Books are Basic - Mr. Blakely

Monday, October 13, 1952

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Part of a series of speeches for the annual American Library Association conference. The theme of these speeches was "Books are Basic."

Mr. Blakely speech is about "threats to books." He asks the question, "What is a good book?" He states that "probably no good book has not been thought of as pernicious."

He speaks of three kinds of enemies of free communication:

The intellectual zealot: these enemies must have "the" answer. They may move between black and white, but there is no room for gray. They also have a necessity to feel superior. These are people who feel they must protect lesser men from themselves.

The anti-intellectual: Two types: the non-intellectual anti-intellectual: He ignores argument based on logic or fact and focuses on argument based on emotion. He build opinions of others based on fragments of fact. He is intolerant of mistakes. The only safe policy is blind opposition. The second type is the intellectual non-intellectual. He helps discredit morality and rationality.

Ends abruptly.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 69897
Municipal archives id: LT835


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About Miscellaneous

Programs ranging from the 1930s to the 1970s covering a variety of cultural and political topics.

From archival broadcasts of sewer plant openings to single surviving episodes of long-defunct series, "Miscellaneous" is a catch-all for the odds and ends transferred as part of the New York Public Radio Archives Department's massive NEH-funded digitization project, launched in 2010.

Buried in this show you will find all sorts of treasures, from the 1937 dedication of the WNYC Greenpoint transmitter to the 1939 lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree and the 1964 reception for Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

This collection includes some unique “slice-of-life” productions that provide a telling portrait of America from the 1940s through the 1950s, such as public service announcements regarding everything from water conservation to traffic safety and juvenile delinquency and radio dramas such as "The Trouble Makers" and "Hate, Incorporated."



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