Books: Top Of The List: Ring Lardner Jr.

Ring Lardner Jr. recalls an unusually charmed life

Asked by the Chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947 whether he was or had ever been a member of the Communist Party, the screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr. objected to the question and finally said, "I could answer it, but if I did, I would hate myself in the morning." It became a memorable line, and it makes an appropriate title for Lardner's breezy, engaging memoir, I'd Hate Myself in the Morning (Nation Books; 198 pages; $22.95). Reams have been written about the Hollywood blacklist and the witch hunts of the late '40s and early '50s. Lardner was...

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