Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) was the leading criminal and labor attorney of his time. He was chief counsel for Eugene V. Debs in the railway strike of 1894; represented “Big Bill” Haywood, IWW leader, against murder charges in Idaho in 1907; defended Dr. Ossian Sweet, an African-American physician in Detroit, who drove off a racist mob, and championed the rights of radicals. Darrow opposed the death penalty in the Loeb-Leopold murder trial, a most radical stand in 1924. The following year worldwide attention was focused on his challenge to Bible Belt “creationism” expounded by William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes “monkey trial” in Tennessee. Garlin reported on a three-week murder trial of two antifascists defended by Darrow, and was able to interview the famed lawyer.
Recorded at Old Main Chapel at the University of Colorado.
Sender Garlin was a radical journalist and author of Three American Radicals. Howard Zinn said this about him, “As a reporter, he interviewed such diverse figures as Clarence Darrow, Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Huey Long, Lenin’s widow Krupskaya, and Olga Kniper-Chekhova, the Moscow theater star and widow of the great Russian writer. Sender helped form the John Reed Club in the early 1930s and was a founding editor of Partisan Review before he moved on to write for The Masses. His main thrust and satirical barbs were always against the system: the exploitation, the racism, the militaristic nationalism that have plagued this century, whether in the extreme form of Fascism or in more disguised form.” Sender Garlin died in 1999.