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Part I, Session #2
Interviewee: John B. Oakes
Interviewer: Kenneth Leish
Location: New York City
Date: January 23, 1962


When we closed our last interview, we had just ended the war and you had come out of the Army. After that, obviously, you came to the Times. How did that come about?


Well, when I came back from overseas and had got married, I was still in the Army in the fall of '45. I had been asked to stay on in Washington to do some historical work in connection with my unit. That's how I stayed in Washington through the winter of '46.

Of course, I had the opportunity to go back to the Washington Post, but I didn't really feel or quite feel the rapport with the Post and with the Post people that I talked to, who offered me my job back, which was covering the Capitol and which was, of course, terribly interesting. So I wasn't sure I would go back to the Post, but along came an offer from the Sunday editor of the Times, Lester Markel, who asked me to come to New York to join the “Review of the Week” section of the Times. And this sounded to me as though it was a thing I wanted to do, and I had become fed up with the Post anyway prior to the war and I wasn't too anxious to go back to it.

But that's the reason I came up to the Times. I really did feel, quite apart from the personal and family connection, that the Times was still far and away the best paper in America. And I really felt this genuinely from my experience in Washington, as well as for

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