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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 273


WHILE Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States, Bok was sitting one evening talking with him, when suddenly Mr. Roosevelt turned to him and said with his usual emphasis: “Bok, I envy you your power with your public.”

The editor was frankly puzzled.

“That is a strange remark from the President of the United States,” he replied.

“You may think so,” was the rejoinder. “But listen. When do I get the ear of the public? In its busiest moments. My messages are printed in the newspapers and read hurriedly, mostly by men in trolleys or railroad-cars. Women hardly ever read them, I should judge. Now you are read in the evening by the fireside or under the lamp, when the day’s work is over and the mind is at rest from other things and receptive to what you offer. Don’t you see where you have it on me?”

This diagnosis was keenly interesting, and while the President talked during the balance of the evening, Bok was thinking. Finally, he said: “Mr. President, I should like to share my power with you.”

“How?” asked Mr. Roosevelt.

“You recognize that women do not read your messages; and yet no President’s messages ever discussed

XXIV. Theodore Roosevelt’s Anonymous Editorial Work
 

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