The Contributors' Column

ONE of the hardest things in life is to face an unfamiliar alternative. The notion that this war is no concern of ours and that at the end of it we can reëmerge from our hurricane cellar and go pleasantly to work is a daydream from which some Americans are only now being aroused. To the assumption that in a pinch we could do ’business as usual’ with Hitler, Douglas Miller (p. 1) has a conclusive answer.

Until 1939 he was the Commercial Attaché at the United States Embassy in Berlin. For fifteen years he had an inside view of German industry, and from the moment Hitler came to power Mr. Miller kept track of American investments in Germany, and of what became of our American treaties, and of what specific terms were offered to American business by way of barter. FTis book, You Can’t Do Business with Hitler, is must reading for any American with enough courage to face the future. Born in Fayette, Iowa, Mr. Miller was cated in the Denver schools and at the University of Denver, where he took his M. A. in 1914. He joined the United States Department of Commerce in October 1921, and was sent as Trade Commissioner to our Embassy in Berlin in May 1924.

For eighteen years William Henry Chamberlin {p. 9) has been the eyes and ears of the Atlantic in foreign capitals— Moscow, Berlin, then Tokyo, and finally Paris. Now, drawing on his experience as an observer of foreign affairs, Mr. Chamberlin plots the various courses which we might take into the immediate and uncertain future.

Editor of the Louisville Courier and widely known for his vigorous espousal of American democracy, Herbert Agar (p. 12) is the author of a number of books, chief among them The People’s Choice, which received the Pulitzer Prize for American History in 1933.

Juana Allraum Vogt (p. 18) is a native Californian married to an ornithologist and living happily with him on a remote and tiny island off the coast of Peru. Their most inquisitive neighbors are the sea lions ‘who pay our watery front yard unexpected and delightful calls and stay for hours on end.’ ‘Tell the gentlemen I’ll be right down,’says Mrs. Vogt.

When our humorists are at their best, they produce a particular brand of American Whoppers unrivaled by any other storytellers in the world. Of such are the prodigious doings of Davy Crockett and Paul Bunyan; the Jumping Frog of Mark Twain, and Walter Edmonds’s story of that champion caterpillar, Red Peril. Add to those legends the yarn of Windwagon Smith, who wanted to build prairie schooners which would sail west to the Rockies. Wilbur L. Schramm (p. 26), the discoverer of Windwagon, was born in the oldest town in the Northwest Territory. He grew up beside the Ohio River, where one of his earliest memories is of steamboats whistling behind Blennerhassett Island. He twice traveled the long length of the Oregon Trail. The West is in his blood, and so is his love of American storytellers — a combination which makes him an invaluable teacher of English Composition at the University of Iowa.

Elliot Paul (p. 36) has been a free lance ever since he was demobilized from the A. E. F. Fora time he wrote his novels in Boston (home country, since he was born in Malden, Massachusetts). Then, as co-editor of transition, he moved to the Left Bank. Thence to Spain, where, as he saw the Civil War cast its terrible shadow, he wrote The Life and Death of a Spanish Town. Back in this country, for the first time in his career he turned his mind to the writing of mystery stories, and in The Mysterious Mickey Finn and Hugger-Mugger in the Louvre he succeeded in producing narratives which broke all the rules and incidentally sold like hot cakes.

A Virginian, born in 1897, Stringfellow Barr (p. 41) is today the most daring president of a small college in America. The innovations — or, as he would prefer to say, the ancient curriculum — which he introduced at St. John’s College, Annapolis, may set an example for many a larger institution in the time to come. The Atlantic is very happy to have President Barr describe for its readers what it felt like to organize a College in Secession.

Educated at Exeter and Dartmouth, Harland Manchester (p. 50) is a New Englander who served his apprenticeship on the Boston Herald. On his graduation from journalism, he set out to explore and then interpret for others those American inventions so characteristic of our time, the electric eye, the Diesel engine, synthetic rubber — and now fluorescent lighting.

No romance in all Victorian England was more incredible than that which finally brought together as man and wife Isabel Arundell, the frosty-eyed, impetuous daughter of one of England’s oldest Catholic families, and Richard Burton, mystic, soldier, and explorer of the East. The story of their tempestuous marriage has been told most vividly by Jean Burton (p. 57), a Canadian and a distant relative of Sir Richard’s.

We continue in this number Albert Jay Nock’s (p. 68) inquiry into the Jewish Problem in America, an issue of utmost gravity at the present moment. Mr. Nock has done his best to define the problem as it presents itself to the mind of a conscientious Gentile.

In the August Atlantic a prominent Jew long identified with American life will be invited to do the same for Jewry. In addition a selection of the more pertinent and level-headed letters criticizing or commending Mr. Nock’s position will be released in the Repartee for that month.

Born in Poltava, Russia, Nina Fedorova (p. 77) is today an American citizen and the mother of two sons studying at the University of Oregon. Her first novel, The Family, was awarded the Atlantic $10,000 Prize last year, and its sequel, The Children, is now, she tells us, three-quarters complete. The check for her short story in this issue she forwarded immediately to the China Emergency Relief Committee.

Ruth Evans (p. 82) is the wife of B. Ifor Evans, professor of English Language and Literature at the University of London. Like our essayist, H. M. Tomlinson, she has accustomed herself to write in the intervals between air raids.

Barbara Rex (p. 83) is a Philadelphian whose eager interest will reveal to other parents the fact that there is in this country today a new hope for the deaf—whether the victims be young or old.

There are still people on Cape Cod who know how to concoct an oldfashioned clambake, and chief among them is Llewellyn Howland (p. 92), to whom New Bedford and Buzzards Bay mean home. No smoke in the eyes, nothing gritty or half-cooked to chew on, but the real thing, the real Cape Cod clambake as it was supervised by the Skipper fifty years ago.

Born in Peoria, Illinois, educated at Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Geneva, Shelby Cullom Davis (p. 97) is an economist and author with an interest in going concerns and a seat on the Stock Exchange. His articles ‘Automobiles Go Ahead’ and ‘Watch Steel!' have appeared in recent issues.

Margaret Leech (p. 109) graduated from Vassar in 1915 and went on to New York, where she hoped to make a name for herself as a writer. She published three novels in the early ‘20s, and in 1927 collaborated with Heywood Broun in the writing of a biography of Anthony Comstock. Five years ago, at the insistence of Cass Canfield, the president of Harpers, she began to accumulate from memoirs, newspaper files, diaries, and letters the lively details and the littleknown episodes which would show to an American of today what the life in our nation’s capital was like in the years of the Civil War. As you read her Reveille in Washington, you will begin to wonder how much history repeats itself. Here is the heart of a democracy, as it beats under stress.