Editor in Politics

By Josephus Daniels
IN this sequel to Tar Heel Editor Mr. Daniels extends his reminiscences to 1100-odd crowded pages and the year 1913. The volume opens with a chronicle of his two years as chief clerk in the Department of the Interior under Hoke Smith, in Cleveland’s second administration. It closes with his acceptance at fifty of the appointment as Secretary of the Navy in Wilson’s cabinet. Still pending are a third volume covering the Wilson administration, with its aftermath, and a fourth on the era of the New Deal, with particular reference to Pan-American affairs and relations. This second installment, like the first, is amazingly candid and untrammeled; it teems with anecdotes of both celebrities and nobodies by the score; and without pretending to be systematic politicosocial history it floodlights a hundred caves and crannies of both national history and local. Mr. Daniels, almost throughout the years dealt with, was in a unique position of vantage for contact with both. He was editor-owner of the influential News and Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina; at the time of Bryan’s first nomination he was the youngest member, yet one of the most deferred to, of the Democratic National Committee; and above all he had from beginning to end the innate faculty of getting himself trusted, confided in, and even loved by all sorts, including any number of men who bitterly hated each other and some who were his implacable enemies politically. His immunity to the changes that overtake most public figures is curiously reflected in two facsimiles of his signature. One is of 1894, the other of 1940. You can scarcely tell them apart. W. F.