An excerpt from Lucinda Franks’ Timeless: Love, Morgenthau, and Me
Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse in Marthas Vineyard. (Shutterstock)
In Timeless: Love, Morgenthau and Me, journalist Lucinda Franks tells the story of her unlikely yet intensely durable marriage to longtime Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau—a man 27 years her senior. When they met in the early 1970s, she was a young radical who had cut her journalistic teeth—and won a Pulitzer Prize—writing about a member of the Weathermen who accidentally killed herself while assembling a bomb. Morgenthau—already the scion of one of America’s leading political dynasties—was about to begin his history-making 35-year tenure as District Attorney for New York County. Franks makes much of how he was synonymous with the establishment, with bourgeois respectability, and how she was an outsider, an iconoclast. Yet, at the same time, the book’s underlying current suggests that for all their surface differences, they are kindred spirits, whose union, after 35 years of marriage, is as strong as ever.
Wellesley, Massachusetts, had long ago closed its portal to Jews, and in my pure-blood secondary school I had been too intense, too emotional, and too spontaneous to adopt the required air of Waspy indifference. Once in college, I discovered a kinship with my Jewish friends. Mostly born of Eastern European stock, they were intellectual, voluble, clever, antic. I began to think of myself as a Jewish soul in a Gentile body. (more…)