David Schoenbrun, Bennett Cerf, and Barbara Tuchman

Email a Friend

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Maurice Dolbier welcomes journalist Janet Flanner, Genet, to the podium to introduce David Schoenbrun, author of the biography "The Three Lives of Charles De Gaulle." Schienbrum pays tribute to the other speakers on the dais, and makes connections between his work and theirs. He then tells several funny stories relating to De Gaulle. He speaks of De Gaulle's perception of his own ancestors. He makes it clear that he does not believe another war such as World War II will ever happen again, and that the men who took part in the war were also completely unique.

Next, Dolbier introduces publisher Bennett Cerf, author of "Laugh Day." He reminds the audience that laughter is very important.Cerf notes that he believes American's under rate themselves - he tells a couple of stories about the nice people he has met during his travels around the country. The first story is about the president of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and an instructor's five year old son. The next story takes place at the Neiman Marcus in Dallas, TX. He encourages people to help one another and be kind. He endorses John Lindsay at the end of his speech.

Finally, Barbara Tuchman, author of "The Proud Tower," a book describing the world before the first World War. Several references are made to another of her books, "The Guns of August." She discusses the role of the historian. She laments the use of the term "non-fiction" to describe her work, and wishes that the term "realitor" had not be taken by those who work in the sale of land. She takes exception to the dictionary definition of fiction, which places imagination at odds with fact. She discusses the elements of writing: language, structure.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71336
Municipal archives id: T1741