BARKER: This is an interview for the American Political Science Association and Chi Sigma Alpha Oral History Project. Uh, interviewing uh, African-American political scientists for that particular endeavor. This interview is being conducted with Professor Adolph Reed of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Arkansas, and it is being conducted by Twiley W. Barker of the University of Illinois at Chicago and uh, Jewel Prestage of the Prairie View A&M University. Uh, the interview is being conducted on March 13, 1992 at Texas Southern University's Library in Houston, Texas. First, I think it would be appropriate for uh, Adolph to tell us something about himself so that 1:00we will be able to put this interview in the appropriate perspective. And so Adolph I think we might start off with a few questions regarding your background. I know you were born in Arkansas. Would you tell us something about growing up in Arkansas.

REED: Well, it's a story that happened there, I suppose, probably one of the most unusual. If it is unusual, uh, uh, experiences I had was uh, as a sixteen year old bell hop when I began to get the feel of the blatant hypocrisy that uh, permeates American life. Um, (coughs) there was the--the bell captain, I thought he was an old man, and he was about thirty or so. And uh, he had a convertible and uh, flashy clothes and so forth and--and he and I become friendly shooting pool. I was--could shoot pool better than the average guy in the pool room but not good enough for the real shooters. And uh, one Friday evening he asked me if I wanted to make some money, and I asked him, doing what? And he said he needed a boy to work from four to twelve on Friday 2:00night, Saturday night and perhaps Sunday night. And the first, um--and he explained nothing to me. I rode down on to the place and he gave me my little monkey suit, uh, at a hotel in Little Rock. And um, I stood waiting for the desk clerk to--to tap the bell. And my first two customers--I discovered later as they got on the elevator--uh, one was a big shot in the state legislature, and the other was a big farmer in eastern Arkansas. And the short one--the--the farmer was the--the talkative one. And we got on the elevator and he said, "Boy we want um--we want rooms next to each other." And I got them adjacent rooms and I did what I had seen in the movies. I got them some water, hung up their clothes and said, "May I get you something else?" And he--he said, "Yes, boy, we want two girls." And he described the color of hair and the size. "And two bottles of bourbon." And--and uh, I began to perspire. And I said, "Sir, I don't know anything about that. I'll go find Harry the bell captain." And when I found Harry, he said, 3:00"Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you. That's where you make your money." He said, "You tell those snakes," as he referred to them behind their backs. He said, "You tell those snakes that uh, I'll have two school teachers up there in a couple of hours." He said, "Now as far as the bourbon is concerned." He said, "I have it down here in my--uh, in my uh--uh, quarters here. And uh, I'll sell it to you for seven dollars a bottle." And, I think, in the store, they sell them for about three dollars a bottle as I remember. And uh, I found out later that Harry was a good American. He was buying it for a dollar a bottle from the delivery boy in the liquor store who would steal it and sell it to him for a dollar a bottle.

BARKER: So Adolph, you were introduced very quickly into the system and how it worked--

REED: Yes.

BARKER: --uh, in--in the U.S..

REED: Right.

BARKER: Would you tell us a little something before we go any further along that line, I know you've got some very interesting ideas, uh, in that uh, uh, area. Uh, something about your--your family background, your mom, your dad and uh, brothers and sisters and what have you.


REED: Yeah. I had uh, uh, an older brother and two sisters older, uh, by my father's first marriage and their mother had died. And then I had um, a younger brother and myself, and my father was a, uh, very intelligent man. He--uh--he uh--the first time I heard of H.L. Mencken was through him and he subscribed to Mencken's magazine, American Mercury I think it was called. And he used to talk to me about uh, politics, um, about Herbert Hoover and some other things. And I remember once, um, I wasn't ten years of age, and we were uh, passing by a--a white church as they call it, uh, one Sunday evening. And the people in there were singing about how they loved Jesus and he said to me that um--he said, "If religion made any sense the--the white people would never let the negroes have it. And the rich people would never let the poor people have it." He said, "They never let them have a damn thing else that made any sense." And he said, "Don't you ever tell your mother which I--what I said," which I never did. But the more I stay 5:00around there, uh, the more I think he made a lot of sense there. Uh, I'd make jokes about it in class. That uh, I had a friend who had been a bomber pilot in Luftwaffe and he--uh, American citizen when I knew him. And uh, one New Year's Eve night--and we were living in the same complex in Washington when--uh--and he came over to my place one New Year's Eve night, and asked me how the United States won the war? And I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "God was on our side, the German side." And I said, "How do you figure that out?" And he said, "We loaded up the bombers and taxied down the runway and um, the chaplain would give us the hocus pocus," as he called it. "We would fly up into the wild blue yonder and burn up people we've never seen. Never would see. People who had never done anything to us. And those who were fortunate enough to make it back, the chaplain would take us into the prayer room and thank God for our safe return. And among other things during that prayer, he would say, "Thou shalt not kill." And I said to myself, "Thou shalt not kill what? I'm a professional killer." I said, "Well buddy, your chaplain didn't understand the right message." 6:00I said, "These dummies here figured out that God was on their side and they must have been right because your fuel ran out before theirs did."

JEWEL: Uh, Professor Reed.

REED: Yeah.

JEWEL: I know that uh, you uh, spent your early childhood in Dumas, Arkansas.

REED: Yeah.

JEWEL: I read something recently about the role that your father played in the establishment of the high school there. Could you uh, tell us a little bit about Dumas, Arkansas? Your elementary and secondary education before you got out into the world of experience as you have been uh-

REED: Well, it's--

JEWEL: --describing.

REED: --it's interesting. Uh, I went to Little Rock to high school. And uh, in those days the uh--there were very few high schools even that carried the name public high schools.

BARKER: Was it the famous uh, Mann High School?

REED: No, it was Dunbar.

BARKER: Dunbar, okay.

REED: It was before Mann.

BARKER: I guess Mann was in the uh--was in the desegregation period?

REED: Yeah that's right. Yeah. Dunbar was there, and there--and interesting thing is that Dunbar High School has a national 7:00organization. The--the--the--the alumni meet every year at some place. I don't remember where they met last year. I think it was in Denver. It was in Denver as I recall, and uh, I had a cousin there at the Little Rock High School Dunbar who filed suit, uh, for equalization of teachers pay, the blacks and whites. And she--

JEWEL: What year was that? Do you remember--

REED: That must have been--

JEWEL: --possibly?

REED: --1942, I think, yeah. Her--her name is--is uh, Susan--Sue Williams. I--I'll see her when I get back to Little Rock. Uh, she had surgery recently. And um, she was fired right on the spot. Well, some people say that Little Rock was not--uh or--or Dumas, Arkansas, whatever, that Arkansas was--was--Jim Prothro and Don Mathews said once in a book that, Arkansas represented the peripheral South. Or whatever they called it, I don't remember now. But uh, if the rest of it was any worse uh, I--I wouldn't want to be around it, I'll tell you. Um, and the um, uh--the experiences there uh--going back to this bell hop 8:00thing. And uh, probably one of the reasons that I've developed a kind of an--uh, I guess a pseudo-intellectual cynicism. Uh, stemming from that exp--and by the way those two girls, let me come back to that. Those two school teachers, they had a bacchanalian orgy that weekend. And when I got ready to leave that night, the first night, Friday night, I guess it was about midnight. And uh, I took them some food, I guess, and I said, "Would--can I get you something else. I'm going off duty." And the little talkative one uh, said uh, "No, you--you you ain't going off duty." He said, "I'm going to tell that Jew boy down there on the desk, uh, that you going to stay here and wait on us." And this Jew boy thing that he was referring to was uh--I'd become friendly after a fashion with this man. And he was in medical school at Little Rock. He was from New York City. And uh, he told me that uh, the only two medical schools that admitted him were the University of Arkansas and, I think, said, the University of Alabama.


JEWEL: Um-hm.

REED: There was a quota in those days, an official quota, on the number of Jews that medical schools and dental schools and uh, and law schools and perhaps other uh, professional schools. Uh, but uh, be--beginning with that sort of experience, uh, I got to know people in the wide variety of uh--well, you call the American social kaleidoscope to a very great extent.

BARKER: Okay, now, Adolph at--at the high school, Dunbar High School--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --was there a decent college prep uh, course of study?

REED: That's an interesting question Twiley. Uh, yes, we had the teachers--we had very good teachers. Um, and uh, quite a number of the students from there (coughs) went to uh, some uh, of the so-called better negro colleges. Down at uh, Talladega, I think, that was one of the favored places by the way. And the um--uh, they had a loyalty to the school that uh, is, uh, I think, very unusual. The idea of a 10:00high school having a national alumni association it alw--always struck me as being a little unusual. I have only gone to one of their uh, um, annual meetings and that one was in Little Rock. But um, uh, the people had an affinity for this and had an affinity for the teachers, and I don't recall that they had what they call a, um, college preparatory system per se. But this is really what it amounted to. They encouraged the children to go to college.

BARKER: Yeah, okay.

JEWEL: Professor Reed--

REED: Um-hm.

JEWEL: --you went from Dumas, Arkansas to Little Rock, because there was no high school--

REED: Yeah.

JEWEL: --for negroes--

REED: Yeah.

JEWEL: --in Dumas.

REED: Yeah.

JEWEL: What percentage of the students from Dumas, Arkansas got that same opportunity?

REED: Off the top of the head, I would say far less than 10 percent. Yeah. Far less than 10 percent. Yeah. Maybe 5 percent. And this was true uh, in--in--I might say here, Dunbar High School, um--gee; we 11:00had no gymnasium. We played basketball in a lodge temple with the post out in the middle of the floor. And I don't know how many guys I had crammed their heads into these posts, because they didn't understand what was going on. (laughs) And the football--uh, the football equipment, the--the people would have bake sales. And one occasion I recall they sent us some--some um, equipment from over at what is now called Central High School. Then it was called Little Rock High School. There were only two high schools in--in Little Rock. One for negroes. One for whites. And they sent us the equipment from over there after the shoulder pads and other stuff had worn off. They sent it over to us to play. Yeah. And this was, of course, part of my--my experience with the separate but equal doctrine that uh pervad--pervaded society.

BARKER: Now, your father--

JEWEL: Tell me about the availability of books--

REED: Uh--

JEWEL: --at the school?

REED: At the school? Uh, as I recall, uh, some of the teachers, um, 12:00encouraged the students to read and they--there wasn't--there weren't, um, there weren't an awful lot of uh, varieties of books as I recall. More in the textbook uh--textbook syndrome as I recall it. Yeah. Yeah.

BARKER: Now, your father thought enough of a need for education to send you to Dunbar High School--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --in Little Rock.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: Uh, and undoubtedly from there, he decided he didn't want you to stop at high school.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: And so what was the decision about going on to--to college?

REED: Uh, well, he had been at the University of Kansas himself. And uh, I might amplify this just a bit. Um, there--he--well, he--he thought, and my mother thought also of course that uh, going to college had a good deal of merit in order to try and beat the system. Uh, and he liked dealing with ideas and books himself, as I said, 13:00uh, he--he used to subscribe to Mencken's magazine. And I remember after I started reading this magazine as a teenager, I said, "Why didn't they kill him back in those days?" When some of the things that Mencken would say about his contemporaries, uh, Calvin Coolidge, and uh, William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson and all of these people. And he said, "Well first of all, who ever heard of Mencken?" You--you understand. And he said, "The establishment people," I don't know that he used the word establishment, but that's what it amounted to. He said, "They can always say that uh, we tolerate criticism, and look at Mencken." He said, "But nobody had ever heard of him." You know, back in those days in the twenties and thirties. And um, he--uh, he was quietly a very--a very great admirer of Du Bois, uh, in many ways. But I remember he told me that uh, and during World War I when Du Bois was uh, editor of the crisis the NACP's uh, principle organ, that Du Bois was uh, recommending that negro volunteer to go to Europe to 14:00prove that they could fight. And he said, he wrote Du Bois a letter and he said to him in substance that--uh--oh, I guess, direct words as I recall. He said, "If the negro soldiers would bring the Kaiser's head back home on a plate like John the Baptist it wouldn't make any difference." And um, many years later my son found that letter in some of Du Bois' papers as I recall. But uh, he--he was very quiet about these things, but he--he had a handle on it. And uh, in--in many ways, he--he realized. And I remember one experience. We had some neighbors who were poorer than we were, and white neighbors. And uh, one Thanksgiving the man of the house, uh, had been uh, arrested the night before Thanksgiving for urinating on the street. He was drunk. And uh, Thanksgiving morning it was raining uh, uh, very uh, profusely. And uh, the--the lady came over and asked my father if he would take 15:00her down to the jail to take her husband some dinner. And my mother was furious. She said that they'd been free and white and, uh, you know, all this sort of thing. And when he went down to the jail that morning he, I think as I recall it they had about eight children. And the guy was working for a compress of rolling bales of cotton for about two dollars a day, if that much. And I'd seen the children out really in cold weather barefooted. And um, my father talked to somebody there to get the man out of jail. And he said that this official told him. He said, "Reed, I don't know why you would fool with that poor white trash. He isn't worth the powder it'd take to blow him up." And years later when I was a teenager my father told me. He said, "Your mother didn't understand this." He said, that the people who run this thing didn't care anymore about him and his family than they do about us. And that impressed me, really impressed me. And I--I began looking at those kinds of things myself then.

JEWEL: Obvious--obviously your father had great influence on your intellectual development. Tell us something about your mother--


REED: Well--

JEWEL: --and her influence.

REED: --my mother did too. My mother had been to college at--at uh, down in New Orleans at Straight College, I think, they called in those days. Is that right? Yeah. And uh, they merged later on with--and formed Dillard as I recall.

BARKER: N.L.U. and they formed Dillard.

REED: Yeah. Um-hm. And um, she had some attitudes about this which uh, her attitudes were a little different than my father. She had kind of a bourgeois attitude there if I might say it that way. (laughs) And she uh--she thought it was really a--a white and black circumstance, and um, uh, I had an uncle--he's my uncle by law, uh, but I was always closer to him than I was any blood uncle really. And he had a lot of influence uh, on me. Uh, he had a little dead wagon business as he called it. And he really--

JEWEL: Translate that for us please?

