THE LIBRARY LAnTERN
Published monthly from October to June by '"
Hamilton Smith Library, of the Universit -;
of New Hampshire
Entered as second-class matter October 10, 1927, at the post office at Durham, Ne ampie, fe he
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 16 MAY, 1941 8
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH,
by Hendrik Willem Van Loon.
Once again the prolific pen of Dr. Van Loon treats us to a literary and musical
holiday with an account, in a most modern manner, of one whom many deem the
greatest composer of all time. Almost childish in its simplicity, the book assumes a
light, flowing style with a great deal of literary liberty and not without humor. By
no means the equal of such studies of Bach as made by Spitta and Schweitzer, this
thin volume with its very wide pages contains bomb-shells of exciting and signifi-
cant material, illustrated profusely with Dr. Van Loon's characteristic sketches.
He begins the story of Bach with the Ancient and Honorable Dynasty of the
Bachs at its origin in the old volcanic region of Thuringia, Germany. Bach was no
exception to the old story of the unfortunate, penniless, and unrecognized musical
genius, although he fared a little better in later years. Van Loon traces his career
from that of a boy singer in a small choir to the honorable post of Cantor of the
Church of St. Thomas in Leipzig. There is a precise sketch of the state of music in
the eighteenth century; an expose of outrageous examples of graft in obtaining
church positions; an intimate glance into the personal life of Bach as the father of
twenty-one children, and as the companion of Frederick, King of Prussia, in jam-
sessions at the palace; and there is Bach as the humble servant of the Almighty God,
always glorifying His goodness and His glory.
Beatrice V. Fishman.
BOUND BY TRADITION
H. M. PULHAM, ESQUIRE, by John P. Marquand.
To ban, or not to ban? So Boston argued, while the author and his publishers
must have smiled to see sales jump day by day. The controversy is hard for any-
one to understand who is not a Bostonian of the St. Swithin-Harvard-Back Bay
tradition. Harry Pulham is so natural and he does just what you would expect any
one to do who was born and brought up as he was. Perhaps his only happy hours
were spent with Marvin Myles, but Harry would not have been happy with Marvin
if he had married her. There would always have been the feeling that Marvin was
"different." While it intrigued him, marriage would have changed his attitude,
possibly to one of defense. Marvin was clever enough to see this, and to realize
that Harry was bound too closely by tradition to ever become a happy rebel. There
is an intimate quality about any book whose setting is familiar to us and it is in-
tensified here because the characters are so convincing.
V./ v t.A/o.
WHITTLING BOY. by Roger Burlingame.
A fitting tribute is paid to Eli Whitney in this account which is not primarily
a biography. The real story concerns the growth of an idea, and it is hard for us
today to try to visualize the time when such an idea was non-existent. Covering
the span of Eli Whitney's life from 1765 to 1825, Roger Burlingame draws a
kaleidoscopic picture of American culture of that era. His scenes and snatches of
conversations are remarkably forceful and well-chosen for this purpose, and seem
not to be glossed by hero-maker tactics. How insipid becomes the statement learned
in the grades, that Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793. The gin was only a by-
product of a vision of the possibilities latent in mass production. Industrially the
world has been mastered by this idea but socially it cannot adjust itself to it.
A WOMAN OF JAPAN
MY NARROW ISLE, by Sumie Seo Mishima.
In her autobiography, My Narrow Isle, Sumie Seo Mishima gives us the story
of a modern woman in Japan. Everything important, including home and positions,
is run for men in her country. Women taken second place-even to eating cold rice.
The author describes her childhood and education, relating accounts of her early
schooling, years at Tsuda English College in Japan, and in America, her years at
Dana Hall and Wellesley College. After receiving her degree from Wellesley, she
returns to her native land to take up teaching with the idea in mind to help Japanese
women find a place in the world. However, the Japan to which she returns in 1927
is in the midst of a depression. She encounters many disappointments and hard-
ships before finally becoming a teacher and writer. This is done after almost wreck-
ing her marriage. At the end of the book, she is hopeful in the fact that Japanese
women are now given a wonderful social and economic opportunity in that they
are called upon to fill vacancies made by men recruited to the front.
"HEART OF THE NATION"
THE KAW, by Floyd Benjamin Streeter.
The Kaw, now better known as the Kansas River, was named for the Kansa,
or Kaw, tribe of Indians which first lived on its banks. It is the Siouan word for
Wind People or People of the South Wind. The story of the Kaw goes back into
the dim past. It is the tale of Indians, of early wagon trails across the "prairie
ocean", of bloody border wars, cowboys, cattle drives, wheat, and the revolt of
farmers against injustice. Here is the story of the building of a prairie empire.
You can read about "The Lady Orator of the West", "Wild Bill" Hickok,
"Sockless" Jerry Simpson, Roman Nose, Quantrill, "Hurricane Bill" Martin, and
Ironquill. This book is the twelfth in the Rivers of America series. It does not equal
the fascinating Suwannee River, so far the best of the set; but it is an easy and
worthwhile way to read history,
A MAN AND THREE WIVES
THE GIANT JOSHUA, by Maurine Whipple.
It is unbelievable what men and women will suffer when carried away with
a fanaticism they call religion. Why, oh, why should the Mormons have slaved and
suffered so trying to make the desert bloom when around the corner was a land of
abundance? The Dixie Mission of the Mormon Church on the Utah Desert was
a hard place for young, spirited Clory, the third wife of Abijah MacIptyre. The
story is a sympathetic portrayal of a Mormon household, Mormon doctrines and
ECUADOR AND ALL THAT
THE DONKEY INSIDE, by LudwigR Bemelmans.
