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February 19, 1939 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1939-02-19
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$rank meiber and critic of the news-
paper jvablishiflg fraternity,WIiaBm
Alle White-. It is also the view of
George Seldes, author of a long list of
books (weapons) for the protracted
battle t win a truly free press. His lat-
est endeavor, Lords of the Press, al-
though lacking a tighter organization
of its parts, simply and clearly states
the facts which prove that most of the'
:)eading American newspaper publish-
- ers are mouthpieces for such Big Busi-
dfess groups as the National Association
%of Manufacturers, various local and
natibnal public utility combines, the
particular large industrial interests in
the newspaper's community and the
,owerful paper trust. in chapter after
,haptereach devoted to particular pub-
)ishers (from Col. Patterson and his
)Jew York Daily News to the Pulitzers
and their once great St. Louis Post-
Dispatch), Seldes produces facts to
.hock some readers, convince others
and confirm the suspicions of still more
that the majority of the larger pub-
fishers only hypocritically profess an
interest in the freedom of the press.
Their actions are dangerous harbingers
of some kind of business domination
over the nation that might even be
The process by which these men,
lieginning as crusaders, great liberals
and friends of labor and truth and
righteousness, become in the course of
time and the amassing of fortunes and
social register listings, the enemies of
truth and democracy, is a symptom in
itself of the developing conflict be-
tween the upper and lower social and
oconomic groups in the nation. The pres-
ent is the stage of American journal-
.sm which can be related to the devel-
opment of financial and industrial
monopoly and its political representa-
tives-mainly opposed to the funda-
mental interests of the "intelligent min-
ority" of the nation, the small business-
man, the worker and the farmer.
Formerly, in the early half of the
4ineteenth Century, the newspaper was
a truly independent force in the com-
munity. It had no strings attached.
Elijah Lovejoy and his courageous Al-
Eon (111.) Observer fighting the slave-
owning system and its oligarchy (Lords
- of the Cotton Belt) is the brilliant ex-
ample of the independent American
After the Civil War owning a news-
paper became a large business matter,
tobe thought of in terms of cash. Never-
theless there was opportunity for public-
spirited journalism. The New York
Times fought its way into the arena
and exposed the Tammany corruption
rings. Edward W. Scripps founded the
Cleveland Penny Press and proceeded
to give the American people fearless
reporting, incorruptible and fair lead-
ership in public matters. With the turn
of the century advertising became the4
vew fountain of wealth for the pub-
lishers. Consolidation and relatively
huge capitalization became character-
istics of the industry. Advertising had
to be sold, a profit made, and conse-
quently the papers had to be wary of
how they publicized events of vital con-
cern to advertisers.
Today, with the blood of capital cours-
ing through its veins the newspaper in-
dustry can not avoid natural sympathy
pains for other industries-especirF-y
when they are in danger of regulation
for the public good. This includes patent
4nedicines, holding companies, banking
affiliates, and the food industry. But
there is a much different reaction when
the newspaper industry is under pub-
-ic scrutiny. Then the publishers begin
yto howl about freedom of the press. The
amous epigram "patriotism is the last
refuge of a scoundrel," might be reast
for modern consumption to read, the
East refuge of a businessman-publisher
is to cry freedom of the press.

This raucous cry of freedom of the
press has been used in every instance
that elements of decency aud- social-
regulation were introduced to the pub-
lishers. When the famous NRA news-
paper code was proposed to give news-
paper workers a fair break at their
jbs,'┬░the publishers trotted out a barn
full of their hackneyed stories about