REED: Well, it's a funeral--(laughs)--he called it a dead wagon business. And uh, he uh--he used to tell me as man and boy that uh, if the preachers had even known what he really thought of them, they never would have let him plant one as he put it. Uh, he said he 17:00couldn't stand the sight of them. Uh, he would sit out in the wagon, no matter how hot or how cold and the man who worked with him, a man named Glasgow. would go in and open the casket and whatever they do in there. But uh, he--he had a lot of influence on me and so did his wife, my mother's sister, uh, who's very, very nice. And they'd-- they'd all been to college. My mother had a brother who had been uh, medical school at uh--at the University of Michigan. And uh, uh, he'd never had an awful lot of influence with me and looking back on it I've talked with uh, some of his other uh, nieces and nephews and said, he'd never really talked much about encouraging people. And I--and looking back on it as I've said to a cousin of mine, very dear to me, uh, that he was living in such circumstances there in this small town Udora, Arkansas. Uh, and he told me when he got out of medical school, my mother and his mother conned him into coming back and said they needed a negro physician, and they told me an experience that he had had there back in the early 1930's. He said one night he got a call from 18:00a prominent white merchant there in town, little town, around midnight. And the man asked him if he could come and look at his wife. And he said, he told this man. He said, "Mr. Schwartz, my friend Milloy, a dentist, a negro dentists in a town named McGehee, Arkansas had been murdered by Klu Klux Klan a few months earlier. Uh, he--he was treating some white patients, and uh, women patients." And my uncle told me that this guy was an excellent uh, dentist and that's why the women went to him, because the other dentist they had in town was a quack. So he said, when he told this man uh, that he was apprehensive about coming and treating his wife and he's--there was one white physician in town and he--recommended this man. And he said, "Why don't you go to Dr. Par, why don't you call Dr. Par." And he said the man, as I remembered it like it happened this morning. He said the man said, "Dr. Patterson," He said, "You are a real physician." He said, "Par doesn't know what the hell he's doing." He said, "My wife is ill. She doesn't have a bad cold." Said, "She's really ill and I want you to 19:00come see her." So the way he said it to me. He said, "Now, here I am between the devil and the deep. If I don't go, he can get me. And if I do go, he can get me." And so looking back on it, that was the kind of strain he lived under, you know, and so some of his other nieces and nephews criticized him for not, you know, not helping them up there.

JEWEL: What--

BARKER: You went to Fisk--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --for your undergraduate?

REED: Yeah.


REED: He went--my uncle went there too.

BARKER: Yes. Would you tell us something about that kind of, I know, that elite--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --kind of pride that liberal arts colleges for black people at the time and some of the important teachers under whose influence you probably fell?

REED: Yeah. One of them, beyond any doubt, was a man named Theodore Courier. He came down from Harvard to teach one summer and never went back. And uh, some--he had some prominent students there, one 20:00of them a historian, uh, John Hope Franklin and Constance Motley, the federal jurist in New York, and some other people. But I remember at a fish dinner for him uh, while he was still active and very, uh, very alert and what not, John Hope Franklin arranged a fish dinner for him over in Nashville and people from all over the world, from Europe came back. And one guy has said that uh--he said "Ted Courier taught me on the only D I ever had, but I couldn't miss this." He came back from Germany. And um, he was uh--uh, John Franklin always said that he was the best teacher by far that he ever had. And uh--he and I had a lifelong friend--friendly relationship and people who knew us well, never could understand why we got along so well when we argued most of the time. And one of the reasons uh, for that, I think, was something several people told me that they--some--his other students uh, always deferred to him as their great professor and I never did that. Uh, 21:00he and I would just argue and argue all of the time about everything that came up. And some people told me he really appreciated that. And there was some other people. I had knew some of the people who were- -who had been um, um, very much involved in the Harlem Renaissance. Uh, Anna Bontom who is a librarian over there and uh, Aaron Douglas the--the--the--the uh, painter and uh, John Works, uh, the music man, and they had people and then there were quite a number as missionaries. Uh, whites around at that time. And I might say this. Uh, I don't know that this is um--this is accurate, but I--this is the impression I have. I think that--that Fisk had less of this snobbery than some other places like Morehouse College and uh, um, Howard University in those days. I--I'm not sure of that. There is no way this can be quantified. But that--that's the impression I have. It was--uh, they had--they had some--some really jerks, cookes, around there. But I don't think they had as many as they had in other places.

BARKER: Um-hm.

JEWEL: Did you have uh, student colleagues at Fisk who had an influence 22:00on you?

REED: Um, well, let me see, I--maybe, I can't remember off hand. Uh, uh--I think the person who influenced me more than anything else was- -was Ted Courier. But there was a fellow named Nat Williams, Jewel. I think you knew Nat. Yeah. Nat and I were friendly there. And um, uh, we've remained life long friends. Um, and uh, I think Nat and I--Nat had a little influence on me. And then there was a (laughs) girl there, um, uh, Barbara Dawson who's father was a congressman. And--and he and my uncle had been in school together at Fisk. Uh, I might say this--

BARKER: That's Bill Dawson's daughter?

REED: Yeah. Bill Dawson.

BARKER: Chicago.

REED: Barbara. Yeah. Um-hm. Yeah Bill Dawson's daughter Barbara. Yeah. And um--uh, when my uncle got into medical school, this is--may be an interesting story, uh, he had been working every summer on the Pullman cars. Running mainly between Chicago and Detroit. And he had come to know this guy. Didn't know what his uh--his official capacity 23:00was. He knew he lived in Ann Arbor. And he said that the summer he graduated from down in Nashville he went to work on the--that summer on the railroad. And this guy asked him. He said, "Pat what are you going to now that you uh, graduated from college?" He said, "I'd like to go to medical school." So he said the guy told him, he said, "When you get back to Detroit, come over to Ann Arbor and see me." He gave him his number. And he found out that this man was director of admissions at University of--

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: So he said they had a spot for two negroes. And uh, he said that he called his buddy in St. Louis, a fellow named Flowers. And he said, "You get the first thing smoking and come here." And he said he doesn't know whether they ever sent for his transcript. They had a--a spot for two negroes. And he said, He called his buddy Flowers and said, "You can take the first thing smoking out of here and come up." And they both signed up as the two negroes. Yeah.

JEWEL: Now, was your education at Fisk interrupted by World War II?

REED: Yeah. Yeah.

JEWEL: Would you tell us a little bit about that particular experience?

REED: Well, in that experience I had a very good friend whom both of 24:00you've met. Uh, uh, became a good friend of mine, George Johnson. And um, I knew I was going to get drafted so I went to Chicago and I was trying to figure out a way to beat this draft, and um--and um, uh, I don't want to say this; I missed two draft calls and one morning, the FBI man came and asked me why I hadn't answered the draft, and I told him I couldn't find my way to 51st street. And when I got down there I saw some FBI men had brought in my friend George uh, Johnson. Uh, I was--I--I was talking to a mutual friend's son today about this. I'm--I'm off--I was always really turned off by this thing here about this patriotism. I didn't see any point in uh--in uh--in an apartheid society of--I didn't see that the Germans represented any--any real problem for me. And I had promised my mother and my aunt, whom I mentioned earlier, that um, I would not desert. And then after the 25:00war was over. I told them, I said, "Now I would have deserted if it started toward the Pacific. I wasn't going out there in those jungles with that malaria, and typhoid and all that." I said, "I thought I had a chance in Europe of going to cities." But the um, the--the experiences in the military, to me, I--I didn't have many unpleasant personal experiences, but the whole system in an apartheid society as a lady in France told me. She spent a good bit of time here in this country as a--as a movie script writer. And she said, "You know, Americans must think the Europeans are the most--dumbest breed that ever were invented." She said, "In World War I they sent a Jim Crow army from an apartheid society to make the world safe for democracy. A generation later they came back with another Jim Crow army from the same apartheid society. And that time they were going to make--uh, free the world from the racial arrogance of Nazis." And her point was that she didn't think that um, anybody in Washington saw any--any uh, contradictions in 26:00these positions. Well, a mutual friend of the three of us here, Henry Cobb, used to say uh, that uh, "In Calvinism the word is the deed. You express some high sounding uh, belief in some great principle here, and your behavior has nothing to do with your words, your expressions."

BARKER: Okay. Uh, Ted Courier was a historian?

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: All right. Did he also handle some political science or were there--

REED: Yeah. Yeah. He--

BARKER: --political science people?

REED: Yeah. He did it all himself--

BARKER: He did it all himself--

REED: --for a long time.

BARKER: --for a while.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: So he turned you on to politics?

REED: That's right. That's--well, my father had turned me--but Ted turned me on to it. Yeah.

BARKER: Right. Systematic study of politics?

REED: Yeah. That's right. Um-hm.

BARKER: Okay. All right.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: You graduated from Fisk--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --and then there is the graduate school--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --business. All right. Would you tell us a little something about that?

REED: Well, at New York University, uh, I got to know some people. And there was a little restaurant there down in the village uh, called Bruno's. And uh, and there's another one over on 8th street called 27:00Winston's. And such people as Ernest Hemingway and uh, Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times used to hang out in. And I would sit and listen at these people. I might say one other thing. When I was in the military, I got to know uh, Jimmy Kennon the famous uh, sportswriter in New York. And he was a very nice man. Very nice--very nice to me. And um, I used to sit and listen to people like this talk about politics and uh, uh, express all kinds of cynicism. And um, then I began watching some of these--some of the things they would say. Uh, the contradictions between these high sounding ideals and--well, uh, Twiley--well, uh, both of you know my friend, George Johnson, who was in the policy business. And one night there back in the early seventies, he and I were coming in from a baseball game at Comiskey Park and there was um--there was a--a--a replay of a excerpt from a speech an alderman had made earlier in the evening. And the theme 28:00of the speech was "We must stop this graft and corruption that's destroying the image of our great city of Chicago." And George said, "Do you hear that bum." He said, "I took him twenty big ones down there Tuesday morning." You understand. And you get to see--well, in--in--in New York there, I got to know people, um, as I said in somewhat of an American kaleidoscope. I knew some people on the fringes of the underworld and I worked for a while in the New York State Department of labor. And the judge for whom I worked was a very nice man, a Republican. And uh, he knew that I was interested in politics and uh, when he would have a--what is it a hundred dollar plate, five, whatever it was, dinner. One of these dinners. He would give me a ticket to go, you know, go to listen what these people were saying. And um, when I left New York and went down to Washington at American University in the evening, and um, um, I got to know some people there and see the differences between the high sounding ideals and behavior. Yeah. It made--it made be a little bit, I hope not grotesquely cynical, but a 29:00little bit intellectually cynical.

BARKER: Now, how long did you stay at NYU?

REED: Oh, about two years.

BARKER: About two years.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: All right. And who were some of the professors under whom you studied?

REED: Well, the one that I remembered best of all is a history teacher, Wallace Ferguson. Uh, he had a little influence on me too, I might say.

BARKER: Um-hm, yeah.

REED: The--in the political science there was a guy named Gerrard and another guy, God I can't remember his name now. I--I--I can visualize them, but I can't remember him. But they made no impression at all. It was more just straight textbook uh, stuff which I found very boring and non--nonsensical, to be quite frank.

BARKER: Did you write a master's thesis in the process of your stay at NYU?

REED: No, I did at uh, American University.

BARKER: At American. All right. So you switched from NYU to--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --to Washington.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: From New York to Washington two really--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --centers of political power.

REED: Yeah. And when I was dealing--uh, the Ph.D. thesis thing, which was uh, you know, I was working on was a history of the American Labor Party in New York City from uh, 1934 to 1954. And I found out some 30:00interesting things about this. I interviewed uh, uh, Vito Marc Antonio several times.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: And um, I interviewed um, uh--what was his name? What was Eisenhower's first secretary of--I mean, press secretary, what was his name?

JEWEL: Jim Haggard.

REED: Jim Haggard, his father, who was a long time uh, uh, political writer for the New York Times on New York state politics. And he was a wonderful man. And I wrote him and told him--I was in Washington, and I wrote him and told him I was working on this thing with--with the American Labor Party and he wrote me right back. And he told me when to come see him. And when I got there, about uh, four days later as I recall, he had his secretary to write a forty-four page brief for me. And it was um, uh--this was during the time--uh yeah. I'll tell you what, uh, DeSapio had replaced uh--

BARKER: Carmine--

REED: Carmine DeSapio. Yeah. And uh, DeSapio had replaced uh, the Irish Monopoly on the Tammany Hall thing. And I was thinking, I don't 31:00how to thank Mr. Haggard and he treated me just like, um, you know, had known me all my life. In fact, when I was leaving him, he said, "When you get back to Washington, uh, go by and see Jim. And tell him you talked to me." Like I can walk into the White House. That's the kind of guy he was. But I remember the New York State Convention uh, was uh, going and he took me over to see this. And he told me what was going to happen before we got over there. He said um, "Young Franklin Roosevelt, Franklin Junior, was vying to be governor." And he said uh, "What he doesn't understand is that he can't count." He said, "He's been upstate and he's lined up some oppositions against Tammany Hall." You know, that sort of thing they used to do. And he said, "What he doesn't understand is that by the time they hit the Bronx county line, they better have a five hundred thousand vote majority." He said, "Because from there on in when they hit the Bronx County line--" He said, "Uh, DeSapio and his people are going to take over." And he said, "When we go over to this convention, uh, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt 32:00is going to get up there and have her ADA types and they're going to parade around and after a little while. And then DeSapio is going to call a--call the vote." And he said, "Not only are they going to do that to young Frank. They're going to deny him the governorship." But he said, "They're going to let him run for attorney general against Jake Jabitz. And unlike confederate money, he will never rise again." And God, that was just exactly what happened.

