This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
WNYC announcer introduces program to radio audience, names guests.
Van Doren introduces Shellabarger, who talks about "Lord Chesterfield and His World." How Chesterfield learned how to "make friends and influence people" to get what he wants.
Van Doren introduces Nash, who talks about "Parents Keep Out." Reads a bit from the book.
Van Doren introduces Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas on Middle East and his book "Strange Lands and Friendly People.
WNYC announcer closes the program.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 48871
Municipal archives id: LT2315
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Good afternoon from the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Astor in your city station present the book and author luncheon transcribed just two hours earlier this afternoon when I hear from three authors whose books have recently been published Justice William O. Douglas. And Dinesh the chairman of the. Literary Editor of The New York Herald Tribune under whose auspices the book and author luncheon is being held. And now Mrs Van Doren. Princedom has lived in most of the countries in. The literature of those countries and speaks French German Italian Spanish as well as. I mentioned this British. Captain from. Prince of. Hundreds of people and though we recognize. Them. Has gone into them. Customarily. In the background. First. In the literature of this period trying to think and write in the. Time you find. Useful as indicating. The people writing about. The next step is to familiarize himself with the food the clothes the roads the means of travel the architecture and journals of the period and lastly he must know well the historical facts with which he. Realizes the fiction I must in small ways take liberties with history it must never distort it this may seem to you good background to the writing of his latest book Chesterfield and his world actually the case is the other way around Mr A wrote his biography of the Earl the story ever wrote fiction it was published in England in one thousand nine hundred five and enthusiastically playing but. Merican audience would find little interest in a biography of an eighteenth century Englishman by a then unknown author so it is only now when Mr as won an enviable reputation as an historical novelist that the Chesterfield is published in this country the critical reaction here has been much what it was in England with the added fact that and critics able to point out that only a dramatic novelist could present the character Chesterfields so clearly and could so vividly recreate the stage on which this eighteenth century aristocrat. Mr emphatically feels that just a feel. For us not only because of the famous letters to his son but because of what those letters mean about the philosophy of the them and the age he represents. In our biography sound in scholarship and at the same time lively and readable he has succeeded in opening our eyes to a time and a character full of meaning for our own day now I'm glad to be able to introduce to you the author of The Lord Chesterfield and his world Samuel shall about Atlanta. It seems to me. Ladies and gentlemen. I understand. That no opening pleasant tray on the part of a luncheon speaker can be quite as agreeable and I was the promise that he will be brief particularly when he proceeds Justice Douglas and I deny much so let me reassure you but once they say that brevity is the soul of the wit and they are Mr Ogden Nash was brilliant epigram was here on the platform. Certainly And did I wish I had something of his wet you know order adequate right to Brazil. Today a glimpse of my friend Lord just to feel himself a great way to my learned a knowing how long before I had any dealings with us captains princes or Cavaliers. I know I spend here is and his company often as a critic and occasionally as not my. You my ass quite devote so much time to Chesterfield and Chesterfield Anyway if I try to answer those questions I should be doing as much as a short talk allow. The fact is that most of us have favorite periods of history that we like to read about and visit an hour magination and it happens that my two favorite periods are the mid Renaissance and the eighteenth century they both appealed to me for the same race. So many things happened then that are important now so many people live then who whether we know about them or not influence us now both periods were so curiously modern and they're tough minded hard boiled I think you both were in revolt against the past and immensely conscious of the future and both periods the human spirit burned intensely brilliantly created a fascinating colorful world we know more about ourselves if we know about them dimension only one person in our stores around the house take Mikey there like he was holed up. He lived in the age of the board. But the philosophy of Rose and force which he so splendidly expounded in the presence of the discourse a is a present this can call saying our world in the form of power politics and consider the eighteenth century we are apt to think of it in terms of a vanished leisure and elegant a sort of fairy book world of both Bell. Formal Garden ceremony and powers splendor of their size but they are saying. That the people of that age were closer to us in spirit and in mind than our own grandfathers what has happened to the world of Queen Victoria to experience in that divine Advent towards