Documenting the American South Logo
oral histories of the American South
Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Working for <cite>Business Week</cite>

After leaving her position with Walter Lippmann, Adamson took a job as an assistant reporter for <cite>Business Week</cite>. Her growing concern about social issues, however, eventually pushed her to leave that job as well.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

So I went to New York, and I remember quite vividly I was having lunch at some place on 42nd Street. I looked down toward the McGraw-Hill building and said, "Well now that, the Business Week, that's a good magazine. I like that. I believe I'll just go by their personnel office and make an application to see what about." So I went by, and it was a fortuitous circumstance. The personnel office, they had just had a request for-I've forgotten what you would call it-but anyhow, it was not a top reporter but an assistant reporter on the Business Week editorial staff. They asked me if I would be interested in going up and talking to the managing editor there. Yes, I would be very interested indeed. So I went up to see him, and I won't go into the details. Anyhow, they said did I want to come to work the following Monday? I did want to come to work there the following Monday. I liked very much working for Business Week, but there again after three, four years, however long it was, I was not married and it began to be obvious that I wasn't going to be able to do the home and family bit. I had to figure out for myself what I would do. I was not really most interested in the business world. I was more interested in the social scene than I was in the business world.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
I wondered if, at that time, you were sort of becoming more and more aware of social problems. . . .
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
That's right.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
. . . And if a conflict didn't develop as you were working for Business Week.
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
It developed in me personally because I just thought that I had better concern myself with the things to develop a life for myself around the things that I was interested in.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
The time you were working for Business Week during that three or four years from '43, I guess, until '45 or so, were you able to do things along the lines that you were interested in, along social concerns, more social concerns, after work?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
To a certain extent. I maintained my friendship with the people I had known in the Office Workers Union. Oh, I went to the Democratic Club in the Village where I was living. But there's not a great bit of it, just the normal kind of interest that I would have. But I decided that I was really more concerned about social issues than I was about business issues. And mind you, I had done some very serious, not just articles but special studies. For instance, one of the last things that I did on Business Week was to write one of the long pieces about the pension system as it was then. In the course of time, I continued to write. I was listed as a staff member and continued to do . . . as I say, thus and such is an interesting idea. Would you like to have a story about it? And I continued for several years to do special articles.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Even after you left?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
Yes, and I was paid on the basis . . . I've forgotten what it was. But anyhow, it was a nice supplement to be able to do.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Was there ever a time when you wanted to write about something in one way and they sort of saw it in a different way?
MARY PRICE ADAMSON:
No, because I had Oscar Coffin and my journalism career had strict journalistic standards. And I still have them. If we were not talking about this, I could give you much oration about the San Francisco Chronicle and about the editorial standards. I'm very strict in my idea of not carrying over your personal views into your reporting material.