Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker
Moe FonerMoe Foner
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Session:         Page of 592

what others -- but I imagine the socialists had the same approach, that it was “we or they” and if you did anything different, you weakened the union, that it was the boss versus the workers. Now, that creates a lot of problems, because a lot of nonsense and corruption can fall out because it's “we or they” because that's pretty much in line with the old communist approach. On the other hand, there are problems if you don't have that. I've always been in a union which had a very high sense of discipline and operated almost like a military operation -- left unions. I guess right unions work that way, too. This union was for different purposes. They worked the same way. I think that most unions worked that way.

Q:

So, Spain had a tremendous impact.

Foner:

Spain had an impact on everybody. You know, you saw many of your friends going off to Spain, and just the stories of Spain, you followed the battle lines while we were in college. You followed the battle lines like World War II, you know. I remember things that stand out in my mind on Spain as Frankie, now dead, Henry, and I going on the West End subway, which is the BMT that runs in Boro Park, runs out to Coney Island, Boro Park.

Q:

The N train, I think, now, isn't it?

Foner:

N? Probably. Yes. Going into cars, you know, and as soon as the doors closed, one of us would make a speech and then we would walk around with cans. As soon as the doors opened, we'd go in the next car, and we'd spend a whole night doing that, and weekends doing that. We had to do something because people were dying in Spain. Not so much your friends; you did this as the whole question of internationalism, your feeling for the Spanish worker, the Spanish people, you know, people who you really didn't know from a hole in the wall and you attempted to glamorize and to make them into mountains. People being what they are, they're just plain shnooks, some of them good, some bad, some better, some worse, but they were caught in a web that was a terrible tragedy then. You know, this is the heart of Spain, movies came out, documentaries. I remember there was a magazine, Photo History. I have some of the copies, put out maybe four issues. Leo Huberman was one of the people involved with it, a lot of talent, a lot of talent. It must have been 11 by 13, full color on cover and maybe center spread. But following the style of Life magazine, devoted to an issue, the war in Spain, put together all the pictures and documents there, China, history of labor, wonderful things.

Q:

Who put that out?



© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help