In This Issue
Explore the October 1955 print edition below. Or to discover more writing from the pages of The Atlantic, browse the full archive.
Why Prisoners Riot
A veteran of the Second World War who saw hard fighting with the infantry in Italy, H.W. Hollister ran into rough going after his discharge and wound up in the penitentiary. He is now out on parole, but the memory of his incarceration is a vivid one, particularly the strong-arm tactics of the prisoners, not the guards, which he describes in the following article and which are no doubt in large measure responsible for many prison outbreaks.
First Door on the Left
WEARE HOLBROOK, who lives in Hartsdale, New York, has written frequently for our Accent on Living pages.
Alma Mater, Forget Me
Weather or No
After graduation from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, PAUL C. LAW spent ten years in radio and television studios, and is now living in Chicago.
How to Be Charming Though Farming
Air Travel With Stopovers
Dylan Thomas in Wales
This is the first of two chapters which the Atlantic will draw from JOHN MALCOLM BRINNIN’S forthcoming book, Dylan Thomas in America. Mr. Brinnin, a poet and teacher long associated with the Poetry Center of the YM-YWHA in New York City and now teaching at the University of Connecticut, was instrumental in bringing Dylan Thomas to America in 1950. He handled the many and difficult details of the poet’s three tours; he became an intimate friend who visited the Thomases in Wales, and the deeply troubled observer of an unfolding tragedy. His account of those fateful years is, as Katherine Anne Porter puts it, “most honestly and movingly and disturbingly told.”
The Atlantic Report on the World Today: Washington
Undergraduates on Apron Strings
In this pungent paper of dissension, HOWARD MUMFORD JONES laments the passing of the free elective system and explains why the compulsory and windy courses of today are having such a juvenile effect upon the college undergraduate. A scholar and author, Mr. Jones has been Professor of English at Harvard since 1936, and was Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences from 1943 to 1944, and President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences from 1944 to 1951.
The Menace of Radiation
Radioactive fall-out from test explosions of atomic bombs has made clear to Americans that nuclear warfare would mean annihilation of large areas. Less well understood is the fact that leakage of radioactive materials resulting from careless operation of atomic power plants and other peacetime uses of nuclear energy can be just as deadly. For a sober review of the facts about radiation we turn to N. J. BERRILL, Professor of Zoology at McGill University. A leading embryologist and specialist in marine biology, Professor Berrill is the author of several books, including Journey into Wonder, Sex and the Nature of Things, and Man’s Emerging Mind, which will be published this fall by Dodd, Mead.
The Inventor and the Actress
Author of My Name Is Aram, My Heart’s in the Highlands, The Human Comedy, and The Bicycle Rider in Bevery Hills, WILLIAM SAROYAN has been writing since he was thirteen years old and has published more than thirty books and plays. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1939 for The Time of Your Life but refused the $1000 because he “already had $1000 at that time, and because commerce has no right to patronize art.”He accepted the Drama Critics’ Circle Award for the same play, “because there was no money involved, and because I knew some of the critics and wanted to meet the others at the free dinner.”He lives in Malibu, California.
Women in Red China
Chief foreign correspondent for the London News Chronicle, JAMES CAMERON is one of the first Western observers since 1949 to travel freely in Red China. He covered 6000 miles, accompanied by Communist guides, and when he tired of seeing what they wanted him to see, his stubbornness brought him other encounters and observations still more revealing. His objective account of what is going on inside Communist China he has set forth in his book, Mandarin Red, which is being published this autumn by Rinehart.
Canadian poet and short story writer born in Hamilton, Ontario, in October, 1913, GEORGE JOHNSTON received his B.A. and his M.A. at the University of Toronto. For a time he tried free-lancing, with just enough success to keep going, in London and Toronto. Then in 1940 he enlisted in the RCAF, in which he was to serve four and a half years as a pilot and eventually to do a long tour of antisubmarine patrol in West Africa. He married in 1944, and on his return to civilian life he began to teach, first at Mount Allison University and presently at Carleton College in Ottawa. This is his first story in the Atlantic.
The Land of Cockayne: (By Pieter Bruegel the Elder)
The Portrait Painter and His Subject
One of the most distinguished portrait painters New England has produced, CHARLES HOPKINSON painted the leading lights of Harvard during the administrations of Presidents Eliot, Lowell, and Conant — and with such success that his fame spread far beyond his beloved Cambridge. Now in his eighties and still painting — he had a very successful showing of his portraits and water colors at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston last winter — his mind harks back to those days when Cambridge was a country town and when he, an aspirant in his early twenties, was just getting his start in Paris.
Thomas Mann's Farewell
Novelist and critic, FREDERIC MORTON was born and reared in Vienna and has long been at home in German literature. In late spring he had several happy visits with Thomas Mann, and their talks together gave him this perceptive view of Mann’s last novel, The Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man, which has just been published by Knopf. Mr. Morton, who graduated from the City College of New York, won the Intercollegiate Literary Fellowship in 1947 with his first book, The Hound, and since then he has written two more novels, The Darkness Below and Asphalt and Desire.
The Writer in the University
The American universities, ALFRED KAZIN points out, are today more than ever patrons of literature; they have deliberately taken novelists, poets, and playwrights into the academic community — and what effect, he asks, has this had upon the writers and the community? Author, literary critic, and professor at Amherst College, Mr. Kazin’s first book, On Native Grounds, established him as one of our foremost appraisers of contemporary literature. A new collection of his essays, entitled The Inmost Leaf, will be published by Harcourt, Brace this autumn.
The Peripatetic Reviewer
Accent on Living
A Girl's Best Friend
An expert on mothers from the daughter’s point of view, MARJORIE RIDDELL is the author of many light articles and the thoroughly entertaining book, M Is for Mother.