Huntington Hartford, Maurice Druon, Edward Stone, James Britt Donovan, and Karl Menninger

Tuesday, April 14, 1964

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

Irita Van Doren announces that the first speaker must leave immediately after speaking and asks Maurice Dolbier to introduce Huntington Hartford. The format of this Books and Authors Luncheon is different, instead of delivering a speech, Hartford is interviewed by Dolbier. Dolbier enquirers how Hartford settled upon the title of "Armageddon of Art." Hartford explains that the battle of Good and Evil exists in art, and that there should be a relationship between ethics and art. He discusses the retreat of artists from society. He discusses abstract art portraying a destructive element on canvas.

Dolbier goes on to discuss Hartford's founding of the Gallery of Modern Art in New York City. They discuss the positive reception of the museum and upcoming exhibitions.

Van Doren returns as emcee, introducing guests on the dais who will not be speaking. Dolbier then introduces Maurice Druon, author of "The Accursed Kings" series and "The Memoirs of Zeus." Druon, who explains that he does not speak English well, speaks only for a moment.

Next, Edward Stone, architect and designer of the Hartford Gallery of Modern Art. He speaks briefly about working with Huntington Hartford on the design of the museum.

Dolbier then introduces James Britt Donovan, who acted as the defense attorney for Rudolf Abel during his conspiracy trial, later he brokered the exchange of Rudolf Abel for U-2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers. This story is the topic of his book, "Strangers on a Bridge." He discusses the perceived relationship between a lawyer's advocacy with his client's cause. He is critical of those who decry a lawyer or judge who upholds the law, even to the benefit as someone perceived of as a criminal or undesirable. He thinks it is important for those from other counties to see the United States' commitment to due process and justice. He contrasts Abel's case to the treatment Powers received in the "police state" of the Soviet Union. Donovan goes on to speak a little about Abel's personality and the trial.

Finally, Dolbier introduces Karl Menninger a psychiatrist from Topeka, Kansas and author of "The Vital Balance." Menninger discusses mental illness and describes the few differences between the mentally well and unwell. He notes the effects of power and human aggression.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71404
Municipal archives id: RT241

Hosted by:

Maurice Dolbier and Irita Taylor Van Doren


James B. Donovan, Maurice Druon, Huntington Hartford, Karl Menninger and Edward Stone


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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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