This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Van Doren introduces important guests. Drawing for free books. Introduces Dolbier, who introduces Mesta.
Mesta, a well-known socialite and Woman of the Year for 1960, talks about her auto-biography, "Perle," and her life, a tour of a steel mill.
Dolbier introduces West, who talks about literature.
Dolbier introduces Dixon, who talks about his new novel and his work as a diplomat.
Van Doren closes the program.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71196
Municipal archives id: LT8961
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to introduce to you our friends on the day as who will not speak to you today we'll let you know who they are first and then at the extreme Mike stream let is Mr Arnold Swenson vice president of the American Booksellers Association and manager of Columbia University bookstore misled. And next comes the manager of the British Book Center Mr Affleck it's actually. Going to bring It's the British book Santa that brings a Pearson Dixon's book to us from England. Next on the right is the executive vice president of treasurer of the Harken Gratian company John McCallum Mr McCann I. Park at Grace published just in and west and then comes late edition many different. Who are going. On her writing is the vice president would grow heal the company Harold McGraw. McGraw Hill the company publishes pearl must. Now that if you go to go across this master and me and subpoenas I would like to introduce to you my colleague Morris down who is here every week. And then comes one of ours you know I'm going to skip out for the moment. She's going to speak to you later but then comes the president of Harvard Princeton company Mr your benefit. And on his right the executive vice president of McGraw Hill company Mr Bush. And I don't need to introduce to you the gentleman at the end you know him well he's an old friend the executive director of the American Booksellers Association Joe Duffy. And now I think you may have the drawing for the autograph books of the speakers. Later Would you be kind enough to make the growing chorus from the scrum. Of the I'm. The. One. With. The first one is Mrs B. fire and Mrs Furze and is lucky enough to get. Sir Pearson Dixon's farewell Catullus. The next one is Mrs Samuel McCullough this is become our guest Pearl Maestas book her. And the life here. The third one is Mrs Henry C. slack and this is flight gets Jessamyn west south of the angels thank you. Thank you Lady Dix Now I wasn't playing for love. But all of the lucky people who threw the cards for books today may claim their books back to speakers table after the luncheon and I ought I'd like to turn this action over to Maurice Darby and his eyes as you know is my colleague he does the book reviews the daily book review on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Herald Tribune and he edits a department called books and authors in the Sunday Book Review and as I think I want you once or twice before if there are any office among you sooner or later you'll get interviewed by difficulty Thank you. Thank. The question was. With the Senate advice and consent to the nomination of Mrs Pearl Nestor. I sent her extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Luxembourg the senators advised and consented with one lone exception. A gentleman from his a rape her. Who did not like the other gentleman from Missouri who had made the appointment. There was some support for this dissenting opinion in certain sections of the press those sections which in their news and gossip columns have given wide coverage to Mrs Maestas activities as a party giver. While generally neglecting the other activities and qualities that lay behind President Truman's selection of her as this country's first minister to the ground up your Luxembourg Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt a lady whose own opinions are not always coincided with those of Mrs Nestor wrote the president sent her because he thought she could be useful in that particular place he knew that she wanted to be useful since the world was going through a crisis and he felt that anyone who had brains and ability should use them for the benefit of the country how justified the president was in his confidence that Mrs Nestor would make a good diplomatic representative is common enough to give at this time a biographical sketch of a woman who has just written her autobiography would be carrying coals to well to looks and book this is the occasion for talking not about Mrs Nestor but about Pearl. It's refreshingly lively book The only dull page I found is the one that contains the copyright notice it is revealing the candid not only about its author but about the persons she has known and since she has known some very important persons the memories of a valuable footnotes to American social and political history there are descriptions of parties and some of them are Lulu's other hostesses will be happy to learn that Mrs Mester has helpfully included in many cases the seating arrangements. Mrs Nestor gives parties because she likes people and she likes people to have a good time and because she knows that the bringing together of people promotes a better understanding of human problems but I like to think she says that I have done something more in my life than just give parties. And her book presents a clear record of that something more. Of her personal courage in facing the problems of widowhood of her approach both shrewd and sympathetic to the problems facing our country in the world of a long and still continuing battle for equal rights for women of our scholarships for foreign students in American universities she was named one of the year and one hundred fifty women of the year and not in fifty three I have pleasure in presenting the other promo stuff from a minister who looks and work on here by named women of the year for nine hundred sixty percent thank you and was thank you thank you. And this vendor thank you for asking me here. I can't tell you what a pleasure it is but if you look there with me I'd like to tell you a little incident that happened not too long ago there was a reporter interviewing me and he said. Mrs Nestor had did you learn anything those four years you were in Luxembourg. And I stopped and I thought and finally I said Yes I've learned to listen and a little later I got a letter from Long Beach California and the young lady's name was at the right of the under no. And I flattered myself I thought well here come some kind of a letter complimentary Larry and I opened it up and this interview was the sign in this letter and it said thank God Pearl Nash to you the last learning to keep that big mouth shut. Now if you'll bear with me I just must tell you another little incident that happened in my life. After I quit my post the ambassador of Russia invited me to go in to Russia and he was accredited to me to looks in Berg rather from Belgium. And I decided to go and after I decided to go I then went over to the Cornish and in London and I see it with humility but everything people in the country then wanted me to write. The wire service in the Daily News and be broken finally the New Yorker The Herald Tribune came along. And. I said to myself and I thought well every morning of my life I have read that paper it's been on my breakfast tray and no matter what the other people of the ME I LOVE the reads and I'm going to write for The Herald Tribune So that's the first writing that I ever did in my life. Now the next thing that occurred in my life I understand I only had fifteen minutes half hour long M. and. Five more writing can you hear me in the gallery. Yes Right now