Elizabeth Vining, Bennett Cerf, and Robert Moses

Thursday, November 27, 1952

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

WNYC announcer introduces the program to the radio audience.

Van Doren introduces Vining, who talks about her book, "Windows for a Crown Prince," about working with the future emperor of Japan (Akihito). She speaks about the children in Japan and the atomic bomb.

Van Doren introduces Cerf, who talks about his book "Good for a Laugh," "What's My Line?" and his career. Tells a joke about a pregnant woman that the crowd goes crazy for. Recommends "Charlotte's Web," "Dennis the Menace," and "Every Dog Should Have a Man." Leads in to Moses's speech by implying he ought to run for mayor.

Van Doren introduces Moses, NYC Parks Commissioner, by listing his contributions to the community, like ramps in Central Park, a merry-go-round in the Park; some failures. Moses talks about his new biography, "Robert Moses: Builder for Democracy."

WNYC announcer again lists the program speakers, introduces "the UN story."

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71178
Municipal archives id: LT2319

Hosted by:

Irita Taylor Van Doren


Bennett Cerf, Robert Moses and Elizabeth Gray Vining


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About Books and Authors Luncheon

Hear, first-hand, the thoughts and voices of some of the greatest thinkers, adventurers, and characters of our nation.

Legendary New York Herald-Tribune book review editor Irita Van Doren, moderator of the series [1949-1968], has an intellectual largesse and a genuine interest in the American literary arts, which produces engaging, sometimes off-beat discussions with both first-time and veteran authors. 

In addition to literary writers like Louis Auchincloss, James Michener, and Rachel Carson, listeners are enthralled by nonliterary experts speaking on their autobiographies.  Sammy Davis, Jr., expounds on Yes, I Can!; burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee entertains audiences while promoting Gypsy, A Memoir; and sociologist Vance Packard defends his groundbreaking exposé on advertising, The Hidden Persuaders. 

Those notable personalities join a slew of others like Steve Allen, Marian Anderson, Bennett Cerf, Noel Coward, Jules Feiffer, Edna Ferber, A. E. Hotchner, Fannie Hurst, Jane Jacobs, Somerset Maugham, Vladimir Nabokov, Gore Vidal, Jessamyn West, and Marguerite Young.  An indispensable catalog of craft talk and biographical context, the New York Herald-Tribune Books and Authors Luncheon series explores all manner of disciplines and issues in American arts and history.


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