Lying in State

by Stanton Griffis. Doubleday, $3.75.
This autobiography of a self-made tycoon takes in Wall Street, the book business, the entertainment world, polities, a wartime cloak-and-dagger mission, and a career in diplomacy. Mr. Griffis is owner of Brentano’s; a director of Madison Square Garden; and a top executive in Paramount Pictures. During the Second World War, he conducted the delicate negotiations in Stockholm which cut off the flow of Swedish ball bearings to the Nazis. Then he was Ambassador to Poland, Egypt, Argentina, and finally Spain. What he has to say about these missions is interesting but not especially significant. His book as a whole, however, makes very sprightly reading.