Quote of the Week
Q. There is another Hoosier you write about who is unknown, Powers Hapgood of Indianapolis. Who was he?
Vonnegut: Powers Hapgood was a rich kid. His family owned a successful canner in Indianapolis. Powers was radicalized. After he graduated from Harvard, he went back to work in a coal mine to find out what that was like. He became a labor organizer. He led the pickets against the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti. I got to know him late in his life when he’d become a local CIO official. There was some sort of dustup on a picket line, enough to bring the cops into play. Hapgood was testifying in court what was to be done about CIO member who made trouble. The judge stopped the proceedings at one point an said, "Hapgood, why would a man with your advantages, from a wealthy, respected family, Harvard graduate, lead such a life?" Powers Hapgood replied, "Why, the Sermon on the Mount, sir." Not bad, huh?
Incidentally, I am honorary president of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the great science fiction writer and biochemist Dr. Isaac Asimov. John Updike, who is religious, says I talk more about God than any seminarian. Socialism is, in fact a form of Christianity, people wishing to imitate Christ.