This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Maurice Dolbier introduces Frederick Barghoorn, who gained international notoriety when he was imprisoned as a suspected spy in the Soviet Union. He was released under the pressure of President John F. Kennedy. Author of "Soviet foreign propaganda," Barghoorn discusses Soviet and Chinese propaganda. He explains that the Soviet ideology is Marxist-Leninist, rather than simply a Marxist. He discusses the Soviet concept of communism at length. He references his own experience in in the Soviet Union.
Next, Dolbier introduces architect and artist Peter Blake, author of "God's own junkyard : the planned deterioration of America's landscape." Blake notes that no people in the world have a country with as much beauty, yet we are on the cusp of turning it into a slum. He discusses factors that lead to the shoddy craftsmanship of buildings - including tax laws, real estate assessments, and the role of insurance agencies such as FHA all have a hand in dictating design.
Finally, Maurine Neuberger, one of only two women in the Senate at the time, is introduced by Dolbier. Neuberger speaks about the health risks associated with smoking cigarettes. She sponsorship of one of the first bills to require warning labels on cigarette packaging. She speaks about what it is to be a politician.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71403
Municipal archives id: RT192
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
I'm the last day of October one thousand nine hundred fifty three. A distinguished American scholar and student of Soviet society. Was arrested by the Soviet state security police on a charge of espionage. And held for seventeen days until a direct intervention by the late President Kennedy resulted in his release Professor Frederick Bhagwan has said my experience may have resulted from an unusually vigorous manifestation of intensive Soviet propaganda in action. That seems likely. Similar black professor of history at Princeton says that in all likelihood Professor Bach on his reputation has an astute student of Soviet affairs accounts for his arrest and detention as a symbol of the type of investigation that the Soviet leaders seek to suppress. Professor back home was born in one thousand eleven. On the Fourth of July one wonders of the Soviet authorities were aware of that significant date. From one hundred thirty three to nine hundred forty seven he worked in the press section of the United States Embassy in Moscow then joined the faculty of university as head of the department of Soviet studies from one hundred fifty nine to nine hundred fifty one he collaborated in a project carried out in West Germany who interrogated defectors from starting his brush and to draw from this material for a study of Soviet society he was the author of Soviet Russian nationalism the Soviet image of the United States and the Soviet cultural offensive and these like his latest work Soviet for them propaganda I repeat with such penetrating knowledge and in such telling detail. That his popularity among Soviet officialdom is bound to be of no high order. May I introduce now the nun The Spy Who Came in from the cold you know Professor of Political Science and Frederick C. bottle. Book is a product I built I think of my own experience in the Soviet Union although it is of course not a personal experience book of but it's a product of my experience working in the American embassy from one thousand and forty three to forty seven I think probably everything I've ever written and everything I have ever will write on Russia. Was strongly influenced by this of this experience Admiral Kirk who was an American ambassador to the Soviet Union once remarked other Nobody ever spends a year or two in that country without being affected by it in those sorts of ways I suppose and in my case one of the effects is that I developed a strong interest in the power of propaganda and ideology and I think particularly in the fact that millions of people comes think so differently from what you were as the outsider as the Americans particularly regards as the truth or as the normal natural way to look at the world I have I began the book with a chapter on an ideology and theories of propaganda and so on and I think it's terribly important because you start with a whole set of assumptions which are very nastily different from all wrong of a result of partly from. What the Soviets gone Marxism-Leninism And I think it's very important to remember that it's not just Marxism it's Marxism Leninism and much more Leninism I think the Marxism but in any case they start partly from that but also partly from the history. Russia so that if you want to understand this book you lived would benefit also by reading something on Russian history but I'm not prescribing a course of reading at this point but there you have you have people particularly the communists the leaders who have a sense of mission. For all of mankind and they feel that they are doing you good I'm sure they felt they were doing they good because one part of their program toward me was not merely interrogation about lying alleged crimes of which were many of course but also there were lots of ideological conversations about philosophy and about. These theory or virtues of Soviet foreign policy as against American policy and so on there's always a propaganda element in everything they do including jails