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The Americanization of Edward Bok (Edward William Bok)

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The Legal Small Print

6

Hart at: hart@pobox.com
*END THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS*Ver.05/20/01*END* [Portions of this
header are copyright (C) 2001 by Michael S. Hart and may be reprinted only when these Etexts are free of all
fees.] [Project Gutenberg is a TradeMark and may not be used in any sales of Project Gutenberg Etexts or
other materials be they hardware or software or any other related product without express permission.]
The Americanization of Edward Bok The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years After
by Edward William Bok (1863-1930)
To the American woman I owe much, but to two women I owe more, My mother and my wife. And to them I
dedicate this account of the boy to whom one gave birth and brought to manhood and the other blessed with
all a home and family may mean.
An Explanation
This book was to have been written in 1914, when I foresaw some leisure to write it, for I then intended to
retire from active editorship. But the war came, an entirely new set of duties commanded, and the project was
laid aside.
Its title and the form, however, were then chosen. By the form I refer particularly to the use of the third
person. I had always felt the most effective method of writing an autobiography, for the sake of a better
perspective, was mentally to separate the writer from his subject by this device.
Moreover, this method came to me very naturally in dealing with the Edward Bok, editor and publicist, whom
I have tried to describe in this book, because, in many respects, he has had and has been a personality apart
from my private self. I have again and again found myself watching with intense amusement and interest the
Edward Bok of this book at work. I have, in turn, applauded him and criticised him, as I do in this book. Not
that I ever considered myself bigger or broader than this Edward Bok: simply that he was different. His tastes,
his outlook, his manner of looking at things were totally at variance with my own. In fact, my chief difficulty
during Edward Bok's directorship of The Ladies' Home Journal was to abstain from breaking through the
editor and revealing my real self. Several times I did so, and each time I saw how different was the effect from
that when the editorial Edward Bok had been allowed sway. Little by little I learned to subordinate myself and
to let him have full rein.
But no relief of my life was so great to me personally as his decision to retire from his editorship. My family
and friends were surprised an...
Hart at: hart@pobox.com
*END THE SMALL PRINT! FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN ETEXTS*Ver.05/20/01*END* [Portions of this
header are copyright (C) 2001 by Michael S. Hart and may be reprinted only when these Etexts are free of all
fees.] [Project Gutenberg is a TradeMark and may not be used in any sales of Project Gutenberg Etexts or
other materials be they hardware or software or any other related product without express permission.]
The Americanization of Edward Bok The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years After
by Edward William Bok (1863-1930)
To the American woman I owe much, but to two women I owe more, My mother and my wife. And to them I
dedicate this account of the boy to whom one gave birth and brought to manhood and the other blessed with
all a home and family may mean.
An Explanation
This book was to have been written in 1914, when I foresaw some leisure to write it, for I then intended to
retire from active editorship. But the war came, an entirely new set of duties commanded, and the project was
laid aside.
Its title and the form, however, were then chosen. By the form I refer particularly to the use of the third
person. I had always felt the most effective method of writing an autobiography, for the sake of a better
perspective, was mentally to separate the writer from his subject by this device.
Moreover, this method came to me very naturally in dealing with the Edward Bok, editor and publicist, whom
I have tried to describe in this book, because, in many respects, he has had and has been a personality apart
from my private self. I have again and again found myself watching with intense amusement and interest the
Edward Bok of this book at work. I have, in turn, applauded him and criticised him, as I do in this book. Not
that I ever considered myself bigger or broader than this Edward Bok: simply that he was different. His tastes,
his outlook, his manner of looking at things were totally at variance with my own. In fact, my chief difficulty
during Edward Bok's directorship of The Ladies' Home Journal was to abstain from breaking through the
editor and revealing my real self. Several times I did so, and each time I saw how different was the effect from
that when the editorial Edward Bok had been allowed sway. Little by little I learned to subordinate myself and
to let him have full rein.
But no relief of my life was so great to me personally as his decision to retire from his editorship. My family
and friends were surprised and amused by my intense and obvious relief when he did so. Only to those closest
to me could I explain the reason for the sense of absolute freedom and gratitude that I felt.
Since that time my feelings have been an interesting study to myself. There are no longer two personalities.
The Edward Bok of whom I have written has passed out of my being as completely as if he had never been
there, save for the records and files on my library shelves. It is easy, therefore, for me to write of him as a
personality apart: in fact, I could not depict him from any other point of view. To write of him in the first
person, as if he were myself, is impossible, for he is not.
The title suggests my principal reason for writing the book. Every life has some interest and significance;
mine, perhaps, a special one. Here was a little Dutch boy unceremoniously set down in America unable to
make himself understood or even to know what persons were saying; his education was extremely limited,
practically negligible; and yet, by some curious decree of fate, he was destined to write, for a period of years,
to the largest body of readers ever addressed by an American editor--the circulation of the magazine he edited
running into figures previously unheard of in periodical literature. He made no pretense to style or even to
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