Evaluation of Soviet Power

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Painting for a poster of Lenin, bearing aloft a copy of the newspaper Pravda. In the background is the battleship Aurora from which the first shots of the October 1917 revolution were fired.

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

Second in the new series: the Edward R. Murrow World Affairs Forum.

H. Lehman bring the meeting to an open, noting that tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, though he makes it clear that this event is not a celebration of the event. He outlines the evening's plan for the discussion between panelists and members on the dais. He reads a statement from Alexander Kerensky who is detained in the hospital and could not attend the evening's event.

Next, Isaac Don Levine, American Foreign Correspondent, speaks about the historical aspects of the soviet union. He talks about the works of Leo Tolstoy and other more recent authors who have called out for an end to censorship. He discusses the continuity of Russian history and the question of what really happened on November 7, 1917. Lenin, he notes, did not call for a revolution, he called for an uprising. He goes on to discuss the rebellion against the revolution.

Next, George F. Kennan, Professor at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton University, speaks about what the revolution has meant to the outside world and what it has meant as a symbol. He goes on to discuss the efforts to discredit the United States based on their relationships with third world countries. The revolution continues to have an impact on Soviet psychology and policy and that in turn impacts East-West relations.

Next, Professor Sidney Hook, Head of the All University Department of NYU speaks. He questions if the results of the revolution were worth the costs in human lives to the Russian people. He notes the argument that Stalin's forced industrialization made it possible for Russia to fight Germany.

Questions and answers follow.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72268
Municipal archives id: T5580