BARKER: Adolph, in your graduate experience, uh, you were studying in the fifties--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --when the so-called behaviorist approach--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --uh, uh, was uh, spreading in political science. Uh, what were some of the kinds uh, of issues that uh, were uppermost in uh, that period in your study, uh, that uh, you remember and what were some of the kinds of debates going on in terms of the nature of research in 33:00the discipline?

REED: One of the professors I had was Harold Gosnell.

BARKER: Harold Foote Gos--

REED: Yeah. Harold Foote Gosnell. Yeah. And another was uh, Graves um, and Gosnell I--

JEWEL: Public administration.

REED: Yeah. Um-hm. And uh--

BARKER: Was it W. Brooke Graves?

REED: Yeah. Um-hm.


REED: Yeah. And um, one of them was--a man--man--a guy named Nicholas De Toqueville from the University of Paris and the Sorbonne. He was a descendant of De Toqueville and he didn't--he never used that around the people who, uh, you know, he--he used to come out to my house and my wife would make some gumbo and stuff. And uh--some of the people around the--the Daughters of the American Revolution and all they would invite him to speak. He told me a very interesting story about that and--but I suppose the man who influenced me most was Palmer Piltcher, uh, who--who later was uh, vice-president for academic affairs there and um--at Fayetteville, Arkansas. And uh, he asked me--uh, you as I 34:00was visiting at the University of California, around at San Diego and he called me. And he said uh, "I know you're apprehensive about this." He said, "But we have a program where you will get to Europe every other year." And I said--he said, "I know you want to get to Europe every sum." Uh, but uh, one of the things that uh--Gosnell in his um--I think one of the classes I had with him was what, some public opinion measurement or something. And Gosnell was way off on to the--he was a very nice man. But he was way off on to this uh, measurement thing you know. And uh this was in its--uh, its incipient stages, I suppose. And I might--uh, I used to talk with him about this. And um, it was my impression to be quite frank about it, that back in the 1930's-- what? What--what? Okay. When he and uh--and uh, Harold Lasswell and uh, Paul Lazarsfeld and some of the students VOP out of the University of Chicago. When they began this, I think that Lasswell's point was, he wanted to get away from the um--of studying government and politics from the prospective of statutes and that types of things. But I 35:00think its been corrupted over the years--see its gone on--our mutual friend there, uh, Mack Jones' son, was just telling me that about his experience in Iowa right now.

BARKER: Yeah, okay.

[Pause in recording.]

REED: Yeah you know--

[Pause in recording.]

BARKER: We are continuing with the interview with Adolph Reed for the oral history project of the American Political Science Association. Adolph, um we were talking about your graduate work at American University and some of the professors under whom you worked. And some of the issues of the day in graduate education. And uh, I wanted to see what you uh, did in terms of the master's project uh before uh--we proceed any further.

REED: Well, this was on the American Labor Party and I was expanding that into a Ph.D. thing.

BARKER: Oh, so you did a masters degree with that--


REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --and continued to expand it on the American labor party.

REED: Yeah.


REED: Yeah.

BARKER: All right. Did you stop after got the M.A. or you went straight on through working on the Ph.D.?

REED: I went on--went straight on through.

BARKER: You went straight on through it?

REED: Yeah. Um-hm.

BARKER: Working on the Ph.D. Okay. Um, in addition to Harold Foote Gosnell, you were talking about, who were some of the other professors under whom you--

REED: Well, interestingly one of the men was a--uh, he was a--a um, a guest lecture--well, they had around Washington those days, so-called adjunct professors. And it was Gerhard Comb who was the father--who's often considered to have been the father of the gross national product concept.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: Uh, Gerhard Comb. I don't know whether you remember him, and um, uh, uh, there was a guy named, oh God, Eli Nobleman who was chief of staff to uh, some congressman. I can't remember who it was now, and then, they had um, guest lecturers such as the--an interesting night. 37:00I remember the ambassador from South Africa, uh, who addressed the seminar, and uh, he and I got into a very spirited discussion then. It's--as I think I mentioned earlier. Nicholas De Toqueville from uh, the Sorbonne uh, had--had invited him over for--and that's one of the nice things about Washington I might say. Is that--uh, that they had all kinds of people, you know, come in as guest lecturers and so forth. And uh, Hubert Humphrey was one. And I had two very close friends who were on Hubert Humphrey's staff. One was Juanita Terry. A lady, she married a friend of mine named Bobby. And uh, Cyril King, you might remember Cyril. Hu--Hu--Hubert helped to get him to be the governor of the Virgin Islands. And uh, Cyril just adored Hubert Humphrey and interestingly, they died within, I believe, thirty days of each other. Both with cancer. And I--yeah. But uh--Gosnell, and I used to talk 38:00to him quite a bit out--outside of class. He was really working for the CIA then--

[Pause in recording.]

BARKER: Okay. Now we got it.

REED: Got it. Okay. Uh, one of the students I had that time wrote a very interesting, uh, he became--

[Pause in recording.]

REED: Got it? Uh, Henry Wilkins, uh, reported to Laurence Davis that I was making comments in class that were un-American. That I was uh, making comments that were not Christian. And that I was assigning things to read that were un-American. And those--those things included The Nation magazine. (laughs) And--and--and I have stolen biweekly, must have stolen it biweekly. And uh, Laurence Davis--he didn't know- -Henry Wilkins didn't know that Laurence Davis, you know, knew me quite well. And I--I would see him usually only at the airport in Little Rock. But once we were in the airport in Little Rock I was on my way 39:00to Washington. I think he was on his way to New York or vice versa. And he said, "You know Henry Wilkins came to me the other day and told me that you were giving assignments that were un-American and so forth." And I said, "Oh, gee." And uh, years later I told Henry Wilkins after he--we'd become friends, you know, and I said Laurence told me. And he said, "Yeah. I admit that." He said I went in and reported you, you know that you were not saying the things that he had been taught, you know in civics classes on. But um, some of the students, a few of them, I remember Wilkins said I had a few. But I tell you the truth, the approach--you know the way I approach is uh, a reasonably informal way. And I would--in order to try to get their attention I would say something about religion and--and the bible belt you know. That--that would get them all in a--up, all up tight then.

BARKER: Was--was--was--was there at least an interest in going uh, beyond the kind of uh, level of courses you offered. Probably a lot of 40:00American national government.

REED: Yeah

BARKER: Maybe a little com--

[Pause in recording.]


REED: And yeah. There--there were some who--who expressed an interest. And then I came to um--the way I got to sell them that was interesting. Uh, they'd opened a branch down at New Orleans, and my wife's mother and father wanted her close to home. So they asked me--and I got along pretty well with Laurence Davis, I had problems with some other people and not with Laurence Davis. And um, I went to see about Suno and um, Rodney Higgins, I met Rodney, and he--he said "Well um, we would like for you to come here to Baton Rouge." So--all right. And then I met all of you people there that, you know, are life long friends. You and Jewel and Henry Carpenter and Saul etc., 41:00and um, Luther Higgins. And, um, at the end of that year it's really interesting. Uh--oh, God, yes, some of the problems I had there too with students you might recall. By the end of that year, uh, Ronnie told me, he said, "If you come here and stay for a year and then you can go down there to New Orleans, next year." So I told my mother-in- law this. I said, "Uh, oh yeah what happened with Rodney--

[Pause in recording.]

BARKER: Go ahead.

REED: See, that other brother, Humphrey's son-in-law Mack was at a picnic or something--an--an alpha picnic or something--Bashful told him that I didn't want to come to New Orleans, I wanted to stay at Baton Rouge. So it really irked me a little bit and um, uh, I said, "Well, if you want to believe Bashful, and you never even seen Bashful. You listen what" uh--at--at Baton Rouge, I remember, I had this girl, God what is her name. She used to be over at uh, Tuskegee. I don't know whether she still is. And Jewel said--God what is, I can't remember her name now. Bright but a very, uh, say, shy girl. Lula--Lula--God--



REED: Uh was that her name? Yeah. Okay. And Jewel said that the--the first--before she went into her first class at Tuskegee she called Jewel and asked her. Crying and--and asked her what she could do in the class. And Jewel said, "Well, with whom did you have the American Government class here?" And she told 'em she had it with me. And Jewel said, "Well just do what he did." And she said Lula started crying. She said, "I can't do that." You know what I'm saying, "I can't do--oo that." Jewel called me and told me. But uh, the experience there at Baton Rouge as you will know better than I do. We had such a good experience there. And I had some very good students, you know. But 43:00some of them were uh, as I was joking with you and Jewel today, about the girl now who is with the NACP Legal Defense Fund, Margaret Ford.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: Um, and uh, she--well she said that, I thought that we were going to have some good teachers. And I said, "Well you have to rise above that." Boy I had some good students there if you remember some of them, and--and a very good environment, uh.

BARKER: That was a great period, uh, and you may recall that one of our interesting, uh, operations together was a kind of a--

[Pause in recording.]

BARKER: --research effort with uh, uh, Jimmy Prothro.

REED: Oh, yeah.

BARKER: Don Mathews.

REED: Don--

BARKER: You want to recount that--that experience for us?

REED: Oh, yeah.

[Pause in recording.]

REED: Is it moving? Uh, if you remember I had a new car then and we went over to Tylertown, Mississippi. And um, when we got there you had a list of some people that we were supposed to see. And the first house, if you remember, was this uh, retired school principal. He walked on a little hill, and it was about eight o'clock in the morning. And he said, "You boys are not with the NACP are you?" And--and you said, "No sir." And he said, "Well, I'm glad to hear that because you've been on 44:00the radio. The sheriff's radio since you have hit the county line." I said, "Let's get the hell out of here."

BARKER: What Adolph is talking about here is that uh, Don Mathews and- -and--and Jim Prothro were doing some field research for their work on the New Southern Politics.

REED: Negroes and New Southern Politics.

BARKER: Negroes and New Southern Politics.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: And they had uh, the University of Michigan Survey Research Center to do some mass interviewing and then they had determined who the uh, quote, "negro leaders" were in Walthall county Mississippi a zero participation county as far as blacks were concerned. And they had decided it would make uh, uh, research sense, uh, for us to administer the instrument, and do the interviewing. Uh, we might get, as black people, uh, talking to black people. We might get uh, a clearer uh, response uh, from uh, the interviewees. And so we became 45:00the interviewers and we went into Mississippi. This is what Adolph is talking about.

REED: Yeah, gee. And you remember we went to see the undertaker, and we had to park a block away and come up through the alley. The undertaker was so afraid of what would happen. And um, God when we left that night, that evening, and we didn't know what had happened to Prothro and Mathews interviewed the so-called white leaders. And they had to stay up all night long and afraid somebody, and there was some wealthy woman if you remember, who had been contacted by the research center in Michigan. And she got the sheriff as is the case in of all of--a few families run the whole thing. Got the sheriff to lay off--to stay off of them.

BARKER: You remember we had said, give us a contact in case we get into some difficulty.

REED: Um-hm. Um-hm.

BARKER: And this lady's name was given to us.

REED: Yeah, the name was given to us. Yeah.

BARKER: There was another interesting thing about this--this too. 46:00Adolph, you may remember that uh, uh, that afternoon, or early afternoon we got lost.

REED: Yeah. That's right.

BARKER: And that's how we ran into the uh--into the undertaker.

REED: Yeah. That's right.

BARKER: The funeral establishment. And you remember he didn't know anything about this uh, study.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: And uh, his people in his neighborhood had not been involved in the mass interviewing done by survey research center uh, contacts--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --in Mississippi. And that raised some questions about the-- about the credibility of the research.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: Because it appeared as if somebody had made a deliberate effort not to bother this--this area of--of--of the county.

REED: You remember one experience we had right outside the town, the only incorporated town in the county, and this little negro neighborhood. I had read about um, slanted wells, but this man had a nice little house there with some cows and what not. And right next to his two acre 47:00plot or whatever, a white man had run a--a slanted well drawing the oil underneath his property. And you said to him--I really remember this. And you said, "Why don't you report him to--(coughs)--you know, the, the authorities." He said, "The wife of the man is the niece of the judge." You know what I'm saying--and this is--he was so horrified really. And uh, really if you remember we talked about it, uh, the next day and on the way from there that night. That Baton Rouge looked good in comparison with that. This--this was--those people are living really in the nineteenth century. You know, just terrified. Uh, in fact, if you remember John Lewis, the congress--the congressman from Atlanta had been beaten up there a--a week or so before we got there, attempting to get people registered to vote. Yeah.

BARKER: This is--this is why it was a zero participation county.

REED: Yeah, yeah.

BARKER: But it--it--it raised for me, and I assume for you too, uh, that 48:00this was faulty in a way, because survey research center had done this mass interviewing for them and it had been based upon somebody deciding to net that part of the county alone.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: And you remember we concluded that the gentleman who ran the, as you call it, dead wagon business--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --probably, uh, appeared to be, the one black person who really knew something about what was going on in politics--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --in that area. And he was not even contacted.

REED: Wasn't contacted.

BARKER: This is right.

