BACK in 1927, Revolution meant not the peaceful infiltration of a new social philosophy, but the violent upheaval of a great country which to the Western world had seemed to sleep for centuries. Since the events that aroused in Vincent Sheean ‘the desire to attend, to witness, were invariably those in which large numbers of men were engaged in some difficult enterprise involving a fundamental idea,’ to China he had to go, continuing the exciting and restless life of a foreign correspondent which had engaged him, body, mind, and spirit, since his graduation from the University of Chicago in 1920. ‘Youth and Revolution’ is more than the record of a personal adventure, however; it epitomizes the universal experience of Youth at its most alive and passionate moment, when ideals seem worth dying for and symbols have substance. Everett Case (’What Are Republicans For?’) is a young Princetonian who has taken an honors degree in Modern History from Cambridge University, and is now working on his doctoral thesis at Harvard. Much of his practical philosophy may have been absorbed from a six-year association with the General Electric Company as assistant to Owen D. Young. Hans Zinsser is well known to the medical profession as a distinguished professor at Harvard Medical School, but his Textbook of Bacteriology and Infection and Resistance have not won him the admiring circle of lay readers which ‘The Deadly Arts’ will gather about him. He is as informed and amusing on biography and bugaboos as he is on bacteria and bugs, and the benevolent shadow of My Uncle Toby seems to hover over all. ▵ No Bird’ is another short lyric by Theodore Roethke, a young instructor in English at Lafayette College whose work is beginning to appear frequently in magazines. Paul Hoffman, whose first story, ‘ Late Love,’we published last February, graduated from Harvard in 1932 and has been writing with growing success ever since. ‘Hede’ may be assumed to have sprung from his native Utica, Yew York, where his father is a Lutheran clergyman. ▵ No one is better fitted to write on the modern phenomenon of ‘Streamlining’ than Norman Bel Geddes, Michigan-born designer of portraits, of advertisements, of stage productions, finally of industrial and architectural products. Explanations and prophecies of industrial design emanate with peculiar authority from the man whose ideas are so prolific that he employs a staff of twenty-five assistants to help execute them. William Henry Chamberlin’s ‘ Farewell to Russia marks the close of ten years’ service in Moscow as special correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor. Now that he has been transferred to the Far East, Mr. Chamberlin has the freedom and the perspective to write of Russia more frankly than the ordinary observer can. Russia’s Iron Age, to be published by the Atlantic Monthly Press on October 26, will contain this and other essays. Jean Batchelor (‘Autumn Evening’) has moved from her native Pennsylvania to New York City, and is likewise enlarging her poetic horizon by appearing in anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic.
Readers who remember the ‘Hick College’ papers of Wendell Brooks Phillips, a New Englander who has transferred his allegiance to Georgia, will welcome ‘Summer among the Varmints,’ his account of a vacation from Piedmont College, where he is Professor of English. Katharine Hamill’s succinct outline of her life makes it hard to place ‘ Leora’s Father.’ The reader may choose among the following localities; ‘Born in Hinsdale, Illinois, went to boarding school at Farmington, Connecticut, worked for five years in political campaigns in Illinois, for one year as a reporter on the Chicago Herald and Examiner; have lived for about ten unconsecutive years in Jackson County, Mississippi; for one year in Wyoming; eight months in Europe; three years in New York, where I worked on Fortune magazine.’ She has now gone to New Hampshire for a year, and this is the first fiction she has sold. ▵ ‘The Battle of Boston Common’ will recall war-time committee work to many people who, unlike Dr. Cushing, never got nearer the front than Boston Common. It is taken from the Journal of Harvey Cushing, D.S.M., Professor of Surgery first at Harvard, now at Yale. ▵ ’The New Wine in Germany’ should recall a Biblical reference as well as give a first-hand impression of Germany to-day. William Orton, Professor of Economies at Smith College, has just returned from a summer in Europe. ▵ ‘Cinderella at Puka-Puka comes to us from that enchanted isle through the good offices of Robert Dean Frisbie, who lives there momentarily expecting it to revert to savagery before the yearly man-o’-war comes round to establish communication with the outside world. Charles D. Stewart, a familiar Atlantic contributor, writes of ‘The Colors of Nature’: ‘The substance of this piece cannot be found in physics, or chemistry, or biology, but in all of them, by breaking down the water-tight compartments of universities.’ ▵ One of Jane Ayer Cobb’s earliest recollections of her father, Frank Cobb, is of a summer afternoon ‘when he came into the house flourishing a copy of the Atlantic and looking awfully pleased because something that he had written was printed in it.’ She thinks that now, since her first acceptance (‘Widowed’), she knows just how pleased he was. ▵ From his earliest youth, George E. Sokolsky has had a passionate interest in labor problems. In the past two years he has made an exhaustive first-hand study of conditions from coast to coast, and ‘ Labor’s Broken Front’ summarizes his findings.
To make his own position unmistakably clear, Mr. Sokolsky sends this letter as a footnote to his three articles on the labor problem: —
Dear Atlantic, —
My first two articles (‘ Labor’s Fight for Power ’ and ‘Recognizing the Company Union’) brought me many letters indicating that the problems they raised required an ideological synthesis to clarify the process by which I reached my conclusions. My third article [published in this issue] attempts such a restatement, and then analyzes the question of the solidarity of labor.
I have made no attempt to set forth one particular theory to govern the relations of capital and labor. Rather, my effort has been to achieve an objective discussion, from every point of view, of the most pressing problem before the American people to-day. I myself have no pet theory. I view the struggle from the point of view of historic objectivity.
