AN AGE OF MEDIOCRITY: Memoirs and Diaries 1964-1972 by C.L. Sulzberger

AN AGE OF MEDIOCRITY: Memoirs and Diaries 1964-1972

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In the footsteps of the giants we find the technicians, a competent but uninspiring lot."" Gray are the men and the tone of this diary with prefacing commentary -- the third and last in the series. It's little more than a collection of the notes Sulzberger took when interviewing contemporary history-makers for The Times. Working from a Paris beat, he was most concerned with de Gaulle and strained Franco-American relations (""the electrical current of friendship seemed to be short-circuited"" until Nixon came to power), but he traveled frequently to the Middle East and Greece (Constantine's description of the coup is almost the only inside information), circulated in the most prestigious diplomatic circles and consorted, out of personal preference, with crowned and uncrowned royalty. Here are Sulzberger's idols (de Gaulle, Djilas, Mao -- whom he never met -- and Nixon, with whom regard was mutual), bete noires (mainly Johnson: ""There is something about his face I don't trust. Maybe his eyes are a little too narrow and close together""), black political humor, gossip, famous last words (""Nixon expresses admiration for Johnson's political techniques but doesn't like the moral tenor of his administration""), pithy characterizations (Krushchev on Nixon: ""the kind of grocer who puts sand in the sugar""). Sulzberger, a somewhat aristocratic, egotistic, politically conservative Euro-centered bon vivant, has Provided footnotes on the diplomatic pageant of our times.

Pub Date: Nov. 26th, 1973
Publisher: Macmillan