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October 27, 1935 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1935-10-27

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PAGE EIGHT THE MICHIGAN DAILY cur
_IN THE WORLD OF BOOKS

NT A , O(CTOl[ fR 2Y?, 1935l

Press Gets Another Lambasting
This Time At Hands Of Seldes SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM,
uy T. E. Lawrence. New York;
Doubleday, Doran & Co. $5.00.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.
By George Seldes. Bobbs, Merrill.
$2.75.
By FRED WARNER NEAL
After the reader finishes George
Seldes' Freedom of the Press, he may
well ask himself: "What Freedom?"
For the former newspaperman lets
go with both barrels at the Fourth
Estate, its sanctity, its members and
its freedom. Even the conservative
New York Times, about which people
have come to speak of in the same
awed tones as they do the United
States Constitution, is lambasted for
an entire chapter. And the Associat-
ed Press is made to look like the
antithesis of a truthful, unbiased
news-gathering agency. Paper for
paper, publisher for publisher, Mr.
Seldes scores and scorns, and in some
cases praises, them all.
And with the exception of one or
two instances, he does it in typical
reportorial manner, giving the facts
without opinion, without color, with-
out comment. The book abounds with
documentary evidence that backs up
its author's contentions. William Al-
len White, the great-uncle of Amer-
ican journalism, praises it as a book
"which for once tells the truth, all
the truth and nothing butthe truth."
If it were not so, Mr. Seldes would
have, by this time, a hundred or more
libel suits on his hands.
The main score on which Seldes in-
dicts American newspapers is that
they suppress or pervert news out of
a fear of advertisers and monied in-
terests. "Obviously," he declares,
"just as stores and corporations are
the sacred cows of certain smaller
newspapers,: so Big Business is the
great Sacred Golden Bull of the en-
tire press." He charges that the Util-
ities subsidize the press and gives spe-
cific examples. "No newspaper," he
holds, "and very few other publica-
tions have been willing to serve the
public when it means the loss of
money." He insists that vested in-
terests make it impossible for the
complete facts to be published.
Continuing in the same vein, he lays
much of the responsibility for the
depression at the door of the press.
"Instead of furnishing America with
sound economic truth, it furnished
the lies and buncome of the mer-
chants of securities, which termed
an economic .debacle a technical sit-,
uation, which called it the shaking
out of the bullish speculators, which
blamed everything on lack of confi-
dence."
It is the Associated Press, "the
greatest force in American public
opinion," which Seldes denounces
most vigorously-almost bitterly.
Pointing out that despite its coopera-
tive nature, the A.P. is controlled by
a small group of publishers, he con-
tends that its news accounts are not
only frequently inaccurate, but de-
liberately biased and often wholly un-
true. He scores the "anti-labor pol-
icy of the Associated Press," calls it

