OCR Interpretation

Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, May 23, 1943, Image 61

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1943-05-23/ed-1/seq-61/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for E-5

tThe Fathers of Aviation
Wright Brothers Were Ignored
By Home-Town Newspapers
By Mary-Carter Roberts.
The Wright Brothers
By Fred C. Kelly. (Harcourt, Brace.)
It is not often that a single biography is. written about two people. In
the case of Wilbur and Orville Wright, however, it would manifestly be
impossible to approach their lives in any but this unaccustomed manner.
They are a composite personality. They are not Mr. Wright and Mr.
Wright. They are the Wright brothers. Their labors in aviation appear
to have been indivisible, and in the minds of the millions of people who
know their names, there is no distinction between them as men, even
though Wilbur Wright has been dead 30 years. United they stand, an
austere genius which, without ever putting forth any of the so-called
colorful or popular qualities, has become a source of warm national pride
to all Americans.
It Is quite proper, therefore, that their authorized history should be
written in the plural number. Here it is. Fred C. Kelly, a veteran news
paperman, has had a long acquaintance with Orville Wright, and has
written his joint autobiography with Orville’s indorsement. It is, as it
should be, almost exclusively a history of work in aviation. There is
some accoum. in it of the Wright family—colonial English stock on the
father's side, on the mother’s, German, but with three generations of
residence in the United States—some account, also, of schoolboy pranks
and adientuies and the founding of the now' famous bicycle shop in
Dayton. But the great part of the book is given over to the years between
1000, when the brothers firsi went to Kitty Hawk with a man-carrying
glider, and 1912. when W’ilbur met his premature death.
Fees Absence of Publicity as One of
Wonders of Their Career.
In those years they revolutionized the world. One can say it with
out thought of exaggeration. Yet, as Mr. Kelly emphasizes, they re
ceived practically r.o public notice—at least, not in this country. Certain
scientific groups in Europe followed their progress with Interest, but in
America, and even in Dayton, where their frequent flights were made
in plain sight of thousands of people, they got no newspaper notice. In
Huffman Field, on the outskirts of that city, in view of two highways
and an interurban line, the Wrights flew' a total of 160 miles without
even the local papers giving them coverage. To Mr. Kelly, this is one of
the wonders of their career, and he devotes several chapters to an
analysis of it. He is in a good position to do so, for, as he mentions, he W'as
working on a nearby paper himself at the time, and he recalls the pre
vailing journalistic attitude. His description is very interesting.
As he tells it, there W'as a bad break made in the newspaper treat
ment of the now-famous first flight, the one made by Orville at Kitty
Hawk, December 17, 1903, when, for the first time in the world, a power
plane piloted by a human being rose and flew' sustainedlv. Orville wired
the news to his father in Dayton that same day, requesting that the
Dayton press be notified—giving the home-town papers a world beat.
The telegraph man in Norfolk, how’ever, spotted the message as something
big and informed a reporter friend of his. This w'riter, after trying un
successfully to get some real information by phone, w'ent ahead and
improvised his owrn account of the flight, turning in a story which, as
Mr. Kelly observes was 99 per cent inaccurate. This was published with
a front-page headline in Norfolk, but of 21 other papers queried as to
whether they wanted the news or not. only five accepted, and two of
these used nothing. The Dayton papers w'ere among those that kept silent.
Mr. Kelly’s explanation is that flying-machine exploits wTere considered
crank performances in those days, and “telegraph editors resented having
a correspondent suggest that a human being could fly by machinery.”
Had Lively Correspondence with European
Journals While Being Ignored Here.
He continues that this initial slip caused a certain prejudice toward
the Wrights, particularly in Dayton, w'here the editors felt an obligation
to themselves to prove that they had been right. So, though for several
years after that, Wilbur and Orville were flying practically under their
noses, they made no news of it. The attitude they adopted was that the
Wrights were a pair of eccentrics, comparable to inventors who work at
perpetual motion machines. And, since their own papers gave them no
important space, other papers concluded that the brothers merited no
notice. While this tacit conspiracy was in force in America, the Wrights
had lively correspondence with European journals and contributed articles
to scientific periodicals in England, France and Germany.
