Why let facts get in the way of a good prejudice? When John Steinbeck and Robert Capa let people know they were planning to visit Soviet Russia, they were subjected to reactions with a ratio of an ounce of reality to a pound of prejudice.

I hope this example at least makes you smile.

We’re living through another worrying whirlwind of rumour. Don’t let it breathe on you, lest you become infected.

A cab driver said, “Them Russians, they bathe together, men and women, without no clothes on.”

“Do they?”

“Sure they do,” he said. “That ain’t moral.”

It developed on questioning that he had read an account of a Finnish steam bath. But he was pretty upset at the Russians about it.

 

Source: John Steinbeck, A Russian Journal, with photographs by Robert Capa (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999 (1948)), p. 7

Photo credit: Anton Darius at unsplash

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