Among the most controversial aspects of John Dewey's career as a public intellectual was his conflict with the Communist Party and its various front groups. John Dewey and Sidney Hook co-founded the Committee for Cultural Freedom that directly exposed that pretense of the Popular Front, which excluded the Soviet Union from the list of totalitarian states. In the process, Dewey became embroiled publicly with Corliss Lamont and privately (to a large degree) with Franz Boas. Besides policy toward the Soviet Union, the New York Teachers' Union's decertification emerged as a central issue. In the process, Dewey exhibited both intellectual integrity and courage by opposing threats to both academic freedom and the democratic process.

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