REED: And um, one of the things this kind of pointed up is that um, uh, the--the people who run this country in Washington, you know, for many years they--they told us that it was the ignorant southerners who do these things. And I never did buy that at all. If--if the people in Washington had not supported this sort of thing, it never would have been done to be quite frank about it. And one of the reasons that some of us, uh, myself included of course, had been so cynical about 49:00these--these uh, pretension of concern about the welfare of some people overseas or some place is that right here where they had jurisdiction uh, they did absolutely nothing. This--this uh, and one of this--is a little bit of an aside but it's on the same point. When the purist of a people who--uh yap about uh, what they call the original intent of the founding fathers, I had not heard one of them ever say anything about the separate but equ--the Plessy case. You understand here? Uh this had no precedent, you see. And I've never heard one of them ever say uh, that this was uh, uh, uh, making judicial legislation. This would open up a new so called--and for fifty, sixty years, uh, in effect, what this amounts to was that that government in Washington went along with this, the courts, the uh, white house and the congress. While proclaiming all of these concerns about somebody in--in 50:00Yugoslavia or wherever, not having any, you know, freedoms and civil rights. And it goes back to some thing said earlier here, and that is the first person hypocrisy, and let me just say while I'm thinking of it. Remember the little story I told at--right at the beginning about this bell hop and these two guys. The--the--the punch in that was that on Sunday morning, I left there about five o'clock as I recall, and uh, one of the girls, I heard one of the girls say--I took them some breakfast or some whiskey or something. And I heard one of the women say that she had to get a shower and leave because she had to play the organ in church that morning, but that's not the bad part. When I got home I picked up the Arkansas Gazette and I set on the glider there and it was about seven o'clock or something like that. And on the front page of this paper was a picture of these two guys, the little short guy who was the--the farmer and the skinny guy that he had told me was a member of state legislature. And the talkative one said that, 51:00"Whatever bill I want, Mr.", whatever his name was, "gets it through the legislature." But these guys were chairing a Baptist convention to combat vice and crime in Little Rock and Alice Springs. That's--I say, that really locked me into obvious heresy. The incredible hypocrisy. And I noticed this all through uh, life. In fact, I have a manuscript now that I'm trying to get off the ground, uh, which is based on that theme. It's based on the life of Ted Roland in Chicago. Uh, and-- going up from his share cropping status to uh--to his uh, murder there back in 1950. I bring it to 1960. But the thing that--

[Pause in recording.]

REED: --that--that all levels in every area of endeavor, uh, the hypocrisy which is so prevalent and yet the people who engaged in this apparently don't see, what they--for example, uh, when Woodrow Wilson 52:00would run off at the mouth about making the world safe for democracy. He never connected that with his--his appraisal of the Klu Klux Klan as--as--as being virtuous. You remember when in 1915, his friend, uh, who wrote the novel on which The Birth of a Nation was based, Thomas Dixon, uh, had a private showing at the White House for Wilson and members of his family, and he's reported to have said, "This is like--

[Pause in recording.]

REED: The chief justice of the United States at that time, Everett White, uh, granted an interview at Wilson's request with Thomas Dixon. And Dixon went to the White House--went to the Supreme Court and as he describes it, uh, Mr. White reared back in his chair and he said, "Sir, have you told the truth about this--uh, uh, uh, this uh, example of outrageous manhood of uh, of white Americans?" And he said, "Yes." And he said, "I'm glad to hear that." He said, "Many a night I walk my 53:00senator's booth--uh, my senator's beat in New Orleans, uh, as a member of the Klu Klux Klan." So here uh, in the 1920's it's, you know, the Klan was more powerful in many cases than the Democrat or Republican party, and very few public officials were openly criticizing them. Lyndon Johnson's father, as I recall, was one of the few. And he paid dearly for it. [Telephone rings] He was destroyed. He was destroyed.

[Pause in recording.]

REED: Uh, (coughs) and--and you see this in--in all levels of uh, activity uh, that the--well for example some of the most eloquent 54:00treatises every written on freedom are written by slave owners. Uh, John Calhoun, uh, as part of the freedom he wanted was the freedom to own slaves, and the religious people have supported this just incredibly. That--that, we mentioned that about my friend who had been a pilot in the Luftwaffe. Uh, they all say that God is on their side while they--while their leaders tell them to go blow each other's brains out. And they never see any contradiction in these sorts of things. W--well last year when the--the night before George Bush sent the troops in to murder the--the uh, ragheads. Uh, Billy Graham spent the night in the White House, which was in effect giving approval to giving--his version of God's approval, uh, to whatever George Bush was doing. And let me say this, uh you know, at this point, it is my view that uh, similar to the punch in Edgar Allen Poe's The Purloined 55:00Letter. The basic--

[Pause in recording.]

REED: --so easy to identify that uh, they elude us in attempt to find uh--to identify the--for example--most of the problems within a society can be traced to--you begin with mal-distribution of the wealth and the related perverted priorities in economic and politics. The title of a book that I used there, and some people criticize, by Dwayne Lockhart of Princeton University and the title of it is, The Perverted Processes of American Politics. Then you go from that to uh, the nationalism, patriotism, tribalism, whatever you want to call it. And then to this institution of religion, and those three things uh, caused nearly--uh, you stop and reflect on what's going on in Northern Ireland and the former Soviet Republics, Armenians and the Azerbaijans. And everybody blowing each other's brains out, the Croatians and the Serbs. In Northern Ireland, the Catholics and the Protestants. And the leaders, 56:00you know, uh, you say it this way. In order to--to--to um, uh cure a physical malady the first--the beginning point is to accurately diagnosis the--the illness. I think the same thing--I must say if the symptoms of gallstones, ulcers, uh, are very similar. And if a person has gallstones and the treatment is for--for uh, uh, ulcers, uh, something is going wrong there. And when I think of the politicians, the people who determine public policy, they refuse to admit, uh, just what I said here, that these are the problems. And you--it starts uh, when they talk now about uh, all this talk about--the former--the former Soviet Empire, the Eastern Europe is going on the--the market economy. All right, I--but let's put in perspective what the mar--the record of the market economy; colonialism, racism, apartheid, sweat 57:00shops uh, in the 1900's, twenties, thirties. The principle function of the National Guard, for example, was to beat and murder when necessary and intimidate workers in--in the interest of the--of the industrialist and manufacturers. Uh, so apartheid and all these other things, evil things. So when we say the market economy, lets put it all together and look what the market economy is and not this rose colored concept of uh--let's see, when Winston Churchill, uh, who has been in my view just totally misplaced in history about his--his saving the free world. Churchill used to say, repeated during World War II, "I did not become the king's first minister in order to see the dissolution of the British Empire, but rather to protect it." Uh, when he was near death, his alcoholic daughter Sarah was living with a--a negro, self-described 58:00artists from New York in Rome. Called himself Lobo. Young enough to be her son. And when this was brought to the attention of Churchill he's reported to have said, "I'd rather see her dead." Uh, there's no indication that Churchill ever had any concern for anything except the upper class British, uh--and yet--and uh, one of the things Oliver Faubust told me once in--in defense of his own activity in Little Rock thirty-five years ago. He said, "The public persons can be whatever image makers want that person to be." He said, "We never know what the public person is, really." And while I know this was done, Harry ----------?? Who was editor of the Arkansas Gazetteer at that time, Harry ----------?? Told me that Faubust always tried to justify his behavior on that line. But, regardless of what one thinks of Faubust, I used to have him come over in to ---------?? And talked to the class when he lived nearby over near Humphrey. And um, he's one of the most 59:00accessible, one of the most intelligent public people I've ever uh, been around.

[Pause in recording.]

REED: Uh, one of the things I think that, in general uh, social scientists, political scientists, whatever --they begin with the premise, wittingly or unwittingly, that the so-called private enterprise system is somehow virtuous in and of itself. Uh, and I think the record demonstrates that this is not the case. This is not the case. Whatever the alleged virtues of the private enterprise system, uh, these virtues have been attained at an incredibly horrifying price in some of the humanness of human suffering. For example, even I remember the share crop system here. Uh, I don't think there's any--any social horror that was more contemptible than the tenant cropping system. It was true not--not only in the cotton tenancy. But when Tennessee Ernie used to sing the ballad about the 60:00coal mines, "St. Peter don't call me, cause I can't go. I owe my soul to the company store. Another day older and deeper in debt." Yeah.

BARKER: Well, Adolph, how did your students react? Were--were you actually trying to get them to think in rather interesting controversial terms and looking at the, you know, critical problems in politics. And the uses of power, and the struggle for power. How did your students react to this kind of, not totally unorthodox, but a different approach to--

REED: Yeah, that's a very interesting question. Um, some of them at first reacted in kind of a shock. On the first day of every class I began by saying this, I don't know whether I mentioned this to you, that um, H.L. Mencken, remember, used to criticize America. The boo- bourgeois as he called them. He said, "They're not taught to think. They're taught to feel and believe." And he said, "In America, one does not just find a heresy. One must find a heretic to be burnt." So 61:00the first day of every class, I begin with this example. I said, "You know"--And I quote Mencken. Then I say, "Let's begin with our religion as Christian Jew--Jewish religion. It's based on the incredible premise that um--that Lucifer, the angel, went bad in heaven. And the simple question is, how can the source of all evil emanate from a place in which by definition there's no evil. Now, if that can't be explained, everything that comes after that is open to real question." And I said, "But it gets worse as the story goes on. That God let Lucifer become evil and yet God wants everybody to do good. Then he let Lucifer set up shop down below and then he--he committed--um, uh, when he made Adam, uh, Lucifer's pulling on one side and God's pulling on the other. And if Jimmy the Greek were making book on that, he 62:00wouldn't make it any more than sixty-five and take your pick."

[Pause in recording.]


REED: Okay. Um, as I was saying, some of the students uh, are quite shocked. And in fact I had--two or three years ago I had a faculty member. I--I find this almost incredible uh, that--favored to tell me that college students are too young to be exposed to such things as the Village Voice; as the Saturday Review of Literature, and the New York Review of Books. Uh, and I--I said to the person. I said, "Well, if--if the college students are too young, when do they become old enough? When they're on social security? When they're on social security?" I think uh, what--as you've had this experience I'm sure, more than I have. Uh, many people in this country while pretending that they believe in so-called academic freedom whatever, uh, they really--uh, they really believe that the--(coughs)--the college classes 63:00should be cheerleaders for the establishment. And uh, you--I find that very, very awkward. On the one hand, they talk about the belief in uh, uh, opening up the mind and, you know, no holds barred on ideas and concepts and issues and so forth. And yet, uh, there are very few people in my view who--who--who--who really believe that. They believe in saying that they believe it. Like Henry Cobb used to say, said, in the Calvinistic mind, and I tell you who else says that by the way, Henry Comminger. I don't use this word often, but I think it's appropriate. In his--in his classic there, The American Mind. And when he says that um, no matter what religion people say they subscribe to in America, it's basically Calvinistic. And that's a s--a similar observation that Vernon Paragon had in uh, in his two volume Main Currents of American Thought that preceded, uh, Comminger from the 64:00studying of intellectual history from the--from colonial times down to the 1880's and then Comminger picks it up in the 1880's.

BARKER: You know as you--as you put out your syllabus--

REED: Um-hm.

BARKER: --and uh, you had your readings. And your getting stuff from Michael Parenti, for example, rather than from uh, uh, old Ogden Ray type kinds of text.

REED: Yeah, um-hm, um-hm.

BARKER: Uh, some of the standard ones, uh, by Lyon Berry and uh, by Jack Peltzen, Burns--

REED: I was thinking that--Burns.

BARKER: And you've--you've given them stuff like Michael Parenti and others.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: Uh, how did deans you--react to the--or did they watch syllabi?

REED: Very interesting question, the man who was dean when I went there, as a very classic person. Fellow named Anderson. You met him when you were down there, you know, that was the guy. Uh, the other deans have not said anything to me directly. But they--the people who have 65:00criticized, members of my own department, but they've never criticized on that basis, you understand here. Because the--Anderson once told--he told me this; somebody was criticizing about my using people like Parenti and um, Thomas Dye, you know, the ire of democracy and what not. And he--he said--he told them, he said, "Now you better be careful when you do that because," he said, "I know him pretty well and he's not going to suggest anything unless he can cite some so-called authority." You understand.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: And instead of going at it head on about this. They go at it pick--nit picking. Like for example, uh, once uh, I had a--um, a grade on the final grade sheet listed in the wrong blind. And I got a three page memo about that you understand. So this kind of thing. And some of the students are critical but I--one of the things I've found interesting, is that uh, after the initial shock wears off. You know when I asked them to read Parenti, I said, now, and--uh, oh, 'Dolf 66:00told me. My--my son was telling me. Uh, last year, year before last, he said, he ran into a fellow on a plane. A fellow who had graduated down at Fayetteville maybe ten years ago. And he said they struck up a conversation, they were sitting on the same seat. And he said that--that the guy--he asked him if he knew me. He didn't tell him I was his father. And he said, the guy said, yeah. And the reason that many people like to takes his classes is he encourages you to disagree with everything and everybody. Yeah.

BARKER: Now, Adolph you've mentioned several times uh, uh, the experience in Fayetteville. I--I think we should let people know--

REED: Um-hm.

BARKER: --that when you left Southern, for the last twenty-one years or so--

REED: Um-hm.

BARKER: --you've been at the University of Arkansas at--

REED: Yeah. Um-hm.

BARKER: --Fayetteville. A rather interesting uh, change of pace--

REED: Um-hm.

BARKER: --uh, from the--some of the students that you dealt with at Southern and the students your dealing with at Arkansas.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: Uh, you moved from one side of the uh, segregation equation to 67:00another side of the segregation equation. Now, you were in there uh, having them read things which are very critical of some of the values that they held dear.

REED: That showed through quite--

BARKER: And then it'd get back to their families.

REED: Yeah. That's so true, cause I mentioned here to you, I don't know whether we have this on tape, about the--the--the guy--uh, the state legislator calling one of the vice-presidents. Vice-president of academic affairs or whatever his title is. And said that um, the parents of a girl in the class were complaining that I was criticizing America and that I said they shouldn't vote and all that. And um--

BARKER: In other words you didn't go in waving the flag?

REED: Oh, no. No.

BARKER: You started by saying, "Now let's look at this flag very careful here--

REED: That's right.

BARKER: --folks."

REED: That's right.

BARKER: Here are some of the problems?