"Tory, reactionary and red-bating" By WILBERT L. HINDMAN
and views with alerm the great num- (Of the Politicas Science Dept.)
ber of its "medium-sized fountains I
daily gushing forth its filth and poison In the evident sense the subtitle, "A
into the world stream of informa- Triumph," is appropriate to this book,
tion." He is disgusted with its "con- for the tale is Lawrence's record of
tinual kow-towing" to authority and the Arab revolt against the Turks, and
sums up his opinion of the news it concludes with the entry into Da-
agency with this prize sentence: "If mascus after the final rout of the
the Associated Press had reported the Turkish Fourth Army. But when the
Boston Tea Party, it would probably narrative is ended, the phrase appears
have been an indignant stori'of Reds tinged with irony, for Lawrence
defying authority and destroying pri- feared that the seven pillars of his
vate property." house were erected upon sand, and
Mr. Seldes, while properly enough a that his triumph had been a vehicle
liberal, could not be called a radical. of betrayal.
His insistence is that of all true news- At first the true position of the
papermen: that the complete and un- author in relation to the revolt is not
biased facts be published. He assails clear, obviously because its possibili-
the press for not printing the truth ties were yet nebulous in his own
about Communism as much as he as- mind. As a member of Clayton's
sails it for not printing the news Arab Bureau he was detailed to seek
about Fascism. Again slapping at from among the Arabs a leader great
the Associated Press, he says that it is enough for the design. In Feisal, a
served in Europe by news agencies son of the Sherif of Mecca, Lawrence
that are controlled by the govern- found the requisite courage and
ments, "-the poisoned springs of world charm and skill in the manipulation
news." of native emotions, and confirmed
Mr. Seldes does not come right out in this Sheik the authority to raise
and say so, but you get the im- I an army from among the numerous
pression that he strongly favors the desert clans, most of which were nom-
Newspaper Guild and thinks, fur- inally blood-enemies. While the Arabs
thermore, that its interests are one i were gathering, Lawrence acted in
with those of the American Federa- liaison with the British, obtaining
tion of Labor. financial backing and frustrating ef-
Criticism of William Randolph forts to mix Anglo-French forces with
Hearst is conspicuous by reason of its the natives. He knew that the Arabs
Harsityis.conspiousbyteasonoftS must be allowed to work alone; dis-
Sim eon is painted as anything but trustful of Christians, they would re-
a saint, Hearst is given credit for sent any effort to combine forces
work done in his more creditable days. and would leave the field completely
But Seldes criticizes him for the mal- or prove openly hostile.
practices about which everyone talks After making it possible for Feisal
and points to him as "the most not- to gather an army, Lawrence provided
able sample of that considerable body activity best adapted to the char-
of publishers who do business by pre- acter of the force. He could not eas-
udice or predilection, by emotion in- ily convince the orthodox military
stead of reason, by whim instead of that "our men, being irregulars, were
intelligence. He is economically illit- not formations, but individuals," but
erate and he has no social conscience." his enterprises in the field finally
rae andhe ehassoias conience carried the point with his Allied su-
Mr. Seldes emphasizes the fact that periors. Particularly were the full
there are newspapers and newspapers, potentialities of the revolt demon-
He gives much praise to those which strated in the six hundred mile turn-
he feels deserve it. Included among ing movement leading to the taking
them are the St. Louis Post-Dis- of Akaba, depriving the Turks of their
patch, the Philadelphia Record, the last post on the Red Sea. The turn-
Scripps-Howard papers, the New York ing-point in the revolt came soon
Post; and he tosses bouquets at the after, with the perfection of Law-
United Press. rence's amazing technique in raiding
In general you get the idea that a the railway which gave the Turks a
majority of American newspapers are long finger of military base down the
corrupters of the public mind; that interior as far as Medina.
there are a few which are truthful, In the efforts against the railway,
unbiased and liberal; that publishers Lawrence became the inspirational
for the most part are ogres who make spearhead of the Arab forces, justify-
"prostitutes of able young men" (re- ing himself to his superiors, to the na-
porters); and that probably the best tives, and to his own troubled spirit.
solution for the whole problem "would The last was important, for though
be to let real newspapermen run the in action this man was sure enough,
newspapers." in moments of leisure, of pain, of ill-