It was not until 1908. five years after the first flight, that the long dis
belief was broken. That came about when word got around that the
United States Government was dickering with the brothers for the
rights to their invention. In all that period, says Mr. Kelly, the Wrights
bad made no effort either at secrecy or at getting publicity. Yet, when
the big-time press really turned its attention to them, it proceeded as if
they were knovsn to be excessively reporter-shy. Four eminent corre
spondents and a photograther, sent to Kitty Hawk to get the real story,
(id nor appro? ch openly but secreted themselves in the woods and watched
the flights from cover. It is one of the really comic episodes of journalism,
r id is not made less comic by the fact that the brothers knew all along
that seme one was spying.
A great pa., of the book is technical description of the various models
t-ied by th° Wrights, and of the research which they did preliminary to
■ making their successful plane. Their work in aerodynamics was entirely
.a pioneer effort, says Mr. Kelly, but it was correct, nonetheless, to a tiny
degree of error, and is still the basis of flight calculations.
A final chapter deals with the controversy with the Smithsonian In
stitution which attended the giving of the first successful plane to an
English museum. Mr. Kelly holds the institution guilty of grave miscon
duct, in its handling of the Langley model, but notes that in 1942 institu
tion officials issued a statement acknowledging past errors. Orville Wright
gave this statement his approval. Whether or not the American plane
which changed the world will be returned to its inventors’ homeland
or not the book does not attempt to say.
7 he Last cf Summer
By Kate O'Brien. <Doubleday, Doran.)
It is puzzling to the reviewer that any one would want to do another
novel on the mother complex, but here one is—serious, detailed and evi
dently written with much sincerity. Well, the reviewer has no objec
tions. She has no objection if some one wants to write a novel on the
mumps, for that matter, or on Bright's disease or the risings. But she
suggests that a novel ought to have people in it who are interesting apart
from their ailments. She cannot love a hero just because he is a strik
ing case of gallstones, for instance. If gallstones are all he has, she will
even suggest that he isn't a hero, anyhow.
That is the business in this book. A young man is tied to his mama’s
apronstrings, and his mama likes to have him there. A young woman
comes along and the young man loves her. She loves him. But mama
does not want her boy to love any woman but herself, so nothing comes
of the promising romance. There you are. Actually.
Beyond that, the book gets its filling matter from local color. The
scene is set on a country estate in Ireland, and there is a great deal of
description of the Irish way of liie on country estates, and of the quaint
manners of the almost feudal retainers, and so on. Miss O'Brien, who
sometimes has written very well, has in this work followed the recipe
for writing which urges that the novelist meticulously observe every
thing—the way people move, breathe, eat. sigh, rumple their hair and
crack their finger joints—and she has piled the fruit of such observations
into her story with a generous hand. There is hardly a conversation in
it in which sne does not halt the flow of words at almost every exchange
to report on some detail of the speakers’ mannerisms. Tire method, pre
sumably, is to make for life. But with a stereotyped story and a cast
of pallid people to begin with, no draping in lifelike details is going to
accomplish much. You just cannot make people live, somehow, unless
they do.
So the reviewer has to report that she went to sleep on Miss O'Brien.
The bright morbidity of the mother complex, however, is alwavs popular
find the novel may very well hit the best seller, as it is known, class.
The Fountainhead
By Ayn Rand. (Bobbs-Merrill.)
There is obviously only one reason for the composition of this long,
solid, serious novel. That is a reformer's passion. It seems that for a
long time there has been a great lack of idealism in the architect's pro
fession in America, and Miss Rand has set out to expose, chastise and.
presumably, eradicate that same. She has written a sort of “Arrowsmith''
of architecture—except, unfortunately, that she has none of the bounce
which Sinclair Lewis put into his famous set piece on doctoring. She is as
heavy as lead, and the course that her book is going to take is perfectly
plain to the reader from the end—or middle—of Chapter I on.
It gives us a sort of Saniord and Merton of the builders’ trades. There
i Harold Roark, the good young architect, and Peter Keating, the bad
: cung architect. Harold loves to starve for his art. He rejects all sorts of
flattering offers from people who are not truly idealistic about architecture,
f id in the end he triumphs in a big way, winning the trial of strength
v. h Peter, and also the gal of the plot. Peter has no ideals, he does not
like to starve, he takes all the good jobs that he can £et, regardless of
pure motives, and in the end—bless your heart—he loses out. So there
you are. There is not a living character in it, and it is solid declamation.
