[Earliest Political Memories]
Earliest political memories:
--Coming home from school and seeing my mother watching the Army-McCarthy hearings  on television.
--The nuclear test-ban treaty debate confused chronology in my mind [in 1954, Nehru proposed a ban on all nuclear explosions]; I recall great concerns about clouds of radioactive particles drifting eastward from out of the American West.
--The United Nations and the one-world, or world federalist movement; some one gave my mother--for me--some books on promoting the idea of one-world, of a US-Great Britain union, and another promoting the League of Nations. I still have these books, somewhere. I recall my mother saying to me that this person [who gave the books to my mother] thought I would be interested in internationalism. What had I said then--when?, early 1950s, 1951--to have made such an impression?
--The first national politician, I recall, whom I self-consciously understood and recognized in an adult way, without a child's sense of the mystery of an "adult world"[,] was Eisenhower. However, I never perceived him affectionately, nor with admiration. But not unkindly.
--The first national politician whom I can recall eliciting admiration from me was Adli Stevenson. When was this? 1956? Earlier, at least during the campaign? 1954 or 1955? 1952!
This would place my political self-consciousness about 1954, when I was 12, and in the sixth or seventh grade. This seems late to me, now, but it was probably accurate. A_ [my daughter], now in 5th grade, has a quite active political consciousness and is knowledgeable about a host of issues. I am sure I was not so politically sophisticated at her age. But, then, I had never be [been] out Plymouth before at her age; she has been in Europe twice, already. And 1980 is, after all, not 1954.
Politics Is A Window