I love this line in this NPR puff piece:
Seeger actually was a member of the Communist Party in those early days, though he later said he quit after coming to understand the evils of Josef Stalin.
Yeah. You know when he came to “understand the evils of Josef Stalin”? Not until the nineties. He was in his seventies before he figured out what I knew as a kid in the sixties.
[Update a while later]
Glossing over the dark side:
As an apology Seeger’s words are underwhelming. While “cruel misleader” is by no means a term of endearment, in light of Stalin’s monstrous record, it vastly understates the depth of his depravity and the true horror of Stalinism. There are many more apt nouns and adjectives in the English language to describe the man who gave us the purges of the Great Terror, the Gulag, and the Ukrainian Terror Famine. Lost in the obfuscations of Seeger’s moral equivalencies is the fact that contemporary Christians, White people, and Mongolians are not responsible for the acts, however heinous, of Christians, white people, or Mongolians of the past, because they had nothing to do with them. Whereas Seeger is all too culpable for the crimes of Stalin because he was an open apologist for “old cruel Joe” and other communist thugs at the very time they were slaughtering millions.
If only Leni Riefenstahl was a communist like Pete Seeger.
— Peter Ingemi (@DaTechGuyblog) January 28, 2014