American Radicals Some Problems and Personalities

By Harvey Goldberg | Go to book overview

3
Heywood Broun: A Free Man's Faith

HARVEY GOLDBERG

IN THE ANNALS OF MODERN JOURNALISM, no newspaperman surpasses Heywood Broun in devotion and dedication to his craft. And in the record of creative radicalism, no journalist since Steffens even approaches Broun in his inspired use of the great commercial press to criticize, to propose, and to prepare a better life. However gentle his nature or precarious his security, he would not jibe and run. To attack first and equivocate later has been the unfortunate hallmark of the liberal. But to stand ground firmly for unvarnished truth against organized power, to translate words into action and action into deeds, this was the way of Broun. And it is the way of the radical. "In the final court of reckoning I believe the angels will indulge in few long cheers for any liberal. With minor exceptions he's a trimmer. 'There is much to be said on both sides' is one of his favorite sayings, or 'The truth lies somewhere between the two.' Thus split, he conciliates. It is hard enough to draw the mote from any eye, and if a man must drop that every now and then to take a yank at some

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