Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #36 Tribute to George Seldes

Listen now: One Segment

This program memorializes the late George Seldes, arguably America’s premier investigative reporter. When he passed away at the age of 104 on July 2, 1995, Seldes left behind a legacy of hard-hitting, fearless, relevant, informed and informing writing. His work paved the way for investigative reporters and political scientists investigating the corporate machinations underlying both American and international political, economic and cultural life. One of the earliest and most visible critics of Mussolini’s fascist state in Italy, Seldes risked his life in a confrontation with Il Duce in which he exposed, among other things, the profound American corporate and journalistic support for Mussolini’s “corporate state.” Those political and economic interests were instrumental in attempts to suppress Army Fact Sheet Number 64. This fact sheet informed frontline U.S. troops on how to recognize fascists (including those powerful, pro-fascist elements in the United States that had collaborated with Hitler and Mussolini.) Seldes was one of the few journalists to cover the story of the active attempts to block both distribution and journalistic coverage of the Fact Sheet. This segment sets forth Seldes’ account of those attempts. The program also documents an attempt to court-martial Major General Smedley Butler for allegedly slandering Mussolini. Butler had foiled attempts by powerful American corporate fascists to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a fascist coup in 1934. The excerpt was read, coincidentally, on the day that Seldes passed away. The following evening (7/3/95), Mr. Seldes’ obituary was read into the record at the conclusion of Mr. Emory’s broadcast on another station. (Recorded on 7/2/95 and 7/3/95.)

Discussion

6 comments for “FTR #36 Tribute to George Seldes”

  1. Seldes’ “Sawdust Caesar” was the work that turned me on to anti-fascist writing. Documentation of Mussolini’s corruption remain scarce, and this makes Seldes’ work that much more important, in addition to the fact that much of Seldes’ source material was destroyed by those that hoped to shroud Mussolini’s true character. It’s out of print, so far as I know, but should be read by all that have an interest in an accurate account of Benito’s rise to power and his style of governance in the build up to World War II.

    Thank you, Mr. Emory, for carrying on Seldes’ legacy of exposing the true nature of fascism.

    Posted by Jason | January 13, 2014, 8:23 am
  2. @Jason Lee–

    Thanks for the kind words. I believe that Seldes’ books are in the legal possession of his family.

    “Sawdust Caesar” is excerpted at length in Miscellaneous Archive Show M42–“Uncle Sam and Il Duce.”

    http://spitfirelist.com/miscellaneous-archives/shows-m31%E2%80%94m62/

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 13, 2014, 10:06 pm
  3. Two of George Seldes’ very useful works on Anglo-American corporatism and its activities in imposing fascism are back in print at Progressive Press in Joshua Tree, California.

    Facts and Fascism is his wartime deconstruction and expose of national socialism and its financiers and fomentors in New York, London, and elsewhere: http://www.progressivepress.com/book-listing/facts-and-fascism

    1,000 Americans Who Rule the USA provides useful information on family ownership and corporate control circa 1947. These families and corporate successions are still determinative today: http://www.progressivepress.com/book-listing/1000-americans-who-rule-usa

    Best, Clark

    Posted by Clark Matthews | January 15, 2014, 9:36 am
  4. @Clark Matthews–

    Thanks SO MUCH for the heads up!

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 17, 2014, 7:12 pm
  5. Of note to interested readers:

    Seldes’ “Facts and Fascism” is available on the Internet Archive website:

    https://archive.org/details/FactsAndFascism

    In addition, it appears all volumes of his newsletter “In Fact” are also available:

    https://archive.org/details/InFactVolume1IssueNumber1

    Interested readers should do a search of his name on the Archive website and you will turn up additional, crucial works by this important author. It may be his family that has made these available, and thankfully so.

    Happy reading!

    Posted by Sampson | September 13, 2017, 8:21 am
  6. @Sampson–

    Thanks so much for this valuable contribution!

    Being what in Boston they would call “an Old Faht,” it is fascinating to see the recent medium of the internet supplementing (obviating, rendering obsolescent?) what I have attempted to do over the decades.

    Way back in the late ’70s, I hit on the idea of reading rare and/or out-of-print material on the air, so that listeners might tape the programs and use the resulting cassette tapes as an audio study resource.

    Now Seldes’ seminal work can be read on the internet.

    Good show, Sampson. (Beware the charms of the deceiving Delilah!)

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | September 13, 2017, 1:08 pm

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