1.3 Norman Bethune

Monday, 26 March 2018 - 9:15am

Kevin Levangie joins host Kaarina Mikalson to talk about Doctor Norman Bethune, a Canadian doctor who ran a blood transfusion service in Spain. Kevin tells us about Bethune's background, his radical politics, his art, and his work in Spain and China.

Show Notes: 

Clips from the montage (in order of voices)

Bethune’s work

The best source for Bethune’s work is Larry Hannant’s Politics of Passion, but you can find it in a few other places online.

  • “Wounds” by Norman Bethune. Politics of Passion. ed. Larry Hannant. University of Toronto Press, 1998, pages 324-7.
  • “Apology for Not Writing Letters” by Norman Bethune. Politics of Passion, pages 160-5.
  • “Red Moon.” Canadian Forum. 17.198 (July 1937): 118. Print. Norman Bethune,

Work on Bethune 

Bethune in Spain

  • Heart of Spain, 1937 documentary about the Spanish Civil War and Bethune's blood transfusion work
  • The Crime on the Road: published during the Spanish Civil War, this pamphlet includes Bethune's description of the refugees fleeing Malaga. It's available on our website in English and French

Fascism in Canada

Communism in China

  • Kevin confused Edgar Snow’s 1937 book Red Star Over China and Agnes Smedley’s texts, which include China’s Red Army Marches (1933, also published as Red Flood Over China) and China Fights Backs: An American Woman with the Eighth Route Army (1938)

Socialist Realism/Socialist Aesthetics

  • Cecil-Smith, Edward. “Propaganda and Art.” Masses, January 1934, pp. 10-11.
  • Lunacharsky, Anatoly. “Problems of the Soviet Theatre: On Socialist Realism, Literature and the Theatre.” International Literature, no. 3, 1933. pp. 88-96.
  • Plekhanov, Georgy. “Art and Social Life.” 1912. Marxists Internet Archive, 2009. 
  • Plekhanov, Georgy. “Historical Materialism and the Arts.” 1899. Marxists Internet Archive, 2008
Credits: 
Produced by Kaarina Mikalson Hosted by Kevin Levangie and Kaarina Mikalson Intro song: "Libertad" by Iriarte and Pesoa Credit song: "Spanish Bombs" by The Clash