, over the course of more than a half-century, Corliss Lamont authored, co-authored, or edited approximately three dozen pamphlets on a variety of subjects. Prominent among these was the Basic Pamphlets series, privately published by Dr. Lamont and sold directly by him through mail order via a local post office box in New York. There were 29 numbered titles in the Basic Pamphlets series, listed below by pamphlet number.
In addition to the Basic Pamphlets series, Corliss Lamont also wrote a number of other pamphlets, a partial list of which appears below.
The 1952 United States Senate election in New York was held on November 4, 1952, as part of the bi-annual regular state election, to elect a U.S. Senator. At the same time, all members of the next New York State Assembly and the next New York State Senate, as well as presidential electors were elected.1958 New York state election
The 1958 New York state election was held on November 4, 1958, to elect the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the State Comptroller, the Attorney General, a judge of the New York Court of Appeals and a U.S. Senator, as well as all members of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.Amsterdam Declaration
The Amsterdam Declaration 2002 is a statement of the fundamental principles of modern Humanism passed unanimously by the General Assembly of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) at the 50th anniversary World Humanist Congress in 2002. According to the IHEU, the declaration "is the official statement of World Humanism."
It is officially supported by all member organisations of the IHEU including:
Humanistic Association Netherlands (Humanistisch Verbond)
American Humanist Association
British Humanist Association
Human-Etisk Forbund, the Norwegian Humanist Association
Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands, the Humanist Association of Germany
Council of Australian Humanist Societies
Council for Secular Humanism
Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association
Humanist Association of Ireland
Indian Humanist Union
Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS)A complete list of signatories can be found on the IHEU page (see references).
This declaration makes exclusive use of capitalized Humanist and Humanism, which is consistent with IHEU's general practice and recommendations for promoting a unified Humanist identity.  To further promote Humanist identity, these words are also free of any adjectives, as recommended by prominent members of IHEU.  Such usage is not universal among IHEU member organizations, though most of them do observe these conventions.Corliss
Corliss is both a surname and a given name. Notable people and fictional characters with the name include:
George Henry Corliss (1817–1888), inventor of the Corliss steam engine
George W. Corliss (1834–1903), American Civil War recipient of the Medal of Honor
Guy C. H. Corliss (1858–1937), American judge and justice of the Supreme Court of North Dakota
Jack Corliss, scientist and discoverer of undersea hydrothermal vents
Jeb Corliss (born 1976), professional skydiver and base jumper
John Blaisdell Corliss (1851–1929), U.S. Representative from Michigan
Stephen P. Corliss (1842–1904), American Civil War recipient of the Medal of Honor
Richard Corliss (1944-2015), journalist and an editor for Time magazine
William R. Corliss (1926–2011), American physicist and writer
Bud Corliss, villain of A Kiss Before Dying (novel) and two film adaptations (renamed Jonathan Corliss in the second)Given name:
Corliss Lamont (1902–1995), American philosopher, political activist, and philanthropist
C. C. Moseley (1894–1974), American aviator and aviation businessman
Corliss P. Stone, mayor of Seattle (1872–1873) and businessman
Corliss Williamson (born 1973), retired professional basketball player
title teenage character of the American radio show Meet Corliss Archer (1943–1956) and the TV seriesCurt John Ducasse
Curt John Ducasse (7 July 1881 – 3 September 1969) was a philosopher who taught at the University of Washington and Brown University.Ernst August Köstring
Ernst-August Köstring (20 June 1876 – 20 November 1953) was a German diplomat and officer who served in World War II.
Born in Imperial Russia in 1876, Ernst August Köstring grew up in St Petersburg and was fluent in Russian. He took part in World War I, serving under Major General Hans von Seeckt in the Austro-Hungarian Seventh Army. After the war, he was retained in the Reichsheer. From 1919, he was back in the Prussian War Ministry and then detached to the Ministry of the Reichswehr in 1919 when that ministry was established.
On 1 August 1935, he was returned to active service as a military attaché to Russia and Lithuania and sent back to Moscow. On 8 August 1940, Köstring was warned by General Franz Halder that "he would have to answer a lot of questions soon", making him one of a few people who knew what would happen with Russia despite the non-aggression pact. With the planned Operation Barbarossa his position in Moscow was untenable; he was repatriated under diplomatic immunity and assigned to the Führerreserve. He visited, together with Friedrich Werner von Schulenburg, prisoner of war camps recruiting Soviet POWs for the German war effort.
