Writers Take Sides: Letters about the War in Spain from 418 American Authors

Writers Take Sides: Letters about the War in Spain from 418 American Authors

Writers Take Sides: Letters about the War in Spain from 418 American Authors

Writers Take Sides: Letters about the War in Spain from 418 American Authors

Excerpt

When the Second American Writers' Congress met in New York City in June, 1937, the wanton shelling of Almeria by Nazi battleships focussed the attention of delegates on the dramatic conflict raging in Spain, a stage of the growing international campaign of fascism. With due consideration for the trend of events throughout Europe and the United States, foreshadowing further fascist aggression everywhere from both external and internal enemies of democracy, the Congress voted "support for the People's Front" into its platform. Spain has continued to hold the fervent interest of our members, as well as the interest of many writers not yet members of the League of American Writers. This fact warranted investigation into the opinion of literary men and women in general on the Spanish conflict and in order to get a reasonably broad representation of this opinion, it was decided to send the letter printed on the preceding page to over a thousand prominent writers in every part of the United States. The results of this survey are contained in the following pamphlet.

The results are important. As Donald Ogden Stewart said in his letter, writers are the "sensitive instruments," the measurers of national and world opinion in the making. Throughout history the opinion of writers has been an accurate forecast of coming events, of the great changes in society. Thomas More, in his Utopia, and other writers attacked the oppression of the feudal system long before a triumphant French Revolution ensured its end in Europe. John Milton worked for the democratic regime of Cromwell -- as a member of Cromwell's cabinet, he lent his prestige and aid as a propagandist to the people's government. Writers attacked the Metternich stabilization of Europe which was violently disrupted in the revolutions of 1830 and 1848. In America we know the sympathy our leading writers -- Whittier, Lowell, Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman -- felt for the progressive issues of the Civil War, Negro liberation, the ending of the great landowners' power in America. Germany burns books and exiles its great writers; fascist nations generally fight to suppress their cultural and civilized heritage, but the progressive trends of history which writers foresee are consistently realized.

The following pamphlet gives the position of writers in America.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.