In This Issue
Explore the August 1950 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
JAMES NORMAN HALL has made his home in the South Seas since 1920. Together with his dearest friend, Charles Nordhoff, both veterans of the Lafayette Escadrille, he migrated to Tahiti in search of a quiet place to write, and there their literary partnership took root and flourished. As he learned the language and came to know the natives, Hall’s imagination was challenged by these questions: Where did the Polynesians come from? How, in the dawn of history, had they ever traversed the enormous spaces of the Pacific to find these remote and peaceful atolls? From the legends and folklore and from his thirty years’ experience in Papeete, Hall has re-created this great adventure in a novel, the main episodes of which are to be serialized in the Atlantic.
A two-fisted fighter for democracy in the American Community. whose recent articles on educational conditions in the counties surrounding Washington have aroused national interest, AGNES E. MEYER is the mother of five children and the grandmother of eight. A graduate and trustee of Barnard College, she is serving on the National Citizens Commission for the Public Schools, the President’s Commission on Higher Education, and the Midcentury White House Child Conference. The provocative words which follow are taken from an address which she delivered this spring at Howard University.
In the fifth volume of his autobiography, which is to be published in the autumn under the title Noble Essences, SIR OSBERT SITWELLhas drawn for us the portraits of the authors and artists — some older than himself, some his contemporaries — who were his friends as he entered literature. The first of the three people of ”talent, wit or genius” whom we shall present in preview is Wilfred Owen. that great English poet of War and Pity.
A surgeon who graduated from the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1933, CALEB SMITH, M.D., explores with courage and candor the standards of the general practitioner in the United States. In his own career, Dr. Smith has had the good luck to combine the advantages of the small town with the stimulus that comes from teaching and hospital work. He is assistant professor of surgery at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, and chief of surgery in the Bradford Hospital, Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Night baseball has filled many a park which would have been half empty under the blazing August sun; because of the gate receipts, certain big-league teams are now playing the vast majority of their home games at night during the summer months. But from the players themselves and from certain outspoken owners one hears very frank talk of how the game has deteriorated at night. EDWIN O’CONNOR,who has scouted this opinion for us, is a Bostonian whose first novel is soon to be published by Harper.
A Texan of the fourth generation, DILLON ANDERSON of Houston, Texas, is contributing to the Atlantic a series of short stories about two traveling hobos who live by their wits and who but for their sentiment and gullibility might sometimes win. This is the third in the series and there are more to come. Mr. Anderson, a member of the law firm of Baker, Botts, Andrews & Parish, says that, as a lawyer, his working time is spent largely in keeping other people out of trouble — that writing stories in his spare time helps to keep him out of trouble.
An Oxford don, C. S. LEWIS in 1940 published a volume entitled The Problem of Pain which attracted instant attention and which was followed by his still more widely read book on morality, The Serewtape Letters. One of the questions Mr. Lewis addressed himself to was: how to account for the occurrence of pain in a universe which is the creation of an all-good God, and in creatures who are not morally sinful. His thoughts provoked a counterinquiry by C. E. M. JOAD, Head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of London, resulting in this controversy which has been published in England in the columns of The Month.
Chicago is the first big American city to discard two thirds of its obsolete building code and to set up and simplify new standards which will stimulate better construction at a lower cost. Writing in the Atlanlic for February, 1945, ROBERT LASCH described what would hare to be done to break the building blockade and to dislodge the protected interests which would fight to the last to hold on to their archaic regulations. In the article that follows, he explains how the job was done. After eight years as editorial writer for the Chicago Sun, Mr. Lasch has moved to the editorial page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Manager of the Labor Department of Vickers Ltd. for many years, JOHN E. HUTTON is an Englishman of wide experience and incomparable enthusiasms. A pioneer motorist, he built his own ”Simplex” in 1901 and was one of the first amateur racers in Europe. He is a master of the fly rod whether fishing for trout or salmon (read his most recent book, Trout and Salmon Fishing), and for half a century he experimented with motorboats, beginning with those which wouldn’t start in the 1890s and coming down to the fishing cruiser he designed in 1939.
An anthropologist now in his forty-third year, JOHN GILLIN has made ten expeditions south of the border. He knows the jungles of South America, and in his investigations has lived with natives “ranging from jungle savages to local high society.”His book The Ways of Men has been widely read. “San Carlos" is the pseudonym of a real Guatemalan community where Dr. Gillin spent several summers and where he encountered the true story which follows. He is today Research Professor of Anthropology in the University of North Carolina.
Author and critic, HANSON W. BALDWIN graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1924, saw service aboard our destroyers and battleships, and after his resignation from the Navy joined the staff of the New York Times, where he has been the military editor since 1942, the year in which he won the Pulitzer Prize. His recent Atlantic articles on “Our Worst Blunders in the War" provoked wide discussion. In the following paper, he gives us his scrutiny of the most notable volumes about the Navy in action.
As a girl, Mary Appleton Wood spent her winters in New York and her summers at the famous old Appleton Farms in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She married Louis Bromfield in 1921, and shortly after the success of his first novel, The Green Bay Tree, they moved to France, where for fourteen years they had their delightful and much visited home in Senlis. With their three daughters they returned to the United States in the autumn of 1938, and they live today on their fertile and still more visited farm in Ohio, which has been described by Mr. Bromfield in his two books Pleasant Valley and Malabar Farm.
Three brief book reviews
FELICIA LAMPORTis a Vassar graduate and a former New York newspaperwoman, who was also engaged in editing American films for audiences overseas. She is the author of Mink on Weekdays, a recently published nonfiction book.
HENRY CASSDY was for thirteen years a reporter and foreign correspondent for the Associated Press. Since 1945 he has been European news director for the National Broadcasting Company.
CHARLES H. DOEBLER is the somewhat undecided proprietor of a 24-foot sloop whose home port is Providence, Rhode Island. This is his first appearance in the Atlantic.
SMITH HEMPSTONE OLIVER is Associate Curator, Section of Land Transportation, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
The Atlantic has published many stories and poems by LORD DUNSANY, one of Ireland’s most celebrated literary figures.