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And then he got out some letters from various people who had helped him on specific
matters, which, by the way, were acknowledged in the foreword of the book and to show to
me the degree to which he had received help and assistance and historical research from
various professors and others, all of whose names, as I recall, are in the acknowledgements.
I was with him that time I think only about a half hour because we had to adjourn for
luncheon engagements, both of us, separately, but for the entire length of the visit in his
office, which was at least a half hour, perhaps longer, the only thing that he would let me
discuss (as a matter of fact, he wouldn't let me discuss it; he discussed) was the fact that he
was really and truly the author of Profiles in Courage and he damn well didn't want me to
leave that office without being absolutely convinced of it. And I will say that by the time I
left, I was quite convinced that he had been the author.
The only significance of this is that it seems to me it showed how sensitive he was to this
charge of having something ghostwritten. And I don't think it was merely because Kennedy
himself was genuinely interested in intellectual and literary matters. I think this was very
much part of it. I think he had a real pride of accomplishment and authorship and
sensitivity about this. But I think also that even this far ahead of the 1960 campaign-this
was several years ahead-he also had very much in mind that as a political figure, he didn't
want newspapermen, or anybody else, for that matter, to be going around saying that here
was a faker who might have plagiarized or used somebody else's name in producing a book.
I think he was very conscious-I certainly had that feeling when I left-of the political
implications of this kind of story as well as the literary and moral implications.
You mentioned a vignette about President Johnson also.
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