This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Irita Van Doren introduces Billy Rose. Rose discusses his recent book "Wine, Women and Words."
Next, Robert Sherwood discusses politics and his book about Franklin Roosevelt. For more on Robert Sherwood, please visit http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/neh-preservation-project/2012/dec/21/robert-sherwood/.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71180
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Were you one of the millions who went to the arcade at the New York World's Fair and saw in a three hundred foot long swimming pool Johnny Weissmuller the cast of three hundred fifty beautiful damsels perform well water ballets that was sheer poetry and the fascinating Eleanor Holmes Olympic champion now Mrs Rose. Did you see common Jones asking how much dance exciting only grow version of disease after a have you spent an evening at the Diamond horse show house you give me the credit two hundred thousand dollars musical gambles the longstanding growth of is in the garden of violins. The heroes conceived and produced all these things with that pinwheel imagination that has said has been said to work faster with each success. Ever since his childhood in Valencia Street where a little fellow he learned the hard way to take care of himself with bigger boys he has fought and competed in a tough world. That have been some crashing flops along the way. But the successes have increasingly predominated he's been a speed champion. A songwriter by a Google with his first real smash and in the next eight years he wrote three hundred songs of which forty one hits. He's a Broadway producer a nightclub owner and operator and a bone showman who staged the Texas frank here centennial in the water ballet of the Great Lakes exposition as well as his gigantic New York spectacle is a theater owner a radio speaker and a newspaper columnist his pitching hard shoes is now syndicated in over two hundred papers including The Herald Tribune. Is language is vivid colloquial Broadway is that is understood and enjoyed thousands of miles away from Broadway for instance when he listens to someone else he's giving them a time. His research assistants a bird dog help the old man to me refers often with gratitude and affection is there not the root of whom he was once secretary and whose friendship he had proudly enjoyed for thirty years. Today. We meet him in his latest incarnation as of October twenty second before days now he has been an awesome. I'm delighted to introduce to you the author of wine women and words. Ladies and gentleman and my VERY MUCH better half. I don't know how many copies Mr Collins book is going to sell and I don't know how many copies this to share with the book is going to sell but I do know that wine women and words are going to sell one hundred thousand copies and. Now my problem is where am I going to put what the heck am I going to do with one hundred thousand copies. I asked for permission to bring Mrs Rose to this luncheon and I did because I knew this was going to be a very impressive gathering and I thought if she saw me up on that day as talking to your folks I might get a little respect around the house. But I'm not too optimistic about that and I'd like to tell your wife last year I was guest of honor at a big part of the. On the roof of one of the fancy hotels. I think it was the Jewish Federated charter. I want to tip their hats and say science because I had raised a lot of money while I was very moved with six hundred people and wherever you are through a stone you had a millionaire or an executive or a president of a whisky company. And Herb Swope was a master ceremonies and at the end of the meeting the fellow who still hero was valid or not our girl presented me with a great big gold clock. Around two in the morning we want to home that fancy that and where we lived. And I said to myself Well the old lady has got to be a little impressed tonight. But I stopped I fumbled at the door with the key when I looked at me and said still a bomb. As a matter of fact. The only part of this literary career of mine that you has approved up is the book and for this reason this summer. While it's up at Reader's Digest the Pleasantville bought the book for condensation and as a result of this purchase several of the Reader's Digest lads came around to the house they were all tall one dolly and they played tennis. And Eleanor was very much impressed she said you've finally got paid off. Of course I'm awfully glad to have this book finished because for the past year I've been walking around with a little black slave on my back and the whole thing is shaped up like a short cut someone else. Now that it's finished my office is beginning to feel like mist abilities campaign headquarters I'm in constant touch with Simon Schuster I pick up the phone they tell me that the land to speak precinct sold three books at eleven o'clock. Actually I think you all ought to buy a copy. Because if nothing else it'll make a flying coaster for high ball glass and. That it's a first edition you can never tell someday a book like this might be worth the paper it's printed on. Of course I imagine this is going to change my life a great deal and the afternoon now I'm going to buy myself American Pie from the down and have a photographer snap them some pictures because Saturday Review of literature might want to own standards but it serves out of that spot and run a picture of me that I have and. I imagine I may be invited to a lecture and I've got a couple of. Couple of notions of what I'd like to rebuff as a matter of fact I got a call the other day from someone at Cosmopolitan Alaska to write a piece called How I Learned to read at the age of thirty five. My friend Mr Speed back in American Mercury wants a piece called How to make it came the hard way. Which I had not so sure that you ladies what I understand. Of course. This is all been fun and games and this book is very largely a reflection of my own household and the little lady I'm married to and there are a lot of things that puzzle me about the world in which I live and the little lady I learned to one of them is I can understand why I can never win an argument for my wife I'm older. I've been around more I once upon a bronze medal for debating it C S forty four. But as our tenth anniversary comes up the score is Eleanor eleven thirty nine the only one big fight to say. Not so long ago I had breakfast alone or had the morning paper before and she said Look at this picture of Jimmy Forrestal he looks like Jimmy Cagney don't you think he'd make a good president. And I said you're not being logical what has looking like Jimmy Cagney got to do with being a good president she said Look Who's Talking about logic. And she says the Jetta does James Forrest walk into the house with wet rubbers and track up Chris's Forrestal's nice clean floor. I said What is that got to do with she said well she doesn't have to follow him with a mop I know he'd make a good president. Well there's no way inside of that kind of logic. And as a little talcum of his around my years I'm kind of glad to resist because I think only a chump tries to get the last word with