On 1 September 1942 when he was appointed "General Officer attached to Army Group A for Caucasian Questions" under General Eduard Wagner. In this role he worked on creating national legions among the indigenous people of the Caucasus, among them the Muslim Karachai. He arranged for Armenians, Georgians and other Caucasian populations to fight at the front after training in Poland. Most of the Armenians deserted.
The Karachai had formed an anti-Soviet committee under Qadi Bayramukov (ru) before the Germans arrived. Köstring invited them to the Bairam feast on 11 October. He was exceptionally well received and was carried shoulder high in celebration as was the custom.
In the spring of 1943 Köstring put into the Führer reserve. In mid-June 1943, he was appointed Inspector of the German commanded Turkic associations, on 1 January 1944 appointed the General of the "volunteer" organizations in the Army High Command. Throughout this period he spent most of his time helping with the creation of Andrey Vlasov's Russian Liberation Army. He surrendered on 4 May 1945 to the U.S. Army; he was released in 1947. He co-authored the 1946 book The Peoples of the Soviet Union which was later used by the U.S. Army.Fingerprint (album)
Fingerprint is an album by Mark Heard, released in Europe in 1980 on Palmfrond Communications. Heard later named his record label, Fingerprint Records, and home studio, Fingerprint Recorders, after this album.Gandhi Peace Award
The Gandhi Peace Award is an award and cash prize presented annually since 1960 by Promoting Enduring Peace to individuals for "contributions made in the promotion of international peace and good will." It is named in honor of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but has no personal connection to Mohandas Gandhi or any member of his family.
Recent Award winners include Rabbis Arik Ascherman and Ehud Bandel of Rabbis for Human Rights (2011), Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! (2012), Bill McKibben of 350.org (2013), Medea Benjamin of Code Pink (2014), Tom B.K. Goldtooth (2015), Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (2015), Omar Barghouti (2017), Ralph Nader (2017), and Jackson Browne.
Since 1960, when the first Award was accepted by Eleanor Roosevelt, the Award has been presented in person to "peace heroes" who have exemplified to the members of Promoting Enduring Peace the courage of nonviolent resistance to abusive power, to armed conflict, to violent oppression, and to environmental negligence. The Award is also intended to recognize individuals for having made significant contributions, through cooperative and non-violent means in the spirit of Gandhi, to the struggle to achieve a sustainable world civilization founded on enduring international peace.
In the 21st Century the Award is especially intended by its presenters to honor those whose lives and works exemplify the principle that international peace, universal socioeconomic justice, and planetary environmental harmony are interdependent and inseparable, and all three are essential to the survival of civilization.
The Award itself is symbolized by a heavy medallion and a certificate with an inscription summing up the recipient's work. The medallion, forged from Peace Bronze (a metal rendered from decommissioned nuclear missile command systems, evoking "swords into plowshares"), features Gandhi's profile and his words "Love Ever Suffers/Never Revenges Itself" cast in bronze. The Award has been presented at a ceremony held typically once a year in New York or New Haven at which the recipient is invited to present a message of challenge and hope.Humanism
Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it. The term was coined by theologian Friedrich Niethammer at the beginning of the 19th century to refer to a system of education based on the study of classical literature ("classical humanism"). Generally, however, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of human freedom and progress. It views humans as solely responsible for the promotion and development of individuals and emphasizes a concern for man in relation to the world.In modern times, humanist movements are typically non-religious movements aligned with secularism, and today humanism typically refers to a nontheistic life stance centred on human agency and looking to science rather than revelation from a supernatural source to understand the world.Humanist Manifesto II
Humanist Manifesto II, written in 1973 by humanists Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson, was an update to the previous Humanist Manifesto (1933), and the second entry in the Humanist Manifesto series. It begins with a statement that the excesses of National Socialism and world war had made the first seem too optimistic, and indicated a more hardheaded and realistic approach in its seventeen-point statement, which was much longer and more elaborate than the previous version. Nevertheless, much of the optimism of the first remained, expressing hope that war and poverty would be eliminated.
In addition to its absolute rejection of theism and deism, various political stances are supported, such as opposition to racism, opposition to weapons of mass destruction, support of human rights, a proposition of an international court, and the right to unrestricted abortion and contraception.
Initially published with a small number of signatures, the document was circulated and gained thousands more, and indeed the American Humanist Association's website encourages visitors to add their own name. A provision at the end states that the signators do "not necessarily endorse every detail" of the document, but only its broad vision, no doubt helped many overcome reservations about attaching their name.
