JUNE 15, 1946
HYDE PARK, Friday—I have just finished a little book, "Sgt. Mickey and General Ike," which will take you only a short time to read, but I think it will leave you with a very pleasant memory. You almost feel as though you knew Sgt. Michael J. McKeogh. And his story as told by Mr. Richard Lockridge certainly sheds a pleasant light on the character of General "Ike," or "The Boss" as his headquarters staff evidently called him.
It is an unpretentious little book, but it gives the human side of a man who lived under great strain and who managed not to forget the little things that make life pleasant for others in the midst of world shaking events. Some of these events lay so heavily on his own heart and mind, and meant so much to him and to millions of men under him, that it must have been hard to bear up under the strain. I think one of the most revealing things in the book is the way in which the sergeant tells how much this particular general disliked special privilege. He couldn't quite get away from it. No one in high position can. But he never really liked it and, as far as possible, he wanted to share the hardships with his junior officers and men. That is an awfully good example to have in the head man of your army.
I like, too, the way the sergeant told of the occasional times when the general threw caution to the winds and did things which were an unnecessary risk to him. It must have taken tremendous restraint for him to observe the rules so much of the time. It is interesting to learn that the sergeant recognized this restraint, and gave his general credit for not doing many of the spectacular and tempting things that any man in his position must have wanted to do. This book is probably not going to be as well known as Mr. Ralph Ingersoll's "Top Secret," but you will feel happier about human nature after you have read it. And in the days of the future, when history is being written in an objective mood, "Sgt. Mickey and General Ike" may be as valuable to the historian as "Top Secret."
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I see that Mr. La Guardia is urging us to relax our immigration laws and take in some of the displaced persons from Europe. If Palestine is not going to be opened even to 100,000 Jews, I think we should take the lead in opening our borders to this particular group of persons who have suffered more than any other. There are many more, however, who in spite of all the efforts made to have them return to their own countries of origin, will have to go to other nations. And here again I think we have a duty to lead in taking our share. It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself. Mr. Bevin's speech gave a great many of us pause. We should not so conduct ourselves that such things can be said about us by responsible statesmen.