Although they were trying to spin Sidey, it is also clear that they were grasping for answers and that some of the answers were unpleasant. Kennedy and his top advisors did a lot of thinking aloud during that meeting. Equally important, when a journalist watches the decision-making process at work, there is no guarantee that he will observe, and write, what the leadership wants.
What Sidey did not know at the time was that Sorensen, Bell, Wiesner, Webb, and Dryden had all met shortly before Sidey showed up for his interview with Sorensen. What they discussed is unclear, but they probably spent at least some time talking about how to present their views to Sidey. But if Kennedy, Sorensen, and the other men were trying to portray a concerned and competent administration, they did a bad job of it, and they appear to have gotten incredibly lucky that Hugh Sidey did not write his full account of the meeting until years later.
It appeared that we had fallen behind and had no incentive to catch up and that Russia would indeed dominate space, and get to the Moon before we did.
Then, Kennedy took over the meeting and went around the table, asking each of the men—Webb, Dryden, Bell, Wiesner—their thoughts. Dryden could not give any firm scientific assurance that we could even get to the Moon after spending all that money. Dave Bell, Budget Director, was the most pessimistic. I guess that was because he had the job of juggling the books. I recall his kind of muted horror at the thought of launching a project that was so ravenous and so vague in promised results.
Webb, as I reported in the book, launched into kind of a bureaucratic paean but then got down to the fact he thought it could be done and we could try it. That might have been just his manner.
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Kennedy seemed preoccupied with the size of the engines we were developing and the fact that the Russians had bigger ones. Also, about their failure to live up to their promises once they were given. Kennedy was very anguished during this meeting. He, too, slumped down in his chair. At one point, he had his feet at the edge of the Cabinet table and he was pushed back on the hind legs of his chair and teetering there.
He kept running his hands through his hair, tapping his front teeth with his fingernails, a familiar nervous gesture. At one point, he examined his shoes thoroughly, which were on the edge of the table, and he tore off a piece of rubber sole that was loose.
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Kennedy replied that I could see how difficult it was to get answers to these questions, and the real problem was whether we wanted to spend that immense amount of money for space when we had so many other pressing needs at home. In fact, most of the early estimates were between twenty and forty billion dollars. It is also worth noting that this discussion sheds light on the popular anecdote about how James Webb took a ten-billion-dollar cost estimate and doubled it before testifying in front of Congress—if anything, Webb was being optimistic.
Then Kennedy said something that he should not have said with a reporter in the room. If somebody can just tell me how to catch up. Luckily for Kennedy, Sidey did not include the reference to the janitor in his Life magazine article. Instead, he held that gem for his book.
Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This profoundly personal work draws heavily on his religious upbringing and private journals to tell the story of a young man who, like the author, pines for his forbidden love, cousin Emmanuelle. This unique portrait of Gide as a young man presents the passions and conflicts, temptations and anguish he would explore in maturity. Get A Copy. Paperback , 80 pages.
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Sort order. Always the quiet life—and yet such a turbulent life. Everything happens deep in the soul.
Nothing appears on the surface. Slowly I would tie such intricate knots, weave such a network of sympathetic bonds, that separation would be 4.
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Slowly I would tie such intricate knots, weave such a network of sympathetic bonds, that separation would be impossible and shared patterns would forever keep them side by side. The soul remains unsatisfied; it falls asleep amid happy surroundings. It becomes inert rather than alert.
The soul should remain alert, active. It follows that sorrow is to be preferred over joy, for it quickens the soul; when it does not vanquish it stimulates.
It causes suffering, but pride of undaunted living compensates for minor lapses. Supreme arrogance is the mark of intense living. I would not exchange the intense life for any other; I have lived several lives, and the least of these was the real one. Not just one life in one isolated body; make your soul the host of several bodies. Feel it vibrate to the emotions of others as well as to your own and it will forget its own griefs when it ceases to think only of itself. The outer life is not violent enough; more poignant tremors result from inner surges of rapture.
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