One of the oft-quoted lines that comes from this manifesto is, "No deity will save us; we must save ourselves."
The Humanist Manifesto II first appeared in The Humanist September / October, 1973, when Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson were editor and editor emeritus , respectively.Joseph R. Brodsky
Joseph R. Brodsky, often known as Joseph Brodsky and Joe Brodsky, was an early 20th-Century American civil rights lawyer, political activist, general counsel of the International Labor Defense (ILD), co-founder of the International Juridical Association (IJA), and member of ILD defense team for members of the Scottsboro Boys Case of the 1930s.Lamont Gallery
The Lamont Gallery is a non-profit art gallery located on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, New Hampshire, United States. It primarily showcases visiting exhibitions of local, national and international acclaimed artists, along with art of Phillips Exeter students and faculty. However, it also possesses a small collection.List of American philosophers
This is a list of American philosophers; of philosophers who are either from, or spent many productive years of their lives in the United States.National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament
The National Commission for Economic Conversion and Disarmament was founded in 1988, with preliminary work starting as early as November 1987. The key principals behind the commission were Seymour Melman together with Jonathan Feldman and Robert Krinsky (students of Melman). The three, conceived of the commission as the extension of conversion activities, initiated at Columbia University linked to the Corliss Lamont Fellowship program in Economic Conversion and Disarmament.
The commission promoted public education related to economic conversion and disarmament, culminating in a series of conferences, workshops and organizing projects. Among the most significant was "The U.S. After the Cold War: Claiming the Peace Dividend", a national town meeting held on May 2, 1990 involving political leaders, scholars, activists and concerned citizens. Another key milestone was the support, which former House Speaker Jim Wright gave to national conversion legislation, naming a comprehensive conversion bill HR 101 (corresponding to the 101st Session of Congress). The commission published a newsletter, The New Economy, and a series of briefing papers related to conversion and disarmament.
The commission supported multilateral disarmament and comprehensive conversion policies. The commission board included members of the United States Congress, trade union presidents, scholars and political leaders. In addition to Melman, key board members included Marcus Raskin, John Kenneth Galbraith, George McGovern, Ted Weiss, and various presidents of the Machinists Union (IAM).National Council of American–Soviet Friendship
The National Council of American–Soviet Friendship (NCASF) was the successor organisation to the National Council on Soviet Relations (NCSR).National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee
The National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (NECLC), until 1968 known as the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, was an organization formed in the United States in October 1951 by 150 educators and clergymen to advocate for the civil liberties embodied in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, notably the rights of free speech, religion, travel, and assembly. Though it solicited contributions, its program and policy decisions were controlled by a self-perpetuating national council for most of its first 20 years.Ned Lamont
Edward Miner Lamont Jr. (born January 3, 1954) is an American businessman and politician serving as the 89th and current Governor of Connecticut since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, he won the 2018 gubernatorial election, defeating Republican Bob Stefanowski and Independent Oz Griebel.A member of the Board of Selectmen of Greenwich from 1987 to 1989, he defeated incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman in the state's Democratic primary election in 2006. In the general election, both Lamont and Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger were defeated by Lieberman, who had opted to run as an Independent candidate. In 2010, he ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Connecticut. He was defeated by former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, who went on to win the general election.Paul D. Hanson
Paul D. Hanson (born November 17, 1939) is an American biblical scholar who taught for 40 years at the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
He spent his whole career at Harvard Divinity School, starting out in 1971 as an Assistant Professor of Old Testament. He was appointed the Florence Corliss Lamont Professor of Divinity (1988–2009) and Bussey Professor of Divinity (1981–1988). Since his retirement from the active faculty in 2009 he has been the Florence Corliss Lamont Research Professor of Divinity.The Times They Are a-Changin' (album)
The Times They Are a-Changin' is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on January 13, 1964 by Columbia Records. Whereas his previous albums Bob Dylan and The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan consisted of original material among cover songs, Dylan's third album was the first to feature only original compositions. The album consists mostly of stark, sparsely arranged ballads concerning issues such as racism, poverty, and social change. The title track is one of Dylan's most famous; many feel that it captures the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s.
Some critics and fans were not quite as taken with the album as a whole, relative to his previous work, for its lack of humor or musical diversity. Still, The Times They Are a-Changin' peaked at No. 20 on the US chart, eventually going gold, and belatedly reaching No. 4 in the UK in 1965.