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wanted it, and we were pretty damn excited when we got it.
How did you persuade him to choose you? Did you offer
the largest advance? I don't think money would be the object.
One of the things that swayed him! Roosevelt was
always a book collector, and this was one time when the looks
of our books stood us in good stead. He liked the way Random
House books were presented, and then I met him and he seemed
to take a liking to me.
What was the meeting like?
I'll never forget the meeting because Roosevelt was
one of my great heroes. Sam Rosenman drove me up to Hyde
Park. It was an exciting trip up. We were going to meet
President Franklin D. Roosevelt! When we got there he was
entertaining the mayor of Poughkeepsie. When I say entertaining,
I'm not using the word the right way. He was
bawling the hell out of the mayor of Poughkeepsie, and his
voice carried. We could hear him orating inside. Mrs. Delano
Roosevelt, Franklin's mother, greeted us...a very lovely lady.
She kept saying “tsk-tsk” when she heard Franklin bawling the
mayor of Poughkeepsie out. He obviously had done something
Roosevelt didn't like. I don't know what it was, but the
mayor left, very red-faced, a few minutes later.
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