OCTOBER 10, 1952
NEW YORK, Thursday—What a horrible train wreck that was in England outside of London! It is so tragic to have something like that happen either through failure of someone to detect some flaw in the machinery or through neglect.
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I noticed that Senator Richard Nixon, on his train speeding to some new speech, remarked that there would be a revolt among the Democratic voters and they would come over and vote the Republican ticket in large numbers. That, it seems to me, is just wishful thinking. It is possible that in a few days some Democrat who feels able to prophesy will announce that there is going to be a revolt among the Republicans and that large numbers are going to come over and vote for Governor Stevenson.
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I spent Wednesday driving out to Flemington, New Jersey, and meeting with the Women's Club there to discuss ways to obtain greater understanding among the peoples of the world and to review some of the attacks on the United Nations and UNESCO.
I got back to New York City at half-past five and visited the new headquarters just opened by the Volunteers for Stevenson at 200 East 72nd Street. It was encouraging to see how many people came in and Senator Lehman and I spent a busy time shaking hands with all those present.
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I liked Senator Paul Douglas' name for Senator Robert A. Taft. He characterized him as General Eisenhower's "political mother-in-law."
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Even though crowds are so great that the people going to register in New York City have to wait a long time in line, registration continues at record pace. That is all to the good and shows that we have succeeded in arousing a sense of responsibility in all our people.
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To turn to something far removed from politics which we hear so much about these days, I want to say a word about a novel I read the other night. It is called, "Fragile Years" by Rose Franken. It is a continuation of the Claudia books and, as you read, you marvel at Miss Franken's ability to take the little things of everyday life and weave them into a story that holds your interest, touches you at times and amuses you at times.
The situation she pictures and the people she describes—well, you feel you know them very well, you have seen them many times. They may be a little more vocal about their emotions than most of the people you know, but they are very real. And the reason you are so often moved and touched is that there is a certain familiarity in the day-to-day routine and in the reaction of the people to their circumstances.
I understand that this is to be the last Claudia book, and I rather hope not. It is so rare to have a good novel about a good marriage and to have it stay with you. We are always hearing and reading about the unhappiness, the difficulties that cannot be met and the final dissolution of human relations that started with so much promise of success. You like to follow through to the end with a couple who met life's ups and downs, who were far from perfect, who got angry and hurt each other, yet loved deeply enough so that they came through all these temporary difficulties and found in the end that life was good.