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a tape of this conversation--I didn't know what we would be
talking about--and here we are gossiping about the football
team and various professors at Columbia!" He had been a star
scholar at Columbia. Clifton Fadiman thinks he had the makings
of a truly great poet.
What a strange man Chambers was! I never did really like
him, but I must say that I think he was telling the truth. I've
never heard Hiss‘story. I didn't meet Hiss until years later.
I was introduced to him in a restaurant, and needless to say,
he was not very cordial when he met me...nor do I blame him.
Interestingly enough, Knopf did a book on the Hiss side of
the thing written by Alistair Cooke. Cooke, who is a friend
of mine, defends Hiss. Sometime I would like to sit down with
Alger Hiss and listen to his side of the case. I don't know
whether he will ever do it. Probably not. I think that he
never will forgive me for publishing Witness.
You did your duty as a publisher.
Not only did my duty...it was a great best-seller.
Exactly. But there were problems.
If it hadn't been for David McDowell, I would never have
seen him. This was entirely wrong of me.
Another hero of the far right with whom I had an interesting
relationship was George Sokolsky. I'll tell about this
and then we've got to call it a day.
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