Y/hen Peter and Harold aren t declaiming, Miss Rand is. The resistance
cf the trio to fatigue is genuinely impressive.
/Mracle in Hellas ,
By Betty Wason. (Macmillan.)
It has become pretty well established by now that none of the
nationalities whose lands have been occupied by the Germans is
defeated in spirit. Numerous books by first-hand observers have assured
t’.s that Czechs, Yugoslavs, Dutch, Norwegians, Poles, Danes and French
r.e resisting their captors in every possible way and keeping alive a
flourishing underground movement to speed the day of liberation. The
same books tell us, too, that in all these countries the conduct of the
Germans is determined by a policy of extermination for the natives,
that executions, imprisonment under terrible conditions, planned starva
tion and financial ruin are imposed on the conquered with the precision of
a book of rules. With Greece as the setting, that is the story that is
repeated here.
Betty Wason was a radio correspondent stationed in Greece during
the German conquest. She was unable to get out of the country before
the Germans completed their occupation and was detained—politely—for
some weeks thereafter. She was ostensibly given every facillity to see
the procedure of the Nazis toward the Greek people In that period.
6he was allowed to visit prison camps and go about freely. Nazi officers
from the propaganda department put “information’* in her hands. But
6he reports only the customary tragedy. The Greeks are being extermi
nated by the Germans by every means known to the Nazi system, and
the Greeks are fighting back by every means which they can devise.
5nat is the sum of her work, it is one more document of despair.
.vM , VH
“The Last of Summer."
Howard Coster Photo.
“Miracle in Hellas’’
— A. P. Photo, j
Best Sellers
Gideon Planish, by Sinclair
The Forest and the Fort, by
Hervey Allen.
The Robe, by Lloyd C. Doug
Citizen Tom Paine, by How
ard Fast.
Capricomia, by Xavier Her
One World, bv Wendell L.
Lee's Lieutenants, Vol. II, by
Douglas Southall Freeman.
Journey Among Warriors, by
Eve Curie.
Between the Thunder and the
Sun, by Vincent Sheean.
Passport to Treason, by Alan
■■ —— .—1
War Eagles
By James Saxon Childers.
< Appleton-Centuryj
Col. “Jim1’ Childers here tells the
story of the Eagle Squadron, Amer
ican boys who went to England to
set up their own fighting unit in
the Royal Air Force before our en
try into the war. He writes with
authenticity, having lived with the
Eagles for almost two and one-half
years. At first, the young pilots
were restrained because they knew
he was taking notes and studying i
their habits and hobbies for his
book. Soon, however, he was like
one of the boys, having learned to
speak their language and to share
their glorious fighting experiences.
Pilots returning from battle are
met as they step from the cockpit
by the intelligence officer of the
airdrome, who records just what has ■
happened. Perhaps the young
Eagle has swept down on a Messer
schmitt 109 and shot it out of the
sky. This is recorded as a “de
stroyed,” and the flyer is met with
cheers from the ground crew. If
he runs out of petrol, however, he is
greeted, instead, by “the drink”—
the English Channel. A simple
; ceremony takes place after an Eagle,
i calling “Mayday, Mayday” (British
| interpretation of the French
j “M'aidez,” meaning "help me”) over
! his radio, bails out. lie removes
j his flying boots, throws out his hel
| met, shoots the six bullets iri his
; pistol, drops it overboard and has
j little time left to pray.
- All pilots flying over water are
required to wear a bulky flying
jacket, affectionately called “Mae
West," which, after being inflated,
will float. Almost always they are
picked up by English rescue boats.
"War Eagles” is full of heroes,
but it does not lead the reader to
believe that only the Germans die.
The Germans are good bombers be
cause they are taught to stick to
gether and not exercise initiative,
Col. Childers says, but the Ameri
cans and British are good fighters
because they crave excitement and
cannot stand monotonous convoy
duties or coast patrol.
In their early fighting days, the
Eagles were of little value. Of
I night flying, they knew nothing.
