Lord Howard of Penrith is none other than Sir Esme Howard, who, as the British Ambassador to the United States from 1924 to 1930, left such cordial impressions on this side of the Atlantic. His delightful account of a Continental courtship gives one a good taste of his memoir, Theatre of Life, which comes from the Atlantic Monthly Press this autumn. ▵A The credit of every American in business is directly dependent upon the credit of the United States, and the credit of the United States can only be maintained if its books balance. Such is the thesis of five brief and cogent articles by the Honorable Lewis W. Douglas, the first of which appears in this issue. A native of Arizona, a graduate of Amherst, Mr. Douglas saw service in France as a lieutenant in the 91st Division. following demobilization he engaged in citrus ranching and the mining of copper; he interested himself in his community, and watched with care the business methods of the local banks on whose board he served us a director. Entering politics, he was elected successively to the 70th, 71st, 72nd, and 73rd Congresses. On March 4, 1933, Mr. Douglas was appointed by the President to be Director of the Budget of the United States, and for two years he threw the whole weight of his energies behind the policy of balancing the national account. When it was clear that his policy and that of the Administration had reached the crossroads, he resigned.

In the direct literary tradition of White of Selborne, Richard Jefferies, and W. II. Hudson, Henry Williamson fills a place unique in English letters to-day. A protege of John Galsworthy, he has long owned a latchkey to our columns. I nfortunates who do not know his work should begin with The old Stay and Other Stories and then pass on to Tarka the Otter, which won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927. ▵ One of two poet brothers, Stephen Vincent Benét is best known for his American epic, John Brown’s Body. He writes us that he seems ‘full of angry poems these days.’ The cause, we believe, is not the humidity, but the Oppression in the air. Vincent Sheean has been living in Italy, gathering material for a novel about the kingdom of Naples in the days of Nelson and his ‘divine lady, A After five years’ preparation, Ralph Barton Perry is now adding the last touches to his definitive study, The Thought and Character of William James (publication by the Atlantic Monthly Press in November I935). The present letters, he reminds us, were written when James was twenty-four and Holmes twenty-five. Does anyone of that age write such letters to-day?

Gertrude Scott was born just in time to get a shock from the Sun Francisco earthquake. Her business days are spent in a countinghouse, hut there are intervals when she finds time for fiction. She first broke into Atlantic print with ‘Obit for E. Harris, which appeared in the issue for January 1935. Carleton S. Coon is happiest when measuring skulls. An anthropologist who teaches at Harvard when al home, he first made his reputation in a three-year study of the Rif. More recently he conducted an expedition to Ethiopia and thence to Arabia. ▵ ’The family of Lee,’ said John Adams in 1779. ‘has more men of merit in it than any other family.’ Burton J. Hendrick, an accomplished biographer, twice the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, has devoted two years and more to the proof of this assertion. ▵ To appear before the footlights is the secret ambition of every woman; to venture backstage is that of every man. Sacha Guitry was to the theatre born. He knew the great figures of the French theatre in the golden years before the war, and to act, to write plays, to spellbind audiences, were as natural to him as breathing. The account of the feud that sprang up between his actor father and himself, the delightful way in which they were reconciled, is in itself a one-act comedy of surpassing charm. Lawrence Lee teaches on the most beautiful Lawn in America, which, if anyone is in doubt, belongs to the University of virginia.

Manon Michels Einaudi is the daughter of the Italian economist, Roberto Michels. From 1914 to 1921 she passed several weeks each year at the Swiss residence of Vilfredo Pareto. Her paper will help to illuminate the human side of the philosopher whose monumental work, under the title of The Mind and Society, has recently been translated into English and published in four large volumes by Harcourt, Brace.

