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From Dr. Clara Sarrocco
My first encounter with Dr. Anne Paolucci was when I was a graduate student at St. John’s University. She was the director of the doctoral program in English, and I decided to pursue an advanced degree. Every semester each of us in the program had to go to her office for advice and encouragement on how our studies were progressing. At the time she was the professor and I the student. Never did I image things would be any different.
When Dr. Paolucci decided to retire from her “first career,” she began her next project. This was to establish a center for international studies. Through the efforts of Senator Serphin Maltese the center was located on the campus of Christ the King High School. It is known as the Anne and Henry Paolucci International Conference Center. Dr. Paolucci inaugurated her project with a day of lectures given by her favored students. I was one among the list of chosen speakers. It was a delightful day that ended with a candle light dinner and a tribute to Sirena, her friend and famous artist.
My next encounter was when I wrote to Dr. Paolucci and asked if she would want my piano for the Center. The piano meant a great deal to me and I was very grateful that she accepted my offer. It was from this that she asked me if I would want to assist her in her work with the development of the International Center. I accepted and this began the story of a friendship.
It was an odyssey that started as professor vs student, director vs assistant and finally as friend and friend. I am honored that Dr. Paolucci considered me her friend and confidant. She told me about her family, I met her many friends and learned all about her beloved Henry.
Sadly I had the opportunity of actually meeting Dr. Henry Paolucci only once. It was at Senator Maltese’s swearing-in ceremony. Henry died shortly after that meeting. However, I met him through Anne’s memories and through his many books and writings. Anne entrusted me with going through Henry’s papers and with this I was able to learn all about his multiple talents, and scholarly pursuits. Dr. Henry was truly a Renaissance man and a great scholar.
Aristotle wrote that the antidote for fifty enemies is one friend, I will always be grateful that Anne considered me a friend.
A Note From Serphin R. Maltese
Anne asked me to write the Preface for her last book, her long awaited homage to her adored and admired Henry.
Henry Paolucci A Conservative For All Seasons
By a Herculean effort, she managed to complete it just before she passed away.
This Preface was my brief personal tribute to Henry and Anne as my dear friends and mentors.
Much remains to be written about the Conservative Party of New York State, founded in 1962 - especially about the cataclysmic events of the 60s and 70s, when the Conservatives challenged the state liberal establishment, headed by Nelson Rockefeller, and were the prime factor in derailing the political ambitions of John V. Lindsay, Kenneth Keating, Jacob Javits, and Rockefeller himself.
In writing about her husband's commitment to conservative principles and his multifaceted activities in promoting the conservative way of life, Anne Paolucci has accomplished a long awaited feat and has provided the conservative community, as well as the general public, with an accurate and important account of the stellar role Professor Henry Paolucci played within the Conservative Party in its formative stages, especially his dramatic decision to lead the Party ticket as their candidate for U.S. Senate in 1964.
She comes to the task eminently prepared. A seasoned writer (award-winning poet, playwright and literary critic), she is internationally known for her work in multicomparative literary studies, drama and dramatic theory, and her two critical studies on the plays of Edward Albee - penetrating analyses that have been praised publicly by Mr. Albee himself.
Utilizing her unique advantage as Henry's life partner and professional colleague, Anne Paolucci has brought together in a creative and memorable mosaic letters, Op Ed articles, exchanges with prominent colleagues and friends, talk show interviews, and other material not easily found anywhere else, a good deal of it from the Paoluccis' personal files.
She begins with the early efforts of Ted Dabrowski to give Henry the exposure he deserved as a leading intellectual conservative. After Dabrowski's untimely death in 1972, the job of promoting Henry was taken on by Frank D. Grande, a younger colleague. The work of these two men was all important in introducing Henry Paolucci to the community at large by means of such publications as the monthly newsletter State of the Nation (1969-1980). The formation of Griffon House Publications provided the publishing medium for SN and other writings by Henry. A non-profit organization, The Walter Bagehot Research Council on National Sovereignty, was formed to invite donations to support this work. I was especially pleased to see Ted Dabrowski remembered in a separate chapter. He was my friend, mentor, and predecessor as Queens County Chairman and state Vice-Chairman. His death was a great personal loss for me.
Anne Paolucci has rightly focused on these beginnings in the early chapters that follow and has in fact dedicated the work to these two enterprising men, who were the first to promote Henry Paolucci and bring him to the attention of the general public. Her account is especially timely, since this year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the NYS Conservative Party.
The chapter on Bill Buckley speaks for itself. From her unique vantage point, Anne provides a rare insight into the relationship these two intellectual giants enjoyed.
As a political buff, I especially appreciate the pertinent clippings and letters included as archival material at the end of chapters. They are a welcome addition to the historical perspective and give the reader a "you are there" feeling.
I have long been among those who have urged Anne to gather her memories, notes, and papers to write this book about Henry - necessary not only for its historical and archival value but also to preserve his memory among his many friends and colleagues.
My wife Constance owes her portraits of the Renaissance navigators and her work during the Columbus quincentenary to Henry's prodding. He found books for her to consult, gave her brief "lectures" on subjects she asked about and followed her work with tremendous interest.
The four state chairmen who have headed the Conservative Party - Kieran O'Doherty, J. Daniel Mahoney, myself and Michael R. Long (who still serves in that capacity), all relied on Henry Paolucci for sage counsel and advice. But I know I speak for all conservatives when I say that we also owe a great debt of gratitude to Anne Paolucci for this excellent review of her husband's life as a conservative leader.
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We urge that you visit the Books Section and click on the first Cover to do so.
Anne would be pleased.