THE LIBRARY L
Published monthly from October to I the 0
Hamilton Smith Library, of the iv si gbr
of New Hampshire -
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at utamH, New Hampshi, un the
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 16 JANUARY, 1941 _" '- No. 4
"I BURN THAT I MAY BE OF USE"
I REMEMBER; The Autobiography of Abraham Flexner.
"Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat." With
these words from Hesiod the author symbolizes a career which in outline pat-
terns a background that nurtured much of the leadership in the United States
during the past decades. As one might have expected he was one of nine chil-
dren whose father died when the oldest was in his middle twenties. He was
fortunate in having a mother possessed with a native endowment of quality and
one who clung quietly and resolutely to an ambition-achievement for her family.
Poverty and hardship filled the early years yet there prevailed an atmosphere in
which ideals and hopes were pitched incredibly high.
The circumstances that brought Flexner as a student to Johns Hopkins Uni-
versity and the subsequent events of his early teaching career seem to have fixed
his interest and evidenced the underlying capacity for the work that brought forth
his outstanding achievements. As a worshiper of excellence he did much with
a keen and critical mind to liquidate mediocrity in education, particularly in med-
ical education which was completely revolutionized subsequent to 1908. It was
indeed fortunate that the General Education Board with all its wealth found
Abraham Flexner. It was likewise fortunate that men of means were able
through his advice to create their educational philanthropies as projects conceived
with rare vision and unusual insight. The last of these promoted by Dr. Flex-
ner was the Institute for Advanced Study.
The volume is not colorful. It is a simple narrative of fact, of a life devoted
to quality work and a recording of achievements. The book is a real contribu-
tion to the history of higher education in the United States.
Reviewed by President Fred Engelhardt.
Supplementary material to I Remember, affording us inter-
esting reading on the development of education in the United
States will be found in the Reserve Book Room. We invite you
to examine this collection of books which has been placed there
for use in connection with the course, American College and
University Education. Education is fundamental in determining
"our way of life." Now it is subjected to the same bombardment
blasting democracy. This collection of books as well as others
reviewed herein will help you think things through.
POLITICAL SELF-PORTRAIT, by John Wheelwright.
John Wheelwright, poet and architect, a product of Yankee Boston, illus-
trates in his Political Self-Portrait the philosophical independence which once
characterized New England, particularly during the New England Renaissance.
A relative of Phillips Brooks, the son of a famous Boston architect, and a descendant
of an independent clergyman who founder Exeter, New Hampshire, he employs the
religious restraint of his ancestry to temper the materialism of scientific socialism.
In a manner similar to Emerson's and Theodore Parker's he presents theological
symbols and strengthens his cultural rebellion with both Christian and Hebraic
Readers, at a first glance, will probably find his metric eccentricities, and
his heavy-worded, profoundly satirical style difficult. The arguments at the back
of the book will help in gaining an understanding of what the author is trying
to present. The book requires a second and a third reading. Appreciation will
come slowly, but it is attainable for the highly educated reader.
Reviewed by Paul Lyons, '41.
TRAGEDY IN FRANCE, by Andre Maurois.
As liaison officer between the French and British forces, a personal friend of
Paul Reynaud's and a keen student of social and economic affairs, M. Maurois
is able to give a very complete picture of the events leading up to the disastrous
fall of his homeland. Some of France's mistakes apply only to a country at war,
but there are many here recorded which other nations should note well and mark
"Avoid." There is the matter of personal jealousies of leaders being allowed to
wreck a nation. Political dissension can be carried to such a stage that the
health of the nation's unity is undermined. Too often conscription is not planned
intelligently. These are some of the pitfalls which France could not or did not
avoid. Even with the German forces a few miles outside the gates of Paris, many
French people could not believe that such a catastrophe would happen to them,
any more than they could believe the Maginot Line would prove their undoing.
To love your homeland, ito see it collapse, and to present such an unbiased account
of its disintegration as we find in Tragedy in France, is a distinct achievement.
M. Maurois and his family have sought refuge in our country, but with the hope
that their homeland will rise again.
I SAW FRANCE FALL, by Rene de Chambrun.
A fascinating personal account of an officer and active participant in one
segment of the Battle of France and in the evacuation of Dunkerque. Why France
fell, will she rise again, Hitler's secret weapon, 1940 warfare, and life in the
Maginot Line are realistically and interestingly described-both the tragic and the
humorous side. Despite its subtle propaganda, it contains a message for all
AMERICA'S ANTHONY ADVERSE
COUNT TEN, by Hans Otto Storm.
If the reader is ready to welcome something more than just a clever plot, a
realism more honest than the truth, this is the book. It is the story of the grow-
ing up of a man and a man's soul from something uncertain and vulnerable to
something assertive and, perhaps, still vulnerable. Who is free from the influ-
ences of others? Eric Marsden was a drifter really, flailing around from one
job to another. He was not even a particularly agreeable person. It is, rather,
his earnestness of purpose, described in the living, sympathetic style of the
author that captivates the attention throughout.
FROM LONDON TO BATH IN 90 DAYS
AND SO TO BATH, by Cecil Roberts.
