Lincoln Gordon

Friday, June 17, 1966

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

Begins abruptly.

[Note on tape box indicates the only first 29 minutes of this program were aired on the radio due to limited air time]

Lincoln Gordon, Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affair speaks about the current state of the area. He compares Greece after WWII to Latin America today. Problems like illiteracy, poverty and ill health in the country side and slums in the city of Athens are similar to much of Latin America today. The general consensus was that the country required development and modernization - not revolution as is discusses in many Latin American countries today. He believes a violent revolution - such as the one seen in Russia, China and Mexico in 1910 is unnecessary. The violent revolution results in a huge loss of life.

He speaks specifically about cases in Peru, and contrasts that situation to the violence social revolution in Cuba.

He mentions other underdeveloped regions and the revolutions taking place there - notably in regions in Africa and Indonesia. He contrasts violent revolution to the hard work of economic development.

He holds that representational democracy is not perfect anywhere, so it is unrealistic to expect for it to be immediately viable in these underdeveloped areas. Gordon states that hybrid governments are practical and productive under given circumstances.

Gordon notes that in the past 36 years there were more than 3 coups per year in Latin America. Mexico was the only exception. It remained free under a "one-party democracy" during this time.

Discussion of plans for summit meeting for Latin America.

Program continues with impassioned speech by Victor Riesel in regard to the treatment of newsmen working in Vietnam. Some have been beaten, held captive, or not permitted to file their stories. As such, the Overseas Press Club wrote a letter to Premier Ky in protest to this brutality. A response on behalf of the Premier is read.

Questions and answers follow.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72244
Municipal archives id: T3159


Lincoln Gordon and Victor Riesel


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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.


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