Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker
John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Part:         Session:         Page of 512

Oakes:

Iphigene certainly was socially conscious. After all, she had worked as a social worker, in her post-college days, and she certainly was -- I didn't know Iphigene well enough to be able to characterize her politically, but I think that she must have been pro-Roosevelt too. I think she was relatively liberal, politically speaking -- certainly socially liberally. Julius, the other outstanding member of my generation, certainly was more conservatively inclined. But, again, I'm not sure when it came down to a question of Roosevelt vs. Herbert Hoover -- or Roosevelt vs. whoever else -- whoever ran against him in the succeeding terms, I think probably Julius was more politically conservative. I would think Iphigene, and my Aunt -- Nannie, Auntie -- were certainly the most liberal, socially minded, of our family -- except for my brother and me -- during that period, the '30s. My aunt was a strong Roosevelt devotee right through to the end of her life. I would think she was the only one of that generation that could have been considered liberal, in the general sense when we talk about liberals politically. I'm sure I must have been strongly influenced by her. My brother -- who was a very strong influence on my own character -- always tended to be more liberal too, than the older members of our family. So I guess I grew up in -- By the time I got to college I was, generally speaking, very much, very much on the center-left side of the political spectrum. I was strongly pro-FDR, of course.

Whatever the family influences were, certainly by the time I got to college I was what I would call a -- my own sympathy was for democratic socialism. I was never a member of the Socialist party. I don't think I ever even voted Socialist. I was very strongly anti-Communist, by the way, because I did not believe in what I considered the Communists to be really aiming for, which was a revolutionary situation. I never was in favor of that. I was very strongly liberally democratic with a socialist bent. I don't think I ever voted for a Socialist at all -- not even Norman Thomas! -- in those days, but my own leanings were what I guess they would call in



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