Della T. Lutes has that rare and happy faculty of cooking up the most succulent food into prose. Few novelists are good cooks, and fewer still can make their meals sound appetizing. The most successful in recent years to our knowledge was Gladys Hasty Carroll, whose New England dishes in As the Earth Turns made the mouth water. Rear Admiral william S. Sims (Retired) is still campaigning for the Service which he loves. ▵ From 1922 to 1934, William Henry Chamberlin served as the Moscow correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor, and during that time he viewed the Soviet experiment with the calm reasonableness of a Pennsylvania Quaker. At the termination of his service he withdrew to Berlin, where, with a trunkful of documents, he prepared his history of the Russian Revolution. The comparison of the States and the states of mind for which Stalin and Hitler are responsible gave him food for thought. ▵ An English reviewer and critic for well over a quarter of a century, Allan Monkhouse has been moved to some pungent remarks about modern novels — and those who read them. ▵ Economist, dirt farmer (in upstate New York), and a fanatic bridge player (anywhere), Arthur Pound has been studying industry inside and out ever since he was in long trousers. His The Iron Man in Industry was one of the first and most abiding studies to be made in the field of mass production. It is a standard reference work in many college courses to-day.

Curtain raiser.

Most editors are leery of long letters accompanying a manuscript. But, at (tie risk of encouraging a precedent, we should like to reproduce the letter which chaperoned to our office the book manuscript that eventually was declared the winner of the Atlantic non-fiction contest for 1935. We reproduce it here because it sets so deftly and with such authenticity the scene of the book to come.

March 23, 1935
Atlantic Non-fiction Contest
Old Jules is the biography of my father, Jules Ami Sandoz: I have also tried in a larger sense to make it the biography of a community, the upper Niobrara country in western Nebraska.
The book grew out of a childhood and adolescence spent among the story-tellers of the frontier, for the frontier, whether by Turner’s famous definition or by any other, is a land of story-tellers, and in this respect remains frontier in nature until the last original settler is gone.
It grew, then, out of the long hours in the smoky old kitchen on the Running Water, the silent hours of listening behind the stove or in the woodbox, when it was assumed that of course I was asleep in bed. So I — the Marie of the story — heard all the accounts of the hunts, the well accident, the fights with the cattlemen and the sheepmen; was given hints here and there of the tragic search of women, when a man had to‘marry anything that got off the train,’as Old Jules often said; knew the drouths, the storms, and the wind and isolation. At school we heard other versions, partly trough the natural cruelty of childhood, parity because a feud was on and we were actually outsiders in the school. But the most impressive stories were those told me by Old Jules himself, perhaps on the top of Indian Hill, overlooking the spot where a man was hung under his leadership, and the scene of six years of lawing that drove his second wife into the insane asylum. Perhaps he limped through the orchard as he talked, with me close behind, my hands full of ducks or grouse or quail. Perhaps I followed among flowering cherry trees. carrying the plats to the orchard. Perhaps I drove the team on long trips while he smoked and talked of his own dreams and his joys and his disappointments. And always was I too frightened of him to voice either disapproval or surprise. . .
Sometimes it seems that a quirk of fate has tied me to this father I feared so much even into my maturity. The three crucial moments in his life after I could take part in our family life involved me as an unwilling participant: the snakebite; the near-killing of the Stratsburgers, and my near-ending with the Same gun; and the final moment when he died. Out of these events came the need to write this book, augmented by the one line my father wrote me in 1925. when I received honorable mention in the Harper intercollegiate short-story contest, guarded by the name of Marie Macurnber. He discovered in my activities, sent me one line in his emphatie up and down strokes: ‘You know I consider writers and artists the maggots of society.’ The book became a duty the last day of his life, when he asked that I write of his struggles as a locator, a builder of communities, a bringer of fruit to the Panhandle.
Before I wrote one word of Old Jules I took notes on all references to the Panhandle in all the important papers of the slate from 1880 to 1929, and more complete notes on every Panhandle or near-Panhandle paper from its establishment to the end. The gleanings fill three heavy notebooks. . . . Then, of course, I read all the frontier literature and history obtainable, with a study of frontier economics and politics. ... I went through the entire Ricker Collection, containing interviews with all the old-timers the late Judge Ricker of Chadron could find in twenty years of diligent search. I exposed my mother to months of inquisitional inquiry and interviewed everyone available. Most valuable, however, were the four thousand letters and documents in the files — no, boxes — of Old Jules himself, a little mouldy from the leaky flat roof of our kinkaid home, but generally intact. His habit of revising has saved many of his violent letters for me, in his own characteristically forceful push-and-pull penmanship.
As I read, the stories of my childhood came back to me with new significance. And as I arranged and rearranged the bits of information in what seemed the closes verisimilitude to life as those people lived it in the running Water country, the duty became a privilege. Not one charaeter, included or regretfully put aside, would I have one whit different: not my mother, who had 1 he courage and the tenacity to live with this man so marry years, or the Surbers, to whom many of us owe what joy we derive from music and from art: not Nell Sears; Jim the convict; the Peters’; Andy Brown the yellah boy; the family that are the Sehwartzes and that constituted the bit of glamour of our community; Tissot: Freese: Dr. Walter Reed, or Old Jules himself. These people have endured, and as I review them from the vantage point of twice knowledge, my eyes mist. A gallant race, and I salute them.
I can promise-affidavits from the Nebraska State Historical Society on any event of moment, as, for instance, the Niobrara Feud, the cattleman murder of the brother of Old Jules, and so forth, from newspapers of the period. As to my historical and personal integrity as well as my portrait of the time and the community. I refer you to Dr. A. E. Sheldon, Superintendent of the Society. State Capitol, Lincoln, with whom I have worked at various times for years, for the last year in the capacity of associate editor of the Nebraska History Magazine and director of much of the research, or to Frank L, Williams, Managing Editor, Nebraska State Journal, Lincoln. Mr. Williams knew Old Jules also, and he spent his cub-reporter days in western Nebraska in the ‘80s.
But surely I must take up no more of your time. If there is anything that requires further explanation, I shall be glad to do what I can.
Thank you.

