Collected Edition of Heywood Broun
WHEN Heywood Broun put together the journalistic odds and ends entitled Pieces of Hate and Other Enthusiasms he composed a preface in the form of ‘an unbiased review’ in the third person. It said: ‘Broun does not learn fast. Like most newspaper persons he is an extraordinary mixture of sophistication and naïveté. At one moment he will be found belaboring a novelist or a dramatist for sentimentality and on the next page there will be distinct traces of treacle in his own creative work. Seemingly, what he means . . . is that he doesn’t like the sentimentality of anybody else.’ That was written in 1922. It is shrewd and searching comment on many of the 189 pieces of the years 1908-1939 collected in chronological order by his son in this memorial volume; also on the same proportion of the several thousand not collected. At the same time it is a first-rate example ot Broun’s way of disarming criticism by anticipating it. In the matter of poking fun at Heywood Broun he knuckled under to no man. It was one of the traits a generation of us loved him for. Some of us, out of a long-standing impression that he was at his best more often in whimsy than in the chronic sœva indignatio of his last decade, are bound to question the judgment that represents the six years 1925-1930 by twenty-five pieces only, the three years 1937-1939 by seventy-four. Whichever side of his facility used to win and hold us, however, we meet as one reader in his columns on the Sacco-Vanzetti trial — the pieces that led to his historic one-man strike against a great metropolitan newspaper. W. F.