REED: Yeah. This is some of the problems. And uh--uh, in my view, uh, that if you--well, if you remember, down at Southern, I--maybe you had gone to Chicago then. One of the girls went to Dean Harrison and told her that--what had happened was I took Jewel's class. Jewel was 68:00sick and I took her class, and I was making a point of something about the Constitution as I recall. And I said, "Any document that is uh-- attempts to uh, cover every possible contingency in human behavior is so broad that it--it can--it can justify anything." I said, "For example, uh, one can justify murder, reading the bible or whatever. And reading the United States Constitution one can justify anything as the courts do from time to time." And I said, "And one can justify prostitution in--in reading the bible about Mary Magdalene." And this girl went over to E.C. Harris and told her that I said that--that Mary--that the Virgin Mary was a prostitute. (laughs) I--God knows, I would never forget. But it--it is traumatic and over there--this is a bible belt thing. And I usually--I make a lot of jokes about religion and I do that because this--this will spark some interest in it, you know. And 69:00uh, uh, you know whe--when I made that point there, I make that point every class, uh, the first day. That the idea that the Jewish and Christian religion are based on the incredible premise that the source of all evil comes from a place in which by definition there's no evil. And I'll tell you Twiley I have not found one student who has ever said that he or she ever even thought of that. How can--

BARKER: And this is very interesting.

REED: Hmm.

BARKER: Your getting them to question existing doctrine.

REED: That's right. That's right.

BARKER: And probably never done it before.

REED: That's right. Most of them had never heard any criticism. Or--or they say--I've not had one that said, he or she ever even thought of how the source of all evil could come from a place in which by definition there is no evil.

BARKER: Yeah. Now after--after twenty--twenty-one years there.

REED: Um-hm.

BARKER: I'm sure some of these people who've taken your courses have gone on to graduate school--

REED: Oh, yeah.

BARKER: --or professional schools, right?

REED: Yeah. Professional schools.

BARKER: All right.

REED: Um-hm.

BARKER: What was their response when they saw you again?


REED: This is very interesting Twiley. I walked into--I walked--last night--uh, night before last now--no it was last night. I just came here yesterday, yeah. In Dallas. I walked in and a lady walked up to me and Ann Ford said, "I had a class with you in 1978 and--I had two classes with you." And I will never forget. Uh, I brought in the people in the Air Force in Washington and New York and always these are the ones who come up and make themselves known. You always have positive effects.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: Uh, I was talking to a man, where was that I saw him. I saw him in an airport in uh, Sacramento last summer, went out there for George King, ---------?? And this guy walked up to me. George and I were sitting in a bar there at the airport. And this guy walked up to me and said uh, "Do you remember me?" And I--vaguely, you know, how it is. In fifteen years you don't remember much. And he said uh, "I had two classes with you." And he said, "I'll never forget those classes." Political parties and uh, and uh, minority politics--no, not that, it was chief executive. He said, "I'll never forget those two classes." 71:00So, I think, maybe it's just the ones I run into, you know. And I've run into them in restaurants and uh, all over the country.

BARKER: Adolph--

REED: Um-hm.

BARKER: --uh, now you get the APSA and APSR and other journals. You think we're asking the right questions and we're studying the right kinds of things these days?

REED: Not in my view. Twiley, if you remember, back some years ago as a kind of a lock, the caucus for new political science ran me for national office, uh, what was that secretary I think.

BARKER: Right. Right.

REED: And (coughs) they (coughs) asked me (coughs) to give a policy statement. As I remember the policy statement was that much of the so-called research has as much relevance to human society as did the earnest endeavors of the scholastics a thousand years ago as they went into solemn retreat to ascertain the number of angels capable of dancing on the--I must have gotten five hundred letters and telephones. Some guy from the University of Michigan wrote me and he said, "I 72:00have been waiting twenty-five years for somebody to say this." So--so my--my answer is emphatically no. I don't think they're asking the right questions. I don't think um, and--and one of the reasons for this is uh--you know, Thurston Bevlen used to say that his colleagues in economics, one of my favorites uh, thoughts about. He stated that his colleagues did so-called scientific research in order to prove that the exploitation on the part of the ruling class is uh, somehow in the public interest. And I might say, I have a friend, Harris ----------?? used to say, he said, "A person could get a great understanding of American government and society by reading Bevlen, Mencken, and C. Right Mills." And I--I would agree with that, yeah.


REED: Yeah I don't think they're asking the right questions. I don't think that some of this sophistry that--in some of these so called studies in APSR at all, is--is really laughable. Uh--uh, in my view, yeah.

BARKER: Now, generally--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --generally today people feel that the system is really in 73:00trouble?

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: And uh, are we--are we as political analysts, uh, trying to provide at least some explanation of why the system is in trouble--uh, system's in trouble? Or are we playing around the periphery of it?

REED: Okay. I--that--you just answered it. I think what we're doing. The--the--the analyses are peripheral. They don't come close to the real problem. And I'll go back to this. You know, uh, Arthur Slessinger, Jr. and uh, what I mention you--uh, you remember, The Age of Roosevelt Crisis at the Oval Office. The first volume.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: He has some very excellent--I think it's the best thing he's ever done, frankly. Uh, it's a very excellent--uh, uh, quotation and case illustrations. And one of them he cites was um, uh--oh, what's the guy, the--the famous journalist, uh, who wrote his autobiogr--muck-- muckrake, you know who I'm talking about. Uh, oh God. One--one of the 74:00muckrakers; uh.

BARKER: You mean Upton, uh, Sinclair.

REED: No, not Sinclair. Uh, the journal--the journalist.

BARKER: You mentioned Mencken earlier.

REED: Mencken and then--God, I'm telling you he wrote this--this Sh-- Shame of the City is his autobiography. You know who I'm talking about.

BARKER: I know who your talking about, okay.

REED: Yeah. But anyway, Slessinger cites this illustration. He said--he was making a case in 1931, the darkest days of the depression about the cause of the depression. He used this analogy. He said uh--he used the doctrine of original sin. He said, "Some people blame Adam. Some blame Eve. Some blame the serpent, but I submit for your consideration, it was none of these. It was the apple." Okay. And I think nobody--it's like as--as--one of my friends once said to me, a student. Mack Jones once said to me coming out the class there at Southern and we were discussing the national debt and to whom its owed. And they had the very bright Mary Brisco and, I think, Shelby, and 75:00all. And uh, none of them knew to whom it's owed. They used to tell us that each American owes twelve thousand eight hundred and twenty-six dollars and fourteen cents. But they make appear as if it's owed to somebody in outer space. So that day when I explained to whom it's owed. As we walked out of class, Mack Jones said, "You know, this is like finding out that your mother is a prostitute and your daddy is not your daddy." And I think that most of them don't want to face up. Where the problem is, it begins with the profit system. To go back--Lincoln Steffens, that's who it is. Uh, Lincoln Steffens, I don't know why I couldn't remember that name. It goes--example, there are problems here in human society. Somebody I was talking with today about this. Who was that about the third world. Of course, Mack Jones, Junior, Mack--uh, Lumumba, that's who it was. Uh, when they talk about the third world and the--the poverty and so forth. Where did it come from? And so I suggested to him a book to read. Michael Parente'i book on The Dollar and Diplomacy.


REED: Uh, Mike does a fantastic job of analyzing this. How the third 76:00world gets to be the third world, you know. And by the way, I--I--this nomenclature that they give people. How the hell could Egypt be the third world when they were making pyramids when the western Europeans were swinging in caves in Switzerland? That's just uh, is--amazing. The arrogance. You know, it's just arrogant. Um, but uh, yeah. I think this is--this is some really good questions to raise. And--and I don't believe that the orthodox political scientists or social scientists, whatever you call them. If you remember C. Wright Mills used to refer to the whole thing in quotes, "social scientists".

BARKER: "Social scientists."

REED: You know, he's so contemptuous of the whole thing. They're so busy trying to get their methodology straight that the methodology becomes an end in itself.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: You know, and they won't face up to--the problem is the profit system. You know, to use the Lincoln Steffens analysis.

BARKER: Since you--since you opened that door let's--let's look at it, uh--are our methodologies for political analysis--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --bankrupt as far as your concerned?

REED: Bankrupt. Yeah.


BARKER: You think that?

REED: Oh I think so. Yeah. I think so. That's a--of course, that's a matter of personal opinion. But I always think about Lincoln Steffens. When the--the description he gave about his colleagues. He said, "Their research is designed to prove that whatever the ruling class is doing is somehow in the public interest." And I might make another point here. Bertrand Russell in his long and uh, productive life, near the end. He's nearly a hundred years of age.

BARKER: He was about ninety something.

REED: Huh?

BARKER: Was he ninety something when he--

REED: Yes. Nearly a hundred. Yeah. And he said that the one thing he had hoped to see when he began in public life roughly around the turn of the century. Would have been an abatement of this idiotic nationalism which characterized the nineteenth century. He said, instead of that, he saw it--he saw it uh, intensified to proportions that even he would not have dreamed, in his youth. And you think of uh, every little so-called country in this world. Has its army and its navy fighting over the turf, Share it? Damn it nobody wished to be a 78:00sharer. The people who are in shared don't want to be in shared. And if you remember thirty years ago in the last days of the Eisenhower Administration, this country almost went to war with China over Quemoy and Matsu. And now nobody ever heard of Quemoy and Matsu. You know, I ask the college students some time just uh, making little jokes. I said, "Anybody hear of Quemoy and Matsu?" Nobody ever heard of it. And I said, "In the last days of the Eisenhower administration John Foster Dulles was threatening to go to war over Quemoy and Matsu." And when they uh--I--uh, I don't know whether I ever sent you a copy of this. I sent Jewel a copy, I know and Don. Twenty years ago in 1972 Joan uh, Baez had an interview with Johnny Carson, the most intelligent thing I've ever heard; it's less than a page. And Johnny Carson said, "Your not un American, you do love your country." And he said, "No, I don't love any country." She said, "When you love countries there is no room left for people." And then she went ahead to uh--to uh, 79:00amplify her position. She said, "Man, uh, out of fear had to tribal himself--tribalize himself. Now, he has a civilized tribe. If you a good guy, you have a seat in the UN. You have your flag, you don't let anybody on your--"And she said um, "People get freaked out, especially women, when you say that flag, that piece of cloth, uh, is not sacred." And she says, "When the leader tells him to go blow each other brains out. They go do that." And her last point is, she said, "Uh, if we continue this symbol and this tribalism we will remain barbaric. And if we remain barbaric, we're going to self-destruct." And I wrote her at the time and I told her--and I had a very nice note from her. I said, "If you ever decide to run for any public office; pope, queen of England, president of the United States, let me know." I said, "This is the most intelligent commentary I eve--ever heard on this subject in my life." Yeah.

BARKER: Adolph, uh, there--there are a lot of guys going around, that apparently, uh, I heard somebody point them out the other day. That 80:00the guys who are doing rational choice are getting the grants?

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: Why do you suppose they get the grants?

REED: Well, um, I don't know Twiley. I don't know. That's um--you say rational choice. Wha--what do you mean by that?

BARKER: This is a--a, a--uh, this is a--a--a--a research direction.

REED: Yeah. Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah. All right. Uh, I really don't know about that. Let me ask you, you know, uh, uh, the year I spent out at the University of California.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: Uh, I wrote a proposal to the Ford Foundation asking to fund--asked for a funding of um, what amounted to a study of studies. I wanted to take these myriad studies of poverty and uh, racism and sexism. The time frame was 1950 to 1970, to ascertain whether or not they had any 81:00impact at all on public policy. Uh, Jim Prothro took it to the thing there for me. And Sally ----------?? I don't remember if she was in special projects then. So she called me and asked me to come to New York and I went to New York. And um, I didn't hear anything and then uh, Prothro called somebody. I don't remember who it was now. And the guy said he was going to take it into McGeorge Bundy himself. McGeorge Bundy, by this time was president of the Ford Foundation. And that's the last anybody heard. But Sally told me, when I went there. She said, "You know, if we--if we fund this project, we're painting ourselves into a corner." (coughs) And uh, in other words I don't believe that--I can't--I can see no uh, evidence that any of these myriad studies pertaining to uh, let's say, the underclasses. That- -that--the--the people in the lower echelons here in this country. Middle income and uh, what not. I--I--I don't see that any of these studies have had any impact at all on making public policy.


BARKER: Would--

REED: --at all.

BARKER: --would you describe what you do as critical theory?

REED: I would think so. Yeah. I hope so. Yeah. Let--let me give you one concrete illustration. This happened here recently. You saw this. A couple of weeks ago. There's a new government study that um, reveals that uh, migrant workers are still breathing pesticides and uh, in their water is pesticide. In 1960, when Ed Murrow did "Harvest of Shame" for CBS. Do you remember that? If thirty damn years later nothing has--

BARKER: Nothing's changed.

REED: --changed. Absolutely nothing has changed. Absolutely nothing. They do all of these--Harlem is probably the most intensively studied community on the face of the earth. More Ph.D. theses, Master's theses, uh, you know,--

BARKER: And nothing has changed.

REED: Nothing has changed. Except that Harlem is worse--I said this once at--down at the civil rights meeting in Atlanta and Ralph Abernathy really got on my case. He said, "You always criticize and 83:00so forth. And I do not understand." I made the comment. I said, "Harlem is worse off tonight than it was this morning. And it will be worse off tomorrow morning than it was tonight." And what this was about--they were talking about this voting. All of these great things are going to happen with the voting. And I said, "You people are overexposing" they asked me to come down from Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill. I said, "You people are overexposing what the vote can do." I said, "Let's begin, Willard Works. The last prominent public official I recall who did this. He pointed out over and over again, when he was secretary of labor for Johnson that while there are more blacks and-- and Hispanics and Native Americans percentage wise. In terms of sheer numbers between two-thirds and three-fourths--fourths of the people in this country who live in poverty are white people."

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: I said, "But let's go beyond that." I said, "They can vote as many times as they want." I said, "But let's go beyond that. Uh, if the vote would do what you people are saying, you wouldn't have Harlem, 84:00the south Bronx, the south side of Chicago, the west side of Chicago, east side of Detroit, etc." I said, "The people who live in tho--those communities may vote as many times as they choose. The living may vote and the dead may vote and they are worse off tonight than"--

BARKER: Particularly in Chicago.

REED: In Chicago. (laughs) Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And um, Ralph Abernathy didn't want to meet that. And again, it points out that even people who are leading the so-called uh, uh, challenges of the society want to believe in its myths.

BARKER: Now, this is very interesting.

REED: Um-hm.

BARKER: Uh, would you say then that we are putting too much emphasis on pure research--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --at the expense of applied research?

