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Session:         Page of 592

had been friendly with. I called him up and said, “Didn't you have the decency to tell me you're doing the piece before it ran.”

And he said, “Well, I couldn't. She was like an undercover agent for you.” He says, “Moe, my columns are open. You want to write a letter?”

Q:

I think the original part of the digression was Carey McWilliams. Did that have anything to do with Spain?

Foner:

I knew him during Spain.

Q:

What was he like?

Foner:

You know, he was a gentleman, a very nice man. I was familiar with his books. He had written on migrant workers, he had written “The Mask of Privilege.” Before he came to the Nation, he had a reputation out on the coast as a very, very -- and he knew everybody. Later on he would be a fantastic ally for us because he would open up all his sources to me. Like in Vietnam, when we were working on the labor opposition to the war and I said, “Carey, I need to give a national flavor to the thing. I've got to get editorials in papers around the country.”

And he would say, “Okay, call this person and this person,” and then suddenly we were reproducing, and that's what scared them -- it didn't scare them, but it got the AFL-CIO people so very angry. Of course, we would reproduce them and we would distribute them around the labor movement. Here is the Charleston Observer and the Seattle Post-Intelligence. It looked like everybody -- and I learned in the hospital thing that that's the way to go. And Carey was wonderful. So that when Carey died, they came to me and they asked -- no, no, no, he was still alive. They wanted to do, before he retired, a big tribute, a big bash, to raise a lot of money for the Nation and to do it right. I said, “I will devote my time to it and I'll pull out all my credit cards. There aren't so many/” But I had been through the Vietnam thing, so I had -- I said, “I'll get you Murray Finley to co-chair, a labor group with me.”

And they said, “Okay, we'll get Studs [Terkel]. You and Studs will be co-chairs of the thing.”

And I don't know where but it was a big ballroom, and I sold more than half of the hundreddollar tickets to the unions. You know, “You've got to get these for Carey McWilliams.”



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