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 Haniphire, under the
act of August 24, 1912.
Vol. 13 JANUARY, 1938 No. 4
LANGDON OF PORTSMOUTH
JOHN LANGDON OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, by Lawrtence.Shaow Mayo.
The life of John Langdon and the history of New Hampshire are so closely
linked that Mr. Mayo says he long wanted to write the history of New Hampshire
in the form of a biography. John Langdon's life spans that period from the be-
ginning of the Revolution to the outbreak of the war of 1812, which Mr. Mayo
wished to recount. The period of Langdon's youth was written when Mayo was
young and seems to convey admirably the spirit of youth, enthusiasm, adventure
and faith in success. Some years later the book was finished and time brought
judgment and maturity to the work. It is a book full, very full of early Ports-
mouth life as well as of New Hampshire history. John Langdon's name, even
today, is well known to Portsmouth people, being perpetuated in the name of
the oldest men's church club in Portsmouth-The John Langdon Club.
FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT?
ASSIGNMENT IN UTOPIA, by Eugene Lyons.
After a thorough training in Marxian ideology and participation in various
radical movements in the United States, and after four years publicity work for
the Soviets in the United States, Mr. Lyons became United Press correspondent
in Moscow. He entered as a thorough sympathizer of Russian communism. After
six years, when he could no longer conceal his unfriendliness in his dispatches,
he was expelled from the country and left in disillusioned sorrow-sorrow for
his own shattered ideals as well as for the Russian proletariat under a regime
of "communistic ruthlessness". In his story of day-to-day activities in Russia, the
author builds up a picture that is sometimes amusing, often informative, and never
dull. Since Mr. Lyons has caught the spirit of Moscow, Leningrad, and Tiflis,
his descriptions of which seem accurate to us, one is given confidence in the de-
scription of places and events of which we have no personal knowledge. This is
probably the ablest of the recent books which tell "the truth about Russia."
AS OTHERS SEE US
THE SAVAGE HITS BACK, by Julius Lips.
The author, an eminent anthropologist, escaped from Germany with the
material for this book. He shows the white men from the viewpoint of the col-
oured races, with results which are not flattering to the exponents of "Aryan"
supremacy. The book is copiously illustrated with photographs of drawings and
carvings, naive and charming representations of the soldiers, missionaries, trad-
ers, and other empire-builders who have visited the savage races. The native
artists show a genius for caricature and satire, and for remarkable observation
of our frailties, which must amuse us unless we are sadly lacking in a sense of
94 S SL -,_
FROM NEUTRONS TO NEBULAE
THE ADVANCING FRONT OF SCIENCE, by George W. Gray.
Amid our political and economic confusions it is refreshing to escape into
the world of science, where man is so amazingly extending his knowledge, finding
order wherever he penetrates and reducing the unknown to the laws of the known.
And when the news of recent discoveries is presented by a man who writes almost
as well as Eddington and Jeans, and less technically, we have a book that is as
exciting as any detective story. It is in fact a story of master detectives and
what they have unravelled of the mysteries of the stars, of the earth's atmosphere,
of cosmic rays and the secrets of the atoms. Acoustics, once a finished science,
has become a young science through recent discoveries. Chemistry is throbbing
with life as men study the behavior of monomolecular surfaces and the role of the
quantum in the manufacture of chlorophyll. The isolation of the virus of the
tobacco mosaic disease is important not only for pathology but for its bearing on
the question of the origin of life. The chapters on the chemistry of the mind, and
on mechanical "thinking machines" are fascinating, whatever they may or may not
prove. One thing which constantly strikes the reader is the recurring proof of
the fitness of our environment. Physico-chemically speaking, we do live in the
best of all possible worlds.
THE STARRY SKIES
THE PAGEANT OF THE HEAVENS, by Frederick Warren Grover.
