In This Issue
Explore the February 1948 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
“I won't make your dirty work easier, like a sheep considerately running up the plank into the slaughterhouse. Try and find me.”
Thirty years ago as a young assistant to President Wilson, WALTER LIPPMANN played a formative part in drafting the Fourteen Points. Since then,as a political analyst,he has observed the American people as they pledged themselves to disarm, to outlaw war, to be neutral at all costs. Now, after a second war for which we were unprepared, he has come to believe that an error in our philosophy prevents us from forming an effective foreign policy. This article is the Phi Beta Kappa address he recently delivered at the College of William and Mary.
Is American enterprise the strongest antidote to Communism in Europe, and if so, how can we place American capital abroad with reasonable security? On his return from Europe last autumn, where, as Chairman of a House investigating committee, he had made an intensive study of conditions in Austria, Germany, and Great Britain, EVERETT M. DIRKSEN, Congressman from the 16th Illinois District, evolved a practical plan by which private dollars can go immediately to work with government dollars under the Marshall Plan. He is one of the ablest veterans in Congress, haling represented his district for fifteen years.
In the days of Victoria, novelists wrote their great love scenes with the closed-door technique. The lovers met in a tower, a barn, or a bedroom, and for seven chapters thereafter the reader was kept guessing. But at the turn of the century the door to the boudoir began to open and now it is off its hinges. What a difference this makes to our best-sellers and to the women who read them has been wittily discerned by BERGEN EVANS,Professor of English at Northwestern University and the author of that shrewd blast of all follies, The Natural History of Nonsense.
A British novelist who for ten years taught and published his novels in obscurity, JAMES HILTON,SOJI of a schoolmaster, first gained a national American audience when his Good-bye, Mr. Chips! appeared in the Atlantic. As his successive books have come out—Random Harvest, So Well Remembered, Nothing So Strange — his hold upon the American imagination has steadily strengthened. We can think of no writer better qualified to bring home to us the experience of the English youngsters who lived with us during the war.
On November 19, 1946, an American C-53, flying under Army orders from Munich to Istres, France, crashlanded on a snow-covered glacier in the Swiss Alps. The eight passengers and four crew members were all Americans. Flying by instruments in a snowstorm, the pilot, Captain Ralph Tate, Jr., had suddenly caught a glimpse of icy wastes below him. Realizing that they were lost and that impassable mountains lay ahead, unhesitatingly and with consummate skill this veteran of “Hump” and Pacific flying set the plane down almost undamaged. The crash occurred at 2.30 P.M., and soon the plane’s radio touched off one of the great international rescue efforts of all time. Captain Tate’s mother, one of the eight passengers, gives us this stirring account of the incident as she saw it. Harcourt, Brace and Company will publish her complete story later this year.
Art critic and writer, DANIEL CATTON RICH has been Director of the Art Institute of Chicago and Curator of Painting since 1938. For the 58th Annual Exhibition, the Institute arranged a series of exhibits on dominant themes in American Art. The showing which opened last November was made up of 256 paintings and sculptures by American abstract and surrealist artists,and in collecting them Mr. Rich and his staff were impressed by the vitality and scope of this new movement.
After one year at the University of Alabama, JOHN CRAIG STEWART sampled a wide variety of jobs. The war pulled him out of mercantile life; he served in the Army for four years, three of them in the Pacific as Supply Officer for an Air Corps fighter group. After the war he returned to college to study creative writing. His first stories have been written under Professor Hudson Strode at the University of Alabama,and when he has taken his degree he plans to retire to a fifty-acre farm which he owns near Montgomery and write.
Statistics showing the growth of Protestant Church membership are impressive. But has there been a corresponding increase in the influence of Protestantism on the life of the nation? Or has the Church succumbed to the secularism which is the great enemy of religion today? For the answer to these imperative questions we turn to REINHOLD NIEBUHR,who was ordained to the ministry in 1915, served as a pastor in Detroit, and was then called to Union Theological Seminary, where he has been a Professor of Applied Christianity since 1930.
An American philosopher who writes as skillfully as he talks, IRWIN EDMAN has been teaching at Columbia University for thirty years. To his books (Philosopher’s Holiday and Philosopher’s Quest), as to his lectures and table talk, he brings the wise detachment of a bachelor, the urbanity of a sensitive New Yorker, and the penetration of a disciple of George Santayana and John Dewey.
That college students could he taught to write and produce for the stage seemed absurd to Broadway and the professional theatre when George Pierce Baker was developing his “47 Workshop” in Cambridge. His teaching, his wise encouragement, guided to early success the talents of Eugene O’Neill, Edward Sheldon, Philip Barry, Sidney Howard, Donald Oenslager, S. N. Behrman, and George Abbott, to name a few. We have called on ROLLO WALTER BROWN, one of his students, for this picture of G.P.B. in action.
Of English parentage, MONICA STIRLING spent ten years of her girlhood in Paris. There she became a close friend of Colette and Colette’s daughter. In the early years of the war she worked in General de Gaulle’s headquarters, where her mastery of the two languages served her in good stead. After the Allied invasion she returned to France for eighteen months as the Atlantic’s correspondent. We regard her articles and her short stories as sure promise of her longer work to come.
John W. VANDERCOOK is widely known as an author, world traveler, and radio commentator.
ROLAND KIBBEE is a Hollywood screen writer. He spent several years in the field of radio writing and has had considerable experience in commercial and military aviation. This is his first appearance in the Atlantic.
EDWIN BATEMAN MORRIS was formerly associated with the Office of the Supervising Architect in the Federal government.
Author of the recent best-seller The Big Sky, A. B, GUTHRIE. JR., is a Lexington, Kentucky, newspaperman.
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 from America, and four from England, and for each book he wrote an introduction. His appraisal of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary we printed in November; his essay on Fielding and Tom Jones in December; and in the January issue, he discussed Balzac and Le Père Goriot. The set of the Ten Best Novels will be published by the John C. Winston Company.
An inveterate arguer, John Adams made copious — and highly explosive — notes in many of his books now at the Boston Public Library. He was especially incensed against the philosophes, whom he held mainly responsible for the French Revolution. In a book on Adams, now in preparation, ZOLTAN HARASZTI brings together some fifty thousand words of these hitherto unpublished comments. They should be indispensable to historians. Mr. Haraszti is Keeper of Rare Books at the Boston Public Library and, since its inception, has been editor of More Books, the library’s monthly bulletin.