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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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go over our advance list with me, and we became very, very good friends. When they started the Condensed Books project, Ralph was more or less in charge of it. This was a good break for Random House. At first some publishers thought the idea was dangerous, but I was enthusiastic about it long before I realized how big it was going to be. I thought that it was still one more way of getting people interested in books. Needless to say, it was a huge success.

They've used quite a few Random House books--not as many in the past years for some reason. We seem to have lost some of our influence up around the Digest. I don't know why.


There's nothing more that you have to add on Wallace? Because I think of him as being such an interesting, sort of unusual person that there ought to be stories.


No. He's a marginal friend. He's been here occasionally, and we've been to his house for dinners, usually with Mike and Jan Cowles, who are neighbors of ours in Mount Kisco. Mike Cowles and Jan are very close friends of ours, but the Wallaces are not. We move in entirely different spheres and we have entirely different political views.


Do you think that Mrs. Wallace is influential?

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