Mr. Roberts here carries out, upon home ground, his theory that we see
very little of what is around us. Day after day we race over familiar highways,
growing almost to hate the monotony of them, and finding pleasure only in get-
ting over them in as short a time as possible. The road up from London to
his country home grew to be a bore in just this way, a fact which he noted but
did nothing about. One day he was visited by a young Austrian friend, whose
largest ambition was to visit the home of Samuel Richardson, to this young man,
the finest of the English authors! The two hunted out the 18th century home
and found it to be charming, though neglected. Roberts was amazed that such
an interesting spot should lie but a few blocks off the very highway he thought
so dull. Out of this venture came the idea of tracing all the marvelous histories
to be found along this road out of London-and so, to Bath. The book, then, is a
personally conducted tour, by a guide who finds it all so interesting' to describe,
that the reader can not but be carried away by the romance, extravagance, and
vanity of other times.
DIAGNOSIS AND PRESCRIPTION
FAITH FOR LIVING, by Lewis Mum ford.
An authoritative critic of American civilization, Lewis Mumford, issues in
this book a clarion call for a renascence of spirit. Striving to move that inert
mass, public opinion, the author holds up for our appraisal the durable ideals of
life. From all the accumulation of centuries of living, these are the ultimates
which have enabled men before to live through great periods of anguish.
Cutting through the dead tissues of our faith, or rather lack of it, the empty
places in men's lives are exposed; empty places into which has stalked the cult
of POWER-PERSONALITY. This grim and grizzled visage is that of Fascist Youth.
It is a diabolical worship in which there is an illusion of freedom by self-identifi-
cation with the Strong. Between the pages of this small volume are the succinct
statements of the elements of the present chaos; truths readily recognizable. Here
are clearly found the shadowy half-conceptions which most of us could not pull
into our own consciousness. Is this book too late? Is Mumford a Cassandra?
THE MORAL BASIS OF DEMOCRACY, by Eleanor Roosevelt.
How many people think of our democracy as having a moral basis? Eleanor
Roosevelt has written a new book pertaining to the present world situation in-
asmuch as it adds to our information about the democratic type of government. It
is a compact, readable little book prefaced with her purpose for writing it. Al-
though she may be expressing our President's theories also, she has written this
book not as the wife of the President, but as a citizen enjoying the benefits of a
democratic government. She reviews briefly the moral crises of civilization and
the great democratic documents that the people have set up as a guide each time.
She gives us a picture of the hardships endured and overcome by our forefathers
in their fight to live together in a democratic way. She shows us the moral ideals
of a democracy. This makes us proud to live under our type of government and
shows us why we should fight for it if it becomes necessary. All in all, it is a
welcome bit of propaganda for our side after hearing the merits of fascism and
communism discussed pro and con so intensely for the past few years.
THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT, by Robert E. Sherwood.
LETTER FROM"ENGLAND, by Mollie Panter-Downes.
LAST TRAIN OUT, by";" Phillips Oppenheim.
THE VOYAGE, by Charles Morgan.
How quickly current literature, in all its forms, reflects the present age; a
trite remark yet food for thought and comment. Robert Sherwood, for example,
has just published There Shall Be No Night, a play based on the invasion of Fin-
land. There are no heroes in it in the old sense and no glory, but the heroism
is magnificent. The play is part of Sherwood's own growth and maturity of
thinking; the development of his "faith" and "optimism." That men are tackling
this war with experience, knowledge and determination rather than the quest for
glory, is the hopeful sign. In the preface one of Sherwood's characters says:
"I've remained an optimist . because I'm essentially ,a student of human nature.
... It has made me sure that no matter how much the meek may be bulldozed or
gypped they WILL eventually inherit the earth."
And then we have another type of optimism the English, cool, calm, de-
termined. Mollie Panter-Downes has published Letter from England, a series
of short essays or diary entries previously appearing in The New Yorker. These
show England and the English in day to day life as the war has developed; what
happened when "gas" was rationed; how London was evacuated; how the rural
communities took over the evacuees; in fact, how ordinary life has been disrupted
and how the British react. Tragedy and humor are closely related in England
but it is English humor and English tragedy combined with English dogged
The pure adventure story must not be omitted from the present war liter-
ature. Oppenheim is right up to the minute with his Last Train Out; the last
train out of Vienna before the Nazis clamped down on the barrier restrictions. The
plot is not very original but the action is good and, of course, it includes Jews,
treasures, bandits, spies and everything else necessary to the adventure.
The novel of quality is what Charles Morgan has given us in his most beau-
tifully written story The Voyage. This story is about Barbet. It is French and
it too carries the belief in man's faith and the feeling of optimism. In the dedi-
cation Morgan says, "I dedicated it to a French man and woman who have deep-
ened my love for their country and given me an insight into human goodness that
springs in them from singleness of heart. . Tonight, the eve of Midsummer,
there will be no bonfires on the hills of the Charents, but, though dark ages in-
tervene, they will be relighted, for France is an idea necessary to civilization and
will live again when tyranny is spent."
MORE NEW BOOKS
VIRGINIA, A Guide to the Old Dominion.
SMALL POTATOES, by Emily Muir.
SOME BURIED CAESAR, by Rex Stout.
ARIZONA, by Clarence Budington Kelland.
GROWING PAINS, by Wanda Gag.
BACK O' THE MOUNTAIN, by Margaret Flint.
A VICTORIAN REBEL, by Lloyd Wendell Eshleman.
THE BIG SEA, by Langston Hughes.
WHO DWELL WITH WONDER, by Kathleen Coyle.
DEAD MAN CONTROL by Helen Reilly.
THE CAT'S CRADLE-BOOK, by Sylvia Townsend Warner.