Oral History: Lowell Bergman

Lowell Bergman-600
Please credit: Huy Truong

Narrator: Lowell Bergman
Interviewer: Skye Doney
Date: 7 July 2023
Transcribed by: Edward Frame
Format: Transcribed from Audio
Duration: 1 hour, 26 minutes, 2 seconds

Lowell Bergman Biography:

Lowell Bergman grew up in New York City and attended UW-Madison as an undergraduate, where he studied with George L. Mosse and graduated with a joint degree in History and Sociology. He then studied philosophy and social theory at the University of California, San Diego, as a student of Herbert Marcuse before taking up investigative journalism: the field that would define his career. After co-founding the San Diego Free Press in 1969, where he broke several path-breaking stories as a reporter, he then worked as a journalist for a number of other print outlets, including Ramparts, the San Francisco Examiner, and Rolling Stone before joining The New York Times as a correspondent from 1999-2008. During this time, he also applied his skills as an investigative reporter to television, most notably as a producer for the TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes on CBS. There he covered organized crime, international drug trafficking, the American prison system and, famously, the tobacco industry. In addition, he also regularly produced similar segments for ABC News and FRONTLINE PBS. For his efforts, Bergman has received numerous awards throughout his career, including a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his work with The New York Times, multiple Emmys, three Peabody awards, and a Sidney Hillman award for labor reporting, among others. In 1991, he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism, where he taught the school’s first investigative reporting course, which eventually became its well-known Investigative Reporting Program (IRP), founded in 2006. He retired in 2019.


Doney: Well, let me go ahead and give this opening statement and then we’ll launch. Is that okay?

Today is Tuesday, 11 July 2023. This is Skye Doney for the Mosse Oral History Project, which is part of the UW-Madison Oral History Program. Today I’m joined by Lowell Bergman, the Emeritus Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.

Lowell Bergman graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966, where he studied history and sociology. After leaving Madison, he went on to a highly successful career in investigative journalism. He reported for ABC News, produced for 60 Minutes on CBS, and was both a producer and reporter for the PBS series FRONTLINE. Famously, his research into big tobacco was dramatized in the 1999 Michael Mann film, The Insider, in which he was portrayed by the actor Al Pacino. He has also examined workplace safety, Halliburton, Al Qaeda financial institutions, and, fascinatingly, the credit card industry. For this work, Bergman has received multiple awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2004 for his work with The New York Times and PBS’ FRONTLINE. That project was one of many presentations on multiple platforms, an innovation he literally introduced twenty-five years ago. In 1977 with two colleagues he was the president of the first nonprofit tax-exempt entity in journalism dedicated to creating and producing investigative reporting, a model that has now gone global. He retired in 2019 from a tenured position in investigative reporting that he helped establish in 2006 at the University of California, Berkeley. He has also been awarded a half dozen Alfred I. Du Pont Columbia University awards, Emmys and Peabody awards, along with two Harvard Goldsmith Awards for investigative reporting, and other honors that are truly too numerous for us to enumerate here.

The emphases of our conversation today will be the University of Wisconsin-Madison, George L. Mosse, and the intersection of historical research and investigative reporting. Thank you for joining me today.

Bergman: Okay, nice to see you.

Doney: SI thought we might start with your decision to leave New York and to come to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. What prompted that?

Bergman: Well, one, I got a scholarship. Two, I had my first trip abroad, which wasn’t out of the country, but to Puerto Rico in the early summer of 1963. 00:03:00 I joined a gathering of young people from around the Western hemisphere and among them were two relatively older people, who were probably twenty-two or twenty-three, who had just come back from the Peace Corps in Latin America. They encouraged me to attend.

At the time, I was still debating whether I should stay and finish my apprenticeship in the Typographers Local 6 in Manhattan. The typographers were known as the intellectuals of the working class. They were Luddites back in the 1890s when the Linotype machines first got installed; they threw bombs into them. But, eventually, they gave in, although back in my day we were still playing with lead to shape and finish a slug of type and deep in toxic stuff. But it was attractive work. You were told that you were guaranteed a job for life, along with a cemetery plot. So it was either stick with that or go to college or with Vietnam heating up get drafted. And two things combined to make me decide to go to Wisconsin. One was that I hated punching a clock, so becoming an academic seemed like a good idea. And second, these two guys in Puerto Rico told me that Wisconsin was this great school with a great History department and all kinds of stuff going on, radical publications like Studies on the Left, and lots of girls. So I decided to go to Wisconsin.

Pretty quickly I also realized that I could pass out of a lot of the required courses. I had done some Advanced Placement courses, but I also realized I could get out of various required courses by taking an exam. I could get through the whole place in three years, which is eventually what I did. That was attractive to me for various reasons. At the time, I had a pretty strong desire to be engaged in politics. I wanted to learn more about history in particular, but I also wanted to be involved in political activism, and I was hungry to learn as much as I could about ways of understanding the great contradictions that surrounded me.

Part of that Puerto Rico trip which had some finding, I believe, from the Alliance for Progress, a JFK initiative, were the speakers who showed up. James Baldwin was living in San Juan at the time. Some of the attendees were in college and especially those from Guatemala and Peru made a deep impression.

Soon after I returned, I went to the March on Washington in August of ‘63 got up close to the podium. I was blown away by the speakers, especially John Lewis. I did that trip with a close friend of mine actually, who, as life would have it, wound up living near me in rural northern California more than a half century later. Sadly, like so many now, he passed away suddenly a few years ago. He and I drove down to join the March from New York. That experience, the realization afterward that segregation was alive and well through Maryland, an issue that led to demonstrations after the March…so I arrived in Madison and quickly discovered 00:06:00 that there were connections to the Civil Rights Movement there. I did my best to exploit them.

All of these things made the place attractive to me. Initially I got a job as a janitor-type-caretaker in a big old Victorian house, I think on Gorman Street. They rented out rooms, and each room had a refrigerator in it, and my job was to clean them up. That included cleaning the places out at vacation time. It wasn’t a great job, but I got better jobs after that.

Doney: Were these rooms largely let to students or—?

Bergman: To students, and some of the fraternities, which weren’t far away, rented them for partying purposes, and they just didn’t learn how to clean up.

Doney: I’m curious about this political activism that you describe doing before coming to Madison. Was that from your work already in New York, or do you think that came from your family? What led you to go to Washington?

