The past is not simply the past, but a prism through which the subject filters his own changing self-image.
Taft was Roosevelt's handpicked successor. I didn't know how deep the friendship was between the two men until I read their almost four hundred letters, stretching back the to early '30s. It made me realize the heartbreak when they ruptured was much more than a political division.
Journalism still, in a democracy, is the essential force to get the public educated and mobilized to take action on behalf of our ancient ideals.
The only protection as a historian is to institute a process of research and writing that minimizes the possibility of error. And that I have tried to do, aided by modern technology, which enables me, having long since moved beyond longhand, to use a computer for both organizing and taking notes.
My recurring nightmare is that someday I will be faced with a panel: Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all of whom will be telling me everything I got wrong about them. I know that Johnson's out there saying, 'Why is it that what you wrote about the Kennedys is twice as long as the book you wrote about me?'