HALF A MILLION SOLD — That's right, 500,000 copies of a specially edited version of "Missile Envy: The Arms Race and Nuclear War" have been purchased by the Joan B. Kroc Foundation.
Joan Kroc--widow of Ray Kroc, the man from McDonald's--said she plans to mail the 500,000 paperbacks of the book by Dr. Helen Caldicott to influential people throughout the United States.
Kroc met Caldicott at the Women's Conference on Nuclear Disarmament held last year in Washington. Impressed with the book, she met several times with Caldicott, suggesting changes from the version issued first in hardback and, last month, in a Bantam paperback (416 pages at $4.50). The edited version, Kroc said, will be aimed at women, at mothers--the nuclear arms race gets "right to the heart of motherhood . . . the single most important issue."
On the list to receive the free book this summer are elected officials, educators, university presidents, libraries and others.
Kroc, who also owns the San Diego Padres, will go to the 40th anniversary memorial at Hiroshima in August. But her daughter, Linda Smith, will be with the newly formed MEND (Mothers Embracing Nuclear Disarmament), in a peaceful demonstration in San Diego on Aug 6.
The Caldicott book, Kroc said, "may touch a chord with women who have been feeling powerless and helpless. . . . Silence is not golden. It's lethal."
RODEO DRIVE AS SKID ROW--Set to be shot at the lush Rodeo Collection--the Bev Hills mall that includes shops like Nina Ricci and Sonia Rykiel--the Paul Mazursky film about poverty. It's "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" and, in late May, Richard Dreyfuss, Bette Midler and Nick Nolte will be before the cameras there.
NOT BUDGING--UC Regent, economist and liberal-cause philanthropist Stanley Sheinbaum receives the Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Southern California Americans for Democratic Action on May 14. Despite setbacks, Sheinbaum's still a liberal. "Yes, liberalism has been pretty well clobbered lately . . . it's not liberalism that is dead. It is that liberals have died. The rhetoric of conservatives has succeeded--liberals have caved in to all those slogans that liberal programs don't work anymore or you can't throw money at problems."
POETIC JUSTICE: As Dorothy Parker once wrote:
Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.
That piece of poetry, we are told, so inspired the then-teen-age Hannah, now wife of director Alan Pakula, that she sought out information about the queen. And now she has written a book on the subject, "The Last Romantic," published by Simon & Schuster. And her hubby, who must be romantic about the author, is honoring her with a reception May 14 at Spago. Ain't life just extemporanea, though?
HARKENING BACK--In the ever-more-competitive world of political fund raising, you gotta have a gimmick. State legislators have chosen to celebrate (for political profit) almost everything including their birthdays. The May 18 picnic benefit for state Sen. Diane Watson (with an intricate invite featuring a large sketch of a Gibson Girl type) promises that "Senator Watson will appear as Honored Guest wearing 1900 State-of-the-Art fashions." But wait--what was the political state of the art in 1900 regarding women and blacks?
GOOD SPORTS--John Forsythe and Linda Evans will really be in the Dynasty era May 26, when they play tennis at the White House. It's all to benefit Nancy Reagan's drug-abuse campaign. And kudos to the LAPD robbery-homicide detectives whose 6th annual golf tournament raised $10,000 for the California Special Olympics--an amount equal to that of the three previous tourneys combined. The winner: Ron Grosso, a West L.A. patrolman who shot an even par.
KRYSTLE CLEAR--Esther Shapiro, who with husband Richard created "Dynasty," will be the first behind-the-scenes woman honored by American Women in Radio and Television--at their 31st annual Genii awards, May 19 at the Beverly Wilshire. These days, there are more behind-the-camera women. When Shapiro started writing in the '50s, "there would be three or four women out of about 2,000 at a Writers Guild meeting." After working on miniseries like "Roots," "Friendly Fire," and "Winds of War," she wanted to leave heavy subjects behind. "There was precious little fantasy for women on television--it was loaded with things for men, but nothing for women to relax with. What about us middle-age girls?"