Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029

Finally he said, “Do you mean because I look so dirty?" I said, “Yes.” He said, “I've been playing touch football in Central Park.” That's how we met Irwin Shaw. Indeed he was a very successful young man. I just didn't know about it. Of course we became very good friends.

Then, during the War he enlisted, and he was in Africa and had quite a war career. He wrote some of the greatest short stories written about the War. One of his stories is anthologized regularly in any anthology that comes out, called “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses.” Another is “Sailor off the Bremen,” and several other of his war stories became famous. We published a couple of them. Sailor off the Bremen was a collection of those stories and was very successful.

When he came back from the War, he wrote one of the great war novels, called The Young Lions. The Young Lions was a tremendous best-seller.


You published it?


Oh, yes. We published everything that he wrote for a long time.

His next book was The Troubled Air, which was about the “red channels” era in radio during the McCarthy blight when they blacklisted people right and left who were suspected of being Communists. It was a disgraceful episode in American history, and this novel concerned itself with that.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help