1 ' Leg
J .Epi
Arab forces. At best the army was
a fluid union, drawn together by
vague interest in the movement and
by more immediate incentives of ac-
tion, pay, and plunder. But alle-
giance wavered, and as new clans
came in, others would leave. An at-
tempt to enforce military discipline
would have dissolved the ranks, and
the casualness of army relationships
blocked the adoption of formal
schemes of warfare and resulted con-
tinually in whimsical defections that
made it necessary to follow a harry-
ing campaign, with careful avoidance
of decisive conflict. The situation was
amusingly illustrated during an en-
counter near Akaba, when the en-
gagement was lost because of the
sudden wavering retreat of the Ju-
heina tribe from a critical position
they had apparently been maintain-
ing with ease. Treason was suspected,
but the men returned to camp later
and smilingly explained that they
had merely decided to retire tem-
porarily to get a cup of coffee.
Yet at times the Arabs could be
brilliant, with a keen delight in at-
tack that was entirely lacking in their
stolid Turkish foes. The unworthi-
ness of the opposition often shadowed
the achievements of the Arabs, who
for the most part fought as did their
leader Feisal, "with the unthinking
directness of a fencer . . . " The.Turks,
unimaginative, with no formations to
annihilate, found that "war upon re-
bellion was messy and slow, like eat-
ing soup with a knife."
Despite Lawrence's persistent self-
denunciation as a servant of two mas-
HEMI NG WAY
Death In The Afternoon
Comes This Time
For Game
By JOHN SELBY
GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA, by
Ernest Hemingway: Scribners.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY is at it,
again. This book is titled Green
Hills of Africa, but it is mostly about
shooting the animals of Africa, and
is about half full of typical Heming-
way dialog.
The odd thing about the dialog is
that when it is written about com-
plete strangers it sounds like Hem-
ingway, but when it is supposed to
be spoken by Hemingway, his wife.
and assorted bearers and gun boys, it
sounds for all the world' like a mas-
querade. This in spite of the fact
that in one place Hemingway accuses
an unnamed female writer of learn-
ing to write dialog from him, and I
then turning against him.
One expects books about African
hunting trips, of which there have
been quite a few, to describe the ter-
rain ,the animals, the hunters, the
odd things which come up, the kills.
Green Hills of Africa does that.
But it does a good deal more. It
describes the author's resentment
because another hunter did more and
bigger and better killing, for one
thing. This seems unimportant, and
the fact that the author recovered
from his peeve seems unimportant
also.
It describes how a wounded hy-
ena, desperately struggling, devoured
certain parts of itself in agony. The
word "funny" is used' in connection
with this, and this seems just sad.
The book also takes several wal-
lops at other writers, discusses writing
a little pontifically ,tells a good deal
about the camp liquor arrangements,
and just talks. Mr. Hemingway was
out to kill kudu, those handsome
beasts with the spiraled horns. He

describes in detail innumerable at-
tempts, going deeply into the matter
of doing nothing whatever while
waiting for the animals to walk un-
suspectingly into the trap. It must
be added, regretfully, that the ani-
mals finally did.
..11

fend Of The East Is
C In The West . . .
ters, he maintained a relationship
between the two that enabled each to
become a tool of the other's for a
common victory. This "little bare-
footed silk-shirted man," holding a
position as delicate as any in the his-
tory of war, proved himself uncon-
querable and therefore became im-
mortal.
The book is riot strictly a military
record, as it might well have been if
penned by others in the campaign.
The same seeking mind which
achieved an understanding of Arabs
and English sufficient to mold them
both to a single purpose, and which
imagined or perceived flaws contin-
ually appearing in the structure of
the leader's personality, has created
(a word Lawrence was shy of) a
book vivid with the glory of the Ara-
bian desert and fascinating with its
reality.
After all, the essential difference
between this book and its abridg-
ment, Rzivolt in the Desert, is a mat-
ter of perspective. In this fuller vol-
ume the elaboration of perspective
adds richness to the body of the
work and provides a satisfying depth
of understanding of the Arab revolt
and of Lawrence, so far as his strange
nature is susceptible of rational ap-
preciation. The proud figures of all
Arabia are in these pages, described
with the perception of an Arab eye
and the aptness of an Arab tongue
and the memory evoked in gather-
ings around Arab hearthfires. And
in the telling there is a broader beauty
provided ley the physical setting.
Lawrence's descriptions of the etched
reaches of the rocky mountain desert
lack the sustained lucidity of Doughty,
but at times achieve similar adequacy.I
Lawrence was of a disparaging turn
of mind. and occasionally he slyly
mocked the ambitious among the mil-
itary, as when, remarking upon the
awarding of certain medals for valor,
he observed "We should have more
bright breasts in the Army if each
man was able without witnesses, to
write out hjs own despatch."
Yet he bitterly criticized himself
because he possessed "a craving to be
famous; and a horror of being known
to like being known .. . "Among the
peoples with whom he lived and
reached sublimity, he will find that
wish fulfilled. As Newcombe was
credited by the natives with only being
able to sleep on rails, and Hornby
was reputed to worry the metal with
his teeth when powder failed doring
a railway raid, so Lawrence's fame
will grow before the hearthfires
of Arabia in endless legend. This
published record will establish his
fame enduringly in the Western
world, however, and stand witness
that his exploits can become in re-
membrance no greater than they were
in the doing.
1