Their first attempts at it were
thwarted by English anti-aircraft
guns manned by crews who had not
been notified of these night ma
neuvers. Several Spitfires returned
tb base looking like sieves. How
ever, intensive training, with daily
pre-dawn flights, taught the Eagles
the rudiments of night flying.
In the Eagles’ favorite night spot,
where initial plans for all their
bombardments were laid, final de
tails for the famous Dieppe raid
were formulated. During this bitter
dawn-to-dusk battle, Squadron 71
returned to base three times for re
fueling and small mechanical re
pairs. The Spitfires, supported by
regular RAF bombers and fighters,
knocked off more than 92 German
planes, “probably destroyed” 27,
“damaged” 117 and started count
less fires while suffering but one
An accurate account of a World
War II Allied flying unit, “War
Eagles,” is a man’s book, written in
a man’s language. Its illustrations
include diagrams of aerial dog
fights, photographs of British and
German anti-aircraft units and
searchlights in action, charts of
RAF insignia and planes, pictures
of German aircraft and reproduc
tions of official British Air Ministry
films. Intimate slants on Eagle
lives and ambitions, stories of their
wives and sweethearts, and snap
shots of Eagles at the airdrome tend
human Interest to the book.
"The Fountainhead.”
—Ben Pinchot Photo.
Books About the War
By Ethel A. L. Lacy.
In charge, War Reading Room, Central Library.
In earlier times it didn’t matter much what civilians thought while a
war was in progress. Today’s public opinion is of major importance as an
adjunct to the fighting forces, but it must be an informed public opinion.
How can the civilized way of life and democracy be saved? Are we
on the road back to the Dark Ages?
vvcutci n. myei ana L-iay vjcss nl
their book, “Education for Demo
cratic Survival,” believe that the
reason we are in such a tragic sit
uation today “is because a quarter
of a century ago we fought a war
that we didn't understand. We
didn't know what to do with victory
when it came; didn't know how to
organize and maintain peace; didn't
know how to handle our own do
mestic problems.” In education lies
the hope of the future, but it must
be an education converted to the
needs of democracy as effectively as
industry has been converted to war
Food for Thought.
Those who have failed to give
consideration to the religious as- j
pects of Hitlerism will find food for j
serious thought in “It's Your Souls i
We Want.” by Stewart W. Herman,!
jr. Mr. Herman was for six years
prior to the entrance of the United
States into the war pastor of the
American Church in Berlin and for
part of this time wras a member of
the staff of the American Embassy.
From his observations, it is evident
that the Nazi regime is more serious
and disastrous to souls than to
bodies. The challenge is to Chris
tianity throughout the world.
The title of Wendell L. Willkie's
recent book, “One World,” is in
reality the main conclusion drawn
from the experiences of his 49-day
trip around the world. "The net
impression of my trip,” he says,
“was not one of distance from other
peoples, but of closeness to them."
He returned entirely convinced that
America must assume a major re
sponsibility in the affairs of this
one small world we call the earth.
Why War Came.
In the first chapter of “Let the
People Know',” Norman Angell has
posed a string of “questions, doubts
and misgivings" about the war and
its outcome "which are present in
the minds of immense numbers of
average Main street Americans.”
and in the last chapter of the book
he answers them seriatim. In the
words of the author, “the war has
come upon us because we have re
jected the elementary social truth
upon which all society is based,
namely, that the most primary right
of all—the right to life, the right
net to be killed and tortured—can
only be made a reality by the gen
eral fulfillment of an obligation, the
obligation of men to defend that
right on behalf of others.”
In this age of visual aids, perhaps
it is not surprisihg that Cecil
Beaton's “Air of Glory” is such a
fascinating and sobering collection
of photographs of the "flower of
England's face.” Here are vignettes,
more poignant than the written
word, with simple captions allowing
the imagination free range: "Night
Watch of the Fire Squad.” “Potatoes
in Kew Gardens,” "Demolition
Squad Smiling Against a Back
ground of Ruins” and, at the very
end, “Group of Little Children.”
These and other books on war and
peace may be found in the war read
ing room of the Public Library.
Eighth and K streets N.W., and
many of them may be found also at
the branch libraries.