Bergman: It came from my grandparents, primarily my mother’s mother. I’ve got a picture somewhere. Sorry … I don’t have it around here right now. She was one of the founders of the Embroideries Local, the ILGWU in New York. Actually, that’s where she met my grandfather. She tells stories of taking her little cash envelope at the end of the week and helping to pay the rent on the building which is still there off Union Square. Many years later, when I got a Sidney Hillman Award for labor reporting, [the ceremony] was taking place in the building she paid the rent on, and where she met my grandfather. So I could say: “without this building, without this organization, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Doney: Wow. Yeah, that’s awesome. Go ahead.

Bergman: My aunt was also in the Young Communist League, I think, in the late [19]30s. When I was a child, both the FBI, wanting to know about my mother, and IRS intelligence were knocking on the door because of my father. 00:09:00 It turned out he was marketing stolen furs that ‘fell off a truck’ in the garment industry. So I had some exposure to both radical politics as well as organized crime.

Doney: Yeah. So, let’s talk about Madison. You arrive, you complete your degrees in three years. That must have been pretty intensive, or were you able to test out of enough classes that it was just normal six semesters?

Bergman: It was a normal six semesters with one class in summer school. I spent most of my time in the library. I don’t think they ever gave me a carrel, but I managed to find a place where I could stay in the winter. I read everything I could get my hands on. And I learned that if I got all the prerequisites out of the way, I could create my own major, if you will, or majors. I think I graduated with Sociology and History because I wound up with Hans Gerth (1908-1978), who gave me a better job than working in the scrape room in the cafeteria, which is where I went after being a janitor. All of us got fired one day because, we were overwhelmed by a regiment from the U.S. Army that showed up for meals on Sunday. We ran out of containers as the silverware and dishes came off of the conveyor belt. It was a scene out of Charlie Chaplin. We were overwhelmed. We just started throwing dishes and everything back out the conveyor belt entry way. The police arrived. No one got arrested but we did get fired!

I was a very fast typist. I saw a notice for a job doing just that in the Sociology department. I still remember the woman who was in charge, Mrs. Vaguely, or Vagel, Vague—something like that. And this professor as I was typing caught my attention. He seemed to be incoherent. A bit confused. With white hair and thick glasses, most of the time smoking a cigarette that seemed to glued to his lips. He would let it burn all the way down to the filter, and he would mumble in a German accent. It was clear that most of the staff didn’t want to deal with him. But I realized he was talking about stuff I knew about. I had read C. Wright Mills. This guy was his co-author. His teacher. Mills died, I think, a year or so before I got to Madison. I got into a conversation with him a couple of times. And “Vaguely” eventually noticed this and said: “That man needs an assistant. Would you like to be his assistant?” And that person was Hans Gerth. That happened in the spring of my second year. 00:12:00 So, I spent most of my third year—my senior year—with Hans Gerth, although occasionally I ran into Mosse and Harvey Goldberg (1922-1987), the history people.

But you wanted to ask about Mosse in particular?

Doney: Well, let’s actually stick with Hans Gerth here for a second. What did it mean to be his assistant? Did he have you running down research, or—?

Bergman: No. I mean, I learned quite a bit about C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) from him. Because Gerth was [Mills’s] Ph.D. supervisor and Gerth was a little more than bitter about Mills. He showed me various German manuscripts that he had written that Mills had basically turned into books like White Collar (1951) and a couple of others. So, he was a little angry about Mills. Mills had been his assistant, too—and the other person who’d come before me was named Saul Landau (1936-2013), who’s now deceased, who at that point in time was famous because he went to Cuba and made the first documentary about Fidel.

Doney: Really?

Bergman: Yeah. He went on to be an important character in the left, particularly in the left filmmaking world. Later, he and I ran into each other a couple of times. When I went to Cuba for 60 Minutes, for instance, I had Saul and his daughter working as our fixers, which was like magic, you know, but that was in [19]89. The Soviet Union was just about to fall.

Anyway, so Hans Gerth introduced me to, not just Max Weber (1864-1920) and [Karl] Mannheim (1893-1947) and German sociological history, along with a lot of wild things, people, like Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) and [Sigmund] Freud (1856-1939). It seemed like Gerth had read every book that had ever been written—period—until about 1956 written in innumerable languages. He could sit there in his office and open a book in French and read it out loud in English, German, Japanese… But his knowledge, his reading ended as I recall, when his first wife, who came with him from Germany committed suicide in [19]56. He would repeat at odd moments the horror of finding her in a bathtub filled with blood. 00:15:00 I don’t think he ever fully recovered from that trauma, although he did remarry, a Japanese former graduate student. I cannot remember her name but his daughter from his first wife was around as well. A bit of a beatnik, definitely non-conformist, who drove around with a pet goat in passenger seat of her pickup!

As his assistant, I’d do all kinds of things for him. For example, he’d drive his Volkswagen Beetle to school and not remember where he parked it. So I’d find it for him. Once it was during a snowstorm. Or, another time, he wanted to do a class that was called “Sociology through Film,” and he had particular films he wanted to show. He had been, by the way, the film critic at the Berliner Tageblatt after it was seized by the Nazis. And he didn’t get out of Germany until [19]38. That caused friction between him and Mosse, which I got in the middle of a couple of times. But, as I said, I think he read every book; I also think he saw every movie before 1956. So, for this class, he gave me a list of films—“find these films,” he said—and I did. I found them through a Canadian distributor because some of them were Charlie Chaplin films that couldn’t be shown in the United States in those days; they were banned in America for back taxes. Chaplin didn’t want to pay taxes, and left America because he was accused of being a subversive, and his last wife, who I think was Eugene O’Neill’s (1888-1953) daughter was decades younger. Chaplin refused to distribute his films in the U.S. That’s my recollection. So, I discovered that they were available from a company in Canada. We got away with it. I also helped him put together a curriculum for the course because he was totally disorganized. He tried to do lectures, but of course he would go off track. It was quite hilarious sometimes. But the course attracted well over 400 students. People were hanging off the rafters in this lecture hall. We screened classics, like All Quiet on the Western Front, The Grand Illusion, Modern Times. Movies I’d never seen before. The students were eating it up. Unfortunately, he had a hard time expressing himself coherently, let’s put it that way.

But to go back to Mosse, 00:18:00 I had no idea who Mosse’s family was. He explained it to me a little bit one time. And what was his thesis on? Was it like Renaissance or Middle…?

