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

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029

sort of crazy thing that you do when you get old. Can you imagine flying all the way to Florida to see a nightclub act? Frank had a big, big dinner party of...oh, about forty people, including Jim Bishop and his wife. He picked this inopportune time to start yelling at me for the fact that we weren't pushing his book well enough. I said, “Jim, this is a party. I don't want to talk about that now.” He said, “Well, I think that you're doing a dreadful publishing job.” I lost my temper and I said, “I think that you wrote a dull, dull book.” I added, “I told you in advance that not many readers would give a damn about a day in the life of President Johnson and I was right!" Well, he went grumping off. When I got back to New York, he wrote me a note saying, “Since you don't seem very enthusiastic about me, maybe I'm with the wrong publisher.” I wrote back and said, “You most certainly are. I most happily say, ‘Let's cancel the contract for any future books,'” which we did immediately. Of course, the agent told me that he signed him up immediately with somebody else. He will possibly write another best-seller some day but I couldn't care less. I don't like Jim Bishop.

That's my only relationship with the Kennedy family. The last time that I saw Bobby Kennedy was at a party given by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Heinz, and it was at the height of the Manchester fight. I was leaving with Cass Canfield, who, of course, published the Manchester book. Bobby Kennedy greeted me with great enthusiasm, just to emphasize the snub he was giving to Cass Canfield. It was terribly funny. I said to

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