Gossip: Joan Braden's Cold Feet

Joan Braden's Cold Feet

The project began as a book about working wives, evolved into a steamy kiss- and-tell memoir, had its best parts lifted by the Washington Post, then was withdrawn from circulation -- all without ever being published. Such was the fate of the 80-page book proposal by Washington Hostess Joan Braden, wife of Syndicated Columnist Tom Braden, frequent companion of former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and mother of the brood on which the TV sitcom Eight Is Enough was based.

The proposal, ghostwritten by Novelist Les Whitten, portrayed the plucky heroine rebuffing Nelson Rockefeller when he surprised her in the shower "wearing...