Popular Culture Review Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 2017 - Page 48

had also ordered a copy of the original version of the letter from the FDR Library. The following excerpt by Hickok is replaced with ellipsis in One Third of a Nation: “How in God’s name," he said, "You’re going to inculcate in people the desire to do the right things is something I don’t know. You can’t legislate it into them . . . It looks to me as though the only way might be for the President to get the boys together and say: "If you’ll be decent about this, I’ll help you to save some of what you’ve got. If you won’t, you’ll lose—and, by God, I’ll help ‘em to take it away from you!” (“Wednesday Night, November 21 st ”) Cutting this section of Hickok's letter from the collection deletes an insightful glimpse into the raw feelings of union leaders toward city and federal officials during the Great Depression. Moreover, this editing reinforces the reality that what Lowitt and Beasley (and other editors) may view as unimportant or distractive in hidden communication may be viewed quite differently by other readers, and that editorial decisions are often hinged on constantly shifting political and economic trends within publishing and academic industries. Other unpublished finds in ER and Hickok's Baltimore communication stored within the FDR Library include Hickok's November 23, 1934 letter. In this letter, Hickok summarizes the recent national news of “the President’s executive order pulling all the various representatives of the Government out in the states together into a body” (“Friday Night, November 23 rd ”), and responds with a bit of an "I told you so": “Remember how I was pleading for something of the sort a few months ago?” (“Friday Night, November 23 rd ”). Hickok’s frustration with national and local governments and officials permeates her letter, as she recounts how she “called up the Baltimore relief administration today and asked him who was head of the NRA compliance board here, and he didn’t know!” (“Friday Night, November 23 rd ”). Much of the dysfunction in Baltimore, Hickok finds, is due to employees being “overloaded with routine and administrative work” (“Friday Night, November 23 rd ”), and she spends a good part of her letter listing grievances connected to the grid-locked city. 18 Case in point, Hickok explains to ER that “[i]n the last few months two Baltimore companies—one of them Glenn Martin airplane manufacturers, with a lab of Government orders—announced they were going to raise wages. And the Baltimore Association of 18 See “Rare Political Irony,” published on November 2, 1934 in the Baltimore Sun, for a satirical critique of the FERA program. The anonymous writer makes fun of both parties in denying the politics involved in the federal government's relief effort allotments (“Rare Political Irony”). 43