Books are Basic - Mr. Blakely

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