Doney: Yeah, yeah. Early-modern England.

Bergman: Right. He was the first person to explain to me how indoor plumbing was brought to British homes. I’d never thought about that. And then he told me he went to school with Prince Philip (1921-2021).

Doney: Yeah. Boarding school.

Bergman: I had no idea in those days about [Mosse’s pioneering work on] gender or sexuality. I had barely I lost my virginity by the time I came to Wisconsin, so it took a while for me to figure everything out.

But anyway, he treated me, I guess I’d say he treated me as like an equal almost. He used to invite me to dinner at this restaurant on State Street. I can’t remember the name of it, pretty dark. I had dinner or lunch a couple of times with him and Harvey Goldberg.

Doney: Really?

Bergman: Yes. I interacted a lot with Mosse and Goldberg, and Gerth a little bit, when it came to the gestating antiwar movement. They knew I had ‘gone south’ a couple of times. Once driving a car towing a trailer full of school books we picked up in Chicago. They were staged in Itta Bena, Mississippi. I managed to get detained for a bit by an illiterate local sheriff. That was a hoot. And in the spring break in ‘64, I hitch hiked to a SNCC meeting Atlanta. My trip back was truly harrowing. By the last year I was at Wisconsin, we had started the Committee to End the War, which really picked up in I think, March of [19]65. It was right after Selma, Alabama. It was like a switch in my focus after the Gulf of Tonkin. And it was in the days when we would picket around the Capitol and wear jackets and ties and try to look middle class, you know? And people would yell at us and say “bomb Hanoi” and so on. When the draft exam thing happened, the student body started to really pay attention. and then we took over the administration building, I was involved in that and I was a negotiator with—was it Robben Fleming (1916-2010)? Was that chancellor at the time?

Doney: Yes, Robben.

Bergman: Right, so Mosse and Goldberg and Gerth came to the administration building. My recollection is William Appleman Williams spoke. 00:21:00 The building that was there before that “Mosse prison,” or whatever the new Humanities Building is that they built. I hear they’re tearing it down. Or they’re replacing it.

Doney: They are building a new building, two-and-a-half blocks away. But I don’t think there’s an immediate plan to remove this structure I’m sitting in just yet.

Bergman: Oh, so you’re in there? You know they built that [Mosse Humanities Building] because in the old days it was so easy to take over the administration buildings. We did, and then all these people showed up. That’s a whole saga. But I remember in particular Mosse and Gerth came to the sit-in, the occupation. They sat down on the floor until late in the evening and they participated. That was very impressive to me. That they were willing to share time and take some risks themselves by joining the protest.

The last time I saw him, Mosse, was in [19]86. When was he at the Holocaust Museum?

Doney: He was the first historian-in-residence. I’m forgetting. I think it was [19]90 maybe, right? I’m not I’m not one-hundred percent sure.

Bergman: I think of it as [19]87, but it could be [19]90. And I remember going to see him. I happened to be in Washington working for 60 Minutes and I spent a couple of hours with him. He told me that he was proud of me because, as a student, I had conducted these negotiations with the Chancellor in the middle of the night, actually up at the Chancellor’s office, which enabled us to make our point and leave the next day. Remember, [during the demonstrations] they had the National Guard out. Mosse was happy that I had been able to avoid a confrontation. When I left to go to San Diego to study with [Herbert] Marcuse (1898-1979) shortly thereafter, the Dow demonstrations took place in Madison, which led to full-blown warfare between the students and the police and the guardsmen. In contrast, Mosse felt that [in my negotiations with the administration] I had offered reasonable solutions, but he lamented that there wasn’t anybody else around after I left in a leadership position who did that. 00:24:00 They had become much more militant. And unforgiving, if you will.

Doney: Yeah. Much more, yeah. And much more fragmented.

Bergman: Right. A lot of militant voices. And actually, one of the reasons, aside from the fact that if I didn’t go to graduate school I would’ve been drafted—in fact, they attempted to draft me, that was when it was done punitively, and I got my notice as I was graduating. But in any case, I took the fellowship in San Diego [to work with Marcuse], which was hilarious. I took a National Defense Education Act fellowship to go study the revolution, right? Who’s going to turn that down! And Selective Service didn’t contact me for a couple of years.

That gave me time, enough time to develop a record with the FBI, so I never got drafted. A different sort of exemption.

Doney: Yeah. Right.

Bergman: So, one of your questions was how did history inform my approach to journalism? I’ll give you an example. I found over the last, whatever it is, over the last fifty years in the so-called journalism business, two things I learned at Madison have served me well.

One is the value of history and trying to understand the context in which things happen. When I got into journalism I discovered that, in fact, I had the ability to research things and I understood that there are sources of information out there that can help explain why some situation has emerged the way it has—and that I could can go in and dig down and find that kind of information. Often I realized I wanted information from people, who I normally would never talk to. History is mostly about old events and everyone is dead. Sociology delves into many subjects but often doesn’t ever name the people involved. They use fictional names. Journalism requires talking to and at times protecting people who are very much alive!

The other thing I learned at Madison related to journalism is what I call, when I try to teach young people about it, the notion of “reporting against your story.”

It’s similar to the challenge of a thesis or a dissertation, right? Both to avoid dogmatic thinking and also, literally, to be accurate, 00:27:00 you have to take information and test it against your thesis. You test it so you can defend it. That insight was very, very useful to me, particularly when I started in journalism in the 1970s, especially when the disapproval of some of the things I was doing went from physical harassment of various kinds to legal action, including getting sued. And for litigation purposes, [that approach to defending your ideas that I first learned in Wisconsin] was perfect. Technically, and legally, you can’t leave any evidence laying around that would show any doubt. It has to do with the legal concept of “summary judgement.” On the other hand, you had to dig deep and challenge for example footnotes in a book. Especially in politically charged stories I would make sure I had read and evaluated whatever was “footnoted.”

That attitude combined with what I would call—in Madison, at least—a prevalent sort of Marxist perspective mixed with a humanist, social-democratic perspective with a touch of old-fashioned anarchism. Yes, there were Trotskyites around and progressive labor people [Maoists] and so on, but there was an intellectual atmosphere that valued, not just reporting against your story, but also these larger philosophical questions.

