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April 25, 1937 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1937-04-25

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SUNDAY, APRi 5, .1937


War Situation Analyzed
In Not-Impartial
CADES by John Langdon-Davies.
Here is a book which should be of
special interest to Michigan students,
reminding them of their recently or-
ganized Friends of Spanish Democ-
racy, a group which the author
would highly approve. Behind the
Spanish Barricades is an account of
the Spanish Civil War, from its be-
ginning to the fall of the Alcazar.
Mr. Langdon-Davies, in Spain as
special correspondent for the News-
Chronicle, presents what I take to be
an authentic account of the conflict
and some of the political machina-
tions which preceded the fascist re-
bellion. The facts are recorded by a
man who feels them strongly, and
who understands their significance
and historical importance. Because
of this understanding, his book is not
mere military record of battles, dates,
names and maneuvers, but a sympa-
thetic and successful attempt to treat
them as manifestations of a larger
struggle: that of a people to be free.
Because it is not a mere military
record, the book is not completely im-
partial. In the preface, the author
admits, "I think one side right and
the other criminally wrong
However, he does not let the matter
rest, but continually adduces facts
and records to support his view. The
author takes a definite stand. It
seems to be the correct one.
Mr. Langdon-Davies begins his ac-
count with the last May Day cele-
bration before the insurrection. The
popular Front is in power, and is
enthusiastically suppprted by the
people. A cheerful picture, one of
hope, is painted for us as Madrid pa-
rades and picnics in the sun. Be-
tween that day and the July out-
break we travel over Spain with the
author, seeing the poverty and des-
peration which remain of the Gil
Robles and Laroux dictatorship, and
which the Popular Front govern-
ment was engaged in alleviating be-
fore the war. Before launching in-
to his task of recounting the actual
incidents of the rebellion, the author
presents an adequate summary of
the political movements in Spain
from the deposition of the Monarchy
in 1931 up to Franco's attempted
coup in July, 1936.
In addition to reporting the actual
engagements apd advances made, the
author's purpose is to portray life
in Spain as it is going on today, under
fire. He has an engaging style, well
suited for this purpose. He describes
vividly incidents he has seen, both
homely and dramatic. The heroism
of the Spanish people is extolled;
with only enthusiasm and museum-
piece musketry they are opposing the
highly perfected German and Italian
fighting implements. The intensely
patriotic spirit that pervades is put
across very powerfully.
In the chapter entitled "The Burn-
ing of the Churches," we have the
first real attempt to explain and
judge this much publicized aspect of
the war. The analysis here present-
ed is that, "They, whoever they are,
burned the churches not because
they did not believe in the symbols
painted all over them, but because
they did believe most terribly in
them . .. '" "They" believed that the
church provided a most powerful
body of magic to be used by the
landlords and rebels against the
people, and that "they" had to de-
stroy this great weapon which was
trained on them.
" And trained on them it was. The
author quotes from "the New Cate-
chism, as used until yesterday in all
churches in Spain."
QUESTION: What sin is commit-
ted by those who vote liberal?

"ANSWER: Usually, mortal sin."
The author also presents accounts
of how the Confessional was used for
supplying information to the enemies
of the people, how the churches were
used for arsenals and fortresses
against the people, and gives as ref-
erence the A.B.C. of Cordova-that
the Bishop of Pamplona had been