Here is an excellent popular work on astronomy which tells practically every-
thing that the amateur wants to know, in language he can understand. Even one
totally unfamiliar with the constellations could learn to recognize them from the
descriptions and the maps printed in white on black paper. There are many ways
in which the phenomena of the skies affect our daily lives: the seasons, time, the
inclination of the earth's axis, the length of our year. These phenomena and
many others are explained, the planets and their motions are described, and stars
discussed all with an interesting admixture of mythology and poetry.
THE STORY OF MAN'S FOOD
MAN, BREAD, AND DESTINY, by C. C. Furnas.
There is constantly increasing evidence of the importance of the right food
for the individual and the race. The difference between the lowest standard of
adequate diet and the optimum diet is that between absence of disease and radiant
vitality. Nor is the optimum diet the most expensive one: knowledge can take
the place of pennies. This survey of food is informative, amusing, and practical.
If we are too much refined to follow the revolting but dietically sound practices of
the savage, there are acceptable foods and methods of cookery that will produce
the same and better results. Something more than a cook book is needed for feed-
ing the family; this book will tell you how to do it wisely and well.
A CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNT
FORTY YEARS OF AMERICAN LIFE, by T. L. Nichols.
Dr. Nichols was born in New Hampshire in 1815, so that the book covers the
period from 1821 to 1861. This period was not only the period of brilliant in-
tellectual awakening in New England but also of growing agitation all over the
country-an agitation which ended in the Civil War. In 1837 when he went to
the little frontier town of Buffalo he travelled across New York state by canal-
packet at the leisurely rate of five miles an hour! In New York City he met Ed-
gar Allan Poe and William Cullen Bryant and read the manuscript of a first
novel by a young adventurer, Herman Melville (the novel was Typee). In Bos-
ton he witnessed a mob attack on William Lloyd Garrison. These and many other
things does Dr. Nichols tell of America during his lifetime. The book was first
published in 1864.
THIS IS MY STORY, by Eleanor Roosevelt.
A charmingly frank autobiography which serves to increase our admiration
for the wife of President Roosevelt. Few fair minded people will deny that she
is a very able woman, and reading of her early childhood we have a better under-
standing and appreciation of our First Lady. Her story is also a record of an
era which is vanishing from the American scene, thus giving the book an added
value. There is not a dull page in the entire book and she wisely brings it to
a close with the Democratic Convention of 1924.
A WOMAN GENIUS
MADAME CURIE, by Eve Curie.
The name of Mme. Curie is known throughout the world. To countless
people the discovery of radium has brought release from pain, but the life of
Mme. Curie held far more than a fair share of sorrow and tragedy. Her father
was a Polish professor in the days when Poland suffered under Russia's rule,
and little Manya's family bore its full share. Years of poverty seemed to be
her lot, yet when she and her husband had the opportunity to make riches for
themselves by patenting their discovery, humanity's needs spoke more loudly than
their own. Mme. Curie is the only woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize twice.
This biography by one of her daughters is a stirring account of a. woman born to
THE TURNING WHEELS, by Stuart Cloete.
A dramatic story of the band of Boers led by Hendrik van der Berg, who pene-
trated far to the north and settled in the beautiful valley which they named Canaan.
There they began a new life, but Nature's lavish hand and their position brought
about their ruin. Only Zwart Piete saw the danger, but none would heed his
warning. Seldom do we find a novel whose characters breathe the breath of
life as do the lustful, Bible-reading Hendrik, Sannie and her faithful slave Jak-
alaas, Tante Anna, Zwart Piete and Sara, and comic old Rinkals.
UPPER MISSISSIPPI, by Walter Havighurst.
This is the second book in the Rivers of America series which began so aus-
piciously with Kennebec by Robert Coffin. The scene shifts from New England
to the valley of the Mississippi. It is a "wilderness saga" of the Norskies who
followed Cleng Peerson to America and of their descendants who peopled the
plains on both sides of the Big River. From this heritage have sprung Lind-
bergh, Garland, Veblen, Stefansson and many others whose names are known far
A HOUSE IN ANTIGUA, by Louis Adamic.
Over three hundred years ago a house was built in Antigua, ancient capital
of Guatemala. Its first owner was Don Luis de las Infantas Mendoza y Venegas.