If you remember the limerick about "the young lady from Niger,' it will give
you a clue to the title of this collection of articles about Ecuador, wherein the au-
thor gives us his impression in words and pictures of the people he met and the
places he visited. Odd people, interesting people, crowd the pages and if you en-
joy descriptive writing well-done, you will revel in many of these paragraphs. It
is a travel book in a sense, but it is infinitely more, for Mr. Bemelmans has a
faculty of meeting and seeing people we would never meet if we roamed from one
end of Ecuador to the other. Only by a word here and there do we learn of the
subtle infiltration of Nazism, but it is enough to make us feel uneasy. Especially
in a country where the Chief of Police remarks, "-but I wish people would not
hit our policemen; it is so bad for the morale of the natives."
TALK OF THE TOWN
SALT OF THE EARTH, by Victor Holmes.
If you enjoy hearing amusing and unusual stories about the people of your
town, stories which might come to the editor of the town newspaper but which are
too embarrassing to print, or which might result in a libel suit, you will want to
read Salt of the Earth, Victor Holmes' latest book. Editor Holmes also tells us
the newsy incidents which were printed, all as a means of giving us a clear picture
of his small mid-western town with its most outstanding citizens. William Allen
White, who has written the introduction, suggests that it be "required reading" in
England and the British Dominions, so that the people there may have a true and
well-balanced picture of a small town in United States. You probably know people
just like the preacher, lawyer, doctor, undertaker, and even the town bum, all of
whom are described by the author. It is a cheerful story and restores one's faith
THE RISE OF GENGHIS KHAN
THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S, by Taylor Caldzwell.
A tangy novel with plenty of "local color" and imagination; the story is that
of Genghis Khan as it easily might have been. The life of the Mongol nomads
was swift and simple; hard and racy. The country of the Gobi Desert is brilliant
and bleak; a place where brides were stolen and beauty was rewarded; where
women were of little use and men were lords. Of such was Genghis Khan, the
thirteenth century Mongol chieftain who over ran Asia, the Near East and Hun-
gary. The story is full of barbaric love and swift adventure.
HARD LINES BELOW THE MASON-DIXON
THE MIND OF THE SOUTH, by W. J. Cash.
Required reading for sociologists and historians, this book is intuitive and
philosophical, rather than factual or statistical. It is in three parts; the first traces
the development of the Southern tradition-a tradition containing far less of the
wealthy planter influence than is commonly believed. Indeed, the aristocrats were
a small minority; the yeoman's battle with the frontier was, in fact, the predomi-
nant factor in the heritage of the South. The second part extends from the end
of the Civil War to the turn of the century. Reconstruction, with its sociological
upheavals, was followed by an economic revolution-the commencement of inten-
sive industrialism. With population on the increase and Cotton no longer King,
Southern leaders turned to factories as the cure for an ailing economy. This pre-
scription, poison to New England mills, alleviated conditions in Dixie. The last
part brings us to 1940. The Dayton Evolution Trial, labor union activities-these
and myriad other facts of the subject are treated at length.
A BUSY LIFE AND A HAPPY ONE
LIKE A RIVER FLOWING, by Ida L. Moore.
This is the story of Caroline and John Grist and the home they built in the
little community of Barrow Cove, North Carolina. It was early in the 19th cen-
tury when they came there, an extremely young couple with a tiny baby, tired and
half frozen, in a wagon drawn by two mules. Their neighbors-to-be went with
John to cut down trees and build their cabin. Alone they cleared land for plant-
ing, made their own shoes, plus extras to pay for some stock, and made their own
cloth. Through their efforts a church was built, led by a native boy who had
"heard the call." Through their increasing influence in the growing town, they
made possible a small school with a teacher brought in from the outside. Their
family grew, and the years flowed on, wholesome and full to the end. This is a
book full of the strength and contentment of a primitive life, with a good bit of
human nature in it too.
SHE WROTE "UNCLE TOM'S CABIN"
CRUSADER IN CRINOLINE, by Forrest Wilson.
Forrest Wilson must have had a thoroughly delightful time writing Crusader
in Crinoline! Here is an achievement; a scholarly full length biography which
reads with the pleasure of a novel. Really Harriet Beecher Stowe was a rather
ordinary child and young person but she was a member of one of the few ex-
ceptional families of her era; in consequence she had inherent qualities which her
family and the times brought out. But the important thing about this particular
biography is that in spite of meager information about Harriet's early years, Wil-
son has made her tremendously alive; a part of a family and a community; a very
real person and this feeling he carries through to the end.
MORE NEW BOOKS
ENGLAND'S HOUR, by Vera Brittain.
Here is a record of Vera Brittain's daily life in London, from the first mo-
bilization of British troops through the days of the battle of London. She tells
of her assignment to interview persons who had offered their services to escort
refugee children to America and to pick those capable of taking care of them.
THE BATTLE FOR ASIA, by Edgar Snow.
The larger portion of this book is a discussion of China's part in the recent
course of the war and of the new Chinese social order that is evolving. Snow gives
us a series of interviews with important Chinese leaders and several travelogue
sections. He explains what significance this growth of new China may have for
the United States.
RICHARD PRYNE, by Cyril Harris.
Another novel of the American Revolution brings us the little-known exploits
of American secret agents who risked their lives behind the British lines in New
York City. There are thrilling escapades on land and sea. It is primarily the
story of Richard Pryne who played a dangerous and decisive part in shaping the
outcome of the Revolution while serving as General Washington's principal secret
agent in the midst of the army of occupation.
BY THE DIM LAMPS, by Nathan Schachner.
This story of the war and reconstruction years gives us the love story of Sally
and Hugh. We might call this novel a "Gone With the Wind" set in Louisiana
where racial and political elements were more varied, more strangely mixed, and
served to complicate matters. The author has made it historically accurate and
rich with incidents taken from unpublished diaries and manuscripts.