SEPTEMBER 19, 1941
WASHINGTON, Thursday—At tea time yesterday afternoon, people seemed to drop in until we had quite a party! Mrs. Henry Stimson, wife of the Secretary of War, had asked to come to see me. I had a feeling that we would be more or less alone, but as the day wore on, I kept telling Miss Thompson to ask this or that person whom I wanted to see, to drop in at tea time. The result was that we ended with eight or nine people.
At breakfast time and in the late afternoon, the South Portico is a very nice place to be on a warm day. I have luncheon out there too, but each day I think when the hour arrives, how foolish I am, for it is far cooler indoors. In the early morning or late afternoon, however, there is always a little air stirring and one can always enjoy the view of the monument and the green lawn stretching down to the fountain near the curved driveway, which circles the White House grounds.
Yesterday, I told you about a future broadcast. Today I want to tell you about a series of articles which the magazine "Common Sense" is announcing. They plan later to have them published in book form, but in the meantime, both the subject matter and the authors make me feel that none of us will want to miss them. They deal in a general way with the "shape of the future."
The editors, in their announcement, say a few things which, if they are really carried out by the articles, mean that we shall be given something vital to think about. One statement reads:
"The crucial question for believers in democracy is whether the constructive possibilities are to be realized. ... We can not hope merely to save what we have. No Maginot Line can hold back the tide of change. ... We need a dynamic defense which will build our own democratic new order, even while fighting Hitler."
A book like Eugene Lyons,' "The Red Decade," is disappointing. It gives most valuable and truthful necessary knowledge about Communism in Russia and in the United States. His conception of fighting this evil, however, seems to be a return to all that we have been and have done in the past.
That is manifestly impossible. There is a willingness on the part of so many people to accept the fact that we must recognize situations as they are and be grateful for such books as this, which show us truthfully what they are. But, at the same time, there is no salvation in a denial of necessary change, or in a refusal to learn even from sources whose general philosophies of life and government, we want to defeat.