The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition
If You Ask Me
by Eleanor Roosevelt
You say in McCall's that you doubt whether comic books are a "major factor in juvenile delinquency." Have you actually read any comic books in recent years?
Yes. Unfortunately I have seen a great many, and purused them. While I do not feel that comic books are the major factor in juvenile delinquency, I can well believe from some of those I have read that they could be a contributing factor.
Who was your selection as "Man of the Year" for 1954?
It would be very hard to designate one man for the entire world. I do feel, however, that Mendès-France did one of the biggest jobs that had to be done in that year.
My husband built us a beautiful pine-paneled room, which I call "the snuggery." Friends think this is silly. Isn't it true your mother-in-law called her sitting room a snuggery?
Yes, it is quite true my mother-in-law always called her small sitting room at Hyde Park "the snuggery." It had a fireplace and was a comfortable, snug little room, and the name fitted it really very descriptively.
Judging from a recent statement of yours in McCall's, you and I argue that the Catholic Church is doing a good job of fighting Communism. What exactly do you have in mind, however, when you say you sometimes wish the Church were "a little more suspicious of ex-Communists"?
In answer to your question, I should like to see all people, including Roman Catholics and Congressional investigators, examine the testimony of ex-Communists more carefully than they sometimes do. Anyone who became a Communist in adult life and remained so over a long period of years has been thoroughly indoctrinated, and therefore, even unconsciously, might well conform to the ideas and teaching of the Communists.
Being strictly truthful is not one of the things the Communists teach their followers. Also repentance sometimes brings a desire for self-justification, which could lead to unintentional exaggeration and inaccuracy. All of these things are psychological and must, of course, be looked at carefully in every case. I think, therefore, that the testimony of ex-Communists deserves more critical examination than one frequently sees in a Congressional investigation, where such testimony (often accepted as unquestionably true) is not always borne out by the facts.
I am ten years old and have been a philatelist for two years. I have long wondered what ever happened to Franklin D. Roosevelt's stamp collection.
Under my husband's will his collection of stamps was left to the trustees to be sold. Most of it was sold, but a few of his stamps are still in the library at Hyde Park.
I read recently that 10 million women have read the Bible all the way through. Are you one of them?
Yes, I read the Bible through many years ago, when my grandmother insisted that we children must read a portion every day, morning and evening, until we had finished it from beginning to end. It took me a long while, and there was much I didn't understand, but I nevertheless think it was a good idea.
I've been able to find only fragmentary reports on the deal the Roosevelt family has finally agreed on for a movie about your husband. I wonder if you could give us all the details. Who's writing the story? How much are they paying you? Who will play the lead? Who will play your part?
I am not surprised that you have only found fragmentary reports, because no "deal" has been made. I doubt very much that I will ever give you all the details, since I don't think it is anybody's business except the members of the family and those who made the agreement with us.
It would be impossible for me to give you any information now, because I have only said I would be willing to consider a proposition if it should be made. The choice as to who will play the parts will be in the hands of the people more accustomed to casting than I am.
Were you aware, while you were in the White House, of Secretary Ickes' continuing ambition to be President or Vice-President?
Yes, I think I remember mentioning this to my husband. But it is a perfectly normal thing for any American citizen to desire to be President or Vice-President, and an entirely proper ambition. Neither of us was upset by aspirations of anyone who had such a legitimate ambition.
About this document
If You Ask Me, April 1955
McCall's, volume 82, April 1955
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project
Digital edition published 2014-2016 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project
The George Washington University
312 Academic Building
2100 Foxhall Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007