the galley stuck up I know some fellows to win arguments from their wives but as you know I'm in the saloon business and I see a lot of people and I've seen some of those wives out with other fellows. Out of course I'm very happy to be there and before me I see a kind of a darling face and I belongs to a lady whose confidence in me has done a lot of nice things to my spine the past year I'm referring to Mrs Delane rate was a kind of was kind of number one on my heart for right and I now want to thank you very very much for the great privilege of extending our first great newspaper the razzmatazz words. Of the soul jazz and juniper vibes thank you very much the use of are. A gifted writer and historian faithful to his craft not the canvas. And. The heroes of this wonderful book was just a chance phrase that wasn't one of the myriad jokes. Just the praise that and praise may very much he started off a sentence with these words. Before you hear it from Westbrook Pegler. Well I didn't need to read the rest of the site and so I I dwelled on that wonderful phrase for a long time and I'm going to steal it from the Leno. Site before you here read. Westbrook Pegler my own background. Has been that of a Broadway wisecracks I'm the Hollywood actor. So I never had. Any prospect of. Getting and who they are all levels of government months or even the getting in the politics and anyway except by stepping on the last little boat and pulling all the levers and hoping I'd hold of the right line. But I found myself to my amazement the nineteen forty. And government services of the Saud. And. Working. With Souray Hopkins and President Roosevelt. On the president's speeches. Because the time goes right there was no reportedly it was. And every time for a while the war years but President Roosevelt made a speech. If there was any thing in the armrests and the speech. In columnist I won't mention the same name again but certain. Certain columnists once say a lot as the work of that cheap Broadway wisecrack I sure would. I was given to take the lead credit for. The references by the president to always little dog Falla and one of his speeches which. During the campaign of one thing forty four created quite a bit of a laugh that's roll out of the nation. But I had nothing to do with that but every word of that particular passage was the president's own However I still like the big given credit for it. Thirty Alan. Quoted something from Santana. And I noted that down and up this morning and. Someone new to point out. Is this if a country which forgets its history is compelled to relive it. About Life. That has made it very hard and then in a way won her the Allen sudden the whole subject of historical novels and their importance. It. Made me feel odd I never thought of this before but it made me know. What I have been doing. And. This anonymous test that I've had for. Well since March nineteenth forty six. Now. And so that you and standing up for it. Being the first historical novel All the ones that start up the whole range of historical novels I have a gallon most quite right and correct thing I read on Monday or on my as a matter of fact. I wrote a historical novel. Before Anthony got first. However part of the alan. Does not know that neither that does anybody else with less room. Nobody else except me and I am talking. About I would like to think. About my own book. That. That will be there somewhere. On. Some bookshelves. Available to her the Allens of the field. Cause I think. That our immediate past. Represents some of the most glorious chapters not only in our own history but in all of human history. On. Advertising like both of them and the reveals emphasis is put upon the fact that. It gives intimate thought for its. Some cases that the two on revealed facts about the. War I'm going to begin. The president the prime minister is the statesman the generals. I think they important. Thing about our immediate past is not with these great big As for exceptional. It is the fact that they were represented of. The extraordinary character and courage and determination of our people. As much as mine Daryn said and. I did a great deal of probably around Europe. As a boy on the Mediterranean and all over the Pacific. And to me it was endlessly. Stimulating and all inspiring. To see the quality of the American people that came out not only in combat. But in the extraordinary engine know where they with which all manner of new devices new weapons were employed were improved. And behind the armed services the incredible vitality that was represented by production. And as. It appears in the minutes of the terror conference. Stalin. Spoke of that production American production and said without which this war would of been launched. The wall was not lost. It was I imagined almost complete Priam over its broaden our story tomorrow a powerful enemies that has ever been achieved. Now. It does us no good to forget these. Water pry the pretend that such things never happen was the hideous mistake that we made in one thousand nine hundred nineteen twenty thereby paving the way for his less than the great many other whales. And the heroes and both he tells a story. Of a little boy named Larry wild A ten years old. Rescue of another little boy who had fallen down a silhouette to do what he had to show. A mockup vocal range and even more remarkable presence of mind and ingenuity but he does save the other little boy's life and not let the heroes to speculate how the. Thought of American kids gets that way and the hero's confessed on a book and these words. I'll be damned if I know where a man gets all his moxie. I don't know exactly what the word Mox they meant I know it was a soft drink that different. Different still got out of Boston. But. For mine that May the following one Moxie was widely advertised that. Was advertised much sense that much they gave the owner right. And so not to mock say is a generic term for another ferrets or if you will share and got. Well I too have left feeling over and over again and seeing the American kids all over the world in an every conceivable kind of circumstance adjusting themselves not take themselves fighting against ferocious highly experienced and well trained enemies. And invariably coming to Priam and not always because they had superior weapons many times against overwhelming odds. Now or. That was petty. But ten and then still less. And less solemn ones. Midway. And C O H had. Omaha Beach. The flight over the hump. Into China. And I found another battlefield from a always the way. Those kids. Just came out of the spring and the vitality of this nation and that spring and that vitality is still there. And that is I should like to repeat that procreation my country which forgets that history is compelled to raise a living. For God's sake don't let us have to relive it again. And I would let us not forget. What we have seen in our immediate past and what we can find that we don't back. In the law very beginnings and throughout our whole history must convince us. That there is nothing on earth by the physical or ideological for this nation the great job. There is nothing on earth that this nation cannot achieve including and dealing with peace like it.