Five hundred ninety-three major donors to the Harvard College Fund have received a free copy of Erich Segal's Love Story. Albert H. Gordon '23, chairman of the Fund, is footing the bill.
An avid Segal fan, Gordon had nothing but praise for Love Story, as he recommended the book to Harvard students and alumni. "The average Harvard man may be too intellectual. Love Story shows how life is a lot more simple than you think it is," Gordon said yesterday.
In 1969-70, the first time since the Depression, contributions to the Harvard Fund decreased from the previous year. It received contributions of $3.34 million, $261,000 less than the record-breaking total of 1968-69.
Both Gordon and Shuyler Hollingsworth '40, Fund executive director, linked Harvard's financial crisis to college disturbances and the plunging stock market. "It's a reflection of economic conditions and campus unrest," Hollingsworth said.
Gordon defended the book against charges of pornography and contrasted it with another best selling novel. "Portnoy's Complaint is about masturbation, but there's nothing in Love Story but a few four letter words. It's the story of Romeo and Juliet at Harvard."
Segal '58 is a classics professor at Yale. Gordon's admiration for Segal dates back to Segal's day as a star on the Harvard track team. "I don't think he's ever had a drink or used drugs in his life," said Gordon.
The plot of Love Story concerns the romance between a preppy Winthrop House jock and a poor scholarship Cliffic who dies of leukemia in the surprise ending.