Janus: A Summing Up

by Arthur Koestler.Random House, $10.00. In the course of his remarkably productive career, Mr. Koestler has examined so many areas of science, usually with stimulating results, that it becomes a problem to describe him. That old term, natural philosopher, is probably still the best one for a man of such wide-ranging knowledge and curiosity. His present work is a condensation and synthesis of material from a number of previous books on a variety of scientific fields, all arranged to present what Mr. Koestler perceives as a consistent pattern throughout the universe—that is, the simultaneous presence and continual opposition of tendencies to independence and to interaction. If this sounds simple, it is not. If it sounds complicated, it is not that either. Lucidity and the power to create excitement are not the least, of Mr. Koestler’s many abilities. Appendices, references, bibliography.