Evaluation of Soviet Power

Sunday, November 12, 1967

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


Sidney Hook, George Kennan and Isaac Don Levine


More in:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


About Overseas Press Club

Comprised of both speeches and question-answer sessions, this news program brings together foreign correspondents and public figures from culture and politics.

The Overseas Press Club (1940-1967) contains voices from the past that help us understand their time and place in history. What sets these talks apart from others like them is the presence of a live audience of foreign correspondents — reporters with international perspectives and questions. The resulting sessions have a distinctly different dynamic than would those with an audience of American journalists of the period.

Speakers include the German writer Günter Grass talking about his fascination with American prize fighters; a fiery young LeRoi Jones (later known as Amiri Baraka) telling his audience "where it’s at with Mr. Charlie"; James Farmer on the civil rights movement and where it should be going; David Halberstam on the trials of covering the war in Vietnam; Josephine Baker on the focus of her later years, her adopted children; and Herman Kahn on being pushed to the nuclear edge.  Other notable speakers include the actor Alec Guinness, Richard Nixon, and a gaggle of early female pilots competing in the air race known as the Angel Derby. 

With presentations ranging from rambunctious and spirited to contentious and political, this collection provides invaluable access to the language and nomenclature of America's burgeoning global culture.


Supported by