Work on General Charles A. Apted's long heralded biography has begun at last, it was announced last night. The book, based on Apted's voluminous memoirs and letters, is being organized and edited by Robert S. Playfair '36, and is expected to appear this spring.
"Within and Without the Gates of Harvard" is the name of the book, which will contain the many anecdotes of College life which only the General can tell, after 33 years on the police force.
Many Harvard men have urged the writing of such a book, notably President Conant, who unofficially guaranteed that the sale would be high, probably over ten thousand copies. Five publishing houses are bidding for the book, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture studies are considering putting the story in the movies.
Typical of the events narrated in the tale is the Dunster House riot of 1936, in which the janitor was nearly beaten to death. As it was, he lost the sight of both eyes. Apted nearly lost his job as a result of the affair, but retained it through wholehearted student support. Another incident is the threat against President Lowell's life during the Sacco-Vanzetti trial.
Playfair started writing less than a week ago, but according to him it will be an easy job. "Interviewing Charlie is a little tough," he stated last night, "because he is now unable to speak, owing to his threat trouble. But his notes are in swell shape, and I should be finished in a few months.
Since his graduation from College, Playfair has done considerable writing, both for newspapers and in books. Best known of his books are "Crimson Road," "Fuller of Harvard," and "Colonel of the Crimson." These are juvenile stories of undergraduate life. Apted being a character in the first.