I was just thinking about this the other day when I was reviewing an old manuscript of Wilhelm Reich’s that’s really interesting and relevant today.  I found it going through my boxes. Reich opined that Marxism is based on a nineteenth-century model of society, with industrial workers and so on. It had no place in it for understanding intellectuals, understanding white-collar workers, or for that matter the question: What is a bourgeois son—namely, Marx—doing creating a theory for a group of people who he has no reason to be linked with? What gives him the right to do that? This is also true of Engels, whose father owned a textile mill which supported him, right? You can’t find an answer to these questions. There is a hint at it, I found, in the Communist Manifesto. There’s a slight reference there to people whose consciousness is higher than others, and who can leap into the role 00:30:00 of helping to interpret the revolution. Okay. But that’s a pretty awkward way of trying to explain yourself, right?

At Wisconsin, people were asking these questions. People realized that Marx presents a whole bunch of really interesting ideas and ways to analyze what’s going on. But people were also looking at gaps in his analysis and asking: but what do we do about psychoanalysis? What do we do about culture? What do we do about sexuality? What do we do about all these other things that we’re interested in and we know are real? And what really was the Soviet version?

And so, at Wisconsin, people were willing to get down and talk about that. Somebody like Mosse, who wasn’t a Marxist, was definitely open to understanding all of these different things. He could speak fluently about Marx because he’d read it or he knew it and he was part of that tradition as well. As I’ve said already, Mosse was also willing to treat his students as people, which wasn’t always the way it was.

Doney: Right.

Bergman: So that was all very interesting to me. And it was both Mosse and Gerth who told me that I should go study with Herbert Marcuse. So he was open to the Frankfurt School and that whole genre. And that’s what I did.

Doney: Before we go to your graduate school time, I wonder if this might be a moment, if there are any particular classes from the History department that you recall, that you might want to mention. I’m really curious about how it was that you came to wind up at these lunches with Mosse and Goldberg. Did you meet them through class or had you met them through Gerth, or was it—?

Bergman: Well, Harvey Goldberg’s lectures were this spectacular performance on stage. So who would want to miss that, right?

Doney: Right.

Bergman: It was entertaining with him running around with his chalk and his arm akimbo, literally rotating from the elbow like a windmill with chalk in his fingers randomly making a note or mark on the blackboard. There must be film of that, right?

Doney: There are at least audio recordings. I don’t know if there’s film of him. I don’t think so. Not at this moment.

Bergman: Because he wrote his thesis as I recall on Jean Jaurès (1859-1914), which was published as a book. 00:33:00 And I read it, and Jaures was antiwar and he goes to prison like Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) and so on. I found all those characters fascinating. I also wound up translating a chapter of George Lukacs’s (1885-1971) History and Class Consciousness (1923), which was not available in English. There were French copies. My French was better than my German. I did that as my senior thesis. So I would get into conversations with Goldberg and with Gerth—when you could have a conversation with him, he was a little unusual—and Mosse, too. We would talk about all of this intellectual ferment fifty no sixty years ago.

I remember one of the lunches, I think it was lunch with Goldberg and Mosse, where they kept asking me questions. What’s going on with the antiwar movement? What’s going on with the students in the South? What about SNCC? We had a big chapter the supported their work [in Madison]. People came up from the South. People who were active in SNCC came up and spent a week in Madison resting, and we would put them up in empty rooms. When I was still doing the janitorial thing, I had access to rooms so we could put people up overnight, or for a couple of days. So I think that at one of those lunches they said to me: we’re talking to you because you know what’s going on. I ended up giving a sort of intelligence briefing to them about what was happening. And I remember Mosse made fun of me: he thought I was obviously a radical, but also somewhat of a skinflint, if you will. And he used to call me a “primitive communist”! He always had good nicknames.

Doney: That’s great!

Did you see all of these different organizations as one student movement? Or one Civil Rights Movement—one antiwar movement? SNCC, the Committee to End the War in Vietnam? 00:36:00 I’m curious about the dynamics between the different organizations, but also how you found yourself as the spokesperson during the sit-ins.

Bergman: Well, there was, you know, Jim Hawley who was a good friend of mine—he’s still alive; he lives in the Bay Area somewhere, but I have lost touch. And we happened to be the joint-chairmen of the Committee to End the War in Vietnam. It was not a very big organization at the time. At least prior to the government’s decision to have students take an exam [to determine their eligibility for the draft], which apparently had happened in the Second World War. If you didn’t score above a certain amount, you’d get  drafted. That changed the whole atmosphere very suddenly. They needed more people, they needed more bodies, and they were going to get them this way. So they scheduled the draft exams. I believe it was early June or end of May 1966, or something like that. And that’s when we decided to take over the administration building. There were, of course, a lot of people who were not interested in going to Vietnam. And all of a sudden thousands of them showed up. That was the first time we had anything like that in terms of numbers. I mean, there had been some small sit-ins up near the Chancellor’s office and whatnot. There had been some ‘teach-in’ and a confrontation publicly with a State Department ‘Truth Team’ that was touring campuses. But it would be, you know, twenty, fifty, one-hundred people. But this was the first time there were large groups of people there, who had never been involved before.

Madison was on a university circuit at the time, with speakers coming through. It was a refuge for people to come visit. I think it was in April of [19]64 that a group of us traveled to Atlanta. I hitchhiked with another student. Michael Desend, who I tracked down a few years ago. We were  involved in a plan to do this thing in the south in the summer [19]64. With others, a woman named Alicia Kaplow, we were moving trailers full of schoolbooks, primarily from the Chicago School District, when they used to change textbooks every year. We prepositioned them for the ‘Freedom Schools’ that were being planned for Mississippi. I drove a couple of trailers full of schoolbooks down on the weekends and then came back to Madison. 00:39:00 Sometimes there were adults from the community who were involved. One couple—I can’t exactly remember why, but they donated their car to pull the trailer—so they went along. I had a couple of experiences, both in southeastern Arkansas and in a town called Itta Bena, Mississippi. I had never been in the South before.

On one of those trips through Chicago, I met the head of the then very radical and powerful Packinghouse Workers. He was the father of one of my friends at Madison. It was a meeting at a warehouse where we found the books stored. I remember he had a pistol in his belt.

Decades later I did an investigation in part in Birmingham and Anniston for The New York Times and FRONTLINE. It’s the one that got the Pulitzer. I had actually been in the Birmingham area before on a couple of stories. But this time I remembered being there years earlier and went to revisit Vulcan State Park, which has the largest iron statue in the U.S. of the “Fire God.” How could I forget. Hitchhiking back in the early spring of [19]64, we slept there on our way to Atlanta.