Circuit of Conquest
By Reiman Morin. (Knopf-)
It is a deep satisfaction to have a war book, for once, which is
thoughtful rather than heroic. Reiman Morin’s ‘‘Circuit of Conquest” Is 1
the book, and it is genuinely attractive.
Mr. Morin represented the Associated Press in Tokio for three and
a. half years. He had been familiar with the Orient much longer than
that, and as much by the sixth sense that a good reporter develops as
through anything else, he felt sure that something was brewing. Or did he?
Mr. Morin never grows didactic, and he is not much given to explaining
happenings by hindsight. Perhaps it was merely that he had a hunch.
Typically, he decided to do something about it. He decided that if
Japan planned skullduggery, it would be to the south, so when Max Hill
relieved him in Tokio, he set out. By chance (or was it chance?) he
covered almost exactly the route Japan covered a little later—a circum
stance that led the Japs to charge him with espionage in the end. Mr.
Morin went to Shanghai, to Manila, the Dutch East Indies, Singapore,
Thailand and Indo-China. There he was interned after Pearl Harbor,
spent some bad moments with the secret police, and was at last released.
He does not know, even now, whether it was the kindness of a certain
Japanese colonel that saved him, or something else.
Shanghai was a ferment, not a productive ferment at all. In Manila
it was obvious that the Philippines could not be defended, that the Japs
were underrated. Down in the Indies there was a different tension—
there the Japs were bargaining with the wily Dutch for more oil, and
withdrawal of the Japanese mission. But there also it was evident that
Mr. Morin was never sure just what was the reason behind the sudden
withdrawal cf the Japanese mission. But there also it was evident that
the Dutch could not hold out, using sharp bamboo stakes for defense
against parachute troops, lacking planes and everything else needful.
Singapore was contemptuous of the Japs: Thailand was hostile to the
whites: Indo-China was, by the time Mr. Morin arrived, in the hands of
the Japs and doggedly refusing to recognize the fact.
This is a relaxed, vividly written, intelligent picture of the Far East
at the moment the dam broke. JOHN SELBY.
I Seek My Prey in the Waters
By Squadron Leader Tom Dudley-Gordon. (Doubleday, Doran.)
The battle of the Atlantic is not just on the sea—it is in the air, too.
Day in and day out, through all kinds of weather, the planes of the
Coastal Command, part of the Royal Air Force, have flown in search of
German U-boats and enemy convoys, and kept a vigilant and protecting
eye on their own convoys.
This book is a series of anecdotes, telling of the adventures of the
men who fly and fight in the Coastal Command. Placed together, these
stories outline the dark hours which military leaders faced with the fall
of France, of Holland and of Norway, of the battle of the British against
superior numbers, and of the campaign to clear the English Channel of
enemy shipping. The book has been written by three public relations
officers, who have signed themselves “Squadron-Leader Tom Dudley
The men of the Coastal Command have performed monotonous duties,
but they have taken part as well in some of the most dramatic actions
of the war—the attacks on the Scharnhorst and Bismarck, the retreat
from Dunkirk and attacks on enemy shipping to aid Russia. Playing a
prominent part throughout were such American-made planes as the
Catalina flying boats, the Lockheed Hudsons and the Liberators.
The authors are to be congratulated for their skillful job of weaving
the stories together. BAINBRIDGE CRIST.
I TOMii mmmmm
-The Wright Brothert." «
\ il' A
"Circuit of Conquest
—A. P. Photo.
“War Eagles.”
Brief Reviews
Wanted: Women in War Industry,
by Laura Nelson Baker (Dutton i —
A handbook.to war jobs in factories,
with a directory of places to apply.
Is China a Democracy? by Creigh
ton Lacy (John Day)—An examina
tion of Chiang Kai-shek’s govern
ment which comes to the conclu
sion that the regime is one of the
great democracies of history.
Clausewitz on the Art of Warfare,
by Lt. Col. Joseph I. Greene (Long- :
man)—A study of the great strate
gist’s work as it applies to condi
tions of the present war.
Postwar Economic Problems,
edited by Seymour E. Harris (Mc
Graw-Hill)—A discussion by 23 ex
perts, illustrated by statistical
tables and not for laymen.