Dk'orce Problem
In Candid,
garet Kennedy. Random House,
New York. $2.50.
Margaret Kennedy's new and al-
I ready popular novel, Together and
Apart, tells the story of an upper
middle class English family and what
changes a divorce brought to the lives
of its members. Alec and Betsy Can-
ning, a well-to-do, sophisticated
couple nearing 40, love each other
deeply, but their life together is
brought to a close after a musical
comedy of Alec's is produced and
catches the popular fancy. His
friends, his interests, his whole ex-
istence are changed by this; his
weak character, his propensity for
light love affairs are brought out in
sharp relief, and Betsy, his stubborn,
conventional wife, refuses to accept
his new life, although she loves him.
They are divorced, and both marry
again, realizing all the while that
they can never truly forget each
other, never find again the ecstasy
they sometimes knew together.
But although the plot of the novel
revolves around these two, it is not
really their story. Rather it is th'e
story of their children and of their
second mates; of Kenneth, their
eldest son, who has inherited the
worst qualities of both parents,
weakness, moral cowardice, an emo-
tionally unstable maketup; of Eliza,
the humble, delightful daughter, who
at 17 takes over the management of
her father's new home with his new
wife, of her devotion to Ken's ideal-
istic and happy friend; of Joy, Alec's
second and far from satisfactory
wife,who loves him to the exclusion
of everything else, an "exigeante
doormat"; and of the pitiful little
millionaire, Lord St. Mullins, who
manages to marry Betsy, a man
whose "eager soul could never es-
cape from a body which had neither
strength nor dignity." It is their
story because they have all been hurt
in one way or another by the divorce
because they are pathetic and ap-
pealing, because they do not under-
A novel of Miss Kennedy's could
not be discussed without comparing
it to her first successful novel, The
granting indulgences to anyone who
kills a Marxist.
In consideration of all this, and
'the further fact that no Protestant
churches have been interfered with,
the author's conclusion is found in
the mouth of one of the Spanish Loy-
alists: "We have no quarrel against
the Free Cults because they haven't
fought against us. We have destroyed
the people who tried to destroy us,
that's all."
The concluding chapter is entitled
"What It Means to Us." The political
aspects of the war are summarized.
The fact that at the beginning of the
conflict there was not a single an-
archist, syndicalist, or Communist in
the government is restated; so is the
act that the Spanish government
was democratically elected in accord-
ance with the Spanish constitution.
It is again emphasized that the fas-
cist international has continually
given aid to the rebels, and the au-
thor reiterates his condemnation of
the non-intervention farce.
This last chapter is of the nature of
an appdal to non-fascists everywhere,
and an accusing polemic against the
British government, charging that
"Abyssinia and then Spain seem to
be ample evidence that we as a na-
tion are being sold into fascist cap-
The volume contains a large fold-
ing map of Spain, which gives the

results of the February elections, and
contains a number of photographs,
'taken at the front, including one of
the Alcazar during the seige. Behind
the Spanish Barricades is a well
written book, and an informative one.
It should be read by everyone who'
is interested in getting the most com-
plete account available of the mo-
mentous events which have convulsed
Spain, and shaken the rest of the

s Discussed A
S peaingstory New Issue Of Student
Liberal Magazine
Constant Nymph. Together and Outstanding
Aart, having the same theme asT
The Constant Nymph, family life and To ge3terith the i growt of
divorce, is in most respects a bet- the American Student nion since its
ter novel, far more brilliant, polished, inception at the end of 1935 has pro-
and finished than the first book. Yet gressed the steady development of its
though it is beautifully written, it official publication, The Student Ad-
lacks the wistfulness, the haunting vocate, until with the current issue
quality, the freshness that made the the latter assumes a place among the
older book what it was. Together and foremost liberal organs of the coun-
Apart, despite its author's more ma- try. The surprising vitality of this
ture and excellently handled style, issue attests to the success achieved
is not as moving as her other books. by the editors in their attempt to give
Something, a certain spontaneity American university students an ar-
perhaps, is missing. ticulate and well-balanced vehicle of
truthful information and intelligent
But this is not to say that it is not leadership.
an exceedingly good novel, for it is. The feature article is a letter from
Miss Kennedy has turned what David Cook, former Columbia student
threatens to be a trite and much too lying wounded in a Madrid hospital,
frequently used theme into some- describing some of his experiences
thing interesting, exciting, and some- with the International Brigade before
times almost breathtaking. This is going into the battle line. The au-
due, in part, to her particularly fine thor's keen sense of observation
characterizations, charaterizations makes what might be a rather rou-
which reveal her keen insight and tine account a vivid series of pictures;
extensive knowledge of human na- the Barcelona mothers taking their
ture. This is to be seen vividly in babies' fists out of their mouths to
the delineation of Betsy's character, raise them in the Communist salute,
Betsy who needs love, above all and the women workers in the win-
things, to be told what to do, to be dows of the Martini-Rossi Vermouth
mastered, and who turns into an am- factory stretching their arms forth
bitious and spiteful termagant be- in the same gesture are examples of
cause her first husband was too lazy the incongruities of 1937 Spain which
to exert himself enough to guide her have struck the writer's sense of hu.-
actions with a stern hand, and be- mor and irony. The "Robert Burns
cause her second husband worships night" held by the battalion in the
her as from afar and is too self-ef- safe of the Republican club affords
facing to regard himself in the light a most interesting glimpse of the
of a lord and master. Eliza, too, essentially idealistic spirit of men
stands out as a remarkable charac- fighting for freedom in a foreign
terization. It is a pity that she does country.
.reeAnother letter, of a somewhat dif-
not appeamorofkenble r snHe ibferent nature, is the contribution of
fthe o t ik seabwhro ag heenHeywood Broun. He calls it "a letter
the book. It is she who, at the end which might be written by some mid-
fe te enovel, makes us fee adespte I de-aged man to a younger one," but
threateementsofredythatanyhve, it is in fact one which all too few
threatened to wreck so many lives, middle-aged men would be likely to
that have partially ruined at least' write. In it the author expounds
two, that life is, in its own strange in the form of advice to college stu-
way, eminently good and satisfying. dents the militant liberal philosophy
Aside from its literary value be-
cause of its consistently maintained -
high standards of workmanship, To-
gether and Apart is notable be-
cause it has presented rather more
successfully than most novels con-
cerned with the subject the effect of
a divorce on the "other people" con- "Fa r PiCes"
cerned; of the second husband, the
second wife, who must constantly be
aiming at a standard set by other
and often more compelling personali-
ties; and particularly of the child
who loves both parents, but must
make a choice between them, an ir-
revocable choice, for all time.
Miss Kennedy's novel is not, and
could not be called great, is not even
what is called a memorable novel.
Rather does it fall into the ranks of
the better-than-average novel, the
readable novel, the good novel which
has come to be the backbone of our
modern literature.
(Continued from P1ge 4)
same author's more famous and re-
cently revived The Country Wife.
Lacking the venom of the latter
piece, it dashes along brilliantly with
lots of plot, action, farcical lines and
situation. It is, I suppose, "typically
Restoration" but has more energy
than one -erroneously-associates
with these plays.
It will be played by the actors and
actresses of Nell Gwynn's Company
for one night only at the Theatre in
Ingalls Street.