Anyway, Madison fulfilled my hunger for both understanding and interpreting the contradictions I confronted around me, and I was surprised that it was such a hot spot. It was Ann Arbor and Madison that were kind of like the state schools that were relatively radical, or liberal, or left-wing, and steeped in the history of the progressive movement in those days. If my recollection is correct after an informal national antiwar meeting outside in Washington, D.C. near the monument, there was meeting that led to formation of the National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam. It was then headquartered in Madison until I left the following year.

Doney: I have one other sort of question on this theme, if it’s okay, which is you mentioned Mosse talking about how the mood or the spirit of the protests seem to shift after you leave in [19]66. I wonder if you have thoughts on why that might have been. Or what change took place that made Dow possible instead of the more peaceful interaction with the administration that you experienced?

Bergman: Well, I think in general—and now I’m reflecting on a couple of things that I became aware of later and, I assume, Mosse was more aware of then.

One reason was that, despite the University of Wisconsin being, I believe, the first school that was closed down—Columbia was right after that—our efforts weren’t making any difference. Yes, the draft exam was abandoned by Selective Service. But by 1966 there are almost 600,000 troops in Vietnam. We’re in a land war in Asia and we’re bombing the shit out of the place and the government’s is lying to us about what’s actually going on, which was known, by the way. Bernard Fall (1926-1967), I don’t know if you remember the name, but he was a Brit who had a lot of experience in Southeast Asia. I think he might have been in the Communist Party at some point, but he wrote these histories of Vietnam that were completely different than anything you heard coming out of the government.

Doney: Oh, interesting. Okay.

Bergman: So, there was a consciousness growing among students in particular 00:42:00 that this war wasn’t what the government was saying it was. And later on, when I met various journalists like David Halberstam (1934-2007), or a great guy named Frank McCullouch (1920-2018) who used to be the Time Magazine bureau chief in Saigon from [19]63 to [19]68. He later became a mentor of mine. But he told me that he went into Saigon gung-ho and within a year he knew the whole situation was fucked.

The tension between reality and what you were told by the government or by the TV or the news organizations—whether it was about segregation, or the war, or poverty—it all felt misleading, and people began to feel like they couldn’t do anything about it. And that, I think, led to more extreme behavior on both sides.

Then of course there was both the new freedom of birth control with the contradiction that abortion was illegal. More on that another day.

It happened to me, too. I mean, it was in San Diego. But you got to the point where—it was during the spring of 1967, I think, although it might have been earlier—that Marcuse became a target of this right-wing vigilante organization in San Diego. He and his wife, refugees from Nazi Germany, received death threats on the phone and then they found their phone lines cut, found stickers on their doors with targets. Drive by shootings of their garage. So, I wind up with my fellow graduate students sharing a forty-five automatic pistol and walking him to school. That was in San Diego, which was a major staging area for the war. So, there was this big contradiction.

That was when Angela Davis (b. 1944) came in. There’s like a jump-cut in her book about her first arrest in [19]67, which was an event that I unknowingly precipitated.

She had just come back from the Frankfurt School and she was staying at my house. I had an extra room. Marcuse asked me if I would put her up. One day frustrated with doing nothing about the growing war, I had created a bunch of leaflets protesting the carnage. I told her and my girlfriend, Anna, who just passed, that I was going to go to downtown San Diego and leaflet the draft board. I was just totally frustrated by being in San Diego 00:45:00 and seeing what was going on. The whole place was segregated. And you didn’t see brown people, even with Tijuana, which was right there. But you didn’t see [people of color] walking on the main streets or place like La Jolla. So anyway, I was very frustrated. I went downtown and I was leafletting for about ten minutes and two police cars show up. The cops get out and without saying a word arrest me  on the spot, carried me off my feet into the police car, and threw me in jail. I had told Angela and Anna, that if I didn’t call in two hours, come down and look for me. So, they came down, they asked people on the street, and the people told them: well, the police came and took the guy away. So, then they went down to the police station and Angela apparently was standing in the doorway and asked the captain of the watch, who sat in a small booth near the entrance just outside the police station, about me. And the captain of the watch looked at her standing in the doorway, as she and Anna told me later, and he said: you’re under arrest. So, she was arrested, and my girlfriend was arrested, and they were jailed, too. I didn’t know this was going on! I’m in jail!

Doney: When was that?

Bergman: Sometime in 1967. In the end, a handful of lawyers, who were part of the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild, who I later became close with, heard about what happened and got us out of jail, and quickly the charges were dropped.

Doney: So we’re in San Diego. You talked about how Gerth introduced you to Marcuse. What did you hope to study while you were at UC San Diego? Or what was what was the focus of your work?

Bergman: 00:48:00 Well, I was going to do my graduate work on Georg Lukács, which I started doing when I was with Gerth. He had introduced me to Lukács and to Reich. Two separate things. But not something you could easily learn about at that time. So that was what I assumed I was going to do. He [Marcuse] had just written One Dimensional Man (1964) and I read it. It was a difficult read. It seemed to me it was written in German, but looked like English, right? But I assumed I would learn more about the roots of the Frankfurt School and a social theory that could take into consideration all the intellectual changes that took place in the wake of Marx’s life work. And his work, and obviously a lot of German sociology that Gerth knew about, derived from a Marxist perspective. Gerth studied with Mannheim, and it seemed that Mannheim was affected by Lukács in particular. Sociology of knowledge comes in many ways from the notion of class consciousness and middle-class consciousness and so on. Different strata of society think a certain way because of factors, objective factors in the, in the …

I discovered that Wilhelm Reich—Gerth didn’t tell me—that Wilhelm Reich’s books had been burned by the FDA in 1959, and he was eventually imprisoned. He died in prison.

Doney: In … where?

Bergman: In Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, you know, in a medium-security prison because he’d gone nuts. I mean he was, you know, way out there—into flying saucers and all kinds of stuff.

