Thursday, November 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Isaac Patch | Cold War operative, 101

Isaac Patch, 101, a Cold Warrior who led a CIA-financed book-distribution program that smuggled hundreds of thousands of banned or hard-to-find texts into the Soviet Union, died May 31 at his home in St. Johnsbury, Vt., of complications from dementia, said a niece, Patricia Patch Critchlow.

Political warfare - to win the hearts and minds of adversaries - took many forms during the Cold War. One of the least known but most effective was a CIA-funded effort to get reading materials, including novels and medical texts, behind the Iron Curtain.

"Ike" Patch was one leader in the effort. A lanky New Englander who had studied Russian at Harvard University, Mr. Patch had survived Foreign Service duty in early Cold War flash points such as Manchuria and Czechoslovakia. His family was expelled from Prague with 24 hours' notice after the Communist-led regime accused him of espionage, a charge he denied.

Years later, before moving to Vermont, Mr. Patch was involved in efforts to racially integrate public schools in Englewood, N.J., in the 1960s. - Washington Post

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