JANUARY 7, 1956
NEW YORK—On Thursday morning I came upon the lead editorial in The New York Times and ever since I have been applauding the courage of that editorial.
To say that you do not believe in irredeemable guilt and that you will consider each individual case that comes before you and be your own judge as to whom you will hire for your paper requires a great deal of courage in the changed atmosphere that has come about since the advent of McCarthyism.
To add that the attack on The New York Times has been because of its outspoken attitude on segregation and various other obvious wrongs and that in spite of this attack you through your newspaper, will go on speaking the truth as you see it and express your beliefs no matter whether it does bring this sort of attack on you also takes courage. Every American citizen who believes in preserving our freedoms will stand up and applaud such courage.
I also read that the chairman of this Senatorial subcommittee, Senator Eastland, said he was not attacking any special paper. He maintained he was only trying to find out what influence communism has or had on the people writing for newspapers. But I heard some of the questions asked during the secret committee hearings and I can only say that like so many other investigations the tactics seem somewhat intimidating.
This is no honest effort to gather information. This is an effort to prove a point of view already held because of stands taken on special subjects. We should defend the freedom of our newspapers to express their points of view freely.
I have frequently found myself differing violently with certain newspapers in this country, but I would not have had them suppressed just because I differed with them. And I think it is encouraging to find The New York Times standing up for freedom of the press and of the men who write for the press. Unless there is freedom of expression in this country, something very valuable will be lost forever.
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I am just reading the life of the violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, by Robert Magidoff. It came out a short time ago, but only now have I had the time really to read it.
Mr. Magidoff has an understanding and a perceptive grasp of a very complicated human being, which makes this a fascinating book to read. He is a finished writer, but any writer has to have special qualities to understand special people—and Mr. Menuhin is a very special person.
Robert Magidoff has written with imaginative and intuitive perception and great skill. If you have not read this book, whether you are a music lover or not you will enjoy it as a story of a human being. It is more interesting than many a novel, for real people, if you can word-paint them, are rarely so vividly revealed as they are in this book.