[Marxism] Comments on John Hammond's "On the Record"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Oct 5 12:57:22 MDT 2005

I sent Nelson Blackstock, a leader of the SWP for a number of years, a copy 
of my piece on John Hammond. He had this to say:

I read the book in 1980.  Soon after I gave a talk that turned into the 
pamphlet "Labor Struggles in a Changing South."   To illustrate the extent 
of segregation practices even outside the South, I mentioned Hammond's 
difficulty in finding a restaurant in New York City where he could sit down 
and have a meal with Paul Robeson.  After reading the pamphlet [SWP leader] 
George Weissman asked me how I'd come up with this information about 
Hammond, whom he knew as a relative of his late wife, Connie--also from the 
Vanderbilt family.  At the time I was staying in a room on the second story 
of their townhouse on 19th Street. Trotsky's great-grand-daughter Veronica 
was living on the lower level. She was studying at Columbia. As was her 
sister, Nora, who eventually became a faculty member and leading expert on 
the science of addiction featured in a spread in the New York Times Science 
section.  Recently she was appointed head of the National Institute on Drug 
Abuse in Bethesda, Maryland.  The last issue of the American Journal of 
Psychiatry was devoted to addiction research and introduced by her signed 
editorial.  Weissman found "On the Record" in a library in Connecticut, 
where he stayed most of the time.


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