We Deliver Phone 3494
Promptly and neatly done by experi-
enced operators at moderate prices.
314 South State Street

whose brilliantly forceful exposition
has made its author one of the most
powerful literary personalities in
America. Heywood Broun is almost
unique among left-wing writers for
his notable disuse of the phraseology,
often over-complex and cumbersome,
which has become the jargon of pro-
fessional liberalism. "I'm not pulling
that old prize fight manager stuff
of 'They can't hurt us,' he says in
closing his exhortation. "They can
'hurt us like hell. But they can't

budget; James Lee Johnson, a Negro, ten, particularly that on the Pres-
accuses the Naval Academy, in a ident's Supreme Court plan.
pretty well substantiated indictment, The Advocate appears to be filling
of railroading him from Annapolis, a long-standing gap in the American
and Dr. Marie Warner continues her educational system by providing stu-
series on sex education. dents with info'mation and guidance
The editorials in the present issue in social and political trends to, help
are well-conceived and clearly writ- counteract rightist propaganda.


lick you if you and your crowd wil]
only stick together. I think I hear
the bell. Come up smiling, kid, and
come up swinging both fists."
"Valedictory," a scene from a new
play by Robert Rice and James Wech-
sler, is perhaps less subtle than might
be wished, but constitutes reasonably
skillful propaganda against condi-
tions on college campuses which make
possible some of the unsavory in-
cidents which have occurred at times
as a result of reactionary tendencies
on the part of authorities coming
in contact with progressive student
movements. Specifically, it is direct-
ed against compulsory R.O.T.C., that
relic of war-time heroics still flour-
ishing at so many middle western in-
stitutions of higher education.
More refreshing is a page devoted
to the revealing irony of an episode.
that took place a few years ago in
New York. In February of 1917
Morrie Ryskind, editor of the Colum-
bia Jester, was removed for denounc-
ing the chauvinism of President
Nicholas Butler and Dean Talcott
Williams of the School of Journalism
in an editorial reprinted here. Sev-
enteen dears later at a dinner pre-
sided over by President Butler, Rys-
kind was awarded a Pulitzer prize as
co-author of the successful comedy,
"Of Thee I Sing," an award made
annually by the Columbia School of
In other articles, Miriam Millman
puzzles over "The Strange Death of
Walter Lippmann," apostate angel
of American student liberalism and
one-time presidenttof theHarvard
Socialist Club; Nathan Kleban tells
the story of the "retrenchment" of
Sari Antonio Junior College under
the leadership of a reactionary Board
president intent on balancing the

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