Nevertheless, his original writings, which were famous in the late [19]20s and early [19]30s, the book Character Analysis (1933) and so on, were still being republished in English as textbooks in psychology. And, you know, there was [Carl] Jung (1875-1961) and there was Reich. So I went to San Diego with the idea, two ideas. One was: I’m going to learn 00:51:00 all this stuff, the Frankfort School from Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) to [Jurgen] Habermas (b. 1929), because these guys say I should, and I’m willing to trust that they’re right. And the other reason was the antiwar movement and the civil rights situation, the Black Power movement, the Black Panthers that had emerged, and so on. What I saw in SNCC, which eventually John Lewis (1940-2020) gets forced out of, and Stokely Carmichael (1941-1998) and H. Rap Brown (b. 1943), take over. There was no place in SNCC for white people anymore, and there was no place in the antiwar movement for moderation  I’d seen enough people getting shit kicked out of them and I figured: it’s time to sit back a little bit and look at what’s going on and try to pursue this notion of a social theory.

At the time the campus had about 4,000 students and the graduate students literally had a house down near the beach, where you could hang out. I’d never seen the sun set in the ocean. It was just blowing my mind, the whole thing.

And then one of the older graduate students who had come from Brandeis with Marcuse, Bill Liess, got a job at the University of Saskatchewan, which was trying to expand its social sciences at a new campus in Regina. Bill gets a job and he goes up there and talks to people. And he comes back down and he says, hey, they want to hire more people. So in [19]68, in the summer of [19]68, my written exams are over and a bunch of us—like four of us—go up with Bill and take over the sociology department and the program in political philosophy. 00:54:00 And how old was I? It’s [19]68. So I’m thirty. Never mind, I’m twenty-three. That’s right, I’m twenty-three, right? And I’m an acting assistant professor in a place that chose to create the first socialist government in North America.

Another part of my going up there was because Canada was a place where deserters and others could go, and I got involved in that at the time, too. Before I left, I made contact with various people and I was involved in helping move people out of the United States.

Doney: Interesting.

Bergman: At the same time, before I left we started a weekly newspaper in San Diego because what happened with Marcuse was directly related to the sort of journalism that was getting done in San Diego. The daily paper, which was very right wing and pro-war, was calling in its editorials for the firing of Marcuse because of his popularity in Europe. He had spoken to 20,000 students in Rome one summer. And that got on the wires and all of the sudden they think they have this popular communist on their hands. Reagan is governor and he’s on the Regents and he’s calling for his head. And then it turns out that Angela gets a job at UCLA, and she’s a Communist, she joined the Communist party and so you’ve got communists running around in San Diego: a major staging area for the war. We have Pendleton to the north of us, the Naval base is to the south. It felt like all hell was breaking loose.

A bunch of us decided that there has to be an alternative voice. So, I got involved with some graduate students, some from San Diego State, and a cross section of the counter culture locally in starting this newspaper. But then I left for Canada. But after that first academic year in Saskatchewan, aside from the fact that the winters there were really brutal, and I could have stayed, I decided that I needed to go down back to the States and do something about what was going on. That’s when I went back into it. 00:57:00 I’d never done, quote, “journalism.” I did a couple of articles for the Daily Cardinal, the newspaper in Madison early on. And I knew something about printing from my background [in New York], I knew something about that. It wasn’t a mystery to me. So that’s how I got involved in doing journalism and started making a transition, over time, from what you call activist journalism or advocacy journalism to something closer to real reporting.

Doney: And what was … did you have a position when you came back to from Saskatchewan? Did you have a job lined up in journalism?

Bergman: Are you kidding? You made money by selling the paper. Okay. Twenty-five cents a copy. You got paid by selling a stack of newspapers. And we had a quote “commune” that we lived in, two big Victorians, near downtown San Diego. That was the late spring of 1969. A year later a year later we got written up in Time Magazine in the press section. There’s my picture in the press section. It talks about how we’re being harassed by the police and vigilantes and so on. Firebombs in a car. We were definitely well-known to law enforcement.

It was during this time that a group of us started doing these stories. I didn’t do all the stories. But my close friend Jan Diepersloot, who was a former graduate student in linguistics, involved in the Marcuse group, was heavily involved because we were doing stories about what in those days we might call the “ruling elite” of the city and the county. For me, it was essentially putting into action the sociological insights of Hans Gerth that informed Mills’ Power Elite with Mosse’s insight into the culture of fascism.

We started doing stories about why there was a bridge that went from San Diego to Coronado, and not a tunnel, which is what we knew the Navy wanted. And we picked up on this from sailors who bought the paper and came to talk to us. So we did that story. And that got us familiar with the leading Democrat in terms of money and influence in San Diego, a guy named John Alessio (1910-1998), who we quickly learned had a brother in the mafia. 01:00:00 He was known as “Mr. Tijuana.” In those days, he controlled gambling in northwest Mexico. He would get jailed two years later and lost the possession. A Mexican oligarch took it over and that family still controls it. But we learned about Alessio’s influence at the time, and we put that in the paper.

That led us to investigate his longtime business partner and, and in many ways, his protection: a guy named C. Arnholt Smith (1899-1996), who owned the U.S. National Bank. We went back, historically, and we asked ourselves: how did these guys get their money? So, we did some research and we found out. And it was not difficult to find out because we went to the county recorder, we went to the courthouse. You’d find lawsuits. You’d find this and that which was never in the local newspaper, never mentioned. Arnholt Smith was Mr. San Diego of the year, of the century, the century, in [19]69. And in [19]70 Alessio was Mr. San Diego that year, if I’m correct. And Smith was an extremely powerful person. Everybody knew: this is the most powerful guy. It’s his bank downtown. They didn’t have to get underground parking there; they were able to get a street narrowed, you know; they got anything they wanted from the city council and the mayor.

So we were in the middle of the heat of all of this and the antiwar movement in the middle of the staging area, when there’s a knock on the door of our commune, which was an old, a beautiful old Victorian that had been the mayor’s residence at one time back in the nineteenth century. And we thought it was the FBI because you could see these guys, you know, wearing fedoras and whatnot. But they flipped their credentials and said, no, we’re not the FBI. They were IRS intelligence. I won’t bore you with the whole saga that I’ve written about at this point, but basically they told us indirectly. because they couldn’t be too direct; it was a felony for them to tell us anything that was in a tax return. But they had it down so that we could figure out what they were saying. At one point they said, why aren’t you taking notes?

