Rachel Carson, Jimmy Durante, and James MacDonald

Tuesday, October 30, 1951

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

Van Doren introduces key members of the audience. A drawing for free books.

James MacDonald - "My Mission in Israel" - First US Ambassador to Israel.

Rachel Carson - "The Sea Around Us". She talks about the sea where one gets a sense of the antiquity of the earth. Evolution and adaptation didn't stop in prehistoric times; it is still going on right now. Then plays some recordings of the deep sea provided by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The sounds, which were recorded by hydrophone, include the snapping of claws of thousands of shrimp; moans, groans and shrieks of unidentified fish; "echo fish" and white porpoises.

Jimmy Durante talks. Says he's not a speaker, he's an entertainer. Tells stories about his childhood. Talks about being made fun of because of his nose. After making a picture called "Get Rich Quick Wallingford," he was advertised as "Schnozzola." Received over 1,000 letters from young kids who were proud of their own "schozzolas" because of him. Plays and sings a song with Jules Buffano and Jack Roth.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 5956
Municipal archives id: LT2314

Hosted by:

Irita Taylor Van Doren


Rachel Carson, Jimmy Durante and James MacDonald


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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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