In This Issue
Explore the December 1947 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
Author and naturalist, ALAN DEVOE has contributed to the Atlantic and other magazines.
A former city editor of the OmahaWorld-Herald, B. F. SYLVESTER has written for various magazines. This is his second appearance in theAtlantic.
GORDON KAHN is a frequent contributor, from Hollywood, to the Atlantic.
A former executive in the automobile industry in Detroit, LEE ANDERSON organized his own advertising agency in 1928 and retired in 1941 to divide his time between Nantucket Island and Woodstock, Vermont.
GILES PLAYFAIR is a former London barrister now living in New Canaan, Connecticut. He is the author of a biography of Edmund Kean and Singapore Goes Off the Air, an account of his war experiences as Productions Director of the Malaya Broadcasting Corporation.
H. M. TOMLINSONwas born close to the London Docks with shipping in his blood. But when he went to sea, it was not before the mast but as a writer. The Sea and the Jungle, which resulted from his maiden voyage to South America, ranks among the finest prose of our time. It was followed by Old Junk (papers of seafaring and of his work as a war correspondent in France), by London River, Gallions Reach, and by essays which are unrivaled for their Elizabethan beauty and the power of indignation they impart to the reader.
When W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM was asked to select and edit the ten best novels in world literature, he thought at once of Balzac, Dickens, Tolstoi, and Dostoevski; then the choice became difficult. Finally he chose three novels from France, two from Russia, one American, and four from England, and for each book he wrote an introduction. Mr. Maugham spent much of his boyhood in France; he served as an intern in a London hospital; and since Of Human Bondage has scored repeated successes with his books and plays. His set of the Ten Best Novels will be published in 1948 by the John C. Winston Company.
In General Patton’s account of his own campaigns, what is most significant to the professional soldier? MAJOR GENERAL SHERMAN MILES finds as high points: Patton’s opposition to Montgomery and his warm regard for Bradley; his candor and acknowledgment of his own errors: his crossing of the Rhine; and his mastery of his chosen speciality — the bold. unexpected offense. General Miles seved in the caealry, the artillery, several times on the General Staff, and as military attaché in Europe.
Two years ago, at the age of twenty-eight, HENRY FORD II stepped into the presidency of the Ford Motor Company. The country was eager to know how he would meet the far-reaching responsibilities of a company by now employing 130,000 people and famous throughout the world as a symbol of American enterprise. The Atlantic asked permission to send TOM LILLEY to Dearborn so that Mr. Ford could answer informally some questions of industrial development, post-war reorganization, and personnel relations which find their parallel in every American plant, large or small. Mr. Lilley is Assistant Director of Research at the Harvard Business School.
When GEORGE S. PATTON, JR., graduated from West Point in 1909, he was Adjutant of his class and a fine horseman, swimmer, and marksman. He was our tank expert in 1917-1918 and despite a serious wound proved the leadership which was to make him the most feared army commander in the Second World War. These letters, written to Frederick Ayer, are the affectionate record of a commander who was eager, audacious, proud of his men, wryly humorous, and implacable towards the enemy. The opening installment appeared in November.
The Assistant Editor of the London Economist, now in her thirty-fourth year, BARBARA WARDis as attractive as she is intelligent. She was educated at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Felixstowe, studied at the Sorbonne, and took Honors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford in 1935. She has often spoken in this country, and she brings to her lectures as to her books a clear mind, a firm hold on economic truths, and a faith in man’s capacity which shines like a beacon through her words.
Instead of seeking to establish guilt and punish it with costly legal entanglements, modern divorce courts could prevent many unnecessary separations. A compulsory waiting period, private hearings, and a thorough investigation by case workers would replace methods now too quick or too cumbersome for a right settlement, fair to all concerned. REGINALD HEBER SMITH,one of the founders of the Legal Aid Movement, is the author of Justice and the Poor. He writes from thirty-five years of active practice.
A native of Newburyport and a graduate of Harvard, JOHN M ARQUAND began writing fiction in 1921. In 1936 he turned away from short stories to write a satirical novel of contemporary New England. The Late George Apley won the Pulitzer Prize for 1938, and the four novels which followed established Mr. Marquand as a painter of the contemporary scene, a novelist keen, mature, and always entertaining. Now the Atlantic presents a major theme culled from the first half of his new book. The scene is laid in the Stuyvesant Bank of New York, where two junior executives, Charles Gray, back from the war, and Roger Blakesley, are being sized up for a vice-presidency which has fallen vacant. Tony Burton, the bank’s president, will have to make the final choice. The reader should remember that this is the first draft of Mr. Marquand’s work and that the wording may be changed slightly in the final version.
Why this chaos in the world of art? asks GEORGE BIDDLE,a leading American painter. The chaos, he argues, is the result of war neuroses, a rigged market, snobbism, and above all, of sloppy, inaccurate critical standards. A Philadelphian who was graduated from Harvard in 1908 and who has had more than fifty one-man exhibitions in Paris, Vienna, Rome, and America, Mr. Biddle here raises questions which will draw blood.
A graduate of the University of Iowa, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees, R. V. CASSILLspent four years in the Army as a lieutenant in the Medical Department. He saw service in the South Pacific, at Okinawa, and later in Japan. “ Most of the stories which I have written in the past year,” he tells us, ” are stories about the Army, the war, or people somehow involved with these things.”Now in his twenty-eighth year, he is teaching English at Monticello College and writing a novel.
DIXON WECTER has recently been appointed Literary Editor of the Mark Twain estate. Last August he made the trip by riverboat down the Mississippi with Mark’s pilot book to guide him to the old landmarks. Now at the Huntington Library, as Chairman of the Research Group, he is editing the unpublished letters of Mark Twain, of which the most endearing are these to his fiancée, Olivia Langdon. A first selection appeared in November.
Composer and music critic, VIRGIL THOMSON graduated from Harvard in 1922 and then went to Paris, where he studied under Nadia Boulanger and began the writing of symphonies and chamber music, and where his friendship with Gertrude Stein eventually led to their collaboration on two operas, Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of Us All. As the music critic of the New York Herald Tribune he took part in a recent symposium at Harvard, the addresses for which will be published as Music and Criticism: A Symposium.
Educator and author, RALPH BARTON PERRY taught philosophy at Harvard under Presidents Eliot, Lowell, and Conant. From 1940 to 1945 he was Chairman of American Defense-Harvard Group, and during that time he lived by the logic of war. Today, as Professor Emeritus, he is dedicated to the logic of peace. Before returing to the University of Glasgow, where he has been delivering the Gifford Lectures, he made these remarks of light and leading to American undergraduates at Bucknell University and Wilson College, and at the Atlantic’s urging he has expanded his views in this farseeing paper.