which creation moving as time has and put it to its confidence that human nature was every day in every way getting better and better to expire at the reality and to see. What do we think of the divine event now as we wait for an atomic war do we Baskins our grandfather's dead man piety a morality no but step back into the eighteenth century and you will feel at home then as now there was a sense of an impending do the oncoming of the French Revolution was very very much in the consciousness of people then as now sophistication took the place of belief. And as regards enthusiasm about human nature you may recall a while Herbert Spencer in the days of our grandfathers could write with confidence about the nobility of mankind and the fact that it was improving constantly then swept a century earlier observed that humanity was the most pernicious raves I will ever owed sperm on that nature ever suffered to call upon the service of the earth now perhaps we wouldn't go as far as that. But recalling the barbarous atrocities of the last twenty years which one of us time after all of the time and with places like Dachau and Siberia and mine I submit that our present view is closer to swiftness than to Spencer's Yes you would feel mentally at home in the eighteenth century and more than that you would be stimulated new Chong by its variety its weight its irony. Perhaps you would not approve of it any more than you do of our own time but after all one can this approach and yet be interesting and even sometimes in joke now one of the foremost representatives of this sparkling and exciting but skeptical and sophisticated period was Philip don't understand hope fourth earl of Chesterfield Indeed I can think of no person who reflects so many social political and intellectual aspects as he. Born in sixteen ninety four he died seventy nine years later and they are for have a long perspective of life by birth by training by natural gifts and long experience effected by his role as a great nobleman of the Great Age of noble he was wealthy Harman and admired he was very well read versatile and cosmopolitan one of the most resourceful diplomats Aris time a splendid orator and parliament an able administrator a friend of the leading personalities of the age a great wit a man of place he studied human nature from a great many different angle. His life in ever double A involves a panorama of his world following his career we meet most of the celebrated people of the day the princes statesman politicians the philosophers and writers the fashionable men and women of England and France we visit the courts and capitals the pleasure resorts and spas the clubs and silent Here's an almost universal God and if you are drawn to the eighteenth century as I am. That is a very good reason for spending a long time but it is not the only knowing the the key phrase you represents not only the eighteenth century but a timeless way of thought and action which is just as prevalent now as it was two hundred or two thousand years ago. And what is more he has given a classic expression to this philosophy in one of the world's immortal books I pointed out that Mikey about life is just as modern as power politics he applied to worldly rationalism worldly wisdom to the art of government in the same way just to feel his mind he applied worldly wisdom to individual conduct to the art of getting on now exploiting human nature the ones only advantage his letters to his son are the classic treaties on this art and as long as men are interested in the subject the book will be read and it's remembered and if you doubt that people in large numbers are practicing that art today please consider the careers of your a success loving friends and contemporaries businessman diplomats politicians labor leaders anyone who is competing in a world of competitors consider to Mr Dale Carnegie's very popular book on How to Win Friends and Influence People notice that word influence. What Chesterfield wrote about what power and influence people with a view of personal property how best how most sought play to open the world voice and this size it just is just as fascinating topic now as it was in seventeen fifty manners with which Chesterfields name is associated not only a part of this. No they merely elaborate court manners a reason they keep pointing out that manners should constantly bear up with people places and that what was correct at court would be silly and complete the way his art or manners would be a melee a development of the Golden Rule. Would be just as effect here now as I am in a modern factory is. That observed that the golden rule can be used in a way to benefit others or to benefit oneself by influencing. And that the purpose. Makes a very great deal of difference if you know the letters were written just feels illegitimate son who was educating on the car. They were written in confidence and published after his death he would have been shocked and big if he could have known anything about it but they were once enormously popular have been translated in all languages have been constantly in print since their publication then I recommend them to at least the last half of you or find them very colorful and amusing you may even find them useful but like Macchiavelli just prints the letters the widely read to have been just as widely damp. And awake why is it such a Morrow Brock's should have been so popular Well apart from the literary trauma I'm afraid that many people are publicly condemning