Sponsored by foundations dedicated to defeating Communism, creative-writing programs during the postwar period taught aspiring authors certain rules of propriety. Good literature, students learned, contains “sensations, not doctrines; experiences, not dogmas; memories, not philosophies.” The goal, according to Bennett, was to discourage the abstract theorizing and systematic social critiques to which the radical literature of the 1930s had been prone, in favor of a focus on the personal, the concrete and the individual. While workshop administrators like Paul Engle and Wallace Stegner wanted to spread American values, they did not want to be caught imposing a particular ideology on their students, for fear of appearing to use the same tactics as the communists. Thus they presented their aesthetic principles as a nonpolitical, universally valid means of cultivating writerly craft. The continued status of “show, don’t tell” as a self-evident truth, dutifully dispensed to anyone who ventures into a creative-writing class, is one proof of their success.