In This Issue
Explore the June 1951 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
The Balance of Military Power
And All We Call American
Poetry and School
ROBERT FROST is the most distinguished living American poet. He was born in San Francisco, where his father, a New Englander with strong sympathies for the South, named him after Robert Lee. His mother was a teacher, and after her husband’s death she and young Robert moved back to Lawrence, Massachusetts, where he was graduated from the high school. He studied for a time at Dartmouth and at Harvard; he worked in a Lawrence mill, as a schoolteacher, in a shoe factory, as a small-town editor, and finally as a farmer. But his inner dedication was to poetry, and in England in 1912 his first book of poems, A Boy’s Will, won immediate recognition for its fresh, quizzical American character. In his poems he speaks for the country at large; for three decades, he has talked and read to college students, and these remarks from his Notebooks show the glint of his philosophy.
Robert Frost's America
Poet and critic, MARK VAN DOREN has been connected with the English Department of Columbia University ever since he received his Ph.D. there in 1920. An inspiring teacher, he saves his summers for his writing. He is the author of ten volumes of verse; he has edited the Oxford Book of American Prose and an impressive Anthology of World Poetry; and in 1939 the publication of his Collected Poems brought him the Pulitzer Prize.
WALTER MACKEN and his blonde young wife live their country life on the west coast of Ireland, and when in Dublin are to be found in the neighborhood of the Abbey Theatre, where he is one of the leading dramatists and actors. He is the author of two plays and three novels — the third. Rain on the Wind (Macmillan), being the May selection of the Literary Guild. Mr. Macken writes with a native exuberance; and despite the pressure of Eire’s censorship, he feels that Irish writers will find their best themes and do their best work if their roots are in home soil. Sean O’Faolain and Mary Lavin are two other Atlantic contributors who are with him in this.
Music in Germany: Berlin Revisited
Composer, author, and teacher, NICOLAS NABOKOV has published recently under the Atlantic Little, Brown imprint his first volume of musical reminiscences, Old Friends and New Music, and he is now in Europe gathering the source material for his next book. Born in St. Petersburg in 1903, Mr, Nabokov was educated in Russia and, after the Revolution, at the Berlin Conservatory and at the University of Paris. He wrote his first ballets in Paris for Diaghilev, including his now famous Union Pacific: and in the 1930s he came to the United States. An American citizen, he served as Cultural Adviser to Ambassador Murphy in Berlin; now he gives us an account of the resuscitation of German music which has taken place since the war.
The Atlantic Report on the World Today: Washington
Behind Enemy Lines
STEVE HALL was an American boy with a restless urge to see the world. After graduating from Phillips Andover in 1934, he entered Yale, but the routine of college life he found monotonous and he signed up as a seaman on coastwise vessels. In the autumn of 1936 he tried to get his bearings at Harvard, but again his studies palled and during his second year at Harvard he left on a long skiing trip in the Dolomites of North Italy, an expedition which was to determine his future. He returned to this country an expert mountaineer, rock climber, and skier; for a time he worked in an insurance office in Boston; then he was drawn West to the oil fields, and drilled for oil in Oklahoma before he entered the Army in 1941.
A Case of Plight
Educator, biographer, and poet. HOWARD MUMFORD JONES is a native of Michigan who has taught at the University of Texas, at Chapel Hill, and at the University of Michigan. Since 1936 he has been Professor of English at Harvard, and he is the author of many boohs and articles. Atlantic readers will recall his part in the debate on “The Withering of New England in our April, 1950, issue, but he now discerns a new social phenomenon which seems to be national rather than regional in scope.
So Much Dew
Progress and Decline
That Civilization is playing out the last act of an inescapable Greek tragedy is a notion which Brooks Adams, the American historian, proclaimed fifty-five years ago in his book The Law of Civilization and Decay. The same dark prophecy was heard in Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West, and more recently Arnold Toynbee has contemplated it in his Study of History. But how much truth is there in this fatalism? asks LOVELL THOMPSON, the Boston essayist and publisher long associated with Houghton, Mifflin.