the next trip that I made I'm sorry I can't tell you about my trip around the world because I was under fire for two hours and it was very thrilling and exciting and very dangerous very heartening and it was very dangerous in fact I was very frightened but you have to read that in the park because I have a time I'm going to tell you about Russia now after I've been in looks in Bergen was ready to leave as I said the ambassador from Belgium who was accredited to Russia ambassador from Russia I mean it was accredited to Luxemburg from Belgium called on me and invited me to go into Russia and I accepted and went in I went in by myself he first told me I could take two or three people with me and when I went to get my visa he looked at me with very penetrating eyes and he said you have to go along so there was nothing for me to do that go into Russia alone and I'm perfectly frank to say I was just scared to death because it was in fifty three and I was the first to go in from the free world and everybody was a little frightened to have me go in alone however the State Department had told me they wanted me to go and if I just said I couldn't go and I wouldn't go by the Russians would have thought that there were some reason that the State Department was frightened to have me go in so I went and the Ambassador Bolton met me after that and I got on the plane and he said Now what do you want to see and I said well the worst thing I want to see is that paralysis deal played. An investor Roland said to me it's impossible just impossible now promise to do next go see the zapper as a steel plant he said why don't you see the whole three plant and they are immobile and things and and the they're in the farms and things that we've been allowed to see but I said that's not what I want to see I said I asked him bastards I could see the separation steel plant and he said why not now he said why not why not I said Are you willing to go to the point I asked of us and I asked if I can see it and he said Well I'll ask but he said there's just not a chance in the world for you to see to make up your mind what you want to see in some other things and be a compromise with those but I said you will ask will you and he said Yes I'll go to morrow Well I stayed at the embassy the person today the American embassy when I was in Russian and eventually I moved to the hotel and he came that alone she said not a word should be put in the application of a word the next day came back and he said not a word he said How long do you expect to stay I don't really think you want me to stay there and I said well I've got a visit for three months and that's I'm going to stay three months. Well he said All right let's see what we can do so the third day he came back and he said were you when he said I never believed that we could get you an example which is steel plant and he said not only can you go but you can take the secretary Amanda Smith Kline a spoke excellent Russian and I said well I don't want to go with him alone what about his wife he said you're going to ask her to and I said yes so we got permission to take both of them into the zapper ocean and into the Zachary steel plant. Now he's the one they gave him that. Permission for me to go they said never again ask for anyone to go through this average steel plant will lead us to go through but never ask me or anyone else now up to the moment no one else has ever gone through the zapper of steel plant and why they let me go and never know because the only thing that I didn't know was a little bit about the steel business. And act you can't really get them out you know but they did let me go and I was there this is the steel plant and I found that it was really an excellent plant. They had copied our machinery they had copied the mester Stelios they had copied everything that we have that is that was worthwhile cutting there the greatest happiness in the world they're far superior to the Japanese I think few people know that and I noticed that all the women all over women were doing the hard work they were lifting up the rails a iron and I said to the man the supervisor the men were supervising the women and I said to this supervisor. Tell me how in the world can you train these women to do this hard work and live this heavy machinery and heavy are these heavy arms and he said. Where he said you know their share and payment when they first come to us but they don't last long if that continues now you know what that means that there are either eliminated or sent to one of the mines now I'm pregnant and I get the call but tell myself I've got to start and I thank you so much and thank you for inviting me and God bless you out. In Los Angeles Mrs Sylvester Perkins was stressing. And so on in cities and towns throughout the nation thousands of readers will be going on from there for this is the opening sentence in a new novel by just one west south of the Angels a long and character crowded Chronicle about the many and differing ways in which people love and hate one another. Like the works that are preceded it among them the friendly persuasion the witch diggers Cristela hunting it is sharply individual in its observations and its style in the beauties it discovers and in the shocks it delivers in a truer sense than Kipling's West is West its author was born in Southern Indiana but has lived in California since the age of six lived there physically that is for her imagination has developed in the long occasions and most productive late in the Hoosier state of a Quaker ancestors from her childhood she was she says infatuated with books with their shape their heft and their smell. As well as with the words of the Katherine Mansfield was Mary Miles mentor to me and my Rudolph Valentino was John Keats she did not become a writer herself until she was stricken with a long illness and spent a decade and tuberculosis sanatorium ten years of horizontal life she says a time in which I was no longer able to find excuses for not writing she has written a play based on the life of Audubon she has written to see the dream an account of her experiences in Hollywood during the filming of one of her books she has written a brief philosophical reminder of love is not what you think she looks another California and as a cousin of Vice President Nixon she believes that life is inextricably mixed. She likes both thorough and television and there's a mixture. This being a kind of a bastard only a luncheon my present you know what I'm best at all from California it's just I'm in West thank you. Their readers in the old days in the good old days readers were often so addressed by writers a novelist would begin a chapter or he would interrupt a chapter to say Dare readers times have changed but they have not changed so much as to make readers any less their two writers and I believe judging by go on writers by myself that there was nothing insincere or forming in the Victorian novelist who said their readers and if their reader where those with that. Kind word that affectionate word ringing in his ears if he were less likely then to throw down the book exclaiming balderdash or pish posh or whatever the disgruntled reader in the good old days did exclaim so much the better for the writer for when that happens when the book gets thrown down the jig is up so far as the writer is concerned. It is true that the writer today may no longer with out risk of lack of dignity or without heavy influence of payola somewhere along the line he may not declare to his readers how dear they are the kinds could do what George Eliot could do what that crew could do it Charlotte Bronte could do it but it takes a brave writer today who will let it be