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Robert Vaughn talks with Studs Terkel

BROADCAST: 1970 | DURATION: 00:45:45

Synopsis

Robert Vaughn takes time out from his Drury Lane appearance in "Tender Trap" to discuss his new book "Only Victims" with Studs Terkel. The discussion spans the years 1938 when Martin Dies became the first House Committee on Unamerican Activities (HUAC) chairman to Vice President Spiro Agnew's condemnation of the "New York Times" and "Washington Post". Vaughn created the title of his book "Only Victims" from a Dalton Trumbo speech that reflected back on the era of HUAC as being one where there were no heroes, no villains, only victims. Society was the victim because HUAC created a fear in society that voicing ones opinions would lead to labels of communism. As early as 1938, Harry Hopkins' Works Project Administration was under attack. The Federal Theater which was once considered revolutionary with its use of the "Living Newspaper" and casting of black actors in Shakespeare plays as well as integrated ones. This openness became victim to the fear of future investigations for producing socially conscious material and thus the Theater of the Absurd was created. The blacklist was created out of a fear of job loss. Advertisers, sponsors and networks were riddon with fear and created the Waldorf Agreement which meant not hiring anyone pleading the fifth or first amendment. Even with the Actors Equity and Broadway League of Theater owners position of not making the theater political but relying on talent as opposed to blacklisting the theater took a position of less controversy during this time. Only Arthur Miller's "Crucible" and "View From the Bridge" were truly thought provoking. HUAC created the 1950's silent generation that feared controversy and only discussed babies and baseball. However as the country became more affluent and war babies came of age, they could not understand how this affluence did not spread to everyone. This created the Free Speech Movement and Black Revolution. Joseph McCarthy's labels of communist did not instill fear in this generation.