Walter Lord, William J. Keating, and Herbert Kubly

Friday, March 30, 1956

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

Irita Van Doren introduces Walter Lord, author of "A Night to Remember," about the sinking of the Titanic. Lord discusses his childhood fascination of the Titanic. He speaks of all the factors that contributed to the disastrous crash that caused so much death. As he finishes speaking, Van Doren encourages him to also tell the story of the Carpathia, a rescue ship that responded to the Titanic's S.O.S.

Next, Van Doren introduces William J. Keating, noting the five days he spent in jail as a result of not revealing his sources in the East Side Manhattan wire tapping case. She points out that most of his career has been in interaction with the criminal element. Keating goes on to discuss crime in New York City, discussing the Mafia - including Frank Costello and Vito Genovese. He also discusses how racketeers have taken a toll on all New Yorkers. He discusses his motivations for writing his autobiography, The Man Who Rocked the Boat, released the next year as the movie, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.

Can Doren then announces that the planned third guest, Edwin O'Conner, was unable to attend due to the sudden death of his friend Fred Allen. In his place author Herbert Kubly, author of "American in Italy" speaks. He goes on to discuss international popularity, particularly regarding Russia. He discusses the Russian myth, which has won over the people of Europe and Asia by identifying itself with the humble and poor of the world. The United States has associated itself with the rich, alienating the poor people of the world. He notes that American motion pictures are in part responsible for this reputation.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71284
Municipal archives id: LT7238

Hosted by:

Irita Taylor Van Doren


William J. Keating, Herbert Kubly and Walter Lord


More in:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


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.


Supported by