the. Public Life. Privately admit their truth to human nature and release their very unusual Frank. And I suspect to many people of course not you or I. Do not practice what they preach but practice what Mikey of L.A. and Shuster feel free. And you have to be perfectly honest I don't think that worldly wisdom years as. Science fact are a guide of life and education as it is cracked up the big just sun upon all this advice was allowed waste and Caesar Borgia Macchiavelli his hero were both favored. The trouble is that the gospel of common sense and reason leaves out of account human faculties are so much more powerful than raise a monster for example the hunger of the heart the interest in objectives that are much bigger than personal advantage and on the other side the animal passion which really isn't by itself is an able to control Yes just a feeling and leaves out so much among other things happening. At the end of his life just to feel the pain of the following lines which are among the saddest and the most eloquent he ever wrote you can see him standing at the window of his library and Mayfair looking out I feel the beginning of autumn which is already very cold the leaves are weathered far pace and seemed to intimate that I must follow them which I shall do without reluctance. The dream lay where every cell with a shrug of indifference to the presence of Vanity Fair trend away and yet for all that Machiavellian Chesterfield work great man great minds they were solely integrated persons and therefore remarkable personality. I'm not the least element of their greatness it was their freedom from camp they were at least Frank with themselves they looked at life steadily and follow every. Star. Thank you and I. Thank you Mr Shell about them. And now to come to something quite different I didn't Nash. Some twenty years ago I didn't publish the volume of various cold hard lines it came with a chain that touched on the well founded assumption that appreciative but unscrupulous really does might steal it from my friends table unless it were padlocked to the table like. This latest volume parents. Elderly poems by young lady readers comes to us with no protective device. I pondered on the significance of this. Could it be that Mr Nash flushed as he says by recent evidence is that some of these verses have found favor among the young has concluded that there is more among young readers than among their parents. I think he's taking a chance but personally I find it impossible to detect any less with all wisdom here than in the. It's true that Mr Nash's attitude toward the world has changed somewhat with the passing years in one nine hundred thirty one For instance he could say in a quite hard boiled. Chesterfield. A man is very dishonorable to sell himself for anything other than quite a lot of help. Whereas in one thousand nine hundred fifty one he has mellowed to a point where you can sympathize with a failing common to all men. The camel has a single hump dromedary to zero the other way around I'm never sure are you. Of the greatest change however that has taken place he has recently made public confession he remembers how as the father of a little girl aged one his blood run cold when little boys went by and I present. For little boys as little boys no special hate I carry but now and then they grow to men and when they do they marry. But this fall after twenty years of feminine society even the Bedlington. The unashamedly eighties words and offered their a daughter now grown up and about to be married his heartfelt thanks for bringing me my child a man to talk to. Today I'm afraid Mr Nash times myself once more surrounded largely by the female sex. But the training of a lifetime will not desert him I'm sure ladies and there are some gentlemen here Mr Nash. I present you. To us. President of the Army. Even. If Mr Shelah body had recommended the virtues of greatness I think perhaps I would have been glad to watch for the fact that last week I was speaking and I said Ace I'm nine hundred miles west of here and if they conclusion of what I thought was an extremely eloquent evening. Chairman got up to thank me and he said Ladies and gentlemen I'm sure that we have all enjoyed listening to Ogden spake and spake and spake and read verse after verse after of us. As a great pleasure all Saturday on the platform with Mr Justice Douglas because in the course of my speaking to us I found myself out and has now come the words last winter and fact I was and yack I'm off on further than that I must tell you that I was presided by the way I journeyed chambre of Commerce of yeah come on well how I'm kind of yellow tie. Flopping I bowl of fruit on the words poet laureate on it and that's because I turn out to have then the only versified There was called. Yeah come on I'm not Yakima. It was only cost of that trip that this particular book was born because I came across a good many books I was who asked me if I would not my collection for teenagers Well let's have an academy and then I sat down to think about it and I thought perhaps I would that I would go through my work otherwise twenty as I select I was vs that I thought might give Tate and I just I glimpse of the world which they were shortly to end up. Because that many of these verses would be familiar to older Raiders I deliberately called the book parents keep out however as I know that parents cannot be kept out of anything except that children's confidence. I. Address they forwarded to parents explaining what