Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview
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politicians, even in Rockland, are already working for him. They'd like to see him elected because he's the kind of representative who passes the gravy. He said as much in his first Nyack speech.

If we elect Gus Bennet to represent us we shall not be sending an errand boy to Washington to do the odd jobs of his political friends. We shall be sending an honest man to apply his high intelligence and human sympathy to the great problems of our time. Bennet's outstanding characteristic is his honesty. He has refused over and over again to evade responsibility or equivocate. Whatever he does in Washington will be honestly, intelligently and fearlessly done. We shall not have to apologize for him.

But Mr. Fish? Well, he has been saying the Rockland opposition to him comes from Communists and pinks. This he knows is a lie. I myself am not a member of any political party, I vote Democratic or Republican as I please, but I have lived in Rockland County since 1922, my children have grown up here, and my grandchildren are beginning to grow up here. I don't want to suffer the shame, and I don't want Rockland County to suffer the shame, of being represented in Congress by Hamilton Fish. 2



Hamilton Fish, long a U.S. Congressman from New York, had taken the German side during the years leading up to World War II. He had opposed Lend Lease, Selective Service, and other preparations for war, and had made a much-publicized visit to Germany as guest of Hermann Goering and other high Nazi officials. In 1944 New York's congressional districts were redrawn, and Fish's new district, the 29th, retained Newburgh County and added Orange, Sullivan, and Anderson's home county, Rockland. In the August primary Fish defeated Augustus W. Bennet for nomination as the Republican candidate. Then Bennet, a lawyer without previous congressional experience, opposed Fish as an Independent in the November general elections. Anderson sent the present letter to several newspapers in the 29th district shortly before election day, November 7.
In the general election Bennet defeated Fish for the congressional seat.


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Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958
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