THE LIBRARY LANTERN
Published monthly from October to June by the
Hamilton Smith Library, of the University
of New Hampshire
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at Durham, New Hampshire, under the.
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 15 MARCH, 1940 No. 6
WINNING CHINA'S FRIENDSHIP
CHAOS IN ASIA, by Hallett Abend.
Many events of major importance have crowded our attention since July 7,
1937, when Japan began her undeclared war upon China. Mr. Abend, with a
journalist's "nose for news," was in Shanghai when the "incident" started and
gives us his version of succeeding developments. He feels that Japan's "main ob-
jective is to secure a monopoly of China's trade and a control of China's vast and
only partially developed reserves of raw materials." Officially, Japan states that
she is merely trying to "make China protect her independence," and wants to
win China's friendship. The author predicts that even if Japan wins from a mil-
itary standpoint, she will be "unable to consolidate her conquest," since she is
hated in Formosa, Korea, and Manchoukuo. The war, now in its third year, still
rages, while the Chinese are being driven farther back into the interior. Japan has
seized all the chief ports and they are practically closed to foreign trade. Amer-
icans and Europeans are subjected to endless annoyances and indignities and the
International Settlement is anything but secure. Foreign interest in the East will
be vastly different, regardless of the winner and America is one of the nations to
be vitally effected. It behooves us, therefore, to watch closely the progress of
events in Japan's "New Order in East Asia."
MENCKEN'S MODEL CHILDHOOD
HAPPY DAYS, 1880-1892, by H. L. Mencken.
Perhaps Mr. Mencken, like many of us, has found modern literature to be
surfeited with tales of misunderstood youth, complexes and inhibitions rising from
an unhappy childhood, and all kinds of psychoses and abnormalities springing
from early impressions. It is pleasant, at any rate, to find described, in the pages
so appropriately named, a childhood that may well be called normal, or, as the
author says, ". . placid, secure, uneventful and happy." And so it is with sheer
pleasure that Mencken reviews his first dozen years, a pleasure that is shared
equally by his readers. Tales of the Baltimore of the 80's, schooling at F. Knapp's
Institute, Grandfather Mencken who had patriarchial views on everything from
naming infants to religious dogma are all delightful. But it is the stories of him-
self and his brother Charlie which are most amusing. They hung around livery
stables (which H.L.M. insists were not the dens of iniquity usually pictured), they
played baseball, they ate unripe cherries with unhappy consequences, they reveled
in the joys of miniature printing presses and chemistry sets-and they had such
fun! Mr. Mencken's attitude toward life can best be summed up in this telling
remark from the preface, ".. I have found existence on this meanest of planets
extremely amusing, and, taking one day with another, perfectly satisfactory."
tvI v-s nQ
"THE FOLKWAYS OF AN AESTHETE"
A SMATTERING OF IGNORANCE, by Oscar Levant.
The author, best known to most of us as the incredible equivalent of "Grove's
Musical Dictionary" on the Information Please radio program, knew the arts of
broadcasting long before his microphone (lays. He has provided conversational
sustaining programs with piano accompaniment, so to speak, for years, emanating
out of carefully selected penthouses and theatre pits from Tin Pan Alley to the
Hollywood Bowl, and his modestly entitled book is a transcription of their very
best moments. It indicates to whomever thrives on intellectual pandemonium that
Mr. Levant's talents are all well developed; its concluding sentence, in which he
apologises to everyone he ias not forgotten to insult, is one of the most compre-
hensive salutes in literature. Among his many fascinating themes are Gcorge
Gershwin, Harpo Marx. the conducting of symphony orchestras, the composing of
modern music, and the gloomy wit of Oscar Levant. He treats them all with
gloomy wit, slashing earnestness, and a delicious air of unshakable self-confidence.
This is a priceless picture of the folkways of metropolitan aesthetes in the 1930's,
and a book you'll enjoy quoting everywhere.
BY AN UNKNOWN COUSIN
BERNARD'S BRETHREN, by C. M. Shaw.
This excursion into the family history of G.B.S. is highly entertaining rather
than informative. Full of meanderings which divert one, the most interesting
part of the book is that by G.B.S. himself. His comments written on the manu-
script have been included in red opposite the appropriate passages: the result is
something like a lively dialogue. The only difficulty is that one feels that C.M.S.
is more concerned with writing a readable book than with accuracy.
THE SINGING FUGITIVE
LET THE PEOPLE SING, by J. B. Priestley.
When Timmy Tiverton, the comedian discovered he was "on the shelf" he
felt low, little knowing this was only the beginning of things. But of course if
one will throw an unsuspecting time bomb at Sir Benjamin Flitwick's statue it is
bound to start something! Humor and pathos abound and such descriptions of
England as will make you positively homesick.
GREAT MEN OF RUSSIAN MUSIC
FREE ARTIST, the Story of Anton and Nicholas Rubinstein,
by Catherine D. Bowen.
If you read Beloved Friend, the story of Tschaikowsky, you will want to join
Mrs. Bowen in her new excursion into Russian musical history, the life and times
of the brothers Rubinstein. Anton, teacher of Tschaikowsky, fast friend of Liszt,
Chopin, Saint Saens, worshiper of Beethoven, and hater of Wagner, was a true
virtuoso of the piano. His amazing energy and skill never failed. He wrote
reams of music, played everywhere, and fought successfully to establish a con-
servatory of music in Russia at St. Petersburg. To follow his career is to know
the musical great, the lavish ways of royalty, and oppression of Russia in the
18th Century. His brother, Nicholas, was more carefree. He took life as it
came. A great pianist also, he disliked the concert stage. He was a man who
could not live without music in some form, and he lived it and taught it in his
happy peasant city of Moscow, Mrs. Bowen has taken great pains to produce a
complete and honest picture of her subject, and the results are immensely satis-
NO MORE GAS, by Charles N .,.'i. and Janes Norman Hall.
