in Primary


The Presidential Papers. New York: Putnam’s, 8 November. London: Deutsch, late April or early May 1964, with new preface (same as Bantam edition). Miscellany, 310 pp.

Norman Mailer (1963)

Republished with “Special Preface” by Mailer. New York: Bantam, May 1964 (64.15); republished with new preface by Mailer. New York: Berkley, October 1976 (76.13). Dedication: “This book is dedicated to some ladies who have aided and impeded the author in his composition. They are: Beverly Rentz Sugarfoot Bentley; Jean Louise Slugger Campbell; my daughters: Susan, Dandy, Betsy, Kate; my adopted daughter: Jeanne H.W. the Invaluable Johnson; my secretary: Anne Morse Towel-Boy Barry; my sister: Barbara Jane Alson; and Sadie, and Hetty Diggs, and Every-Mae.” Discarded titles: “The Devil Revisited”; “Frankie and Johnny, Or, The Murder of Good Ideas.” Mailer gives dates and details of composition for the volume’s contents in “Appendix B—Projects and Places.” Rpt: Several selections appear in 13.1, and truncated form in 98.7. See 1963 entries and 14.4.


Its anxiety is its anxiety, and its half-satisfied ambition is very much its throttled ambition, but for anyone who would like a clue to the mood of the country in the summer of 1963 just before that autumn of assassination which would change the psychic history of America forever, the book is a document. Besides—I whisper it—The Presidential Papers does have a couple of the better pieces I’ve written. (76.13)