Arnholt Smith, we learned, was one of the first campaign contributors in 1946 to Richard Nixon (1913-1994). That’s how close he was. 01:03:00 He spent election night in [19]68 with Nixon in the Waldorf Astoria. Well… And Alessio was a major campaign contributor beginning with the then-district attorney in San Francisco, Pat Brown (1905-1996), and he took care of the Democrats. The two of them [Smith and Alessio] were in business together, buying and selling major pieces of property, public transit and an airline and other corporations, which the Wall Street Journal wrote up in September of [19]69. But all those copies of the Wall Street Journal were taken off the stands [in San Diego] by the police. The IRS was investigating how they bought and sold everything, from the Kansas City Transit System to the San Diego Padres to an airline called Air California. They would buy and sell these things between the two of them. Smith would have an escrow company in the middle that would get all the fees. And this was the racket that they were doing, right? Plus they were bribing people!

We were on that story and we started to report on it, particularly on how they were using the Yellow Cab companies. It was a cash business in those days. Buy and sell them, sixteen of them around the southwestern United States, including San Francisco. And then use the cash to bribe the city council or the mayor or whatever. And these guys—these two IRS guys—knew this. They were working on Alessio, and Smith as well, but Alessio was their prime target because he was moving cash across the border from his racetrack in Tijuana into San Diego to renovate the Hotel del Coronado, which he had bought, and which he wanted the bridge [near the Naval Base] to connect to. He wanted a bridge going to it because one of his brothers, owned the property on both sides. And if there had been a tunnel, they wouldn’t have been able to sell the property and make money from the construction of bridge. So we did that story and these guys, the IRS agents, it turned out they knew all this already. It was one reason they came to see us. But the major reason, was they had presented much of this to a federal grand jury and the White House had intervened along with Attorney General John Mitchell (1913-1988). The Washington officials named as intervening in the case include John Dean (b. 1938), then White House counsel, and a former Customs Official named [John] Caulfield (1929-2012), who would all be testifying or being prosecuted in a few years. But at the time it was all new to us.

The other thing I learned during that period in San Diego, and that I tell students or anybody willing to listen to me, is: sometimes the best stories are hiding in plain sight. It was not difficult to put this all together during the first couple of stories. Doing these first stories got these guys to come to us, and that’s how we learned that Washington had called, 01:06:00 It turned out Smith had gone to Washington to talk to Nixon, to shut these guys down, to shut down the grand jury, and he did. And these IRS guys were pissed. I mean, they had to be really pissed to come to us crazy commies, right?

Doney: Sure.

Bergman: Actually, over the next couple of years, I became very close with the older of the two IRS guys. And it taught me that, in the business that I wound up getting into, you have to suspend judgment of people before you decide whether you’re going to listen to them or not. And often the people who know what you want to know are not necessarily people you’re going like, or that you have a lot in common with. San Diego taught me that difference between being an academic or advocate and a journalist. Academics I think, and academia, tends—to use a Marxist term—to reify people and stories if you will. It loses a lot of subtlety and depth and reality.

In some ways it was ability of Mosse to put facts in historical context, as an example, and the wisdom I experienced listening to Gerth and learning about the sociology of knowledge that he introduced me to, that helped me evaluate and develop a point of view that informed my research and reporting for the next half century.

When I wound up finally joining establishment media, in my world that meant Rolling Stone, which would leave San Francisco at the end of ’76 and went to New York, and in turn we would start the Center for Investigative Reporting. But I wouldn’t stay long. I wound up being a single parent in [19]77. At the Center for Investigative Reporting, I was the guy raising the money, and it was just too much for me. I had turned down other jobs that involved moving to New York, because, having grown up there, I knew it would force me to do stories I did not believe in. I figured I would get fired if they had to see me every day. And this guy from ABC Time shows up around December of [19]77. 01:09:00 And he says we’re starting a new project, we want to hire investigative reporters. He said: you’ve been recommended by Bob Greene (1929-2008) from Newsday, who was an investigative editor—one of the few that existed at a regular newspaper in the [19]60s. The regular newspapers didn’t often do this kind of reporting? It was done by freelancers, book authors. Whether it’s books, like [Ralph] Nader (b. 1934) or [Rachel] Carson (1907-1964) on the environment, or Michael Harrington (1928-1989) on poverty, it’s all books. There was a guy named Ferdinand Lundberg (1902-1995) who did a book on the rich and the super-rich, which was a great rundown of how the Gilded Age hadn’t ended. All of that was particularly useful to me. But these are not academics, right? And they are not people who are working for major news organizations. What we call investigative reporting today wasn’t a category for the Pulitzer Prize for instance. It had been something newspapers did, briefly, in the ‘50s, when people were doing work on police corruption. But it wasn’t until the mid-’80s that investigative reporting became a Pulitzer Prize category.

Back to these IRS guys. I learned that the IRS, who, you know, put away Al Capone (1899-1947), had this sub-group called IRS intelligence. They also would put away Spiro Agnew (1918-1996). They got him to resign in a couple of years. But IRS intelligence ended up becoming a casualty of Watergate. Congress was so scared of these people that they abolished that division of the IRS in [19]76, okay? I learned these two agents were part of an incredible network of people in law enforcement at least in Southern California. They were experts on high income individuals and people who were likely to be avoiding and possibly doing it illegally. That was their target. They didn’t open a case unless they could prove it—and make an argument that they could financially recover at least a multiple of the cost of the investigative. They also developed a network of informants who were often high up in the Teamsters and the Mafia itself or its associates. It was a way for rivals to get rid of each other. They were investigating Howard Hughes (1905-1976) and … I mean, they didn’t care. Unlike the FBI under Hoover, who would do ‘intelligence’ related to organized crime, they actually not only prosecuted, but collected vast sums.

Doney: Yeah.

Bergman: They read the Business and Society sections of the Los Angeles Times. They didn’t stop at the front part of paper. They were looking for people who they could collect from. I found them absolutely fascinating. There was one guy, John Daly, 01:12:00 who unfortunately died on the operating table a decade later. Really, he wound up totally paralyzed and hospitalized about ten years later. He was a working-class guy from Rhode Island, self-educated, who became a regular cop at first. An Irishman with a ‘red’ neck, and at the time his informal partner made up their own crime team. John, I recall, told me he had hundreds of files based on as many informants. For years his actual ‘partner’ wasn’t in the IRS. He was a special investigator in the Los Angeles DAs office, Frank Hroni, a giant of man, born in Czechoslovakia, who looked like the actor who played the monster in a then new series of Frankenstein film. This guy knew more about organized crime and Hollywood and money than anyone else I ever met. And that’s what Daly was into, too, although his territory did not seem to have any limits. His informants were both all over California and inside Teamster hangouts like the La Costa Country Club in San Diego to the Midwest. So they just hung together. When I would come to Los Angeles, after I had worked with Daly the Alessio story, they’d stick me in the back of their car, when they cruised around L.A. They gave me their copy Los Angeles County Thomas’ Map Book and had me provide directions. They only wanted routes that kept them off the freeways, where they feared the then unpredictable traffic jams. As the day went by I was introduced to many of their snitches. They even kept track of ‘retired’ gangsters who populated some of the flop houses in what was known as “Slasher Alley” just off of downtown L.A.