How to Fly an Airplane, by Ber
nard Brookes (Consolidated) —
Basic flight instruction by a well
known flyer.
According to Doyle, by Jerry
Doyle (Putnams)—A cartoon his
tory of World War II, with accom
panying texts to cover the course
of events.
Fighting Fleets, by Critchell Rim
ington (Dodd, Mead)—New edition,
of this survey of the world's navies,
brought up to date. Over 300
photographs and drawings.
How to Prepare for Military Fit
ness, by Lt. Col. Francois D’Eliscu
(Norton)—A book of evercises with
directions for the performance of
same and sketches to illustrate.
They look very strenuous.
The Squad Goes Out
By Robert Greenwood. (Bobbs
Robert Greenwood, an unde
niably competent author, has
chosen here a theme which calls !
for greatness rather than sound !
literary technique. “The Squad
Goes Out’’ is a novel about four
British A. R. P. volunteers who
learn in London’s bomb-torn
streets to put country and service
above all personal fear or ambi
tion. More than that, it is an at
tempt to prove that courage and
strength are inborn qualities
shared by all democratic peoples
and need only times of greatest
disaster to weld the many classes
of a nation into selfless unity.
If Mr. Greenwood's talents are
not equal to the grandeur of his
theme, there Is still much good
writing and an occasional phrase
or scene to make the reader feel he
holds more than a swift and ab
sorbing novel. One such is the
moment when a bomb tears the
facade from an East End build
ing, and Chester Browning, squad
leader and somewhat snobbish
architect, is made to see wThat his
professional detachment has rarely
let him consider—that houses are
not cold blueprints, but the homes
of men. Browning and all the
characters are singularly well
handled, for the author has mas
tered a double task. Each is a
realistic individual in himself, and
each must represent a portion of
the English people; Lawson, the
sullen, discontented Socialist: Old
Dadda, the philosophical watch
maker to whom time and eternity
were one and bombings trivial in
the inviolable world of the Inward
self; bluff Bill Battersby, the cock
ney, and even Browning, who wore
an old school tie and couldn’t at
first, identify himself with the
humble people—all united through
common courage in what Winston
Churchill has called “England’s
finest hour.’’
We in America have heard much
of the English people who worked
and lived valiantly through the
brutal air raids of the Battle of
Britain. We need no novels to
strengthen our respect and admira
tion, but when we have them, one
cannot help but wish they could
be more than good stories. The
sincere life that has been given
to Mrs. Minniver is lacking in “The
Squad Goes Out,” and certainly
a book about the common people
in the same time of greatness
does call for more than the tech
nical proficiency Mr. Greenwood
has given it.
A mall fans mure* life
long *ecurity, healthy living.
But you mutt know how to
choose, finance and nut it.
how,, at tUa book already
has told thousands of otF—
SIN at
Army Doctors at Work
Medical Corps Officer Tells
Story of Their Achievements
Victories of Army Medicine
By Col. Edgar Erskine Hume, Army Medical Corps. (Lippincott.).
In this exhaustive treatise, Col. Hume writes an absorbing story, a
story of Army medical progress in non-technical language for laymen
that should occupy every public and private library in the country, and
be read and re-read by all persons in the public health field.
“The Medical Department of the United States Army has ever striven
to enlarge the frontiers of life,” the book concludes. “While carrying on
the duties devolving on it as a branch of our military establishment, it
has found time to add greatly to the sum of science's learning.”
Preventive medicine in World War II incl\ides immunization of all
rajiks against yellow fever, tetanus, typhus fever, cholera and plague. In
addition, each soldier must carry 12 sulfanilamide tablets for direct appli
cation to wounds, and each individual's metal identification tag, worn at
all times, is stamped with the blood type, thus saving valuable time
should transfusion become necessary.
Readers will appreciate the story of Walter Reed’s proof that yellow
fever is transmitted and spread by the mosquito, a discovery that later
made possible the construction of the Panama Canal in a zone where this
plague once raged. Gen. (then Maj.) William C. Gorgas insisted on
making the Isthmus free from disease before the operations on the canal
were commenced.
Does the average reader know that the Army Medical Museum is
the world’s largest? That two medical officers of the Army founded the
oldest American medical school, that of the University of Pennsylvania?
