Ted Brodek Interview

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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00:00:00 - Disclaimers And Consent Before The Interview

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Okay, so we'll begin. A few disclaimers and notes of introduction, um, to remind you that this is not a private conversation and ultimately will be made available to the public.

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer Andy Reisinger announces a few disclaimers and asks for consent before the interview begins.

00:01:16 - Ted Brodek Introduces Himself

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: So if we can start at the very beginning, um, tell me a little bit about you -- when, where you were born, biographical information?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek provides a little bit of family background and how he immigrated to the United States as well as discusses his schooling and work before moving to Atlanta.

Keywords: Forest Hills, New York; Tel Aviv, Palestine

Subjects: Education; Jewish refugees; Refugees

00:05:21 - Family Background

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: What is your family's background you, you said that they -- were immigrants -- refugees to Palestine, um what is their background, your parents' background prior to that?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek provides some background about his family as well as discusses the effect of the Holocaust on his family and how they had to move continually.

Keywords: Auschwitz; Holocaust

Subjects: Holocaust survivors

00:11:09 - Education And Being Jewish

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Partial Transcript: TED BRODEK: I grew up in New York. Got there in 1950 and went to public school. Graduated high school and went to Columbia College afterwards.

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses his schooling and education as well as being Jewish and his experiences in Jewish communities. He also discusses his feelings about President Kennedy's assassination.

Keywords: Columbia College; Cuban Missile Crisis; John F. Kennedy; New York

Subjects: Education

00:21:31 - Ted Brodek's Research In School

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: And what was your topic? TED BRODEK: Okay. Society and politics of late medieval Ulm.

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses his research topic in graduate school.

Keywords: Ulm, Germany

Subjects: Germany

00:23:25 - Political Coming of Age

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Can you talk some about your political coming of age? You mentioned Eisenhower and why you supported that.

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses experiences that have influenced his political orientation.

Keywords: Michael Harrington

Subjects: Germany; Military weapons; Political and social views; Poverty

00:28:19 - Father's Career, German Reparations, Leaving the Underground

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: It just dawned on me. Did your father continue working in banking when he came to the U.S.?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses his father's career as well as his father's change in political views (leaving the underground).

Keywords: German Reparations; Wall Street

Subjects: German Americans; Germany

00:32:35 - Leaving Palestine/Israel

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: So what was the real push or major factor in deciding to leave Palestine, or Israel at the point?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses the factors that led his parents to leaving Palestine.

Keywords: War

Subjects: Israel; Racism

00:37:36 - Beginning Involvements In Social Struggles

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Were you -- were there other things that you were -- reading or listening to or movies you were watching -- things in the 60's?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses what influenced him as well as how he came to be involved in social struggles and the Civil Rights Movement.

Keywords: Atlanta, Georgia

Subjects: Civil rights movements; Labor unions; Segregation

00:40:50 - The Bird And What It Covered

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Partial Transcript: TED BRODEK: The Bird itself became then an avenue that began to learn some of those things more.

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses the kind of people behind the Bird and the lack of diversity in its organization. He also discusses what the Bird covered and the resistance over certain materials covered in the Bird.

Subjects: College student newspapers and periodicals

00:45:29 - Censorship In The Bird

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Partial Transcript: TED BRODEK: A couple of other things that really impacted me, is I think back -- while I was still in New York -- and there's been a little bit of coverage over it recently again because it's like the 50th anniversary of it. (inaudible)

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek brings up two murders -- one of a woman and the other of a black man -- that impacted him. He discusses how the Bird enacts censorship of certain topics such as the cognitive dissonance of progressive political communities -- a topic he wrote about, but was never published.

Keywords: Altamont; New York

Subjects: Murder victims; Racism; Women--Violence against

00:49:29 - Replacement Of The Bird

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Partial Transcript: TED BRODEK: It was a shame when, essentially, a different kind of newspaper replaced it.

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses how the Bird was replaced by a new newspaper entitled Creative Loafing.

Keywords: Creative Loafing

Subjects: Newspapers

00:50:52 - Working At Emory

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Let's go back and fill in some gaps or just flesh out a little more.

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses working at Emory and helping edit for a history magazine created by Emory. He also talks about how the faculty members felt about the students' organizing around the Bird.

Keywords: Emory University

Subjects: History--Study and teaching

00:54:00 - Student Conflicts

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Partial Transcript: TED BRODEK: Emory at the time was, almost totally (really?) white. It was beginning, we tried to open up to African Americans.

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses the grievances and organizing of students at Emory.

Keywords: Black Student Alliance; Organizing

Subjects: Education, Higher; Racism in higher education

01:02:16 - Beginnings Of The Bird

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: How involved were you with the establishment of the collective and the conception of the paper?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses his involvements with the Bird when it was first established as well as the logistics of the Bird such as finances and content.

