The Moon's A Balloon Author:David Niven Introduction: — Evelyn Waugh penned these words: "Only when one has lost all curiosity about the future has one reached the age to write an autobiography." — It is daunting to consider the sudden wave of disillusionment that must have swept over such a brilliant man and caused him to write such balls. — Nearer the mark, it seems to me, is my friend... more », Professor John Kenneth Galbraith of Harvard University, who wrote: "Books can be broken broadly into two classes: those written to please the reader and those written for the greater pleasure of the writer. Subject to numerous and distinguished exceptions, the second class is rightly suspect and especially if the writer himself appears in the story. Doubtless, it is best to have one's vanity served by others; but when all else fails, it is something men do for themselves. Political memoirs, biographies of great business tycoons and the annals of aging actors sufficiently illustrate the point."
I apologize for the name-dropping. It was hard to avoid it. People in my profession, who, like myself, have the good fortune to parlay a minimal talent into a long career, find all sorts of doors opened that would otherwise have remained closed. Once behind those doors, it makes little sense to write about the butler if Chairman Mao is sitting down to dinner.
My offering is a period piece. I hope you may enjoy looking back over my shoulder.