Love in the Cold War


‘Vladimir Ilyich arrived in St. Petersburg in the autumn of 1893. I did not get to know him at once, however. Some comrades told me that a certain learned Marxist had arrived from the Volga. Then they brought me an exercise-book containing a screed On Markets, which was being passed around for comrades to read in turn. The book contained the views of both our Petersburg Marxist (the technologist Herman Krassin) and the new-comer from the Volga. The pages were folded in half. On the one side, in a straggling scrawl, with many crossings-out and insertions, were the opinions of H. Krassin. On the other side, carefully written, and without any alterations, were the notes and replies of our newly arrived friend.’ Nadezhda Krupskaya, Memories of Lenin

Image‘I’ve said it before and I’ll say it once again: My life didn’t really begin until I met Ronnie.

This is how it happened.

One evening in the fall of 1949, I was in my apartment reading one of the Hollywood papers, when I noticed a name–my name–in a list of Communist sympathizers in Hollywood. In those days I didn’t know much about politics, but I knew that my name did not belong on that list…

When I came to Mervyn LeRoy with my problem, he had the studio arrange for an item to appear in Louella Parson’s widely read gossip column in the Examiner, pointing out that the Nancy Davis who was listed in the paper was not the actress who was under contract to Metro.

“Feeling any better?” he asked me the next day.

“A little,” I said. “But my parents would die if they heard about this. What else can  I do?”

“Maybe I should call Ronald Reagan,” he said. “This might be something the Guild should look into.”
Ronald Reagan was the president of the Screen Actors Guild. I had seen some of his pictures, and on screen, at least, he seemed nice and good-looking– someone I thought I’d like to meet.

“Mervyn,” I said, “I think that would be a very good idea.”‘  Nancy Reagan, My Turn