Keywords: Maria Saporta

Subjects: Bonds; Student newspapers and periodicals; Underground newspapers

01:08:04 - Effects Of Working On The Bird

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Did you get any response from your fellow faculty members or your students?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses the varying reactions he received from the faculty and students at Emory for working on the Bird.

Keywords: Emory University

Subjects: Underground newspapers

01:13:40 - Beginnings Of The Bird Part 2

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: So what do you recall of those first meetings, talking about themes and what might be covered and also can you talk a little bit more about the fundraising that you were doing?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek further discusses how it was decided what content be published in the paper as well as difficulties with distribution and deciding the structure of the paper. He also talks about how writing for the paper benefited him.

Subjects: Underground newspapers

01:20:28 - Patriotism

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: How do you characterize the Bird's patriotism?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses his position on patriotism as well as how the other Bird members' positions.

Keywords: Marxism

Subjects: Patriotism; Racism

01:27:46 - Drafting Implications

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Somewhat relatedly, in terms of the draft, how were you implicated in that or because you were in school was that your deferment?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses implications with the draft.

Keywords: Atlanta Police Department; Servicemen

Subjects: Draft; military

01:33:30 - Public Perception Of The Bird

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: What do you think was the larger public perception of the Bird? Or perceptions over the year?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses the public perception of the Bird and the audience it reached and the effects of that. He also talks about leaving the Bird.

Keywords: Creative Loafing

Subjects: Underground newspapers

01:41:12 - More On Censorship

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: To go back to the issue of censorship, so you experienced that a couple of times. Did you perceive that elsewhere other than your direct personnel?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses censorship in the Bird and the issues that he received resistance against.

Keywords: Censorship; Miller Francis

Subjects: Gay press publications--Censorship; Underground newspapers

01:47:05 - Drug Culture And Other Cultural Issues

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Sort of relatedly to cultural coverage and the Bird's interface with covering cultural issues somewhat distinctly from politics, you mentioned earlier as well, influenced participation of drug culture, the Bird's relationship to that, can you elaborate a little bit there as well?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses drug use within the members of the Bird as well as drug use as a form of political resistance. He also discusses various frameworks followed by members of the Bird such as Marxism, Leninism, Anarchism, etc.

Keywords: Drug use; Leninism; Marxism

Subjects: Anarchism; Atlanta (Ga.); Marijuana

01:55:24 - The Bird Offices, Communities, Relationships

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Can you talk a bit about the physical environment of the various Bird offices?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses the physical facilities and work enviornments where the Bird operated.

Keywords: Piedmont

Subjects: Underground newspapers

02:02:39 - Most Memorable Column And Personal Life

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: Was there a -- is there a particular issue or theme, column that's most memorable to you?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses the most memorable column in the Bird as well as his personal life and living arrangements during the time. He also discusses his family life, having children, and his wife's involvement with the Bird.

Subjects: Atlanta (Ga.); Marriage

02:13:07 - Leaving The Bird

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: So you probably -- was there anything that precipitated your, your move away from writing for the Bird and being more involved or?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses the factors to leaving the Bird and how he moved towards participation in community organizing. He also talks about the kinds of work he did afterwards.

Keywords: Censorship

Subjects: Underground newspapers

02:18:24 - Life After The Bird

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: -- I was going to ask, how you broke into the sort of work as, you know, being in your latter twenties at this point --
TED BRODEK: It wasn't a problem. ANDY REISINGER: -- where you had been trained as an academic to do --

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses the various jobs he had after leaving the Bird and the world of academia.

Subjects: Labor unions--Organizing

02:24:55 - Impact Of The Bird

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: So how did -- if at all -- what impact did the Bird have on your life after, after the Bird?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses how the Bird impacted his life even after he left.

Subjects: Underground newspapers

02:30:13 - Family Response

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: How did your family particularly -- your sister, your parents -- respond or engage with your political activities and your work with the Bird?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses how his family felt about his political activities and work with the Bird.

Subjects: Political participation

02:34:28 - Passions and Thoughts On Today's Society

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Partial Transcript: ANDY REISINGER: What are you most passionate about these days? Or what are the ideas that matter the most?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses his passion for his children as well as his thoughts on the current state of America and society in terms of capitalism and social systems.

Subjects: Capitalism

02:36:58 - The Mind Of The South

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Partial Transcript: TED BRODEK: Have you ever heard of "Cash"? I think his initials are J.E. Cash or something like that?

Segment Synopsis: Ted Brodek discusses a book a called "The Mind of the South" by W.J. Cash.

Keywords: The South

Subjects: Georgia State University

02:40:47 - Keeping In Contact With Bird Members And Last Words

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Partial Transcript: TED BRODEK: And you don't sound like you came from here though either?

Segment Synopsis: Andy Reisinger tells a bit about his history and how he came to live in the South. Ted Brodek then talks about keeping in contact with previous Bird members.