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Session:         Page of 1029

B.C.S.
Interview #9
Interviewee: Bennett Cerf
Interviewer: Robbin Hawkins
New York City
November 10, 1967

Q:

Would you like to start with Elliot Paul?

Cerf:

Yes. I'm going to start with Elliot Paul this morning because he was an amusing figure in my life. He had been published by Horace Liveright, and I had met him. He was more or less of a vagabond and rather an unprincipled fellow--full of stories about himself that weren't quite true, but always amusing.

For instance, he was once hired by the Democratic Party in Boston to make a list of all of the citizens of Boston that were worth more than $10,000 so they could go to them for contributions. He worked on this very hard. The Democrats were so pleased with it, he thought that he might as well sell it to the Republican Party, too, so he sold a copy to the Republican Party. He was proud of this finagling!

When he came to us in 1937, it was with a book that had a big influence on a lot of people, including me--The Life and Death of a Spanish Town. It was a beautiful book about the island of Majorca and got many, many people interested in Spain about the time that the Spanish War was breaking out--the Civil War. It was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and became quite a best-seller. He followed that up with another Book-of- the-Month Club selection and best-seller, called The Last Time



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