That our Weather Bureau owes its origin to the Army’s medical depart
ment? That an American military surgeon wrote the first American text
book on surgery? That ours was the first Army to adopt compulsory
prophylaxis against typhoid fever? That medical officers in the Army
kept the first reports on which American vital statistics are calculated?
That the Army brought the campaign against venereal disease into the
open? That the Army has discouraged drunkenness? That flight surgeons
have a record of accomplishment in working with the Air Corps? And that
the large-scale use of blood plasma and sulfa drugs has saved hundreds
of lives in this war?
Col. Hume sheds light on Gen. Winfield Scott's aversion to drunken
soldiers by quoting an order he issued in 1832: “The general, therefore,
peremtorily commands that every soldier or ranger who shall be found
drunk or sensibly intoxicated after the publication of this order, be com
pelled, as soon as his strength will permit, to dig a «rave at a suitable
burying place large enough for his own reception, ttS such grave cannot
fail soon to be wanted for the drunken man himself or some drunken
This book, a magnificent contribution to Army medical knowledge,
possesses a range dhd interest a layman hardly would expect to find in a
professional treatise. It is a volume worthy of a man who has been
decorated by 35 countries and has represented the United States at 11
international scientific congresses. It is a pleasure to commend it.
Khaki Is More Than a Color
By Sergt. H. H. E. Marsden. (Doiibleday, Doran.)
We have here another book about the life led by the inductee in the
United States Army. It is not one of those funny things, which represent
the career of the just-fledged soldier as a continual slapstick routine, nor is
it a straight handbook on what the rookie can expect. It is a sort of cross
between the two. It tells in a day-by-day first person narrative, almost as
if in a diary, of the duties and adventures which an inductee goes through,
from the day he receives the summons to the completion of his training.
Sergt. Marsden Insists that he writes as a completely average soldier. His
background, ideals, ambitions, tastes, habits and morals are, he reiterates,
a common denominator of those Qf the species American boy. One gathers
that he comes from a moderately comfortable middle-class family, has
had a good bringing-up and some cultural background, normally would
expect to get a job and support himself, and has no particular talents, but
a good mind and a wide-awake curiosity.
From this point of view he describes the conduct of single men in
barracks, 1942 model. The toughness which one associates with the profes
sional soldier is altogether lacking from his narrative. His boys are home
sick or scared or full of rather juvenile high spirits. Most of them have
never had a gun in their hands previous to their entry into the Army.
None of them like Army life, but they accept it with good will. They do
not glow with patriotism. Their enthusiasms are for time off, dates, cokes,
movies and high jinks—though Sergt. Marsden admits that the strains of
“The Star Splanged Banner” always gave him “goose flesh from my heels
to the top of my head * * * meant to me all the stories I had read as a kid
about Indians, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving feasts and w’agons rolling across the
prairies to the West.” After such an emotional outburst, however, he feels
it incumbent to justify himself and adds, defensively, “I suppose that this
seems like a lot of corn to some people, but it is the way I feel.” Okay,
sergeant. Nobody is complaining.
It is, on the whole, the story of a good young man. It is easily possible
to foresee the time when soldier memoirs will take a bitter turn, and such
sunny accounts as this will be considered superficial and unrealistic. That
waits, however, for the end of the war and the emergence of a new crop
of Faulkners. Hemingways and Dos Passoses. At present, it seems quite
probable that Sergt. Marsden's claim that his attitude is the average one
is justified. M.-C. R.
.- ■ ■ -.. . .i
■ - " 1 ' —1
Just Published—
By Harold G. Moulton
Does an unbalanced budget threaten the
financial stability of the nation? Is a huge
public debt a national asset?
The most crucial economic issue of
our time is analyzed in this volume.
93 Pages $1.00
Brookings Institution, Washington, D. C.
f Gtmrteuff
k 26th Century A<
L 4
The HU of the Nation! Hj
My Friend I
Have you read this story of a boy, an out
law horse, and a mother who understood?
For month after month enthusiastic readers ^RH
have kept it on the nation’s best-seller lists. ^RR|
Now it has been made into a grand motion ^HR
picture starring Roddy McDowall. Read
the book, then see the film. A Story Press

xml | txt