If You Ask Me by Eleanor Roosevelt

If You Ask Me
by Eleanor Roosevelt

January 1960


When Khrushchev visited you at Hyde Park, what did you talk about?

We had very little time to talk about anything. I simply called his attention to certain things I thought might be of historic interest. On the first floor of the big house, I pointed out the chairs from my husband's two terms as Governor of New York, the bust of him by Paul Troubetzkoy, and the painting of my mother-in-law by Pierre Troubetzkoy. When we went to the library, I showed him the old Dutch Bible on which my husband had taken his oath of office and the portrait of my husband that had been presented to me in Moscow. When Mr. Khrushchev was in my own cottage, it was for only a very short time. We drank a hurried toast to peace in the world, he took a roll, and he was on his way back to New York again.


Do you follow the custom of paying New Year's calls, and if so, on whom do you call?

No, I don't. If I am in Hyde Park, I am usually at home New Year's afternoon. The last few years, I have been at home the Sunday after Christmas to all my neighbors.


What do you think of the statement by Judge Samuel S. Leibowitz of New York that juvenile delinquency and crime could be curbed by restricting immigration?

I think the statement is ridiculous. It's just another example of trying to treat juvenile delinquency without first looking into its basic causes.


How do you travel around New York? Do you have a car and chauffeur, or do you take taxis or, perhaps occasionally, the subway?

I have no car and chauffeur in New York, but I have a car in the country and a man who drives. For the most part in town, I use taxis, because as a rule I'm in a hurry. Sometimes I take the subway: but I don't like it, so I try to stay out of it.


Being a dog lover, do you condone scientific vivisection?

Certainly, when it is scientific and when proper consideration is given to caring for the animal and preventing any unnecessary suffering.


How do you entertain when you give a party?

I don't really entertain. I just have people coming in for meals—sometimes for tea, sometimes for lunch, and even for breakfast. But always, whether I am in the country or in town, I entertain very informally. In the country, where we are apt to have a great many people, the young ones always help me wait on the table. I have the food put on a side table. I follow this pattern sometimes in New York, but there I seldom have very big parties.

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About this document

If You Ask Me, January 1960

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | SNAC ]

McCall's, volume 87, January 1960

Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Digital edition published 2014, 2016 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project
The George Washington University
Old Main Building, Suite 406
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Washington, DC