Gertrude Stein: Operas and Plays

Political views

According to Janet Malcolm's contested account in Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice, Stein was a vocal critic of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal.[89][90][91]

While some have stressed her queer, feminist, pro-immigration, and democratic politics,[92][93] her statements on immigration include sentiments that would be considered racist today. In a 1934 interview published in The New York Times she stated:

That is the reason why I do not approve of the stringent immigration laws in America today. We need the stimulation of new blood. It is best to favor healthy competition. There is no reason why we should not select our immigrants with greater care, nor why we should not bar certain peoples and preserve the color line for instance. But if we shut down on immigration completely we shall become stagnant.[94]

She publicly endorsed General Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War and admired Vichy leader Marshal Philippe Pétain.[89] Some have argued for a more nuanced view of Stein's collaborationist activity, arguing that it was rooted in her wartime predicament and status as a Jew in Nazi-occupied France.[95][96][97][98] Similarly, Stein commented at 1938 on Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky: "There is too much fathering going on just now and there is no doubt about it fathers are depressing."[87]

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