Elmo Roper, Edna Ferber, and John Gunther

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

Irita Van Doren introduces Elmo Roper, a leader in the then-new field of market research. He discusses the "near-science" of public opinion research. He speaks on two themes - probability and sampling and semantics: asking the "right" sort of questions. He speaks on many issues that are informed by public opinion research - particularly political and social issues related to the Cold War.

Next, Van Doren, introduces Edna Ferber, novelist and playwright. She discusses her time spent in Alaska and her novel "Ice Palace." She goes on to talk about the "Angry Young Men." She goes on to share the thoughts of an "angry old woman," mentioning that while millions are spent in an effort to send man in to space, school teachers remain poorly paid. She speaks at length about the concept of being part of humankind.

Finally, Van Doren introduces John Gunther, author of the "Inside" series of continental surveys. For this Books and Authors Luncheon Gunther discusses his most recent work, "Inside Russia Today." Gunther speaks of some of the surprises he found in Russia - no golf courses! He then tells a short antidote about another writer, Walter Duranty, who thought he had seen Trotsky being sent into exile, but late learned that it was only an actor. He speaks of Kruschev's drinking and notes that he and his wife were no followed (to their knowledge) during their 51 days in the country.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71267
Municipal archives id: LT7933