In This Issue
Explore the February 1951 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
Socialism in Europe
Lessons for Survival
The most widely respected analyst of American foreign policy, WALTER LIPPMANNhas for the past two years been pounding home the truth that this country must not undertake commitments which ice cannot back up. It the Atlantic’s urging in late December he set forth what he believes to be the fundamental program for our survival. Mr. Lippmann was the first to define the “Atlantic Community.” He began writing about that constellation of nations in 1917, and he has never lost faith in its power and validity. In the face of our present perilous tlilemrna, here is what he recommends.
The Man and the Child
Poetry and Drama
Poet, playwright, and publisher T. S. ELIOT delivered at Harvard on November 21 the first Theodore Spencer Lecture in memory of his friend who was a poet, a Shakespearean scholar, and the Boylston Professor. The paper he prepared for the occasion falls into three parts; it is affectionate, calmly objective in its self-criticism, and compelling in the power of its prose. Mr. Eliot, whose play The Cocktail Party is a hit in New York and London, was educated at Harvard, at the University of Paris, and at Oxford. He edited The Criterion from 1923 to 1939, is a director of Faber & Faber, and in 1948 teas awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
A Better Way to Beat the Bomb
PHILIP WYLIE reminds us that the United States is the only one of the great powers that has not yet been tested in civilian defense. He has no question as to our courage, but he seriously questions some of the impractical directives that have been prepared, in the event that our cities come under attach. American novelist and critic, Mr. Wylie writes prose that cracks like a whip, as anyone knows who has read his Generation of Vipers. He left Princeton at the end of three years to work as a press agent and as one of the editors of the New Yorker; today he is a free lance dividing his time between fiction and books in which he scrutinizes the American character.
In his book Gamesmanship or, The Art of Winning Gomes Without Actually Cheating, STEPHEN POTTERscored one of the most laughable triumphs in dead-pan writing. The Editor of the Atlantic was one of the many who urged the author on to further research. and as a result Mr. Totter brought together his notes on courting or, as he calls it, Woomanship. In his conversational way, he reveals those methods by which the awkward amateur can take the field successfully against the highly placed expert. His illustrations are all. of course, drawn from life.
The Composer's Conductor: Koussevitzky
Composer and author, NICOLAS NABOKOV began his study of music in St. Petersburg where in his impressionable years he heard the singing of Chaliapin and the playing of Rachmaninov and young Heifetz, and saw the dancing of Pavlova and Karsavina. After the Revolution, he worked in the Berlin Conservatory, and when his first balletoratorio. Ode, was produced by Diaghilev in Paris, he entered upon the creativeyears during which he teas to enjoy the friendship of Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Koussevilzky. The paper which follows is drawn from his delightful book. Old Friends and New Music, to be published this month under the Atlantic-Little, Brown imprint.
Criminals Who Get Away
As a research psychologist at Fort Leavenworth Penitentiary, DONALD P. WILSONembarked on a survey of drug addiction among criminals; it lasted three years and brought him into close and revealing association with the prisoners, particularly with those six convicts who comprised his “regular staff of assistants.” From this experience comes his new book, My Six Convicts (Rinehart), a February selection of the Rook-of-the-Month Club„ from which the Atlantic has chosen this chapter.
The Laughing Laundress
Artist, sportsman, and country gentleman, JAMES REYNOLDSis a painter of murals, an expert on Pattadian architecture, and a connoisseur of Irish ghosts. His beautifully illustrated volume Ghosts in Irish Houses. which combines his two loves, has met with an enthusiastic reception in this country, as has his second volume. Gallery of Ghosts, which goes further abroad to find its themes in India, Restoration England, and in Maine.
In these days there is an all-too-ready assumption that tee must call in an ex-Communist whenever some other American’s loyalty is in doubt. Indeed, as Elmer Doris remarked in a recent broadcast. “ex-Communists are more highly regarded in some quarters than people who were never Communists at all.” This preposterous reliance on intellectuals who blindly followed the Early line has prompted BERNARD DEVOTE, historian, critic, and author, to inquire into the credentials of some of the more talented ex-Communists.
Gladstone and Lenin
“Lenin thought that the world was governed by the dialectic, whose instrument he was; just as much as Gladstone, he conceived of himself as the human agent of a superhuman Power.” In developing the dissimilarities and the points of resemblance in these two great leaders, BERTRAND RUSSELL demonstrates that power of perception and skill in writing which qualified him for the Nobel Prize in Literature. This paper is drawn from his forthcoming hook, Unpopular Essays, which Simon and Schuster will publish in late February.
The Shield of Faith
Those who have found enjoyment and comfort in FRANCES PARKINSON KEYES’S novels should realize that she has also written four books of nonfiction revealing her steadfast religious faith. The article which follows is an antidote for that fearful thinking in the headlines which is so contagious. Mrs. Keyes grew up in Boston, where she received a large part of her formal education: during her early married life,when she was living on a New Hampshire farm,her mother-in -law’s Bark Bay house became her urban center; and she has retained many ties with Boston. Her new book. Joy Street, published by Julian Messner,is a lively blend of her knowledge and affection.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography
Success came swiftly to F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it was the tragedy of his life that after the popularity of his short stories and the praise he merited with The Great Gatsby, he did not mature to carry out the still bigger hooks which he sate in his mind. The causes of his failure have been sensitively analyzed by ARTHUR MIZENBR in his compassionate biography, of which this is the third and final installment. He shows the loyal encouragement which Fitzgerald received from his editor. Max Perkins; his friendships with Hemingway, Edmund W ilson. and John Peale Bishop; and what Zelda and her illness meant to the novelist. The complete book, under the title The Far Side of Paradise, will he published by Houghton Mifflin on February I.
The Peripatetic Reviewer
Books: The Editors Like
G.B.S. A Postscript
The Scarlet Sword
Israel Without Tears
Is Tobacco Here to Stay?
BERGEN EVANS has written several Atlantic articles in recent years, and parts of his book, The Natural History of Nonsense, appeared in onr pages.
After her graduation from the University of Maryland, JUNE BROWN did promotional and. publicity work in Washington. She now keeps house for her family in Madison, Wisconsin.
Legacy for the Children
HANNAH SMITH, who was brought up in the Middle West, now lives in Arcadia, California. She is the author of an amusing autobiography, For Heaven’s Sake (Atlantic-Little, Brown).
British Light Cars
DENNIS MAY, well-known authority on British automobile design, summarizes here for the American reader the main features of the 1951 models from three of the largest English manufacturers.