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A Life of Privilege, Mostly

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Gardner Botsford tells the fascinating and humorous story of his W.W. II experiences, from his assignment to the infantry due to a paperwork error to a fearful trans-Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary, to landing under heavy fire on Omaha Beach and the Liberation of Paris. After the war, he began a distinguished literary career as a long-time editor at the New Yorker, and ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published January 17th 2003 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jul 02, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
I just need to begin by pointing out that in this memoir by a longtime New Yorker editor - you know, that magazine with the legendary factchecking and copyediting - the name of Glenway Wescott is misspelled at least 6 times (as Westcott) and there are a few missing or misplaced periods and quotation marks.

Gardner Botsford was a wealthy Wasp - Hotchkiss, Yale, the Upper East Side, the Gold Coast of Long Island. For a family of five, the Botsfords had eight servants. Every summer the servants woul
Nov 10, 2015 Bastet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
Una vida regalada, mostly sobra. Es difícil que te gusten las memorias de un tipo que es insufrible, un judío esnob asquerosamente rico («My familiy was undeniable rich») que consigue todo lo que quiere en la vida sin ningún esfuerzo. Entra en The New Yorker (la revista más leída en ese momento, la década de los cuarenta, copada por judíos) para hacer prácticas y le echan a las dos semanas porque está más verde que una aceituna; pero no pasa nada, porque mueve sus poderosos contactos (de algo le ...more
Full disclosure, I lunched with Gardner Botsford several times before his death. He was a highly entertaining raconteur who was sincerely and unfailingly upbeat. His signature reply to "How are you?" was "Never better," and I believe he meant it. So when several of his acquaintances recommended his autobiography, I became curious and finally got around to reading it. It has a very interesting structure. He starts in the ramp-up to D-Day shortly after he was drafted into the army. And, yes, he wa ...more
Ted Kinni
Jan 20, 2016 Ted Kinni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This memoir of a New Yorker editor is filled with good WWII stories--he hit the beaches on D-Day--and dish on the some of the best writers and editors ever. It bogs down a bit at the end with a minute recounting of end of his and William Shawn's careers, but still a good read.
Jan 14, 2014 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Found out about this memoir while reading My Mistake by Daniel Menaker. They both worked at the New Yorker. Dan was right about Botsford's writing style. A very charming raconteur and a charming and interesting book.
Dec 11, 2010 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
A memoir by a former "The New Yorker" editor which starts during his WW II days and then goes back to the beginning of his life and skips to the magazine years. Mildly interesting to me, mostly for glimpses of famous people he knew. I suspect Botsford was a better editor than writer.
Mar 07, 2011 sheena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-oz, memoir
Brilliant bits. And hard to care about bits.
Aug 08, 2010 Roxanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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