Jensen's Curious Novel Traces
Gropings Of Amnesia Victim

SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN by Carl1
Christian Jensen. Lothrop, Lee and
Shepard Co. $2.50.
By FLORENCE HARPER
Seventy-Times Seven, the second
novel from the pen of Carl Christian
Jensen, is a tragic novel, tragic not
so much because its relates the ex-
periences of an inmate of one of our
worst penal institutions or because it
ends with the death of the hero in
the electric chair, but in that it por-
trays the groping of a victim of am-
nesia after his lost personality. The
sufferings of the convict in the chain
gang and of the condemned as he
awaits execution are incidental to
the anguish of the individual who has
lost his individuality, of the conscious
soul which lacks complete conscious-
ness.
Duke, the convict whose journal
Jensen presents in this book, is one
of many victims of the Great War
who find their way into this south-
ern prison. His crime is unknown
as is his whole background, and he is
set before us as an isolated person-
ality, without past or future. The
journal is primarily a psychological
study, full of symbolism, of incom-
plete memories, obscure philosophies,
and garbled theologies.
As a story of prison life it is com-
plete enough. Not a detail is lacking
that would give the entire picture,
the sights, the smells, and sounds of
the prison camp and the portraits
of the human beings whose lives are
bound up in it. As a character study
it is as incomplete as the personality1
it portrays, as incomplete as life it-
self and as full of unpleasant inci-
dent.
It is written entirely as stream of
consciousness, which alone makes for
a disconnected style that disturbs
many readers, but when in addition,
that stream is an interrupted one,
the result is disturbing indeed. But
the style is admirably suited to the
subject in hand and has a certain
pleasing lyric quality.
Duke, although we know nothing
of his former life, reveals himself in
kris journal as a person of some edu-
cation. His mental wanderings have
the consistency lent them by a cul-
tural background and his allusions,
historical and literary, are many and
varied.
"HANDS"
By CHARLES G. NORRIS
"UNUSUAL COMPANION"
By JOHN ERSKINE
BLUE BIRD BOOK NOOK
RENTAL LIBRARY
14 Nickels Arcade

Jensen obviously noes not intend
his book primarily as an arraignment
of war. However, one who reads it
feels a growing indignation at the
great upheaval which has dislocated
the lives of so many of these charac-
ters. This indignation is not much
greater than that felt against all the
forces of society, which, one is con-
vinced, must be in some way at fault,
when the very existence of such an
institution as this prison is necessary
and when such men as these prisoners
are created.
All the circumstances portrayed
give strong support to the author's
theme, that "thou shalt forgive thy
brother his sins against you, though
they be seventy times seven." This
doctrine of mercy is expounded not
through expressed morals or dog-
mas, but by means of what John
Dewey in his foreword expresses as a
"unique enlargement of imagination"
on the part of the reader.
One may not go all the way with
Jensen in his doctrine of forgiveness,
for such a document as this naturally
lacks perspective. One may not like
the book, for it is definitely not a
pleasant one, but it can not be denied
that it has force.
The author is not omnipotent and
his record of the mental wanderings
of such a unique mental case, is of
necessity, not complete or even en-
tirely accurate, but, such as it is, it is
convincing. Jensen has had real
experience as a prison worker and
one feels that here he is presenting
material from life. In Seventy Times
Seven he deals with a social problem
as well as a psychological one, and
both aretsuch as to demand the ut-
most of the reader, in sympathy and
understanding.

