Author Deborah Cohen Describes the 'Big Get' Interviews of the 1930s


The journalists in your book are interviewing the most important political figures of their day. Hitler Mussolini Franco Trotsky, Gandhi, Churchill, FDR. Could you describe some of these encounters and also, how important were these interviews? For example, would this be as high profile as if Anderson Cooper, Chris Wallace, were interviewing Vladimir Putin right now in the day of this recording his early April as that Russian Ukrainian war is still going on, or would it be more of a puff piece? Could you talk about these encounters with these world leaders? These are the analogy that you draw as exactly right. These are the big guts of their time. And in part, the reason why these interviews are so significant in this analogy with Putin brings this is that there's a sense that these are the figures who are determining history. So history is being made by them and also through them. So actually getting to sit down with them allows a reporter a kind of privileged access into the psychology and to the intellectual thought process, you know, it's not the same, you know, you could sit down with my career or Ramsay MacDonald or any number of kind of normal political leaders. And you've got, you know, some of their spend, you got maybe a little bit of a glimpse, but fundamentally you didn't think that their personality was making history. On the other hand, once you're dealing with a Trotsky or a Mussolini or a Hitler or Stalin or a Putin, it's certainly the case that they are outsized figures who is Jimmy shin puts in our managing to channel the tide of history, quite literally. So how important these are and what you get from them really does depend upon who you're talking

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