Interview with John Gerassi

November 24, 2010

Mitchel Cohen talks with John Gerassi, son of Spanish Civil War veterans and author of The Premature Antifascists: North American Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War (1986) and, most recently, Talking with Sartre: Conversations and Debates:

Gerassi was writing for the NY Times in 1962 and later Newsweek when he was sent to cover Che Guevara shortly after the revolution in Cuba. He and Che became friends, and here Gerassi gives riveting anecdotes of
those times, including the CIA’s attempt to poison Fidel Castro, and why one ended up poisoning him and 5 other journalists but left Fidel unscathed. Gerassi, whose godfather was none other than famed French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and whose parents were participants in the Spanish Civil War (his father became a General conducting the defense of Barcelona against the fascists), discusses all aspects of his life with Mitchel Cohen, Robert Gold, Linda Zises, and college students Malika and Joe, who also engage in a lively discussion near the end about the lives of students in the U.S. today.

Listen to the interview here.