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joke around London was “forget Churchill's memoirs, just read the
contract--it will be more interesting.” [laughter] It was American
law versus British law. British law is you sort of shake hands and
trust to God. American law is you got to specify everything. And of
course, the most difficult part was again, the number of volumes. So
I finally came up with what I thought was a brilliant suggestion,
namely, that he would get paid $225,000 or whatever for the first,
second, third and fourth volume and the last volume. And if he
wanted to write three in the middle that was his problem, you see.
Our problem was we were just going to run parts of it, and the more
there was, the less we would be using it. So we didn't want ten
volumes. The book publisher, obviously, would have been perfectly
happy to have twelve volumes. And finally Churchill accepted that,
which made me think I was so brilliant.
However, I have to give you the sequel of it.
He had great trouble getting going on the book, for
reasons about which I'm not quite clear. Then he wrote a little bit;
then winter came, and he said he just couldn't work: it was too
cold, it was too miserable in England, he just couldn't.
[end of side two, tape two; beginning of side one, tape three]
The 27th of January, 1986 , this is Jessica Holland with
Andrew Heiskell. Go ahead.
© 2006 Columbia University
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