Artist and writer, PATRICK MORGAN teaches art at Phillips Academy, Andover, and at the Fogg Museum at Harvard. His painting time he divides between New England and Canada; he has had a number of one-man shows - the most recent, the exhibition of his paintings at Wellesley College in January and February of this year. His short stories for the Atlantic have a graphic detail and a disarming directness; one of them, “The Heifer,”was reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, 1949.
The Salmon of Newfoundland
SIDNEY C. HAYWARD is Secretary of Dartmouth College and in his vacations a dry-fly fisherman of boundless ambition. For years he and his friend Paul Sample, the artist, had looked forward to the prospect of fishing the salmon rivers of Newfoundland. Last summer they made the trip by plane and cabin cruiser, and while the seafaring was often rough and the insects plentiful, so were the grilse, the sea trout, and the fresh-run salmon.
Mob Justice and Television
As no other medium could, television showed the American public many harsh truths about organized crime and its connections with government. The lesson went home to millions of Americans. But as THURMAN ARNOLD is quick to perceive, such a spectacle in the future could completely invalidate the due process of law. Mr. Arnold was Professor of Law at Yale from 1931 to 1938; he was Assistant Attorney General of the United States from 1938 to 1943, and he is now practicing law in Washington.
The Absent Ones
Born in Berkeley, California, on October 22, 1930, GAY GAER is now finishing her senior year at Radcliffe. She began to write fiction in high school, and last year a group of her stories were submitted in a course conducted by Dr. Albert Guérard at Harvard. She has recently been engaged on a longer work for the course in English composition given by Archibald MacLeish. We published her first story. “The Sisters,” in the March Atlantic.
Sinclair Lewis: A Postscript
One of the leading women in American journalism, DOROTHY THOMPSON has built up an enormous following with her magnetic and militant column and her forthright, gusty lectures and broadcasts. After reading Professor Perry Miller’s appraisal of “The Incorruptible Sinclair Lewis” which appeared in the April Atlantic, she wrote from the heart the following letter of corroboration, which she has kindly permitted us to print.
This Inky Pool
Books That Are Milestones
Critic and biographer of Thoreau and Whitman, HENRY SEIDEL CANDY began his editing as an assistant to Wilbur Cross on the Yale Review. From 1924 to 1936 he was the Editor of the Saturday Review of Literature, and on the founding of the Book-of-the-Month Club, twenty-five years ago, he became the Chairman of its Board of Judges. Now looking back over that quarter century, he singles out those books which he believes to have been milestones in contemporary literature.
The Young t.r
LLOYD MORRIS has taught at Columbia, and up until 1947 was best known for his life of Hawthorne, The Rebellious Puritan; in that year he published Postscript to Yesterday, a social history of the United States since 1896, a volume in which many contemporary Americans — William James, Mr. Justice Holmes, John Dewey, Pulitzer, Hearst, Luce, Mrs. Jack Gardner, Mary Baker Eddy, and Thorstein Veblen, to name a few — were skillfully outlined against the civilization they helped to shape.
Books: The Editors Like
Tiie Miraculous Barber
Journey for Our Time
Suleiman the Magnificent
Eight-Day El Dorado
JOHN D. VOELKER was serving as prosecuting attorney of Marquette County, Michigan, until the election last fall. He is now practicing law in Ishpeming.
For Whom the Bell Clanks
ANN GRIFFITH is writing in New York. Readers of these pages will recall her little survey of advertising by comic strip which appeared in our July issue last year.
We Loved Our Kitty
California Wine Today
WILLIAM WISTER HAINES, the author and playwright, is a Californian by adoption who has long enjoyed the native wines. At the suggestion of the Editor, he made an extended trip through California vineyards last winter, and this is his account of what he learned. Mr. Haines has had three novels published, under the AtlanticLittle, Brown imprint, and his play Command Decision was a smash hit on Broadway and in the film version.
Once in a Hundred Years
1951 is the chance of a lifetime to see Britain in all her glory, while the nationwide Festival of Britain is in progress and the dollar is worth more than ever before.