The struggle between capital and labor exists in America as it must in all industrialized countries. In each place its characteristics are different, depending on each country’s industrial development, its form of political organization, the psychology of its people, its educational facilities, and its traditional social attitudes. It is often assumed that a system will succeed in one country because it has succeeded in another, but the fact remains that Communism established itself in Russia but failed to gain a foothold in Italy, Germany, China, and Turkey. In this generation it is impossible to draw any conclusions as to the ultimate failure of capitalism because, as yet, there has been no victory for any of the substitutes for capitalism. Judgment on that subject is for posterity.
GEORGE E. SOKOLSKY
New York City
A hard winter for Hilda Rose.
Dear Atlantic, —
Many persons, not knowing that I had a special interest in Hilda Rose, have spoken to me urging me to read her diaries in the Atlantic, saying that nothing had affected them so much in a long time, and that they kept on thinking about her, wondering what was happening to her now. Thus I have come to realize that Hilda Rose must have very many unknown friends who are waiting for the next chapter of her history.
Such appalling news has recently been coming to me from those Arctic regions that I feel I must, without consulting her, share it with them.
Last winter in Alberta was the most severe in forty-four years. When spring finally came, there was an ice jam in the river, followed by a flood that turned the whole valley into a torrent and left a lake five miles long. The Roses’ cabin up on the hillside was not swept away, but their farm is still under that water. They started potatoes and vegetables in their kitchen garden plot and hopefully counted on these for the winter; then a hard frost came in July and destroyed nearly everything. More hard frosts were due in August. There were not even berries in the woods last summer.
Anyone who wants to help make it possible for her to go on, and with her husband and Karl live through the new winter which is already upon them, can address her direct: Hilda Rose, Fort Vermilion, Alberta, Canada. Let her think it is just a slightly weighted fan mail coming in in anticipation of Christmas.
MARGARET G. EMERSON
New York City
Stuarts and Stewarts.
Dear Atlantic, —
On the inside back cover of the September Atlantic you print a picture, of the magazine for that same month and I note in the list of contents an article by me, ‘The Colors of Nature.’ But when I look at the actual cover of that number I see no such article. It was first put in the magazine and the title put on the cover; then it was taken out and the cover was reprinted. In place of it I note an article entitled ‘Will the Hohenzollerns Return?’
Evidently a case of throwing out a Stewart to put in a Hohenzollern.
The Stewarts began to be kings of England with James the First, and they have been at it ever since. Before that they had been rulers of Scotland for three hundred years. Queen Victoria and her present descendants owe their position to the fact, that they are descended from the Stewart line. The house of Bavaria is of Stewart origin and so is the house of Orleans.
Now as to the proper way of spelling the name. The true royal spelling is Stewart. When Mary Queen of Scots was a girl she spelled her name Stewart as all had done before her: but when she went to be Queen Consort of France she was confronted with a difficulty. In the French language there is no w, and, as the name had to be spelled some way, she did it with a u. Her sons and grandsons, the kings of England, continued the practice; and that is how the spelling was changed. They were all of them dictators, corresponding exactly to the latest political requirements.
I call your attention to these things hoping you will print ‘The Colors of Nature’ at the first opportunity and that hereafter you will not throw me out in favor of any modern royalty.
CHARLES DAVID STEWART
P. S. Banquo, in Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, was a Stewart, being related to King Duncan. And Banquo’s Ghost, I might add, was a Stewart ghost. Wo rise up to hant them that cross us.
[Editor’s Note: Call off your ghost. The amende honorable is made in this issue.]
The Decalogue and the New Deal.
Dear Atlantic, —
God Almighty on a mountain top issued Ten Commandments. The New Dealers are only started and have issued ten thousand: —
Thou shalt not clean a suit of clothes for less than 70 cents.
Thou shalt not sell a loaf of bread or a pint of milk for less than so many copper coins, lest the Blue Eagle turn and rend thee.
Thou shalt not raise more than so many measures of wheat.
Of little pigs shall thou sacrifice 6,000.000.
Thou shalt hire men out of the bread line, paying them more than thou hast made for years, or, failing so to hire, thou shalt do all that thou canst to make the bread line a pleasant place to abide.
Gold and silver are quite too good for thee: deliver them to thy rulers.
Thou shall open and close thy store, thy purse, and thy month as ordered by the sacred Blue Eagle and his keepers.
Thus on and on. . . .
. . . And God covered human behavior with Ten Commandments!
R. C. ERSKINE
More signs of the times.
Dear Atlantic, —
Did Mr. Edward Weeks travel too fast through Laconia to see this sign?
MOUNTAIN VIEW FARM
POULTRY OF ALL KIND LIVE OR DRESSED
BROILERS ROASTERS FOWL
AND EGGS FOR HATCHING COLLIE PUPS
EDNA H. LITTLE
Dear Atlantic, —
As an organizer of government libraries for many years, I was sent East and West, and sometimes over the cuckoo’s nest, and many signs did I see.
At Marion, Indiana, in the basement of the Y. W. C. A. building, was a Negro chiropodist whose shingle read: —
LIMP IN AND WALK OUT
At Kansas City, Missouri, was a sign swinging in the wind: —
JOE TRIMMER THE TINNER
AND THAT AIN’T NEAR ALL
The truth about China.
Dear Atlantic, —
Mr. J. O. P. Bland’s accurate and discerning survey of the situation in China (‘The Chinese Mind,’ in your October issue) should have the prompt commendation and support of everyone familiar with that situation. The present socalled Nanking Government is merely despoiling the country, driving the peasantry into brigandage and Communism, and making more and more hopeless any prospect of unification in China. And unless the rest of the world proposes to do something about it the task should be left to Japan, which is the nation most directly concerned.
MARC T. GREENE
Boothbay Harbor, Maine