The Reagan Speech Preservation Society

Kenneth Tynan

Modified: Tuesday, 07 October 2014 19:34 by admin - Uncategorized
Kenneth Tynan was a British theater critic, working for the London Evening Standard, The Observer and, in the United States, The New Yorker. At one point, he also worked as the Script Editor for the famous Ealing Studios. After his time as a critic, he served with the British National Theater Company. Tynan is imfamous for being the first person to use the F-word on British TV.


Speech Relevance

In 'A Time For Choosing', Reagan makes the claim that:
He [Khrushchev] has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet."
The un-named commentator actually has a name in the Prepared version of the speech, "English commentator Tynan." Reagan misquoted Tynan. Tynan's actual quote, as found in several sources stemming from a 1961 speech by William F. Buckley, is "better Red than dead seems an obvious doctrine for anyone not consumed by a death wish; I would rather live on my knees than die on my knees." This changes the connotation somewhat.

The expression "It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." is most often attributed to Emiliano Zapata, a Mexican revolutionary.


Source links

Buckley's Triumph

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