Mr. Adamic recently visited the present owner, Dr. Wilson Popenoe and was
completely charmed by its beauty. He recounts the history of the house from
Don Luis' days to the great earthquake of 1773 which partially destroyed it, the
restoration which Dr. Popenoe and his wife achieved and his own visit there.
Numerous photographs give one an idea of its beauty to supplement the author's
A WORLD HISTORY OF ART, by Sheldon Cheney.
Mr. Cheney's most ambitious work deals with all art in all places in all times,
even including good accounts of subjects seldom dealt with. His point of view
is absolutely modern and his evaluation and re-evaluation is such that if one does
not wholly agree with him, at least it sets one thinking. It is a successful book
for the layman. His choice of illustrations is admirable. As one reviewer says,
"The book is written as Cheney would have men paint, free, personal and frank."
LAST FLIGHT, by Amelia Earhart.
This self-drawn picture of America's woman flyer on her round the world
flight that ended in tragedy. In this book she gives a brief sketch of her most
exciting experiences in flying before June first, 1937, when she left Miami to
fly around the world. From Miami we follow her to South America, Africa,
India, Lae in the south Pacific-then on the morning of July second she left Lae
for Howland Island, 2556 miles distant, out over the ocean. It was her last
flight. In this book we see all the gayety and courage of the woman who dared
to make this Last Long Flight.
RADIO VOICE OF ILIUM
THE TROJAN HORSE, by Christopher Morley.
The story of Troilus and Cressida is here shifted into the 20th century with
newspapers, radios, night clubs and organized efficiency. Following the general
outline of Chaucer's poem as to plot, Mr. Morley combines Ancient Troy and
modern America. The book is flippant to the worshiper of Chaucer and Shakes-
peare, and yet there is at times a searching irony in it. Pandarus, the go-between
of the older versions, is now a big business man and economic expert, besides be-
ing match-maker. So they go-Cassandra tells fortunes by numerology and Priam
gives "the boys" pep talks after the day's fighting is over, for they have a curfew
rule, no fighting after six o'clock.
THE HIGHER CRITICISM
FROM THESE ROOTS, by Mary C. Colum.
The author, wife of the Irish poet, Padraic Colum, predicts a growing in-
terest in criticism in modern and future literature. Foundations for her pre-
dictions she draws from a clear interpretation of the trends since 1800. Her
first and main emphasis is on the great critics of the first half of the 19th cen-
tury: Herder and Lessing, Wordsworth and Coleridge, Sainte Beuve and Taine.
There is a very fine section on Realism and the cults which developed from it.
It is altogether an excellent study of the ideas which are now bearing fruit in
twentieth century writing, especially critical writing.
DICTATORS AND DEMOCRACIES, by Calvin B. Hoover.
This is a rather pessimistic volume, but valuable for its exposition in clear
language of the totalitarian state and the difference between fascism, nazism,
and Soviet communism. The author believes that at present internal forces
determine the path of the United States, but that we will come increasingly under
the influence of external forces, with a consequent strain on democratic government.
OF THE EARTH EARTHY, by Marion Nicholl Rawson.
Yet another Rawson book for those who love America and her beginnings.
Each chapter is a "biography" of some industry, custom or method which has
passed into oblivion or nearly so. The waterways, the wampum mint, the brick
yard, the sail and rigging lofts, the rope walk and the charcoal pit seem to have
had their life cycles. There are delightful sketches; the text is peppered with
odds and ends of information and old maxims.
U. S. Camera, 1937.
A big event for photographers is the appearance of this annual. Over 200
pages of photographs, some in color, present what is considered significant in
the year's work.
THE LONG VIEW, by Hilda Morris.
THE REBELLION OF LENNIE BARLOW, by Phil Stong.
THE MOTHER, by Sholem Asch.
RUSSIA 20 YEARS AFTER, by Victor Serge.
THE OLD SOUTH: Struggles for democracy, by W. E. Dodd.