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Fighting Words: Is espionage a necessary evil?

The Story


In a month fraught with Cold War tension, the Fighting Words panel debates the idea that "espionage is an unpleasant necessity." Philosophy professor Max Black, newspaper editor Michael Barkway, political and religious philosopher George Grant and Front Page Challenge panellist Toby Robins have a go at the concepts of spying, war and morality in this 1960 program.

Medium: Television
Program: Fighting Words
Broadcast Date: May 22, 1960
Guests: Michael Barkway, Max Black, George Grant, Toby Robins
Host: Nathan Cohen
Duration: 12:46

Did You know?


• On May 1, 1960, three weeks before this broadcast, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down while taking surveillance photos in Soviet airspace. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower refused to apologize to the Russians for the spy flight, prompting Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to walk out of a U.S.-Soviet summit later that month.

• Panellist Toby Robins once worked with a world-famous spy: she had a role in the 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.


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