Doney: That’s an amazing network.

Bergman: Yeah. They’d scare the Jesus out of people. I watched Daly and Hroni go into the Lacosta Country Club in northern San Diego County, which was built with Teamster money, go into the locker room, go from the president of the Teamsters Union to a mafia guy and get them to snitch on each other because none of these people wanted the IRS after them. And they’d take notes and go off and try to make cases.

Doney: As we move into the last bit of our time together, I have a couple of things I wanted to ask you about. The first is whether there’s anything else you wanted to say about UW-Madison or the last meeting you mentioned having with Mosse in DC. If there’s anything related to the UW that you wanted to say, and then I’ll ask the second part.

Bergman: Wisconsin. Well, I did freeze when I first went into my first Kroger’s! I couldn’t figure it out! Too many choices, you know. I wasn’t used to that kind of supermarket. 01:15:00

But that’s kind of how Wisconsin was for me, personally. It was like this gigantic market that I could walk into and do all kinds of different things, meet all kinds of different people. I remember a sociology professor who walked down the hallway with a gigantic exhibit of a birth control pill. He was interested in population issues, but at the same time sexuality was opening up. Ideologically, things were going wild. People were interested in music. Everything was happening in Madison. It was really incredible for someone who was basically a child, you know, making a transition. I still have contacts with people that I went to school with there. A lot of people were in the left ideological thing, they were into Studies on the Left, or they were enamored of Marcuse, for instance. So they were all jealous [when I went to San Diego] and I still get notes from some of them. And I have one son who went to Madison. One niece who went to Madison recently and was the president of the student union. And I’ve been back a couple of times and, and, you know, it was just the right place at the right time. I had an opportunity to go to Columbia University. But it seemed to me to be a rich kids’ school at that time. Wisconsin seemed more like the place I wanted to go.

What was your other question? Oh, right: Mosse. As I said when you sent me the questions, I said, oh yeah, Mosse, the guy who called me a primitive communist! He had me completely right! I liked the idea of communes because they were so cheap and I didn’t have to go make a lot of money. That’s where my head was at. He and the other guys, 01:18:00 basically Gerth and Goldberg in particular, had their own unique obsessions that opened up all kinds of doors for young people. You know, Jean Jaurès, for instance … I was just in Paris and there’s a subway stop named after Jean Jaurès, and my longtime video editor—she’s been living part-time in Paris and we were hanging out with her—and I was on the metro and I said, “oh Jean Jaurès,” and she’s looking at me, like: really? I said, yeah, that’s who it’s named after! I knew that from Madison.

In [19]67, I went to Frankfurt. My father was a native Hungarian who came over himself in 1939 just before the war broke out. He got out in a blacked-out train from Budapest to Hamburg and later got involved. He was a trained as a furrier and was in the fur market in New York. And that’s where he got connected to a lot of Italians and then he went back to Europe in ‘52 to Hungary. He went back to Eastern bloc. And then he came out and was living outside Frankfurt. And in 1967, he got busted running the border between Denmark and Germany with an Israeli guy. They had a trailer full of furs from the Eastern bloc and guns. And that’s when I got the call from one of his seven sisters saying he was locked up and we needed to bail him out. And I took out a loan, a National Defense Education Act loan. And I hadn’t taken one loan out, so I had good credit. Then we flew over and used that as an opportunity to meet [Theodor] Adorno (1903-1969) and other people. It was crazy. German SDS, former Hitler youth people. You know, they came. And Hans Jurgen Strauss, I hadn’t thought of him in a long time. But I wouldn’t have had all of that understanding if I hadn’t gone to Wisconsin. 01:21:00

I’m doing something right now, I’m sort of coming out of retirement to do a story that asks the question: why is the internet so fucked up in America? Why is it this crazy disorganized mess that’s killing our children? I just came back from Brussels because the EU is doing stuff about it. But that perspective that I first learned at Wisconsin—to look for money and power and how the two are intertwined—it continues to inform my work. What’s the difference, for example, between the Ayn Rand disciples like Mr. Tesla and his friends and the first generation of people in the internet who were utopian counterculture druggies? I’m talking to one of them tomorrow, someone from that era. So, all of that set me up and I managed to survive.

Doney: More than survive, I would say. The last question I have in our last couple minutes is about the current pressure on students who are majoring in humanities disciplines and about the questions arising now about the utility of a history degree. I wondered if you had any advice for students who are still interested in the humanities and are pursuing history majors and sociology majors?

Bergman: I don’t know, everybody is different, so it’s hard to give prescriptions. But I would say that you’re lucky if you’re a musician because you get to physically do something rewarding with what you’re learning intellectually and otherwise. For those who aren’t musicians in humanities, I would say it really depends on where you are, what community you’re in, and what university you’re in or around. If you’re around a place like Madison, 01:24:00 then there are so many ways you can take what you’re learning and try to figure out a way to make a living off of it—while also having insight into what’s going on. You don’t get that if you’re just into computer science. But it’s also nice to have some money and not be a primitive communist, and pursuing what you have a passion for, I don’t know that there will be the money around to pay people to teach those subjects these days, I mean, it depends on what happens.

We are at a juncture, I think: a dangerous juncture. Socially, too. I did a whole Zoom event three years ago during the pandemic about “the coming Civil War.” Actually, they took my title off because I wanted the title too be “the First Amendment is Not a Suicide Pact,” but they’re very sensitive at universities about using the word suicide these days. So, they took that off and renamed it “the coming Civil War.” In my experience we are as close to that, as I’ve seen, since the 1960s or early 1970s.

Doney: I want to be respectful of your time. So, this is Skye Doney, concluding an oral history with Lowell Bergman on 11 July 2023 for the Mosse Oral History Project.


End Session.

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