I was trying to do with your permission I should like to read I feel I have these says which to my mind give something to cation as to what they young boy. Has in front of them there is a verse called you and me and P.B. Challis. What is life life is stepping down a step or setting on a chair and it isn't. Right as not having been told that the man has just waxed the floor it is pulling doors marked push and pushing doors Mark. And not noticing notices which Sipe Lazio's other door. It is when you diagnosis a lot for out as an unprepared geography lesson and sound your child weaving to school I'm going to be returned an hour light out covered with spots that I am do but of late Johnny when. It is a concept with a problem Bonsall I was telling him for years only Man U. and. Were it not for frustration and humiliation I suppose the human race would get ideas about that station. Somebody once described Shelley as a beautiful and effective angle beating his luminous wings against the void in value which is certainly describing with might and main but probably means that we are all brothers under our powers and shall we want to run pulling doors marked push and pushing doors marked just like everybody else. That's as I. Relate to bait presented to the young while that rubber and light still burning and on as I always find it much but I got in first with the disparagement rather than to let it occur to them. Them that I was reverent that he must apologize I doubt he's not an engineer now that will be now I say that he couldn't drive a try and not for all the sherry and stuff and that he's not a farm and he couldn't do what farm and climbing and Aus and screaming sirens are now cause of his environs and Kaiser far out no hero he merely a humble rescue a. Also great mate who is grief that he's not an Indian chief daddy cannot stealthy walk wield a lethal tomahawk hock to Daddy's sacred Grandma thought I was only tackle him. But I'll end it now then light on that he's not an aviator that he cannot saw and swoop neither can he loop the loop power shows he never hung on to and what is worse he doesn't want to. As long as daddy's being to find out that a child is not a giant you'll try out all thought if you would see a last remarkable physique. That's why he feels a decade old when you are riding on a show about another thing that Daddy and I tell you frankly as a sign of. Doubt in my faithful count acumen as widely known as all too human one final skeleton why dad that is not a million I. Was his most amusing is not a fortunate as. Their child you have the dismal truth now obvious as a missing tooth your doom it is to be the daughter of one as romantic as soapy water should you like it. And if you hate it please don't tell me. That's I think advised by rideable asking for the up and coming generation First I like to ask a lot. But jokes is full of help and he doesn't have an I was it others my accessorized by stealth but he with a cry of problems that others put up with coded tongues and showed us now in the group the alphabet over and flights his lungs with a thundering shout of alphabets noises health a noise joys a healthy Joyce Hsiang was the primrose path and starts the day with an icy bath. I might forgive the still but there's a contained in the jokes the power of the apple blowing in either cheek but Chast like an oyster the Hollow the muscles the flower come out of the stream the result of Applied eugenics the Red Rose diet the steady regime of arduous calisthenics I can pardon most of the house a joy as I can probably most of the healthy noise but haven't tips off no problem for the man who boasts of an icy bath if the missing links were veterans chaps and the amount of the Danes were myriad must civilisation then relapse back to the glacial period. Is at a fearful price much of the last news all be lost as the locomotive fade on ice as the line up propelled by Frost one constant truth mankind has found through files and flood and slow the thing that makes the wheels go round there's plenty of good hot water. And therefore there for us all but jokes you deserve the harshest of hospital gives you. A blocking civilizations past and since Cold War I won't go out of the way permit me to Abidjan not as. I'm afraid that's not strong is perhaps a little bit more from the parental point of view if I can I'm stick it from itself. It is called Father Defra go jump in the like. You are costly haven't you think. Once there was a man named Mr arrant and he was the severest of parents every time a seven children asked him when they could have a convertible He answered by and by and he confiscated all the phonograph records that had songs with people singing I. He complained that I smoked too many cigarettes and he would not afraid that perhaps he insulted all their friends and I am by standing at the head of the stairs in his pajamas and remarking him. He insisted that I put on their shoes before I. And he objected when I scooped the middle out of the rose and deposited the Prost on the plate that was the clown Mr Aarons the most unreasonable of parents you ought to see the new Mr Evans is of the model of forbearance if those seven children request it behooves him to behave like that but has Mr Evans has had a warning when he brings them seven and seven convertibles each morning he has currying favor against the day when his voice begins to quiet and a good will of his children my bad Him He wants to pat it he wants them to remember him as a right when he had