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The New Yorker affair: From other angles

William Shawn's hand-delivered letter to Jock Whitney

To be technical for a moment, I think that Tom Wolfe's article on The New Yorker is false and libelous. But I'd rather not be technical ... I cannot believe that, as a man of known integrity and responsibility, you will allow it to reach your readers ... The question is whether you will stop the distribution of that issue of New York. I urge you to do so, for the sake of The New Yorker and for the sake of the Herald Tribune. In fact, I am convinced that the publication of that article will hurt you more than it will hurt me ...

-- Letter sent Thursday before publication on April 11, 1965

A letter from J.D. Salinger to Jock Whitney

Excerpt: 'The Last Editor': Tom Wolfe and The New Yorker 

With the printing of the inaccurate and sub-collegiate and gleeful and unrelievedly poisonous article on William Shawn, the name of the Herald Tribune, and certainly your own will very likely never again stand for anything either respect-worthy or honorable.

Tom Wolfe replies and pays tribute

A lot of people are going to read the letters and wires by Richard Rovere, J.D. Salinger, Muriel Spark, E.B. White and Ved Mehta, five New Yorker writers, and compare their concepts and specific wording and say something about -- you know? -- funny coincidence or something like that. But that is unfair. These messages actually add up to a real tribute to one of The New Yorker's great accomplishments: an atmosphere of Total Orgthink for may writers of disparate backgrounds and temperaments.

-- April 25, 1965 in New York




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