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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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for Roosevelt. They knew that I was his publisher, you see. I came back, full of the importance of these messages to Roosevelt, and called up Missy and said that I wanted to come down and spend an evening. She fixed a date for me. I went down there, feeling that I was now practically Secretary of State. I came in. One of the first things that Roosevelt said was, “Now, Bennett, I know you've been to Spain. I don't want to hear one word about it. We're going to talk about books tonight. I want to hear what's going on in the world of books. I don't want to hear a word about Spain.” So I was utterly frustrated.

A couple of years later, after F.D.R. had died, I was talking with Mrs. Roosevelt once about “Franklin.” She always called him “Franklin,” you know. I said how disappointed I had been that night since I had come back with these messages, and Mrs. Roosevelt said, “Sometimes you can be very childish, Bennett. How long were you in Spain?" I said, “About twelve days.” She said, “Do you think that you learned anything in twelve days that the President hadn't been told by other emissaries before? He had made up his mind that he had to stay aloof from the Spanish situation because we were soon going to be up to our necks in World War two. He saw it all coming, and he knew that he was going to need the support of the Catholic Church. He said, 'I cannot antagonize the Catholic Church now by butting into this war.‘Anyway, he realized that the Communists were in it up to their necks.” Remember how furious--you 're too young to remember--liberals were at the time?

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