it. But he fares it all too so he will be an alibi liability in a chimney corner slipping porridge from a wooden spoon. Mr Evans has recently been told by an annuity salesman something that makes him feel so singular that he has shrunk to Mr Amant name like it is hard one parent to support seven children and seven children to support one parent. And can play like a rate which I suppose was. Young people who must divest fairly. Far right places. And fought to back that live along I got my papa got no mom I am he got no wife he got no children got no use for kind of so and he got my house out he got no opera it out now here I am from Kopra I got no songs he got no data don't know Crosby don't know count out he got no taste he got no gums don't eat no spam don't need no Toms. He will have to neck your money Shay he also got no head I say got no distinction now Clay I had don't cough a cow but drank milk instead he use now lotions for literates he got no car and no insurance he lived just like the our Mama's got and I was sore throat from not smoking Camels. Now winter warnings no yes and room for the best self sound out of non-consumer and the ignorant have not dont even know he don't got. Any Ylem on the Box Tops comma I think I'll go out and join that mama. Thank you. Shall we ask him to read us one. I don't like to keep you away. Because the cross the. Composed of basic and. As proud as. Prideful height of all the world except as might. Is our fond of breeding. Watch the you try to psychoanalyze of those. When the Supreme Court. Justice Douglas usually turns to the outdoor well. You know he's a great mountain climber. In his native North West but Summers forty nine and fifty he. Kept riding with his desire to learn something first hand. Awakening and to us little part of the world the Middle East in one thousand. He visited Lebanon Syria Iraq. Jordan and Israel all in fact of the Arab world except Saudi Arabia and Egypt the next year with an old friend from Yakima Washington he traveled in some of these countries again more extensively this time and then went on to India. And you will realize if you stop to think a moment I just silence of Soviet Russia Russia incidentally would not permit Justice Douglas to enter the borders but the radio was interested in. The Count of his movements he was called The Big Devil and charged with being a spy for the Americans with landing guns in the Persian Gulf with planning guerrilla warfare in the Middle East. Just as you might expect he did not travel in any of the docks way he got about on foot I horseback Baiji talking with peasants herds you know he met along the way he carried his equipment with him and could put his bedroom for the night. In some mountain village often sat up late talking and asking questions of the villagers or the local chief to me one of the most unexpected things he discovered was the almost universally prevalent radio. In a town for instance in northwest Persia town of forty thousand people there were ten thousand radio American battery radios in every village that were radio even among the mountains one of the tribes there were radio the hours when news was broadcast Well well known and people gathered around to listen heard left their flocks to join the groups. In fact found that. In the mountains before night he heard the news of the capitals of the world. These people couldn't read often even their chiefs couldn't but they were. In the world and able to discuss their problems intelligently. It is for this reason that the conflict between Russian and Western propaganda becomes vital just to stir. Things to say about the people of the Middle East about then and hopes about their attitude toward communism in relation to those needs and hopes he lived among them hunted and rode with them. Share their poverty and spare time. All of these experiences he sets forth the deadly in straight lines and the friendly people a book that not only makes good reading but illuminating reading for against the background of his personal experiences is and humane mine shows us how and why western democracy is losing out to Soviet propaganda in a restless and awakening area of the world. And that is something we desperately need to know today if we had to make the democratic idea triumphant in the battle against communism and I'm glad to be able to introduce to you justice of the Supreme Court of the United States William O. Douglas thousand Mrs Van Doren ladies and gentlemen I like Crapsey other speakers I didn't. Plan this book with malice aforethought I didn't plan to write a book I was surprised that I did write this one and that I end up with it here this you know both are great pleasures I wrote a book because when I went to Israel in one nine hundred forty nine to deliver some lectures at the University of Haifa I heard and learned of things that were very disturbing my trip to Israel was a trip just to see the country that so many of my friends had deep emotional investment sent I was practically converted to resign as I'm by my predecessor from the west the Brandeis. And Rabbi wise and then a very close personal friend and I heard from them and from others in my circles of the great and wonders things going on in Israel and so I decided I would accept the invitation to deliver the lectures at the University of Haifa but before I went to Israel I would see the back country to see the environment in which Israel lives so I went to the back country first and saw Israel last and by the time I