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Brinton Teaches Senators Lesson About Revolution


WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 19--Crane Brinton '19 gave the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a lesson in his specialty--revolution--here today, focusing on the revolution in Vietnam.

Brinton, McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History, told the Senators that Americans are generally sympathetic toward revolution unless the revolution is a communist one.

Chairman J. William Fulbright (D-Ark.) asked him, "In Vietnam, if Ho Chi Minh had not been a communist, then, our whole position would have been different?"

"The whole story would have been different," Brinton replied.

Brinton also said that a communist takeover in Vietnam would mean that the country would become an independent Red state, like Yugoslavia, free from international communist domination.

Brinton is the first of five experts in revolution to testify before Fulbright's committee. Two others are also professors at Harvard. James C. Thomson Jr., assistant professor of History, will speak on Chinese revolutions. And Louis Hartz '40, professor of government, will speak on American attitudes toward revolution.

At today's hearing, Brinton first presented a 30-minute summary of his arguments in Anatomy of Revolution. He went on to describe America's "pathological fear of communism" and how it has affected our foreign policy.

Reached at his home Monday night, he said that the members of the committee who were present (the conservatives stayed away, he said) seemed to react very well to the "seminar," as Brinton called it.

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