REED: I--yeah, that's uh--I think so. Yeah.

BARKER: You would think that political scientists ought to do some of that?

REED: Yeah. I would think so. In other words, from my point of view, this is just a point of view. That if the so-called research cannot be related to making life better for some human beings, it is completely worthless.


BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: And uh, I think if you--

BARKER: Not in this business for knowledge for the sake of knowledge?

REED: Oh, no. This is crappola. Uh, uh, you take--years ago out at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, remember. S--the kind of people whom they put out there, um, Robert Hutchins, Murray Kempton, uh, Harry Ashmore. They let them live well on the white beaches in Santa Barbara.


REED: And--and talk to themselves and write their occasional papers and let them live well, because they were the kind of people who could have challenged the system. You know what I'm saying. And then they talk to each other. And um, uh, their research had no impact at all. They were nice people. Harry Ashmore tried to get me out there as a junior fellow by the time they were running out of money. The year I spent out there in California. And they were running out of money then. But uh, Robin Hutchins, you understand. They had Murray Kempton and who else was there? Oh, yeah. Mishob Pike, you remember him?



REED: And what they were doing were buying them off. Jim Prothro and I talked about it, let them live well. Let them go out there and talk to each other. What the hell, you know, they can't do any harm out there. Uh, and when they--if--when they start any criticism here of the system, you get in trouble. The idea, for example, that in this country The Nation magazine can be considered a threat to, you know, America.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: Or in--before it became an uh--an organ for Israel, The New Republic, you know, some years ago when Michael Straight owned it. Uh, or uh--well, the Institute for Policy Studies where uh, uh, Barney-- Richard Barnett founded it. And where--where um, uh, Mike Parenti is. One of the first things that Ed Meese said when he became the--the-- the um, uh, what was he first? The Chief of Staff in the White House?

BARKER: The Chief of Staff. Yeah.

REED: Okay. He--he branded the Institute for Policy Studies as a 87:00conscious friend of the Soviet Union. This is just so un---

BARKER: He moved over to justice didn't he?

REED: Yeah. He moved over to Attorney General. Yeah.

BARKER: Yeah. Um-hm. Um-hm.

REED: By the way, remember, he boasted that he had never been convicted of a felony. So I was talked with 'Dolph about it, my son, I said, "Well, he can join Benny Sigel and Miles -----??. They were never convicted of--" you understand (laughs) here nor--nor was Al Capone until they got him on income tax, you understand. Uh, but yeah. But the idea in the popular mind, they can build this crap up here. Uh, that The Nation, and, you understand, which is one of the few pretty good, you know, publications. And--and the progressive--and to--to--well if you--if you remember, God dog it, in 1920 when the ACLU was founded. Helen Keller was a charter member. Roger Baldwin, Helen Keller, Jane Adams of Palmer House here in Chicago, and um, Clarence Darrow. J. Edgar Hoover, a twenty-five year old government 88:00clerk, listed Helen Keller as being subversive. A woman deaf, dumb and blind, because she joined the ACLU. Uh, and in the pu---the academics, uh, the political science people, generally speaking. Uh, they just rolled--you know, rolling from--we're talking about the 1950's. It was not the political scientists who were criticizing this insanity of the 1950's. It was Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer. You going to stand here? And the only uh, prominent social scientist I can recall in that era was C. Right Mills. And he was vilified hither and yon. And they still hold panels criticizing his methodology, damn it, you remember his methodology. Yeah, so in all I--I would say no. The-- they--the--the--the political scientists will not address, what I view 89:00as the real problem which begins as I say again--

BARKER: This is--

REED: --with this no--

BARKER: --not good. Why won't political scientists address what you are calling the real problems?

REED: Well, that's a very good question. One, I think, generally speaking, they want to believe in these myths themselves. And they see themselves as protectors of the myths. You know, they are really two Americas. Uh, you remember the book that Michael Harrington wrote--

BARKER: Harrington, yeah. The Other America.

REED: Yeah. The Other America. Yeah, uh, these two Americas--you know, the America of the real world and the um--well, in your town Twiley, years ago when the original Dailey was mayor. People would come to Chicago--

BARKER: We call him Richard the First.

REED: Richard the First. (laughs) When Richard the First was holding forth there. People would come to conventions there at the Hilton and the Palmer House, and they looked nice and warm evenings like this. They walked out on Michigan Avenue and it's so nice and clean and serene. And they would go away and come back to whatever town, 90:00Houston, wherever. Singing the praise that Dailey runs such a clean town, an orderly town. Go over two blocks on Wabash. You understand? (laughs) They--they can't hide it in New York City the way Dailey, you know, you hide it in Chicago. And the--the--I think, that the political science people like to do the same thing. They like to pretend that these things don't exist. And they--well, uh, uh, in the little town where I am, Fayetteville. I don't ever read it. It's junk frankly. But the chairman of my department. One of my--one of my colleagues who used to be chairman told me a couple years ago. He said, "This guy worked for two years on the project." Um, I think there's five banks in the little down. And after two years of intensive study, he concluded that the bankers in Fayetteville are capitalists. Uh, you know, this--I said, "Pete you got to be joking?" He said, "No, I'll show you this. This is it right here."

BARKER: It reminds me of something that happened with a doctoral candidate in our department. He came to me--and he said that uh, he 91:00wanted to--to look at uh, sentence disparity over a period of time, uh, maybe twenty years.

REED: In Chicago or state?

BARKER: In Cook County.

REED: In Cook County.

BARKER: Which, of course, is basic Chicago--

REED: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

BARKER: --metropolitan area. And I--I said uh, uh, "That's interesting." I said, "But uh, uh, are you going to, kind of use the Baldus Study as--as--as a guide. It's, you know, do a design, pretty much following the Baldus study?" "Yeah. I'm going to." And--and I said, "Well uh, now, your looking at sentence disparity in Cook County." I said, "Now, we can come up with a very sophisticated methodology, and we'll see a couple of hot shots in the department who would make certain that he's got the methodology." I said, "Now I can tell you what you're going to find."


REED: Yeah, that--that--that's my point. That's my point. (both laugh)

BARKER: I can tell you what your going to find.

REED: That's my point. Yeah.

BARKER: And I said "Then, you have painted yourself in a rather narrow position."

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: "You are simply one of a number other people who are experts in telling us that in Cook County Circuit Courts that there is significant disparity in the sentences meted out, blacks, Hispanics and the poor--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --when you compare it with sentences meted out to whites."

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: And I said, "And your comparison is going to be the sentences meted out uh--among those groups and poor whites. Not other whites."

REED: Yeah. Yeah.

BARKER: Not other whites. That's the only reason they're there. And I--I talked him out of that in the sense of well, you know--do--

REED: Was he black--

BARKER --something--

REED: Was he a black boy?

BARKER: Black--yeah. Talk him out of it. And I said, "Why don't you do something where you can get involved in a whole lot of different interactions." So I got him doing a case study of the 1991 Civil Rights Acts. The one that overturns Supreme Court decisions.


REED: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

BARKER: The statutory interpretation of title seven--

REED: Yeah. How is he coming along with that?

BARKER: Well, he's making slow progress. Yeah. But my point to him was--why don't you study something with a little more meat in it.

REED: Yeah. Yeah.

BARKER: And--and see what goes on here.

REED: I want to tell you a sto---

BARKER: You get--got interest group activity in the congress. You get the, uh, the--the interaction between uh, law and politics. Uh, and-- and--and he's in a position to really make a significant contribution, a broad range of questions. Rather than just some little narrow esoteric thing which everybody knows already.

REED: Some years ago I was at the Southern Political Science meet-- meeting in Miami. And I was on a silly panel that morning there. Had nothing to do with anything frankly. And uh, in the afternoon there was a very, very nice gentlemanly guy, like yourself, at Chapel Hill named Gordon Cleaver. And one of his former students was presenting a paper. And the student was teaching at a university in Toronto, I 94:00believe, and he asked me to go with him, you know, to give this student a little boost. And the--the--this topic was about as thrilling as--as something like this; the selection of judges in Vermont from 1785 to 1830 something. So after about five minutes I--in this--I said to my friend there Gordon Cleaver, I said, "Gordon I can't take this." I said, "I had to listen to that crap this morning. But I can't handle this." And he said, "Well you can't walk out on him." I said, "Yeah just say that I am rude. Or I got ill or something." So he said, "Where are you going?" I said, "To the--the Dover Hotel." I said, "I'm going to bar down there by the pool." So there must have been seventy or so people in there. And when I left, everybody left. So Mary Ann, you remember Mary Ann?

BARKER: Gitchens.

REED: Yeah. Gitchens.


REED: So Mary Ann came. I said, "Sweetheart, will you go back upstairs and see what that clown is doing." And she has a very peculiar laugh, if you remember. She came back. She said, "I couldn't believe it." She said, "He is oblivious to the fact that he's the only person in the room." He's reading to himself, you know. And th--this guy is sitting 95:00here--and--yeah. That's what I'm saying. And it become laughable really. I remember Harry Scoval. our friend Harry, God dog it. Out in San Francisco. (laughs) Uh, we were on the elevator going up and uh--and Evron Kirkpatrick was on that you know. So Harry had a few snorts. And he said, "Kirk let me tell you something." He said, "You are CIA knuckleheads." And I said, "Oh, no." (laughs) And I didn't realize at that time he was telling the truth. He said, "I know what I'm talking about, you know. And he said uh, "You put our panels on here at um, nine o'clock in the morning when people are sleeping--

BARKER: Release the--the--the uh, Caucus for New Political Science Panels?

REED: Yeah. Yeah. This was Caucus for New Political Science. He said, "You put our panels on at nine o'clock in the morning when people are sleeping off hangovers," you know, and all this. And then he said, "You people in the establishment are giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the human race. You know, and whatever. And I didn't realize at that time. But Harry was so right. You know Kirk was an 96:00OSS man. You know what I mean. And you know Max Campbell. Hubert Humphrey protype--

BARKER: Capalan.

REED: Yeah, that's sucker was the same thing.

BARKER: Yeah. They--the did Office of uh--OSS, Strategic--

REED: Yeah. Right.

BARKER: --Services during World--

REED: That's right.


REED: Predecessor of the CIA.


REED: Hmm.

BARKER: Yeah. Right.

REED: Yeah, and uh--uh, yeah so uh, yeah. I--I'm really, uh, I'd guess you call it, have intellectual contempt for orthodox social sciences.

BARKER: Adolph as you look back over this long thirty-five, forty year career studying politics, uh, what uh, are the most significant things that come to your mind uh, that--that--that stand out in terms of your uh, study of--of--of political phenomenon?

REED: Well, I think Twiley, I never thought of it quite that way. But now that you're raising this question, I think one of the things that 97:00has really struck me is a study that is done over here. Is that the people who are really concerned about making this a better place for human beings to live are always under the gun from the establishment people. I think in this case for example of--of W. B. Dubois.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: Of Paul Roverson, of Vito Mark Antonio, of Henry Wallace. You-- you--you understand?

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: People have programs to try to make life better for their fellow man. And the establishment and its agents jumped all over them--Henry Wallace for example. When I was a youngster there in college, 1948, I was--I was a delegate for Wallace. And--and that never got away--

BARKER: To the Progressive uh, Party--

REED: Yeah, party. Right.

BARKER: --in Philadelphia.

REED: And I was stupid enough. I say naive and--and--and you remember Westbook Henry. He used to say that naive is the french word for dumb.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: I was dumb enough to believe that something was going to happen. 98:00And we were defeated--I can't sing. I can't sing a note. But I remember we were holding hands there, the delegates and--and--and something like, "We Shall Overcome". It wasn't that, but it was something similar. And as we walked out into the sunlight, there were the Philadelphia storm troopers beating everybody up. You understand?

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: And all the people who were identified with the Wallace movement, the FBI building dossiers on them. And this was just unbelievable. And um, uh, Vito Mark Antonio. Uh, he told me in an interview once, he said uh, "Do you know"--we were down in his office on Park Row, you could see city hall from there. And he said, "Do you know enough about New York City politics to know that as LaGuardia's protege, if I had been playing the game at all." He said, "I could have been--at least been over there where Bob Wagner." Wagner was the mayor then.


REED: And when he died, he had a bank account, I--as I remember, four or five thousand dollars, you know. And here's a man who had been in 99:00congress for ten years. And I had an expense with him. Oh, gee, well, what I'm saying. People like that who try to do things for their--men. Paul Roverson, the most versatile human being ever in the history of this country. Probably of the twentieth century any place. And what his country did to him. What his government did to him. J. Edgar had him under surveillance for thirty years. Every place he went. The damn FBI was stalking him. And um, Dubois past eighty years of age and they snatched his passport and said that his travel abroad would not be in the best interest--interest of the United States. And that's at a time when Senator Ellerman, and Jim Easton and these bums were running all over the world spewing their racist venom. You understand?

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: And that's what--I think that's what has really impressed me. The people who try to do--John Steinbeck wrote a piece in the Saturday Review of Literature, uh back about 1960. And he was doing a take off on the McCowen, Walter McCowen Immigration Act.

BARKER: Immigration Act.

REED: And the essence of what he did. He was listing prominent people 100:00in history who could not be admitted to this country under provision of that act. He began with the founders of the Decl---the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They were inciting a riot. Rebelling against the legal governments et cetera. Alexander Dumar had negro blood.

BARKER: S--seems to me we've come full cycle with some of the stuff I'm hearing from Patrick Buchanan. (laughs)

REED: That's right. That's absolutely right. A--at--and then he said, "The least likely person of all would be Jesus Christ." He said, "First of all, he wouldn't have been blonde and blue eyed living in Palestine unless he would have been a physical freak. He didn't have any money so he wouldn't have had any sponsor." And he said, "If he had slipped in through Mexico as a wetback, preaching that the meek shall inherit the earth. And love thy neighbor as thyself, J. Edgar Hoover's boys would have put the collar on him and accused him of being an agent of the Kremlin." Yeah.

