Interview focuses on novelist Fast's break with the Communist Party in February 1957 after a fourteen-year membership. Agronsky begins by stating his intentions to try and understand Fast and, through him, other American writers who have joined the Communist Party. Fast says that, in 1943, the Party seemed the only way to fight for freedom from fascism, and that the greatest weapon of the Communist Party has been the idea that only through the Party can goals be achieved. When asked what is was like to be a writer in the Party, Fast replies that "you submit to an arrogant, stupid, Victorian dictatorship of thoughts," aware of the punishment that can follow violations of decreed censorship. It was fear, he says, that prompted his final break with the Communist Party. He feels that truth and acting in a democratic way, not force or violence, will destroy the Party. Fast also admits that democracy is not perfect, "and yet with its imperfections it's marvelous." In closing, Fast states, "The only honorable thing a Communist can do in our time is to leave the Communist Party forever." |
Summary from NBC program analysis files, programs file [MI], 1958I to 1958M. NBC inventory box no. 612. DLC Operation no. 57-1312. Pre-recorded September 1957 at Fast's home in Teaneck, New Jersey. Probable record date from leader and original film cans: 9/12/57. Sources used: NBC TV master books [MI], 10/13/57; Einstein, D. Special edition, 1987, p. 319-321. Received: 7/16/86; kine neg and neg trk; gift; NBC Television Collection.
1 reel of 1 (ca. 1080 ft.): si., b&w; 16 mm. kine neg. 1 reel of 1 (ca. 1080 ft.): sd.; 16 mm. neg trk. LC Call No.: FSA 4197 (kine neg) FSA 4198 (neg trk)
Episode title from NBC program analysis files, programs file [MI], 1958I to 1958M. Continuity, John Newhouse; unit manager, John Herman; technical director, Robert Waring; executive producer, Henry Salomon. Host: Martin Agronsky. Guest: Howard Fast.
Note at tail of kine neg: This program was reproduced by the Kinephoto process.