Poet’s praise.

Dear Atlantic,—
May I say what a perfectly swell story I think ‘The Voice of Bugle Ann’ is. It is obviously one of those stories the author had to write whether the bank failed or not. And that is about the only kind of story worth writing.
New York City

Has anyone here ever been to Utopia?

Dear Atlantic.
Near the conclusion of his ‘Thoughts on Utopia,’in the July Atlantic, Albert Jay Nock says that, the only principle that would produce a Utopia to his liking is freedom, and that that has never been tried.
In order that there may be no mistake as to what he means, he takes pains to explain that he refers to something ‘far beyond economic and political freedom.’ In other words, anarchical chaos, in which no ordered manner of life exists and in which, ipso facto, no freedom is possible. A rather disappointing ending to a pleasant-to-read, if rather shallow, paper.
But it reminded me that some years ago, at the late lamented Civic Club in New York, Lewis Mumford, before speaking oil the subject of Utopia, asked what in our opinion, would be a Utopia. On the spur of the moment, I said it was a place where everyone got what he deserved and got it at once.
The general laughter this aroused made it seem more foolish than it really was. Indeed, occasional reflection upon it. since, has convinced me that those specifications were less foolish than the laughter which greeted them.
True it is that such a Utopia could never come about, for natural (including psychological) law would first need to be changed. But is n’t that the case with every Utopia advocated or wished for?
San Diego, California

Dear Atlantic —
Mr. Nock’s article is amusing and stimulating as his stuff always is, but I don’t think he is quite fair in calling the New Deal a Utopian project. I prefer the London Timers’s estimate of the President’s aims, in an editorial after last November’s elections, Quoting from memory: ’President Roosevelt is laboring to make the system of private enterprise for private profit workable by eliminating the abuses. Leaders of business and finance, if wise, will bow to the inevitable, and cooperate with the President in making the system workable as the only means of preserving it.‘
Little if anything that Roosevelt advocates is more Utopian than what already exists in England. Is Mr. Nock alarmed about England?
Really. you know, the atmosphere of New York and New England almost terrifies me. There is a resentment and defiance towards Roosevelt on the part of most of my acquaintance that appalls me. And many of those people, when I was here in July 193!?, would have acknowledged the truth of Mr. Casson’s words in ‘Challenge to Complacency,’ also in the Julv issue: ‘A financial crash from which there is no escape, for the cure of which no Roosevelt appears like a deus ex machina. Fortune is not always so obliging as to produce a magician to move every rock. . .
H. W. S.
Boston, Massachusells