BARKER: Adolph, somewhere, some youngster is going to pick up the transcript of this tape which will be available in the University of 101:00Kentucky Archives. And he's going to read this and he's going to say, this is an interesting man, but he was an angry man. What would you say to that?

REED: Well, I would say yes, uh, say, angry in the sense, and I'll say it this way. I've--uh, you know I've got too many personal problems to get worked up over. In the sense, that um--the--the technological know how exists to eliminate these basic problems. We're--for example, in this great land of plenty and home of the free and land of the brave. Along with the Republic of South Africa, only one in the industrial world without a national health insurance. The worst public transportation system on the face of the earth in terms of the so-called industrial places. Uh, this--there is no justification of this. Not only in this country, but it's a matter again, I come back to that--to priorities. The priority. The priority in this country is 102:00pure unadulterated greed. That's really what it is.

BARKER: You are saying then the government is failing the people?

REED: Yeah. Absolutely.

BARKER: Why was government created in the first place? Why do people establish political parties?

REED: That's a great question. John Locke in 1960, the father of political theoreticians in this country, John Locke said that, "Government exists to protect those who own property from those who do not." In 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Independence coincidentally maybe. Maynard--or not Maynard Keynes--Adam Smith, the--the father of classical economics.

BARKER: Economics.

REED: He said it more clearly than did uh--uh, than did--did uh, John Locke nearly a century earlier. He said the only reason for civil authority, government, is to protect those who own property from those who own--from those who own property, from those who own none at all. 103:00To protect the rich--

BARKER: Um-hm. Um-hm. Um-hm.

REED: --from those who harvest. And by whatever it's--well, James Madison, number ten in the Federalist Papers. Uh, you know he said the same thing that Karl Marx said before Karl Marx was born, except he had a different--different solution. And the government position is to protect the rich. That's really what it is. And it--and as we were suggesting earlier here, uh, in this book, uh, Friendly Facism, the New Face of Power by Bertram Gross. He says that the ruling classes don't ever make any concessions unless they are pushed. Francis P---you know Francis Fox Pinnernet.


REED: That's her thesis. That they always have to fight. And I asked- -I tell you who it was. I don't know whether he's still living. The judge there in Chicago, Judge um--

BARKER: Judge Laten?

REED: --Laten. He was down at the Aggie School one time.

BARKER: That's right. In fact we were there in 1958--

REED: Sometime--`61 or something like that--

BARKER: --somewhere like--it was Thurgood Marshall.

REED: That's right.

BARKER: And James Nader.

REED: Yeah. And then he came after that.

BARKER: Um-hm.


REED: And the night he came himself after the speech. His theme was that we must fight for liberty, you know.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: And you know what he's--the reputation he had. One of the stories about his reputation at the Civil Liberties was that uh, Tornell Carter, big Tony was once in some kind of trouble there. And he'd been in--Williams was busy there with Frank Costello or somebody.

BARKER: Tend to get George Slate.

REED: Huh? Yeah.

BARKER: Did he tend to get George Slate?

REED: All right. Got the next best George Slate. So after Laten had made this speech, we went over to Aggie's house for a little whiskey drinking. And uh, I didn't say anything to him in the meeting. He said, "We must be vigilant and fight for freedom." So over at Aggie's house, I said, "Mr. Laten, um, do the people who run the country and assess the priorities, do they believe in the platitudes?" He said, "Oh, yes." I said, "Well let me ask you then, whom are we fighting? If the people who run the show believe in the platitudes, why don't they implement them?" He went back in his chair, and said, "You know I never thought of that." It's like Thomas Jefferson writing about, um, uh, each generation must bathe in blood in order to water the tree of 105:00liberty. And I used to joke with Henry Cobb about it. When we were down there at Baton Rouge, I don't whether he remembers, it's been so long. We--we had the Jeffersonian revolution and then we had the Jacksonian Revolution. What the hell do these revolutions mean? You are a bunch of slave owners in revolution. This is pr---this is so utterly preposterous, Zero and Beatle Bailey would say, "This doesn't make any sense, you know." And Arthur Slessinger, the book that he got famous off of, The Age of Jackson. And they talk about Jacksonian democracy.

[Pause in recording.]

BARKER: --your governor is quote "Leading the Democrat contenders for the Democratic nomination," Governor Clinton. Um, and we've got a lot of pollsters running around asking question. Exit interviews and all that. Are they asking the right questions?


REED: No, not in my view, no. Um, in fact, when they brought up the story on the girl. I sent it to one of his top people there who is a long time friend of mine. I said, "Instead of bothering him about the girl Jennifer, they should be bothering him about not having any programs." And I said, "The kind of thing he's talking about. Giving America hope again, you know, and, you know, all this kind of stuff." I said, "This is like the Kennedys, God damn it, uh, when John Kennedy was saying 'We must get America moving again.'" And uh, you remember Life magazine had a five or six page spread on him during the campaign. And his thesis was that uh, we must regain our moral fiber which was lost. And so I was saying to one of the Kennedy people. I said um, "You tell your friend the senator when he finds my moral fiber which I've lost and I don't even know what the hell it is. That he can keep my moral fiber and just give me a few of those millions his father's 107:00been stealing around here for the last forty years, that I'll settle for the loot." (laughs)

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: And--and what I'm saying, in the case of--of--of Clinton, his--his program is not, in my view, none of them. They don't have any program that's geared to the real problem, and it comes back to the profit system and the--the--this reality that government functions--well, in the immortal words of Calvin Coolidge. Remember when he was sending the Marines into Nicaragua, 1927, and he explained it this way--

[Pause in recording.]

REED: He explained it this way. He said, "The business of the United States is business. Wherever the American businessman goes, the American flag goes." Meaning of course the euphemism for flag was the Marines. And it goes back, Twiley, I know--now, this is where I really get some flack from some of the students. And the first day or two when I'm going into--in all classes pertaining to government, you 108:00know this. Going back to the transition uh, after the crusades to the transition from feudal values to commercial values. And right away the entrepreneurs in uh, England after they shipped it from the north Atlantic city states. They--they--they saw right away that the cost of protecting their goods on the high seas would be prohibitive not only for one entrepreneur but for the consortium.

BARKER: Um-hm.

REED: So the propaganda then began, uh, using the symbol of the nation. Rather than loyalty this person called the king or the prince or whatever, to this abstraction called a nation. And way down near the nineteenth century, regulars from the British Army and Navy were to go down to the slums of Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, et cetera.. And forced the slum dwellers, and say, "Hey there old chap you're now a member of Majesty's Navy or Majesty's Army." And then they also, uh, arranged to have the poor people furnish the manpower and pay the taxes 109:00to buy the military establishment, the military hardware to protect their goods. And nothing in that regard has changed. Uh, this is what um--uh, when Calvin Coolidge said that, "That the business of the United States Government is business." And when all of they--when they say the American interest in the Middle East, they're talking about Exxon, Texico, Chase Manhattan Bank, et cetera, et cetera et cetera..

BARKER: Let's push this a little further.

REED: Okay.

BARKER: After the elections, after the primary elections in the--in California, uh, you're going to have political scientists and all other kinds of social analysts, political analysts, around looking at all kinds of voting patterns. Uh, what percentage of the uh, people who make a hundred thousand dollars or more uh, showed up to vote. You look at the social stratification of the voters and that kind of stuff. And you're going to have that flooding of journal literature. And 110:00they're going to do the same thing in terms of the uh, presidential campaign after November. Now what would you tell a--a young, bright uh, innocent student who wants to really study politics, what would you tell him to study?

REED: Well, I can't--

BARKER: In terms of this campaign.

REED: Let me tell you something. Before I came down here I gave a take home in the political parties class. And one of the question--well, I'll tell you exactly what I asked. I asked them to critique two books pertaining to political parties of the United States, two books of their choice. I had a suggestion list there, but it--it was pretty broad. And then I asked them to do a history of political parties from 1789 to 1933 with some emphasis on some of the more uh, influential third, or minor parties.

BARKER: Why did you stop at `33?

REED: Well, we're going to--on the final, we'll pick it up there--

BARKER: You'll pick up there, okay, all right.

REED: Yeah. Right. My God so many things changed. Then uh, one, uh, one--in reference to your question, I said uh, "In view--uh, in your 111:00view, is it possible for two political parties to represent all the conflicting uh, groups in this country, especially economic groups? If your answer is affirmative, how and why is it possible? If you answer is negative, how and why is it not possible? If it's possible in part, how and why, et cetera." But I said--and then I gave the illustration, I said, "Is it possible for a political party to represent uh, the multi-millionaire owners of the--in the Sacramento Valley and the farmers--and--you know, way out there in Los Angeles. And represent the stoop labors at the same time?" Now this is the only option that they have. So what I would say to this young fellow you are talking 112:00about--look at it in other words--how the hell can a political party represent a stoop labor and the millionaire owners at the same time? This is just impossible. I said--what I would to the young fellow is--or the young woman. This is all poppycock. I say, you begin by saying that it is impossible for the people in the underclasses, by definition, to get any shake, any fair shake in the political processes here in this country. Uh, they have no muscle to put into this, and they get nothing back. And this example that I just used about the migrant workers. And we've had a disparity here. I joke with them, you know there's a little town right up--nice little town right up north to Fayetteville, called Springdale where the head of the national chicken thing is, Tyson.

BARKER: Tyson's

REED: Um, and I was joking, I said, "You know, I think there going to have a negro as mayor of Springdale, that's been the fade here in the 1970's and `80's to have black mayors and women." You know I said they- -I think they--I don't think one black lived in the whole town. I said, "I think they're going to import one and give you one of them Fritz Springdales, damn it." But say in your town, and in New Orleans, it has become fashionable to have these black mayors. And when--when we got the first one, Twiley, uh, God dog it, Richard Atkins--


BARKER: Dutch. Oh you mean Richard Garrett--

REED: Yeah, yeah. In the area--in the large towns. Yeah. And um--and the guys were so happy and all, you know, and they were standing there--and a Little Rock friend of mine. He was with the Arkansas Council on Human Relations. And he said, "I'm glad these things are getting better." I said, "Well" I said "I'm glad to know that Richard Atkins and his friends will get a chance to steal something." You know. He said, "Damn it, you criticize all the time." I said, "That's all it means. God damn it. That's all--You've seen it, haven't you, out there in Chicago."

BARKER: Life hasn't changed, has it?

REED: Nothing. Nothing. When I talked to Harold Washington that night, a couple of months before he died. And I was joking with him. I said, "You know um, I was here in um, May and this is September." I said, "I was here in May and I saw eight guys up there on Wabash Avenue on the corner working on the street corner. I come back in September, they're still there." I said, "Looks like ----------??." Of course he started laughing, he said, "Yeah. I had to deal with them--threw them out of 114:00town." So in Arrington, this is an example I used in class the other day. That Arrington--

BARKER: In--in Birmingham.

REED: --this guy was indicted for thievery. Went to jail for a day, and, you know, wouldn't give up his records. And then he saw that jail wasn't any fun so he turned over with that record. And twenty-five years ago, I just told them that--when was that? Tuesday, in class Tuesday. I said, "Twenty-five years ago they were literally killing people in Birmingham for attempting to register to vote. And now this guy has been indicted for gross thievery and he is re-elected by a landslide." And I said, "What the yocals don't understand is that the people in the chamber of commerce, those types. They don't give a damn who the mayor is." And I used this example specific. I said, "Rin- Tin-Tin, Mickey Mouse, it doesn't make them any difference. Now, some of the yocals get hung up on that race crap you understand. But for the boys down town" I said, "Coleman Young can be mayor of Detroit when 115:00Gabriel blows the horn." He's--he pleases General Motors, Chrysler, you understand?

[Pause in recording.]

REED: Okay.


REED: She said, "Lord what is we poor colored folks going to do? The best friend we ever had has died." You know, so I whispered to Bonnie. I said, "I'll tell you what she's going to do." He said, "What?" I said, "She's going to get up off her knees and go into that white woman's kitchen like she did when Roosevelt was alive, Hoover, Coolidge, Harding, as far back as she goes." I said, "It doesn't make her any difference if Roosevelt was president, Rin-Tin-Tin, Mickey Mouse. It doesn't matter to them." And I think uh, this is what Mumba said to me. He said, "I can't believe these people running around there getting all upset about, you know, of the"--and it's--you know, it's what C. Wright Mills used to call the illusion of democracy. To refer to Parenti again, Parenti has a wonderful book there titled, Inventing Reality subtitled The Politics of the Mass Media. They have conned these people the most effective con job in the history of man. Conning 116:00these--well--uh, oh, yeah, I have another book then Twiley. It's wonderful. It's by a guy at Amhearst, Benjamin DeMonte--a sociology. He writes for the Atlantic Monthly and so on. It's a great--and the title of it is The Imperial Middle sub-titled Why Americans Can't Think Straight About Social Class. And as the title implies, his whole argument is that politics and society are operated on a social class basis. And he quotes George Bush as saying--right in the beginning. The first pages of it, he says, "George Bush said that we're not going to have any class oriented class politics in America. That's for Europeans. We do not have any social classes in America." And that's the theme throughout, you understand? And he said, "This is so utterly preposterous." And he said, "The Democrats and Republicans claim that they do not want to polarize politics." You know, he said, "That's all politics is about is polarization. The haves against the have nots."


BARKER: What is going to do? Read them and us out as a vocabulary. (laughs)

REED: Yeah. Well, that's what the--well, this is the way--this is the way to do it, you know. As I tell the people in class, I said, "I can give you an assignment now to go out here and interview the first hundred people with whom you come in contact. And ask them, at random the first hundred people and ask them to which social class do you belong? And I--and I--there's a--a cheap wine around there called Boone Farm. I've joke quite a lot about Boone Farm. And I said, "I'll bet you a bottle of Boone Farm"--

[Pause in recording.]

BARKER: Let's go ahead. Okay, let's see what happens here.

