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The Early Pete Seeger

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The son of a musicologist and pacifist, Pete Seeger leaves a legacy and ideals. Serving in World War II and then involving himself in labor and peace issues, Seeger never pulls any punches. In an interview with Steven Colbert, he reviews his life with typical Colbert humor. See and hear this at: where Seeger's last book is mentioned.

Prior to this, he was, indeed, a communist who broke with the dogma of the party. However, he never strayed from the ideal of supporting the underdog and being ahead of his time.

In 1955, when called before the House on Un-American Activities during the misbegotten McCarthy era, he refused to name any colleagues' names. He knew that could ruin them. Time and time again he refused quite politely. He said at the onset of the hearing:

"I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this. I would be very glad to tell you my life if you want to hear of it."

Later in his life he joined forces with the Occupy Wall Street group, walking two miles supported by canes and someone on the guitar beside him. As in one of the songs he wrote, he was always on guard for the quality of life in ecology, politics, and family, as his grandsons can attest.

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