In This Issue
Explore the March 1951 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
Bertrand Russell calmly examines three foreseeable possibilities for the human race.
“I have always been willing to take risks in order to do the wor of story-telling, or even to have the chance of doing it.”With these words JOHN MASEFIELD. who has been poet laureate of England since 1930, looks back across some sixty years to identify with lyric clarity those excitements and discouragements which he encountered as a boy intent on writing. His elders disapproved of his voracatous reading and when, in his second year as a TrainingShip Cadet, he produced a prize essay he was told, “ You must not let this be fatal to yoy. You must get this writingrubbish out of your head.”In this and a subsequent installment Mr. Masefield describes those persons and influences that helped to shape and liberate him as a free lance.
ETHEL WATERS is a great Imerican artist, but few who saw the triumph that she scored as Hugar in Mamba’s Daughters realized how closely that play touched on her own life. Ethel had been married, separated, and was on her own at thirteen. It seventeen she made her first professional appearance as a blues singer: in 1933 she starred in Irving Berlin’s As Thousands Cheer: in 1938 her song recital filled Carnegie Hall; and a year later she made her unforgettable hit on the legitimate stage. Her autobiography, of which this is a part. she has told with CHARLES SAMUEELS. an ex-police reporter, magazine writer, and novelist: entitled His Eye Is on the Sparrow. it is published by Doubleday and is a Book-of -theMonth Club selection for March.
From the buttle reports coming back from Korea, civilians have drawn the picture of American firepower sometimes wielded by a few men widely spaced and opposed to huge, massed attacks. The nature of war has changed, and how profound is that change is demonstrated in this article bv FLETCHER PRATT, military expert and author of histories dealing with the two World Wars. I he technician tvho pulls the trigger today is much more of a professional than the regular infantryman of 1918. it is a matter of trainingbut training takes time.
Why do so many educated Europeans cling to misconceptions and outworn stereotypes about the l nited States? What do they realty think of us? PERRY MILLER, Professor of American Literature at Harvard, struggled to answer these questions during his recent tour of duty in the university world of Western Europe. Eisiting Lecturer at the University of Leiden, Mr. Miller also became acvjuainted with a number of other institutions in Holland. Belgium, Eranee. Switzerland, and Italy. Again and again, he found a fundamental misunderstanding of this country.
In his honk Gamesmanship or, The Art of II inning Games II ithout Actually Cheating, STEPHEN POTTER scored one of the most laughable triumphs in dead-pan writing, ihe Editor of the Ytlantie teas one of the many who urged the author on to further research, and as a result Mr. Potter wrote Lifemanship or, Hoic To Get Atcav If ith It Without Being An Absolute Plonk.which Holt will publish next month. In his conversational way,he rererds those methods by which the awkward amateur can take the field successfully against the highly jdaced expert.
A native Texan tune thriving, as a corporation lawyer in Houston. DILLON ANDKRSON had been talking short stories about Texas long before he teas per stunted to put them down on paper. With his first story, “The Revival.” which appeared in the Atlantic for June. 1919. he embarked upon a series about two meandering Texans who live by their wits but don ‘t aheavs win. Clint Hightower and his “assistant” Claudie have attracted favorable attention as jar ivesl as Hollywood.
In his first major speech before the United Nations, SENATOR HENRY CABOT LODGE, ,1K., laid down some home truths which will be applauded by Americans everywhere. He rose to answer a two-hour harangue bv Andrei 1 . I ishinsky. The Soviet Foreign Minister charged that the 1 ‘nited Stales nicer would agree to a prohibition of the atomic bomb; he accused us of every form of warmongering and added two new ones to his list: that Japanese soldiers were fighting in Korea and that the It esl teas rebuilding fascism in Austria. Senator Lodge spoke briefly, but apparently he found the weak spot in the Soviet delegate’s armor, for I ishinsky turned brick red as he listened.
Born in Berkeley, California, on October 22, 1930.GAY GAKR is /loirin Iwr senior year at Radcliffe. She had never written a word of fiction until last year, when her first short stories, of which this is one, were submitted in a course conducted by Dr. Ilbert Garrard of Harvard. She is now engaged on a longer piece of work for the course in English composition given by Irchibabl MacLeish. The \ l Ian lie is delighted to present her as one of its Youngest contributors and one icho will be heard from regularly in the months ahead.
GEORGE SANTAYANA, now eighty-seven, has concluded his profound. far-reaching wark, Dominations and Powers: Reflections on Liberty. Society, and Government, a book begun in the thirties and carried on during the war years in his sanctuary, the Convent of the Blue Nuns, in Nome. The book is to be published by Scribner’s this spring, and from it the Atlantic has been privileged to draw a series of essays of which this is the second.
As a trained geneticist and editor of the Journal of Heredity, ROBEHT C. COOK has studied the patterns of human breeding for years. These patterns, he tells us. are ominous. The world’s population is increasing by more than 68.000 people each day. And the consequences of this increase he has traced with inescapable logic in his new book, Human Fertility: The Modern Dilemma, which Sloane will publish this spring. As Julian Huxley has written in his introduction to the book, “Human population is probably the gravest problem of our time — certainly more serious in the long perspective than war or peace.”
The director of a museum in the Southwest is charged with responsibilities different from those of his colleagues in the East. He must work with a twofold purpose: to nourish and protect the Indian art and to encourage and exhibit the best sculpture and painting in the region. It is a big and stimulating assignment, as MITCHELL A. WILDER well knows from experience. He has been Director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center since 1945. This is the fifth in a series on painting and sculpture in which critics, artists, and connoisseurs will take part.
Poet and historian, PETER VIERKCK earned his doctorate from Harvard in 1942, served for four years in the Army, and has since taught history, first, at Smith College and now at Mount Holyoke. A Pulitzer Prize winner in poetry, he has published two poetry books with Scribner’s, Terror and Decorum and Strike Through the Mask, and two volumes of prose. Metapolities (Knopf) and Conservatism Revisited (Scribner’s). Parts of this essay are drawn from his study of the mid-century revolt in poetry in the symposium The Arts in Renewal, which the University of Pennsylvania Press will publish this spring.
SAMUEL YELLEN is in the English Department of Indiana University, Having explained to Atlantic readers “How Football Died" in tiro articles, Mr. Yellen now foresees a bizarre end for basketball, as unmistakably evidenced in presentday trends.
WABREN MONTROSS has worked in the radio and aviation industries, taught public speaking, screed as a labor organ her, and is now a freelance writer. He ines in Elmhurst, Long Island.
Musician, journalist, and novelist, JOSEPH WECHSHERG has been spending the winter in Britain and on the Continent. This latest of his travel articles comes to us from Italy.