REED: And I think this is really--and you can't get the--the propaganda is so effective here in this country. Uh, among the most uh, true believers in the so-called system are the people who get the least out of it. The blue collar, you know that lower income blue collar and white collar people. Uh, they believe in all of this platitudes you hear about everybody. And it's so simple. I was saying to a guy the 118:00other day. It's just this simple. If there are a hundred and twenty million adults--

[Pause in recording.]


REED: That means thirty million people and their families are going to get shafted no matter how much so-called education. No matter how much training. You understand here? And this crappola that they push around here now about uh, training people for new jobs that people who are already trained can't find any job. This is a--a hoax, total hoax. And uh, as I said, none of these candidates, really, in my view, have any plan, any focus. First of all, they won't face up to diagnose what the problem is. Then you come right back to what Lincoln said about the doctrine of original sin. It wasn't Adam. It wasn't Eve. It wasn't Satan. It wasn't the Serpent. It was the damn apple.

BARKER: Okay. Now, Adolph in a sense, you get away with pious platitudes and thirty second sound bites, because those who should be 119:00asking them the questions are not asking them the right questions. If they are asking them the right questions, they are not demanding an answer from them. They let them get away. Uh, you probably noticed that you may ask a direct question, "What is your plan to take care of all these homeless people--

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: --sleeping out on the street?"

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: And the guy will say, "I believe that everybody ought to have a house and then go on off with some pious platitude."

REED: Yeah, yeah.

BARKER: And then the questioner does not follow up and demand that he answer the question.

REED: That's absolutely right.

BARKER: And--and so we end up allowing them to do this kind of thing.

REED: That's right.


REED: And then the people have no choices. But either the so-called Democrat or the so-called Republican. You know, Helen Keller in 1911 made this comment eighty years ago. She said, "Every four years they drag some--uh, two candidates for president. One called Democrat and one called Republican. They are both owned by the trusts." Now I 120:00presume she'd say the multinationals.


REED: And she said, "Becomes a contest between Twiddle-Dee and Twiddle- Dumb." And this is--nothing has changed in that regard. They have--and you say when the Democrats say--when--when Mondale, in 1984, when Mondale said, "We Democrats have sympathy." So I told some Mondale sponsors there in Little Rock, I said, "That's wonderful, but you can't slice off a piece of sympathy and put it on a plate. You have to slice off some roast beef." I said, "Damn this sympathy." And there was a movie made back in the fifties staring Marlon Brando, "Viva Zapata". And one of the scenes in it that really hit me, uh, uh--uh, in those days, theoretically the Mexican president would listen to the peasants, you know, they could come to the house. You know, put on that kind of crap. And the--some of these peasants went to see the president and uh, they told him about their hunger and they needed some food and so on. And he gave them a little con job. And he says, "Well, uh, my 121:00sons, uh, I will look into the matter." You know, they all took that and left, but--except Marlon Brando, Zapata and he was standing there. And uh, (coughs) uh, the president was very impatient with him. He said, "My son I told you I would look into the problem." And he said, "You must have patience." And Brando said, and this is the part, he said, "But my presidente, my people do not eat patience, they eat tortillas." And I think these platitudes here about we have sympathy and all of this crap. This is just pure crappola. And it--it--it's no different now as I would suggest to you, uh, I would look at that first volume of Slessinger's uh, Age of Roosevelt The Crisis at the Oval Office, sub-title. And the--the selections which he made then is that Bush and Reagan's people go back and read them everyday and say the same damn thing that Hoover and his people said in `68.

BARKER: Adolph, uh, several--in several places you mention your son.


REED: Yeah.

BARKER: Uh, and uh, would you tell us something about your son, because he's also a political scientist.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: Now, he began at--at--at Yale, right?

REED: Yeah. Yeah.

BARKER: He--his career began--

REED: I think he taught down at Mercer once--

BARKER: At Mercer one--yeah.

REED:, and then he--his full time was at Yale.

BARKER: Now, he's at Northwestern?

REED: Now he's at Northwestern, yeah.

BARKER: Okay, all right. Now, uh, are his views different from that? Do you guys get together once in a while and--and discuss these things?

REED: Oh yeah. The only quarrel that we ever had. And it wasn't much of a quarrel. It was about Lyndon Johnson. And uh, my view of that, that Lyndon did more on the record as I perceive it, uh, for the people in the underclasses than any--than all of his precad--all of his predecessors. To say nothing of these bums who've come along behind him. Reagan and Nixon and so forth. And 'Dolph was criticizing him 123:00about the war. And my argument to him and he's finally come around to see this. That everybody who could have been president in that time would have done--would have done at least as bad as Johnson did in Vietnam. Plus they wouldn't have done anything on the domestic scene. And uh--the--real--the national religion in that era, Hubert Humphrey, uh, uh, Johnson, uh, Barry Goldwater, John Kennedy. They all had that anti-communism as a national religion and along with that was this American macho about I'm not going to be the president--first president to lose a war. Johnson had it. Kennedy had it, and Nixon. And everybody loses some. Notre Dame loses some, what the hell, you know. And so--and 'Dolph has finally come around to that. But on other things, I might say, you know his--his mother and--and uh, grandparents. And when they use to call me and my crazy ideas. His mother would tell him, "Don't you listen to your--that crazy"--


[Pause in recording.]

REED: We tend to see life about the same way. Yeah. Yeah.


REED: He called me the other day and talked for about an hour then.

BARKER: Um-hm. Uh, so then he was, in a sense, uh, he wanted to be like dad. He was gonna get--he went the same--

REED: You know what, he never said--

BARKER: It's not--

REED: You know when I knew he was in political science, let me tell you, Jim Proth--I mean, sorry, Tom Bellows.

BARKER: He--he--he went to North Carolina.

REED: Yeah. He went to North Carolina.


REED: Tom Bellows asked me one day, he said, "Is Adolph in political science?" I said, "I don't know what he's in. I just hope he's not in jail." He got arrested for passing out peace leaflets to the green berets. Of all people, as Jim Prothro said. And he said, "Well I see here that he just won some award." You know, the ten scholars or something like that. And a few weeks later I was at the American Political Science Convention in Washington. And I saw Don Mathews and I said, "How did 'Dolph get that award?" You know, he said, "Well, to begin with, I was on the committee." He said, "That's how it all began." Which really saved him then. Yeah. So he and I tend to see life about the same way, yeah. He's uh--he did tell me he had a--the- 125:00-is spring, since this crap started this primaries. He--he said he was going to work--

BARKER: He was a Tom Harken guy.

REED: --To--Tom Harken. And I said, "Well, 'Dolph, it really doesn't make any difference." He said, "Well we got to have some hope." So after he told me the other day that Harken was dropping out, I didn't want to rub it in. (laughs) Let him go--I want him, said I could have told him when you make sense in this society your finished. You know, like Henry Wallace.

BARKER: Now, 'Dolph wrote a book on Jesse Jackson after the last--

REED: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

BARKER: --controversial or not?

REED: Oh yeah. I told him when he was doing it that uh, he was going to get in trouble. And some people when the thing first came out--'Dolph didn't show up there in Chicago. You know, when you had this thing over there at--at the McCormick place.

BARKER: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay, yeah.

REED: Okay. And 'Dolph--he had told me that he was going to be there, but I think he chickened out of it. That's what he told me, I had bad --------?? But some of the people there were jumping on me said that- -that he--he and I did this. I said, "No, I didn't have a thing to do with it. I haven't had a thing to do with it." Um, what his--I think 126:00the point he made on, uh--some guy told me down at the banquet tonight. He said that, "You--you and Adolph shouldn't have done that to Jesse Jackson." But I said, but uh, uh, well what I--

BARKER: Well, what was so bad about it?

REED: Well, the idea you know, that you should criticize our leaders. It--I--I had to tell--

BARKER: I mean--na--now, you're--you're a political analyst.

REED: Yeah. Yeah.

BARKER: And you stake a position.

REED: Yeah. That's right. And--and then saying, such things as--

BARKER: If somebody comes along with a different position and challenges you. So that's--that's--

REED: That's the game.

BARKER: --that's the way you learn.

REED: Yeah. That's right. This lady told me, she said uh, "You and Adolph shouldn't criticize." I said "I didn't have anything. You keep saying Adolph and me." So the woman was really irritated, and let me tell you, the truth that woman in Little Rock. So, uh, she said uh, "You shouldn't criticize our leader?" I said, "Now you talk about. How the hell did Jesse Jackson get to be my leader. Who appointed him? 127:00Who elected him? What the hell is this? You know, how did one of these Sambo preachers get to be my leader, you know, damn it?" Uh, she really irritated me. As a rule, I just joke with it.


REED: You know, but she just kept hammering on that thing. And I think that uh, Jesse Jackson is uh, I--I really believe that--that Afro- Americans I guess they call us now. They're so anxious to find something that they can lean on, you know. That they--they're groping for something then. Uh, groping for straws. It's like for over a hundred years, they've told this story here about Abraham Lincoln the great emancipator. And the Emancipation Proclamation did not free one slave, and they'd been holding meetings and making speeches about this for 145 years. About uh--and--and Lincoln, if you remember, Lincoln uh, told Frederick Douglas during the Civil War that uh, that--that blacks and the whites could not live together. That one would be superior and one would be inferior. And then that made this thing--and this--or they 128:00made this myth about Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt was uh, all--going doing all these great things. And you go back and check the record. This very prominent historian James--uh, John Blume at Yale who has the Sue VanWoodard chair. He did a fine book back in the 1970's titled Viva's for Victory sub-titled uh, A Social History--Political History of the United States Through World War II. And its principle theme is Roosevelt used the war as an excuse for not correcting the problems you hear about racism and, you know, sexism and this sort of thing. And I think uh--well, for example, you remember when you and I were children and they were taking up dimes for Warm Springs, you know, the--

BARKER: In--in Georgia.

REED: --they had no place for negroes to swim. They were--polio from swimming--

BARKER: March of dimes.

REED: Huh?

BARKER: March of dimes.

REED: March of dimes, yeah. And uh, they had no place for negroes to-- to swim, negroes with polio couldn't go into--

BARKER: (laughs) Throw away their dimes.


REED: Yeah. I--and I--but I think that blacks when they--they--they get--get off on a thing like Jesse Jackson, they're crazy. And the real truth is that Jesse--and one of the things I've heard him say many times. I know you heard more than I because he ran in Chicago. He said, "Black people should not be envious of other black people because they--they're wealthy." You understand? Now Jesse Jackson in truth, has done nothing for any black person, but Jesse Jackson. That's really when you come right down to it. You look and say "What has his--his charisma?" Whatever the hell that is--as I told one of my colleagues back when John Kennedy was running for president and Adlai Stevenson and Lyndon Johnson. And uh, this person was saying that uh, John Kennedy has charisma. So I said, "If you want charisma, get Lina Horne or Gina Lola Burchett. They have charisma, they've never used that." God damn it, I said, "Adlai Stevenson has wit." I said, "Well, 130:00get him a damn TV show. But if you want somebody that has a little understanding for people in the underclasses, get Lyndon Johnson." As it turned out I was right about that.

BARKER: Yeah, yeah, yes.

REED: So when they get off on this charisma crap and uh, think--well, like that--when they elect black people. See they used to do this to the Irish up in Boston. Yeah. From 1920, let's say, they got an Irish mayor. And here's a sod carrier working for twenty dollars a week, three or four children just barely scraping by. And he's supposed to feel happy. He says, "We have one from the old sod down in city hall." What the hell is this supposed to do? You know, and now the black people have come to that. They say, "We have one of ours in city hall." Well, what the hell. Wonderful for him and his friends, they can steal something. Uh, but aside from that it has no meaning at all.

BARKER: Is Adolf intending to do some stuff on Doug Wiley. Uh, Wiley didn't go far enough.

REED: I--I don't know. I haven't talked to him about it. I think he 131:00was really disappointed that Harken uh, dropped out.


REED: Cause he sounded really enthusiastic there a couple of times. He said he was going down to South Carolina. And uh--but I knew the kind of thing that Harken was talking, this just doesn't--you know, Twiley, this is one interesting thing about the American--the American psyche. Whatever that is here. Uh, even in the darkest days of the depression, 1932, when according to whatever statistics that anybody could believe. A--approximately four out of five people, three out of four people were unemployed in the work force, uh, or--um, or technically were employed, but weren't anything remotely resembling enough to provide adequately for themselves and their family. The socialist part of candidate--I mean, even the Socialist party, a mild ordained Presbyterian minister like Norman Thomas got only about eight hundred thousand votes. Uh, and the Communist party candidate, Earl 132:00Browler got none, a few in New York, you know. And even in the darkest days, they have never had all this crap here about they like--the like--uh, the likelihood of a Communist take over. This has been manufactured out of whole cloth. I wouldn't--

BARKER: You remember--you remember that, there was a--a classic statement made by, I think, Justice Bill Douglas in the Dennis case. Uh, when he dissented.

REED: Yeah. Um-hm. He -----------??

BARKER: And he said--yeah--and he said something like, "The Communists in America are miserable merchants of unwanted ideas."

REED: Yeah, yeah. That's right.

BARKER: "Their wares remain unsold."

REED: Yeah. That's right.

BARKER: And it--in other words, was why get upset about it. Just tune the bunch out of where it comes. (laughs)

REED: Yeah. That's right. I remember that now that you mention it. Yeah.

BARKER: Adolph this has been tremendous.

REED: Yeah.

BARKER: And--and--and uh, uh, I think we'll probably draw an end to it 133:00now. And uh, I uh, appreciate your spending your time--

REED: I appreciate your asking me.

BARKER: --And I'm sure that those who look back over political scientists of the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's will say, "Well, here was an interesting guy who had some very interesting ideas. Who--who was indeed a critical analyst, uh, uh, of the political scene." And uh, I'm sure that this will be very beneficial for those who are doing research on--

REED: Oh I hope so.

BARKER: --on political scientist during this particular era. This ends the interview with uh, Professor Adolph Reed of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, uh, in the American Political Science Association's Oral History Project.


REED: Well, thanks. Did any--did the rest--

[End of Interview.]

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