and courts and law and so on now they wouldn't necessarily call it propaganda always although that word in the Soviet Union is not the rather bad word that it has become in the United States on the contrary it's a very good word but they talk about propaganda and about education everything they do is part of the process of educating them kind to take to take the proper attitude toward life all right so I stress this very much and I. Have tried in the book incidentally to avoid a sensational or a strident tone because I think there's nothing more difficult to discuss than a subject like this without going off into all kinds of of extremes are going to be plenty of extreme statements made anyway but what there's really a very serious purpose behind what the Soviets are doing in this area they feel that it's part of their mission to educate the rest of mankind Now the Russian Communist feel that it's particularly the mission of the Russians to do this. They seldom are blunt about this but if you read what they have to say carefully you will every once in a while come across a pretty. Clear indication that they feel that while communists are better than one time in this Russian Communists are better than all other communist this is has become of course a very. Crucial issue in the present period as one of my colleagues at Yale remarked the other day of the Russians in their dealings with the Chinese Communist today I finally finding out what it means to have to deal with communist because because the Chinese Communist particularly in one of their most recent statements have virtually read Khrushchev at least and his immediate associates out of the Communist movement and what makes what must make it particularly galling to the Russians is that they quote Lenin as there are starting and doing it now my book won't. Enable you to understand the policy of the Chinese Communists for as current intricacies are concerned but I think that all of the basic principles that are discussed and the main propaganda themes and so on are the same other difference is well there are many differences but one is that of the Soviet communists and the Chinese communists in spite of their great. Knowledge of Marxism have come up against a basic political fact namely that somebody has to furnish a leadership and there's a problem through the locus of the stuff sorry who is the leader in this in this movement or as some have put it. When you have two two popes or two emperors in the in the ninety a logical CAMP Well. I've said quite a bit about what I tried to sort of place the book in a kind of context of my own experience now here's another main point I'd like to make about the content of the book and I'll be very brief about that because I'd like to come back to. The sort of. Ideological combat again and connected up with my own experience in Moscow again but I would like to say that a large part of the book is devoted to peace and nationalism and other major themes the Soviet start was the belief that they have the correct philosophy and the correct orientation toward life but they realize that most of their audience are going to be people who will not be converted to the full Marxist Leninist ideology so they have to present their programme in terms which people can understand and they have identified a few basic problems of the world of which pace is probably the most important single one and they claim that they that their policy is. The policy which will bring about this desired result in other words that they are the ones who can bring peace to mankind and so on but you could say a great deal in detail about that basically it's instantly amounts to this that if you accept their program you're peace loving and if you present your aggressive in a war monger and so on but it's there's a lot more to it of course the net Similarly with regard to nationalism they say that nationalism is a bad thing in the long run but it but that it's a good thing in the short run especially if the unit leaders of nationalist movements are against the United States against the American imperialists and so on and that's of course what they resisted Lavery call most of us would it go down the line with a great many other issues you start with a basic attitude a mission and then the mission is presented in terms which they think people will be able to understand now. There's also another side to all this and that's what you might call of the vulnerability side the weakness or the defensive aspect I think it's especially since the. Sort of tacit agreement on both sides that nuclear weapons are so dangerous that they cannot be lightly tossed about. The Soviets have been more strongly and more emphasizing the importance of non military means as political instruments in the world than ever before and I brought with me a quotation that I made out of a recent Soviet book which I think puts that very characteristically very well this is from a speech by the top man a top Soviet propagandist next to Khrushchev of course in the Soviet Union whoever heads of the Communist Party is the top propagandist he's the top policymakers in everything but there's a man named Lanny Delia Ciaffone who was who was the head of something which they call the ideological Commission and the last two or three years he's been probably the most important man in the Soviet Union in the field of Internet of propaganda both domestic and international not