Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Douglas G. Hartley
Back to Eton, I think that the structure, the hierarchical nature of it, the fact that it was academically very advanced, were all ways of instilling leadership, feelings of leadership—that is to say, the assumption of responsibility. But also I think that because of the fact that the whole nature of the English aristocracy—they felt that they were superior—so that they came in to Eton with the feelings already in place - as much as they were acquired. In fact, Eton was very good for that because, duke or dustman, you tended to feel you could be feeling very humble if you have your head under a table being beaten on your ass. A somewhat humiliating experience, I assure you. It was probably good for some of these guys to have this happen to them.
Q: You went to Harvard. You were at Harvard from '51 to when?
HARTLEY: '51 to '55.
Q: Did you know much about America by the time you got there?
HARTLEY: Not a lot. I had been coming on vacations. In the English system, you have three long vacations per year. And starting about—I should go back and say that my parents returned to England briefly and then returned back to the United States and lived in Maryland. In 1951, my mother remarried my father's oldest friend and they moved to Washington where my stepfather, after a stint as an intelligence officer with General Patton, joined the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency], so they moved to Washington. That's why I count Washington as my home. But to answer your question - yes, I went back to the U.S. two or three times a year, but I didn't feel really a part of the U.S. I think if you're in school someplace, that's really the operative thing in your life at that time. It's so intensive. So I didn't really know the U.S. In Eton I was expected to act as an American, so I was always getting into arguments but they were usually not very serious ones. But I didn't—when it comes right down to it—know very much about the U.S. When I got to Harvard, I was placed with—looking back on it—some other people they didn't really know what to do with—who were from various other countries. My first roommates when I got to Harvard—one was from Ecuador, one was from Peru, one was from Worcester, Massachusetts, myself, and a guy from France. Obviously, they were saying “We're going to have to figure out what to do with these guys?”
Q: What courses were you taking at Harvard?