The Good Times

Baker, Russell

William Morrow, 1989

p. 213

On the urbane Henry Fairlie, an author and a culture critic (see, for example, his nice book on the Seven Deadly Sins): He was “tall and darkly handsome, with a smile that could only be called devilish . . . .. He spoke with fluent ease about subjects that were far beyond me and conveyed a sense of self-confidence which I envied. Conversation came out of him in fully-formed paragraphs ready to be sent to the printer without editing. It was witty, well-informed, and more clever than anything I had heard . . . Oxford and Cambridge seemed to turn out ambulatory books instead of scholars.”

p. 306

…speaking of Adlai Stevenson: “Everything was up front with Stevenson: the playful subtlety of the mind, the erudition, his liking for people, and the charm, above all, the charm. It was impossible not to like Stevenson. The smile was absolutely genial; so was the twinkle in the eyes. Reporters loved him. He was thoughtful and articulate. Campaign fakery and flapdoodle bored him. He was genuinely interested in public affairs and thought out loud about them in graceful speeches, which he wrote himself. Yet he was not very interesting. You met him, were charmed by him, and went away liking him, but there were no unplumbed darknesses of the soul in him.”