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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Part:         Session:         Page of 512

There's no doubt that Harrison deserves much credit for the way the Op-Ed page developed, but he had little if anything to do with the organization of the Op-Ed Page and its concept in the New York Times. The simple fact is that I had developed the idea of an Op-Ed page by 1960, and I took on the burden of fighting for it for at least ten years, and at last saw it organized in very much the way I had originally envisaged it, with only slight modifications. I've never, ever, either resented or disputed the fact that Harrison, as the first, actual editor of the page, should get a lot of the credit for the way the page specifically developed -- but, after all, I had something to do with that too. Quite a lot. So does that answer your question?

Q:

It does. Thank you very much. That was spontaneous, and I appreciate your indulging these questions.

Oakes:

So.

[Tape Stopped]

Oakes:

I was just talking about not really liking, particularly, to read people's memoirs about the Times. When I do get around to reading them it's usually years later. Some of them I haven't read or even looked at -- at this date, that appeared years ago -- by various important people at the time. But anyway, I was just reminiscing that I did read Gay Talese's famous book about the Times, sometime after it appeared, as a matter of fact, and it's remarkable to me how widely read -- In the first place, I was absolutely astonished that that book became a best seller. I couldn't believe that that many people were interested in the New York Times and what was going on. But in any case, an illustration of this was I was in Brazil making a



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