Ruth Slenczynska, Dean Acheson, Kay Thompson,

Monday, February 17, 1958

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

Kay Thompson, author of "Eloise," discusses how the character Eloise came into being. Thompson explains that prior to writing "Eloise" she was married, lived in a house and worked at MGM. In 1947 she gave all of this up to go into a saloon business as an entertainer, she lived in hotels during this period. Often Thompson speaks in the voice of Eloise.

Maurice Dolbier introduces Ruth Slenczynska. She speaks of her book "Childhood," which recalls her youth as a piano virtuoso and her father's savage discipline and his efforts to make her into the best pianist in the world. She eventually broke away from him and later returned to performing. She discusses performing around the country and answering questions about her memoir. She performs a brief piano piece.

Finally, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson is introduced by Dolbier to discuss his book, "A Citizen Looks at Congress." Acheson speaks about the state of education in the United States, noting that young Americans coming out of school at 22 are not prepared to work in the real world. He goes on to speak about his book - and the complexities of governments.

For more on Dean Acheson's appearance at the luncheon please go to:

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71294
Municipal archives id: LT7878


Dean Acheson, Ruth Slenczynska and Kay Thompson


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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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