Books: The Editors Like

For the Curious

A GENERATION ON TRIAL: U.S.A. v. ALGER HISSby Alistair Cooke. (Knopf, $3.50.) The author’s title may be a misnomer, and his refusal to pass judgment will anger some readers, but from the reporting standpoint this is a superlative job.

THE MAN OF INDEPENDENCEby Jonathan Daniels. (Lippincott, $3.75.) A hotly partisan portrait of President Truman as an “average” American. Daniels has uncovered new material, including some provocative Presidential table talk.

Novels from Abroad

THE CASE OF COMRADE TULAYEVby Victor Serge. (Doubleday, $3.00.) The unpremeditated murder of a high-ranking Communist official sets in motion a dramatic tale of the pathology of modern Russia. The author, an ex-revolutionary, has put the experience of a hard schooling into this near-Koestler narrative.

COUNTY CHRONICLEby Angela Thirkell. (Knopf, $3.50.) Toujourx Barsetshire, where every prospect pleases and only Change is vile. The Charming Mrs. Brandon finds a charming way out of the stress of living with a house full of relatives, and a beautiful new heroine has her future charmingly arranged.

THE MILL ON THE POby Riccardo Bacchelli. (Pantheon, $4.00.) This epic of the birth of modern Italy is a three-decker in the Victorian tradition, centered on a family of millers. Though ponderous in places, it is a historical novel of real literary stature.

Artist at Work

THE STORY OF THE ABBEY THEATREbyPeter Kavanagh. (Devin-Adair, $4.50.) The story of this embattled theatre has never been told with such clear-sightedness. A stirring memoir of Yeats, Lady Gregory, Æ, Synge, Padraic Colum, O’Casey. . . .

THE WRITER’S SITUATIONby Storm Jameson, (Macmillan, $2.50.) Twelve trenchant essays about writers and their responsibilities and the condition of the novel.

MICHELANGELOby Michele Saponaro. (Pellegrini & Cudahy, $4.00.) Compactly and forcefully retold, here is the turbulent story of a brooding, solitary genius and of the corruption of his age. 32 fine half-tone illustrations.

The Better Mysteries

A SHOT OF MURDERby Jack lams. (Morrow, $2.50.) Hare-and-hounds with witty dialogue; an American newspaperman invades darkest Poland on a singlehanded rescue mission. Thoroughly diverting.

SMALLBONE DECEASEDby Michael Gilbert. (Harper, $2.50.) With a rich, respectable London law office for its locale, wholly convincing and managed with great skill, this is the best all-round mystery story of many, many months.

ANOTHER MUG FOR THE BIERby Richard Starnes. (Lippincott, $2.50.) Persuasive account of homicide in Washington, D.C., impaired only by the author’s belief that like is a conjunction.