They weren't exactly the Marx brothers, but Groucho had more in common with Karl Marx than you might think. Both had minds that were lightning fast, and both were professional provocateurs. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we'll reassess these two legendary figures – the comedian and the revolutionary.
Stefan Kanfer is the author of "Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx." He tells Jim Fleming that Groucho flaunted authority his whole life, and that the price of his comedic genius was a tormented private life. Also, Michael Feldman, host of public radio's comedy quiz show "Whad'ya Know," provides his take on Groucho and putting audience members down when you still want them to like you. And we hear clips from Groucho's TV show and a Marx Brothers movie.SEGMENT 2:
And now for something completely different! Karl Marx! Marx biographer Francis Wheen tells Steve Paulson his subject was a thoroughly bourgeois man who chose utter penury. Kanfer describes Marx's family life, his factionalism, and life-long partnership with Engels. Also, Brian Jones is an actor and activist with the International Socialist Organization, now touring (as Karl Marx) in Howard Zinn's play "Marx in Soho." Jones tells Judith Strasser some of the details about Marx that helped him nail the character, and performs excerpts from the Zinn play.SEGMENT 3:
Political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset is the co-author (with Gary Marks) of "It Didn't Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States." He tells Judith Strasser that Americans never became revolutionaries because from the beginning, working people here were far better off than those in other countries, and that even countries with a strong social democratic tradition have adopted pro-market policies.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 00-08-13-A.
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