Dear Atlantic—
I have just finished reading Mr. Nock’s worthy article on Utopias. His reference to the Populist Senator Peffer recalled a scheme of the Utopian order which I came across during the course of a little research and which may be of interest.
My history professor once asked me to find out about Mary E. Lease, a Kansan. Now I had lived all my two dozen years in Kansas without hearing anything about Mary E. Lease or the political party of which she was a leader. Hence I went to the library in complete ignorance, and spent a few hours in fruitless searching. Eventually, in the minute print of a newspaper index I found this item: ‘Erase, Mary E.— Female firebrand, pp. . At last I was upon the trail of Populism and its picturesque and vigorous leaders. Before long I found that Mrs. Lease had published a book in 1896 under the title, The Problem of Civilization Solved. That was too much to let go, so I sel about finding the book. I had to call it from the Library of Congress. Now, briefly, this is the solution: Europe is to have. Africa; the United States, South America. The governments of the Northern continents are to gather up all their maladjusted and dissatisfied population and move it down into the tropics, there to clear the jungles and commence cultivating delightful tropical crops. The native population is not to be enslaved; it will right willingly become a tenant class, greatly benefited by the project. To finance this plan the governments just need to stop building armaments, and turn their military funds to this worthy enterprise. There should be much government supervision to forestall all abuses and ensure a fine adjustment of all problems involved.
Perhaps this plan would have solved a few problems for the generation of the ’90s, since yellow fever was not yet under control. Anyway there is a nicesized book with the ‘ Problem of Civilization Solved’ without a shadow of a doubt or a single misgiving, it is, at least, a diverting manifestation of the spirit of Imperialism, and of the American habit of going farther out on the western frontier when economic troubles and dissatisfaction develop in a settled area. Also, it is another book for the connoisseurs of Utopias.

Dear Atlantic, —
Mr. Albert Jay Nock does not quite dispose of all schemes for bettering our social-economic order by exaggerating the intellectual limitations of Bryan, Coxey. Mr. Farley. Huey Long, and so forth. I had never thought of Mr. Farley as a crusader for radical Utopias. Mr. Nock, whom I have read with pleasure and profit for years, will also have to dispose of John Dewey, Harold Laski, Reirthold Niebuhr, Norman Thomas, who are really intellectually respectable. Former Senator Jim Reed in this morning’s papers arrives at the same conclusion as Mr. Nock, but by a different route; Mr. Reed is equally scornful of the levelers. These gentlemon overlook the fact that Capitalism is the most effective leveler among all systems: ‘Even in 1929. the annual earnings of 18,000,000 workers was under $1000 apiece. Nearly half of all Americans live in homes little better than hovels. A sixth of the entire population of the United States is on relief. Two fifths of those on relief are children. A third of our aged are dependent. A fifth of all formerly employed workers are out of a job.’ I submit that this is the miasma out of which dreams of I Utopia arise. Mr. Bryan as a Fundamentalist Christian cut a sorry figure, but morn than any other American he was responsible for the income-tax amendment. and still more to his credit was his noble stand against the war. Now Mr. Nock is a historian, so he might compare the attitude of the cultured Ambassador Page (his letters have been made public) toward our entry into the war with the crude instincts of the Commoner. I mean, of course, in the light of history.
Mr. Nock simply has no right to tie up culture with the status quo, although this prejudiced point of view has always been the last resort of the obstructionist. Just how much was contributed to our national culture by the Ohio Gang, Tammany, the Vares. Instill, Hearst and Hollywood? Missouri’s own Uncle Tom is now doing Paris, having gone over on the Normandie in a stateroom overburdened with orchids. But the teachers of Kansas City, who must bring up the young to appreciate culture, cannot afford a vacation in Paris.
There is nothing more reprehensible in the record of the western world order than its neglect and abuse rtf the creative spirits, the artists, musicians, writers, teachers, poets, and philosophers whose works make up largely the tradition of genuine culture in which those persons might take delight and solace whose energies were not consumed in the bitter struggle for bread. A man like Mr. Nock, whose learning is wide and deep, and whose writing is an ornament to our literature, ought to cultivate a spirit of fair play.
Bonne Terre,Missouri

Let us forget.

A watchful contributor with the good of the Column at heart sends us a copy of a poem of singular beauty which was quoted by the Fortnightly in the January 1935 issue. The lines were originally written by Jan Struther.

She was too lovely for remembrance—
Let us forget her like a dream,
Lest all our days and all our nights hereafter
Empty should seem.
Let not the blind remember beauty,
Nor deaf men think upon a tune:
There are things that are too lovely for remembrance — Let us forget her soon.