When the Tuttles ran out of gas in their decrepit motor launch, they calmly
paddled home. When there was no money for more, Jonas borrowed from Dr.
Blondit. For the Tuttle-ima were recognized as the best fishermen-and the lazi-
est family in Tahiti. Little remained of their inheritance from that first Tuttle
who had sailed into harbour and found it to his liking. Only in their high-boned
noses, their ability to speak English, and the crumbling manor house at Vaipopo,
would one find traces of their New England forebear. He lied owing no one.
Jonas and his closely knit clan were never out of debt. Fortune would not smile
on their business ventures: the fighting cock, the derelict ship, the mended net, the
fishing launch-no more gas. But Fortune smiled on their living and loving,
and they had no complaint with life. They are an improvident and whimsical
family, brought to life by the pens that gave us Muti;ny on the Bontvy.
PAGING THE CAMERA FANS
FLASH! SEEING THE UNSEEN BY ULTRA HIGH-SPEED
PHOTOGRAPHY, by Harold E. Edgerton and James R. Killian, Jr.
The old adage, "quick as a wink," has to be laid on the shelf. The wink has
been photographed, along with many other familiar occurrences, by means of a
stroboscope. The principles upon which the stroboscope are based are carefully
explained, while photograph after photograph testifies to its amazing powers. You
may think you have seen what happens when a cup of coffee drops on the floor, or
a tap is turned on, but take a peek at these pictures and you will realize your mis-
take. The stroboscope is bound to play an important part in the fields of science
OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY
AMERICAN VACATIONS, by Larry Nixon.
"This book is an effort to summarize in a single volume the facts about low-
cost vacationing in America." Mr. Nixon, the Travel Man of radio station
WNEW in New York City, has compiled in attractive form a sort of compleatt"
guidebook for pleasurable travel in the United States. Whether you plan to hike,
to ride horseback, to fly, to go by train or bus, he tells you how and where. In
addition to the entertaining discourses on the various types of travel, Mr. Nixon
has included much valuable information as to clubs and offices and publications ap-
plying to each type. This should prove of great value, in a practical way, for
those who take their vacations seriously. 'If you want the easier way of just
knowing how it is done, his book reads much more easily than the proverbial
THRONE OF THE GODS, by Heim and Gansser.
The Indians, Tibetans, Hindus and Buddhists regard the Himalayan Moun-
tains with great veneration because it is there that the gods live and reign. The
many superb photographs show the grandeur and awe-inspiring might of this
desolate region. The mountaineering of Heim and Gansser was primarily for
geological purposes and there are charts, diagrams, descriptions and photographs
of this side of their trip; however, as a tale of exploration and mountain climbing
it is far from tame.
NORTH AGAIN FOR GOLD, by Edgar Laytha.
The discovery of rich radium deposits started the ball rolling; then Mr. Lay-
tha, a good news gatherer, went to the "northwestern front" and a good book was
the result. Here we have the story of this mining boom, of pioneering in the
north, and of the men and women making this new empire. It is full of the old
pioneering atmosphere but the covered wagons are airplanes.
(Revealed in The Fate of Man, by H. G. Wells)
Now that the towers of steel
And ivory we built
To last forever feel
The shaking of that silt
Where their foundations are;
Now that our titles bound
No undisputed air,
No habitable ground;
Comes nature's proudest clan
On an unsuspected truth,
That the earth inherits man,
Not man the earth.
BEN FRANKLIN'S FRIEND
BEN AND ME, by Robert Lawson.
Remember Ferdinand, the little bull who loved to smell the flowers? The
man who drew the pictures of Ferdinand has written and illustrated a story about
Ben Franklin and his friend Amos. Amos was a resourceful mouse who lived in
Ben's old fur cap and supplied his patron with "advice, aid, assistance, and suc-
cor." The Franklin stove was really Amos' idea, but the electrical experiments
almost wrecked their friendship. When Ben went to France to raise money for
his country, Amos went along and found a mission of his own worthy of his talents.
Although written for children eight to twelve, grown-ups will enjoy this amusing
A MINE OF IDEAS
DECORATING IS FUN!, by Dorothy Draper.
Here is a book you lovers of Vogue and House Beautiful will want not only
to read but to own for yourselves. It is written with a feeling for the new mood
of decoration, and unconscious yet careful mixing of modern with period. Its
courageous and tasteful color schemes you will pronounce delicious. It is a mine
of ideas which you will constantly want to be jotting down apropos of that next
decorating spree. Miss Draper, besides offering a thorough outline of good taste
in home decoration, has incidently produced some very interesting reading. Above
all, may we add, she has had the good sense to acknowledge the too frequent
necessity for economy, things that will wear well, and things that we do not tire
of. We are sure that you will enjoy this book, for it has courage and faith in the
ingenuity of the average woman.
OTHER NEW BOOKS
TESTAMENT OF FRIENDSHIP, by Vera Brittain.
AFTER MANY A SUMMER DIES THE SWAN, by Aldous Huxley.
BELIEVE THE HEART, by Raymond Holden.
NO ARMS, NO ARMOUR, by Robert Henriques.
SUN AND STORM, by Utto Seppanen.
MISS SUSIE SLAGLE'S, by Augusta Tucker.
HUMANE ENDEAVOR, by Haldore Hansen. "