saying no editor could write an editorial or at least he couldn't do it twice let's think. Which displeased Mr Elliott show off because one of the functions of it you off is to see to it that all the newspapers follow the right line Similarly it with regard to movies or drama or book publishing and so on they all have to operate according to directives which are sent out by this man so he's very important in the daily lives as well as in the what you might call the spiritual life of the Savia people well in December one thousand nine hundred sixty one following the twenty second the Congress of the Communist Party which was the last song. Safe and off gave a speech at a special way to a logical conference because the party leadership apparently felt that the ideological front was not receiving all the attention that it needed in that there were still a lot of defects there always checking up this way and he said that we said a lot of things in fact a speech must have lasted for over six hours because it covers of the fifty five pages in this book so I am only giving you one paragraph that he said among other things that. In one nine hundred sixty sixty thousand foreign tourists that come to the Soviet Union that is worth what or as if you're not called a capitalist or an imperialist you're corked you're you're going to be called Were you want. If you're not a communist that is he said that sixty thousand tourists were what tourists came from the capitalist countries and most of them he said were honorable people but there were quite a few who were conducting espionage or who spent their time distributing and a Soviet writings. He also added and this was sort of amusing although he meant it very seriously he quoted the Wall Street Journal to the effect that the American tourist has become an intercontinental weapon of the United States well this is a somewhat odd. Characterization of the American tourist but he said that the Wall Street Journal made this statement without any embellishment. Which is a typical I think it typical Soviet touch because there's always such a high note of moral indignation in everything that they say. For example in my own case when the interrogator began questioning me and he said that he represent the interests of the proletariat and I represented the interests of words was eat which puts everything in a proper. Moral setting or on a proper moral. Plan well then a leech off of having made the statement about the tourists and so on and also paid his respects to radio broadcasts said that the Communist Party has always emphasized that peaceful coexistence could never mean and never will mean in the future the coexistence of ideologies and that comes very close to the heart of what I have said something about in the few of my earlier remarks here. There cannot be any coexistence of ideologies now in many ways this is probably specious reasoning because for example when you have the coexistence of governments which they advocate. The people who represent the different governments are also representatives of opposing ideologies so that they must be torn by. All kinds of internal contradictions on both sides even when they sit down at the table to negotiate but this is the official formula that you can have peaceful coexistence of states and social systems but you cannot have coexistence of ideologies and then he went on to say. That we are now engaged in the whole world in a struggle for the minds and hearts of many of us as sounds like a lot of books have been written in the United States to. Maybe borrow the phrase from one of them I don't know in any rate he went on to say that coexistence is a form of the class struggle and that in the present stage it is the highest form of the class struggle Well it's cuts ideas like this that I think helped to explain the campaign against foreign scholars which are referred to before. And the attempt to blacken their reputations and to accuse them of all sorts of. Sinister activities and if it also helps to explain the great. Re emphasis on all kinds of ideological activity in the Soviet Union and in the foreign policy of the Soviet Union of course it's all tied up to some insane in many ways complicated of ways with the sino Soviet conflict to but that's not really one of one My seems but you have to keep in mind or ways to in trying to understand this because they're both competing now to prove that they are the best Communists and the best Leninists and so on now he said he let you off went on to say that the enemies of communism have declared an ideological war upon the Soviet Union and perhaps people like me were considered to be in sums some small degree representatives of this alleged ideological war. And finally he asserted that. The. Most sinister weapon of the West was anti-communism. It sounds like a strange sort of statement to but on the other day and picking up another Soviet book. A book on communism as a concept and the way the Soviets are approaching it I found a whole chapter on anti-communism this is now a considered to be a very serious ideological offense as far as the West is concerned when all of this Sunday out of Lee is in some way related to. The particular incident that occurred to me now I do not pretend or ever to be able to explain or to do I'm not sure that any of these things are the full or the real explanation and some ways this situation reminds me of the old saying there's