REVEREND C. J. HULSEWE Paso Robles, California

No false god need apply.

Dear Atlantic, —
I have been wanting to write an article under some such title as ’I Want a Modern God,’ dealing with what I believe is a fact — that hundreds and hundreds of people throughout the country to-day want to be more religious and would be more religious if they could have for themselves a God as modern as their furniture, their automobiles, their advertising, a God that fits in with present-day needs and manners of living.
I believe it is human nature to be good, but I believe that the pattern set up for goodness is too antiquated and preposterous, and that in the course of time, as younger people learn to think for themselves, religion as handed down to us will become fiction. I think the public’s mind is ahead of its religious teachings, and I believe an editor could do a real service by opening such a subject.
Chicago, Illinois

The geography match, East vs. West, is one we never tire of.

Dear Atlantic, —
Giving a picnic under our glorious redwood trees, I thought. ‘What shall I do for a poem?’ and the following came: —
Crito. Cebes, and Socrates,
Three noble men of ancient Greece,
Like us once sat and took their ease,
Engrossed in their philosophies.
Sitting beneath their verdant trees,
With flowers, birds, and summer breeze
(Mayhap mosquitoes too, to tease),
The while the rulers, on their knees,
Implored most noble Socrates
His talky-talk to kindly cease,
For unbelief did fast increase,
And O, if he would only please
To silence give his longue a lease!
Or they would have to give decease
To him. But now we talk in peace,
While redwoods make sweet melodies,
And Oceanus symphonies
Through California’s sunny seas!
JOAN WOODWARD Mill Valley, California

Dear Atlantic, —
There’s a slight swelling in my chest when I think of the red barns and gray stone walls of New England, and the air that smells like russet apples. . . . This California, with its everlasting sunshine (say I ungratefully) and its stage scenery! . . . One goes out in the morning to look upon the burning blue of a lake lying at the foot of snow mountains, spectacular, self-conscious, beautiful. But so very far from my little New Hampshire towns asleep beneath their elms — from beach plums, dusty by the roadside — from the smell of raspberries hot in the sun. The dust in the lanes there must still be cool to small bare feet. And on Sundays the sound of churchbells through the rain — the ‘cool gray flower’ of New England rain. Here, are only cream-puff clouds above burnt hills. It will be good to be home again.
A NEW ENGLANDER Lake Tahoe, California

Signs of the times continue to enliven our mailbag.

Dear Atlantic, —
May I add one more to your notable and mirthful collection of ‘Signs’ as given in the Contributors’ Column?
Along one of the roadsides in a suburb of Pittsburgh, there appears (in stupendous lettering) upon the brick wall of a laundry this very majestic and Micawber-like announcement: —
Sewickley, Pennsylvania

Dear Atlantic, —
The following observations are for your ‘More Signs of the Times’ space.
First, during the World War and just following, ‘camouflage’ became a Bit overworked. Driving through the colored section of our city, in the early days of national prohibition, I saw displayed over the door of a shack this sign: —
Second, in our country farmers are wont to ‘post’ their land against hunters and others. At the corner of one farm I observed the following notice: —
A hundred-per-cent misspelling, but the idea seemed to get across.
Harrisburg, Illinois

P. S. By a very simple sum in arithmetic I find I have read the last 307 issues of the Atlantic without missing a single copy, or a single article. I am, at least, beginning to sense its value.

Dear Atlantic, —
I have been reading ‘Signs of the Times’ and enjoying them very much. I venture to suggest the following. A Chicago restroom bears the sign:—
There is in Washington, D. C., the Lee Kee Laundry, in Chicago the Day-Light Garage, and in Bloomington, Indiana, the Day and Knight Coal Company, and the Ax and Fry Grocery. There also reside Dr. Strain, Optometrist, and Dr. Strain, Dentist.
I have also known persons named .Mary Christmas and Henry Ford Carr.
Chicago, Illinois

Dear Atlantic, —
A sign of bygone days. More than twenty-live years ago I was tramping with friends through the Catskills. On our way to Wittenberg Mountain, where water was scarce, we spent the night at ‘Winnisook Lodge’ (a very neat but primitive hostelry). On the long-disused roadside stand opposite the Lodge was a weatherbeaten sign which read: —
Boston Massachusells