A Life of Privilege, Mostly

A Life of Privilege, Mostly

Gardner Botsford

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0312303432

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Gardner Botsford tells the fascinating and humorous story of his W.W. II experiences, from his assignment to the infantry due to a paperwork error to a fearful trans-Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary, to landing under heavy fire on Omaha Beach and the Liberation of Paris. After the war, he began a distinguished literary career as a long-time editor at the New Yorker, and chronicles the magazine’s rise and influence on postwar American culture with wit and grace.

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plates, personifications of the German Army dress code. Their leather riding boots, belts, and pistol holsters gleamed, their uniforms were spotless and well pressed, their various decorations were polished to a shine. They marched into the room and came to attention, clicking their heels in unison. The general looked us over with pursed lips; Max, Eddie, and I were, as usual, in no way fashion plates. Dirty, unshaven, caked with dust, we were an affront to the U.S. Army dress code. It was quite

memorial fund was established in her name at the Whitney Museum by most of those people, plus George Abbott, Bernard Baruch, Charles Brackett, Howard Dietz, Walt Disney, Raoul Fleischmann, Ruth Gordon, Jane Grant, Averell Harriman, Moss Hart, George Kaufman, Fredric March, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Cornelia Otis Skinner, and Clifton Webb. In an obituary, Noel Coward wrote, “Never, in all the years I knew and loved her, did I see her foolish or flurried or mistaken.… In case I should be

into bed with a book and plenty of Kleenex, sent the sitter home, and drove out to Hal’s. I got home by one o’clock, and when I went up to our bedroom, on the third floor, at the back of the house, I found all the lights still on, just as I had left them. The room was freezing. The window was open, and the bed quilt had been pulled up, but there was nobody in the room. Or in the bathroom. Or in the guest room. The girls were sound asleep, but alone. I went all through the house. Nobody. My

from East Hampton about her life and thoughts there—about writers and writing, for instance: I forgot to tell you—Howard [Howard Moss, poetry editor of The New Yorker] gave me the new English edition of his book on Proust. It is a much smaller and more handsome book than the American one, and I have read it all now, and, Gardner, it is magnificent. I have it beside me, and I keep looking at it. It is a book to look at when you wake up in the middle of the night. It is such a pleasure to hear

widow, Vivian, had squirreled away so many shares that she was listed as one of the magazine’s principal owners.) Shawn’s predecessor as managing editor was St. Clair McKelway, probably the worst of the lot. He was a good editor but in no way a manager. He was Mr. Congeniality, giving out assignments apologetically, like a man forced to bring up business affairs at a cocktail party. Shawn, on the other hand, delivered every assignment as if it were a judge’s charge to a jury. This was serious

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