The Contributors' Column

‘ IN this crisis those who write for the Atlantic and those who edit it will be guided by the belief that “the one aim of war should be a more perfect peace.”’ So wrote the Editor in November 1939, defining the policy of the magazine for the year ahead. In the intervening months he and his associates have done their utmost to persuade spokesmen of the belligerent — and interested — powers to set forth a program which might lead to ‘a more perfect peace.’ In this issue the Atlantic is privileged to present two clear and forceful statements, the first looking toward the reconstruction of Europe, the second toward the selfdetermination of the East.

In his Program for Peace, Paul Reynaud (p. 445), the French Minister of Finance, speaks with firm but certainly not unhopeful emphasis of that coöperation, economic and spiritual, without which he feels there can be no lasting security in Europe. A keen-minded economist, he was first appointed Minister of Finance in 1930, when he became a member of the Tardieu Cabinet. The following year he was made Minister of Colonies, and then, in 1932, Minister of Justice. When Daladier came to power, he included M. Reynaud in his cabinet as Minister of Justice. In the spring of 1938. at a time when French industry and morale were at low ebb and when France was ready to accept his reforms, Reynaud was appointed Minister of Finance. The reforms he instituted weathered the general strike and have been in large measure responsible for the resuscitation of France.

Trained for many years as Gandhi’s right-hand man, Jawaharlal Nehru (p. 449) recently assumed the office vacated by Mahatma Gandhi as President of the Nationalist Party. ‘The real significance of the Indian problem,’ writes Mr. Nehru, ‘lies in its relation to the world problem. There can be no stable order or effective coöperation in the world if India and China are ignored. We should ill serve the cause we cherish by submitting to that very evil of imperialism against which we have struggled for so long. ‘

With her husband, Anne Morrow Lindbergh (p. 456) is one of the pioneers of the air. Their historic flights together have found permanent record not only in the Log of Aviation but equally in her two lovely books, North to the Orient and Listen! the Wind. Mrs. Lindbergh is a poet — as any reader will discover in our pages this month.

’New England — there she stands.’ But what does she stand for today? That is a question asked —and asked rather pointedly — by two ‘foreigners’ who have recently been spending their time Down East. Michigan born, Howard Mumford Jones (p. 458) taught at Ann Arbor, in Texas, and at Chapel Hill before his appointment as Professor of English at Harvard. Jonathan Daniels (p. 468) son of Josephus, is a South Carolinian who, having discovered his native South and written a book about it (A Southerner Discovers the South), then came north to see what it is that makes the Yankee go. The Atlantic is happy to present the conclusion of his new volume, A Southerner Discovers New England, to be published this spring.

From Truro, Cape Cod, Edmund Wilson (p. 473) sends us the first of two essays on Charles Dickens. When Charles was a boy of twelve, his father was sent to prison. The term was a short one, but the effect on THE boy was lifelong. Here is biography seasoned with criticism and affection.

Born in the Delta and educated at Yale, it was at the mouth of the Mississippi that David L. Cohn (p. 484) first set up shop. He lived for many years in New Orleans — the City That Care Forgot.

Missouri is the home place of Josephine W. Johnson (p. 492) and there she was born in 1910, but ever since the publication of her first novel, Now in November, her sympathies have been seeking a wider range.

Writing in the January Atlantic, a prominent educator, Dean Henry Holmes of Harvard, said, ‘One problem arises which cannot be solved without prolonged study, patient and tolerant discussion, and a willingness to experiment and compromise. The problem is that of religion in education; more concretely, the relation of State and Church to each other and to the schools; specifically, the development of a Catholic school system, paid for by the Catholic people, alongside the public school system paid for out of taxes.’ To the editors this seemed so pertinent a statement that they invited the Reverend George Johnson (p. 500), Director of the National Catholic Welfare Conference and Associate Professor of Education at the Catholic University of America, to present the case for and explain the predicament of the parochial schools in the United States.

English essayist whose early volumes, Old Junk, The Sea and the Jungle, and London River, are collector’S items, H. M. Tomlinson (p. 506) remembers his experience as a war correspondent in the last world war — as he contemplates the dark shade of the present conflict.

After seven lean years, are the American railroads equipped to stand the strain which may devolve upon them in the months immediately ahead? Let an expert reply. Robert S. Binkerd (p. 513) took his Ph.ll. at Yale in 1904. He was Vice Chairman of the Committee on Public Relations of the Eastern Railroads from 1923 to 1927, and Vice President of the Baldwin Locomotive Works from 1931 to 1938.

’East Side, West Side, all around the town,’ seems to have been running through the head of Stephen Vincent Benöt (p. 520) as he wrote his present story of the Irish temperament in Manhattan — a story which has the sound and savor of the city streets.

A Smith graduate with ministers for her forbears, Mrs. Fannie Stearns Gifford (p. 527) writes, ’We are well rooted in New England and glad to be, having little journeying to our credit and few adventures beyond the Berkshires and the Green Mountains to relate.’

Author, editor, and preacher, Bernard Iddings Bell (p. 528) writes for the Atlantic an Easter sermon which the devout may well take to heart.

From St. Andrews, Scotland, Edwin Muir (p. 535) sends us his pertinent analysis of Time and the Modern Novel. Novelist, poet, and critic, Mr. Muir has published sixteen volumes of prose and verse in the past two decades.

The single spokesman for ‘ Under Thirty’ in this issue, Peter Viereck (p. 538) explains why he has remained a conservative in conviction despite the left-wing stampede which has been so noticeable among undergraduates since the depression. Here is one young graduate who knows where he stands — and is proud of it.

Glanville Smith (p. 544) has made himself expert in three lines. When he is at home in Cold Spring, Minnesota, he earns his bread as a cutter of tombstones; when he is at liberty he travels in pursuit of the farthermost islands; and in between times he polishes and perfects those essays which have made his name familiar in the Atlantic.

At a time when it is so easy to lose faith, the testimony of Suzanne Clemens Rodier (p. 550), written with quiet conviction, will find an answering response in many readers.

The winner of the Contributors’ Club prize for April is George Boas (p. 554), whose informal essay will mean much to those ‘over fifty.’

Here is a hint for the book-wise. From the vantage point of his farm in Vermont, Wilson Follett (page 559) is now gathering materials for a volume on American Usage. If you agree — or disagree—with the analysis and criticism which he has set forth in the Atlantic these past three years, now is the time to speak up.

In the course of its preparation, Hans Zinsser’s (p. 562) biography of R. S. has grown beyond its expected dimensions. The material is much too good to be cut drastically for this installment, and the editors have arranged to print the closing chapters in the body of the May issue. The book will be published this spring under the title As I Remember Him.