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Useful Idiots


BBC World Service

TX Date

4th Aug 2011


John Sweeney

Programme 1
John Sweeney, in this first of 2 programmes, exhumes the journalists, politicians and celebrities who believed Stalin to be a saviour of the world rather than a mass murderer – and tells of what happened to the few who protested.
Programme 2
Chairman Mao’s China, General Pinochet’s Chile, apartheid-controlled South Africa, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and President Ahmadinejad’s Iran… These all come under scrutiny in John Sweeney’s second of two programmes on ‘Useful Idiots’. Chairman Mao, for example, was responsible for the deaths of 40 million people – a monster, most would say, yet some thought of him as ‘a great man’. John Sweeney finds out why, and whether there is s plausible explanation.