PERSONALITY
PHOTOGRAPHS
MICHIGANENSIAN
PHOTOGRAPHER
Phone 4434

Mostly About Books
According to Richard Halliburton,
whose romanticized exploits in Ethi-
opia are the subject of his soon-to-be-
published Seven League Boots,
Italy is so sure of annexing Abyssinia
that maps have already been printed
and distributed showing the landof
Haile Selassie annexed to the new
Roman Empire.
* * * *

1

,.1

i

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
10:45 Mr. Sayles, Minister, on
"Isaiah, The Prophet
Majestic"
Third in a series on Israel's Pro-
phets.
12:00-Mr. Howard R. Chapman,
University pastor, meets students
in Guild House.
"Social Responsibility and Personal
Religion"
Mr. Umbacheconducts discussion.
6:00 -Dr. James A. Woodburne,
historian, will speak on "THE
PROGRESS OF PEACE."nDiscus-
sion. . "Eats." Social Hours.

Nathalia Crane, the child prodigy
who startled blase criticscseveral years
ago by the effortless charm of her
verse, emerges from literary retire-
ment in January with a new book of
poetry, Swear By The Night. An
anonymous benefactor educated
Miss Crane, provided that she publish
nothing until after her graduation
from Barnard College.

ness, frequently occurring, he becamej
desolate, not daring to look beyond
ultimate victory at Damascus in fear
of consequences arising from Allied
sources. Lawrence feared he was
traitor; that his efforts would merely
transfer the Arabs from one master
to another; and he knew that the
Semites were seeking "the indepen-
dence of clans and villages, and their
ideal of national union was episodic
combined resistence to an intruder.
Constructive politics, an organized
state, an extended empire, were not so
much beyond their sight as hateful
in it. They were fighting to get rid
of Empire, not to win it." Through
the whole campaign this uncertainty
was never rationally resolved, but al-
ways it was thrust ruthlessly away for
long periods as Lawrence found him-
self inescapably and thrillingly drawn
into "the oblivion of activity." Law-
rence in thought was hesitant, sus-
picious even of his own motives, but
he always found surcease in the as-
oetic beauty of driving action. It
provided not justification but con-
summation.
At times in this chronicle the au-
chor displays a forceful knowledge of
tactical abstractions in the accepted
military philosophies, and with this;
s an awareness of the futility of con-1
ventional method as applied to the
ii.

BOO K S which are well worth
YOUR TIME and YOUR MONEY

I

I

U ~-

.

Lawrence - SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM.
Rockwell Kent - SALAMINA .
THE PULITZER PRIZE PLAYS 1918-1934.
Lin Yutang - MY COUNTRY AND MY PEOPLE.
Sigmund Freud - AUTOBIOGRAPHY .
Meiklejohn - WHAT DOES AMERICA MEAN.
Frederich Allen - THE LORDS OF CREATION.
Eckstein (Author of Noguchi) - HOKUSAI.
Nesbitt - HELL-HOLE OF CREATION (Ethiopia).
Pearson - GILBERT AND SULLIVAN (A Biography)
Joseph Lincoln - CAPE COD YESTERDAYS .
Thomas Boyd - POOR JOHN FITCH
Roy Chapman Andrews - THE BUSINESS OF EXPLORING
Skariatana and Blakeslee - NEW WORLDS FOR OLD.
Oscar Thompson - HOW TO UNDERSTAND MUSIC.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh - NORTH TO THE ORIENT.
Ted Husing - TEN YEARS BEFORE THE MIKE.
A BOOK OF OLD BALLADS. ...
Selected by Beverly Nichols, Illustrated by H. M. Brock

$5.00
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2.50
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