reached Israel I decided that I must come back another time if possible and write a book because I began to see that America thrust into a world situation very much internationally minded at least since one thousand thirty eight with heavy responsibilities of at least moral leadership was misunderstood not understood all in important respects and that America was mis understanding its problems in that part of the world so back I went and the book is a product of it I. Found out when I crossed the Mario's this summer and got up into the Tibetan country that. We don't understand Tibet and it occurred to me this summer that the reason that we don't understand Tibet is because the Chinese have written the history of Tibet and it depends upon what power has the machinery of propaganda who supplies the authors that fills our libraries and the British have written the history of the Middle East and it's a distorted broche history a history that does not represent in my view the aspirations of the people the nature of the problems and the quality of the Spirit that lives there I could talk about any one of these places at great length. I was I fell in love with them all of them in varying degrees I became particularly close to the Persian situation because the late prime minister as well was a close personal friend a man who was shot and the present prime minister most adept another personal friend I came to feel a very close spiritual affinity to the Persians because the Persians have a very close spiritual affinity to Americans we're of the same stop we get our ethnic and our cultural characteristics from the Persians the Persians are very much like our New Englanders they're very reserved the same time they're very much like the people you'll find out in west Texas they like tall tales and they're rather boisterous and they have a dry sense of humor wonderfully warm hearted interesting people. The. Persians have things in their culture that that I found. Completely fascinating for example there was a bricklayer down that is from on the central Persian who as he was laying bricks that started this project of construction of a house was reciting the Shard name of the epic of the Kings written many centuries ago by Ferdowsi that you know he was starting with verse one chapter one so it's a book that is at least as big as any of these here today and he was reciting that and he would finish with the last verse of the last chapter when he laid the last brick he was an illiterate man a man who however carried the part Korea purge in his soul and I would hear these porters in the bazaars and in the countryside in Persian talking reciting as I went along and I discovered that they too reciting the show name wrong and I saw the women that the and men at the tomb of typhus and Shiraz praying with a book of Haifa sport three. Very spiritual people very ascetic people people with a deep learning and a deep culture they have a lot of. Interesting folklore they have like twelve century character that's a sort of a combination between. Well let's say Will Rogers and Irving Cobb and Mark Twain legendary I think is name was moolah and you love would enjoy being here today because of all these women because it was through the women that mula made a tremendous fortune he got a commission from the shop purchased to go about that countryside and all the projects which at that time extended way as far west as Athens and collect from each man one egg if he discovered that that man or could prove that that man was and was afraid of his wife. Moon a few years became the wealthiest man in person. He had a monopoly on all the exit converted eggs into castles into pure blooded Arabian horses into harems into the states and gardens and farms and he reported back to the shop Persia at the end of his pilgrimage and the Shaw said you know you are a very. Greedy person a thoughtless person you've made a tremendous fortune like here with my commission and yet you have brought me no present at all I merely said you're quite wrong Your Majesty I brought you the most beautiful present I could find said What is it he said a very beautiful voluptuous Turkish girl. And Mueller raising his voice to a shout started to describe this bloc she was beautiful Turkish girl on the show admonished him to be quiet not talked aloud Miller said why he said because the queen is in the next room and will hear you. At that point Miller gets up stretched out sees hand and says Now your majesty you too will me an ache. I remember in Persia the oil the oil problem in Persia today it seems. Perhaps a new problem there's an old problem of feeling in one nine hundred forty nine in the back country of Persia on oil is running very high I remember a man who was about as far left as the president of your biggest bank here in New York City. This man was the head of a tribe very wealthy man and he was talking about oil and and August night in one nine hundred forty nine and we were talking about the various difficulties of getting the oil out and the difficulty of displacing Britain in the oil picture and he said Well. That's all true what you say but he said Britain cannot have our oil and I said well if Britain doesn't get it Russia will and he rose and he said much as I think the communists I'd rather see Russia have our oil than Britain that represents not a reasoned judgment it represents an emotional judgment but it is the emotional factor in Persia that is propelling events at a very fast speed today and it's bec