Margaret Sanger, "Bertrand Russell Luncheon Speech," 4 Apr 1924.

Source: "Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of CongressLibrary of Congress Microfilm 129:697B."

This short introduction was prepared for a luncheon in honor of Bertrand Russell sponsored by the American Birth Control League in the New York home of its Vice President Charlotte Delafield.


First I wish to express my appreciation to our gracious hostess for making it possible for us to meet our honored guest in this nice informal way.

I can not tell you how pleased I am that Mr. Russell has consented to be with us today accepted our invitation to come here today.

Most of us think of great philosophers and great scientists as remote individuals, eternally buried in dusty studies, poring over dry books in near sighted fashion, far away from the pressing problems of ordinary human beings.

Here, I am happy to tell you, is one great philosopher, one great scientist, who is no Ichabod Crane. Great as his knowledge is, supreme as his position is, Bertrand Russell is a world figure not because of his learning, but because of his courage ↑vision↓ and his humanism. ↑For↓

Here is a philosopher who has had the courage ↑vision↓ to bring the whole battery of his science to the service of humanity at large.

His weapons have not been the cold steely surgical instruments of scientific analysis. His victories have been won by ↑courage↓ , human warmth, the idealists passion and heroism ↑for truth↓ .

How great Mr. Russell's courage is, is shown by his daring to stand for the ↑unpopular↓ doctrine of birth control.

I think he will agree with me that this is not a matter of troubled domestic life, to be dismissed with a wink, but ↑embodies↓ involves other social problems--those of population, international peace and the future of the race.

But perhaps Mr Russell will kindly consent to tell us what he thinks on the subject, and how it will serve in bringing about that new civilization for which he so passionately pleads.


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