the picturesqueness of the reporter, of
his supposed freedom, of the danger of
the code to the freedom of the press.
They were a jumble of half-truths but
they worked for a while. Then the news-
paper men learned a lesson from the
printing trades and organized their
great American Newspaper Guild. Agai,
the publishers shouted freedom of the
press and tried to land a few rabbit
punches on their readers and writers.
The Wagner Labor Relations Act has
been for years a favorite victim of the
publishers. This most vital piece of'
legislation, liberating vast new social
and economic forces in the community
-Labor-was riddled full of editorials
by the capital-minded press of the na-
tion. Pesident Roosevelt's whole pro-
gressive program has been undergoing
an unprecedented punishment of dis-
tortion by the publishers who are thema
selves employers of labor, payers of
taxes, contributors to the social securt$
plan, and would-be violators of th
Labor Relations Act.
The real freedom being denied any-
body is the freedom for the writer to
tell the facts as he finds them, a'4
for the reader to know the facts about
matters of large public interest. The
newspapers have freely attacked any
attempt to regulate the food and drug
industries-too much advertising in-
volved. The newspapers suppressed the
report of Dr. Raymond Pearl of Johns
Hopkins University which was sensa-
tional enough "to scare the life out of
tobacco manufacturers and make tobac-
co user's flesh creep." The newspapeis
of the nation listened only to their pub-,
lishers' voices which commanded that
child labor was all right. The charges
can go on with endless lists of specific'
The public has been taking dt lying
down. What can they do, especially
when there are the tremendous odds
of organized wealth opposed to them?
Newspapers, we learned, are big busi-
ness ventures. How can we meet them?
The American Newspaper Guild can,
through organization and growth, de-
velop corps of newspapermen who will
balk at the ukases of publishers when
distortion, suppression or omission is
commanded. That group of really con-
scientious newspaper workers not only
improves working condtions and pay-
ment but also keeps an eagle eye on
the real violations of freedom of the
press-in the Free Press section of the
Guild Reporter.
Sen. Sherman Minton of Indiana has
proposed an investigation of the press
-to find out the facts about financial
connections bewteen papers and other
big business groups-"about the money
in the pot-whose it is, who plays with
it, who wins, who pays." Other investi-
gations of this nature have been influen-
tial and valuable to the public-the
Black investigation of lobbying, the La-
Follette inyestigation of civil liberties.
By far the wisest proposal put for-
ward by Seldes in this book is one that
would have a widely read Labor news-
paper. This would be a newspaper not
only for union members. Everybody
would have some interest in reading it.
It would check up on the business domi-
nated press. It would tell the truth
about government policy, tell how and
why business bucks regulation by the
public. Such a newspaper would be em-
barrassing to any other paper tha
faked the news about a pure food and:
drug act or a study of tobacco and is
effects or the need for a government
reorganization bill. This would be the
journalistic equivalent of the TVA-a
yardstick for clean journalism.
CULTURE by Ezra Pound, New
Directions, Norwalk, Conn.

One approaches the great Cham of
modern literature with fear, reverence,
and a furtive eye for the brass foot. To
many people, Pound is modern litera-
ture. To others, he is merely a genius.
Without doubt his latest work is selling
well sight unseen. But only sight un-
seen; because these rather random
memories of a genius cannot seize the

imagination as the Cantos, for example,
did. For in some way-highly ingen-
ius, if not original-Pound has made
his latest book a triumph of detail over
meaning. Names, phrases, Chinese
ideograms, aborted reflections abound.
The publisher's explanation is that this
is the "intellectual autobiography of a
poet." However that may be, this is
pretty sorry stuff, compared to his
poetry. Unlike the Cantos (which do
have their type of organization, their
system of meanings) Culture has little
but disorganization. In fact, if Pound's
candor had equalled his brashness, he
might have called it The Theory and
Practice of Unintelligibility. For 300
pages one keeps on wondering whether
Pound can possibly possess that sus-
tained intellectual discipline which
great, even half way decent, writing has.
Great thinkers have often written
briefly but they generally made their
meaning clear. They organized their in-
sights, and drew their symbols from a
fund of meanings shared with most of
their readers. But Pound insists on
using the bench marks of his private
thought. He does not realize that-these
mean nothing to those who have not
worked at this bench. He probably en-
joys himself at it. But the reader tires
after a while. Through that chaos of
words for a rare and well hidden in-
sight? No, the game is not worth the
Pound sets out to present a rationale
of thought and action for modern man.
The oddly miscellaneous structure which
he erects is supported by a virulent at-
tack on the "Age of Usury"; the age
which has obtained "the power of hell
... of hogging the harvest." Pound is
generous in his terminology, and "Us-
ury" is meant to indicate the 'whole
business complex of buying and selling,
getting things done, etc. The inten-
tion of his disorderly offensive is to
damn the "protestant centuries" for
"putting usury on a pedestal." Pound
takes his reader to a high mountain
and shows him all the evils of this age.
And behold, every last one is connected
with the business order which evolved
during the "protestant centuries." This
is all very plausible, but fully as un-
certain as his analysis of the money
problem (which is itself an incredible
achievement). For in truth, during the
years just before the Reformation, both
the clergy and the laity indulged in the
loaning of money at interest, occasion-
ally at very high interest. The evils of
a business system did not spring into
being after centuries of incredible hon-
esty, charity and earnest endeavor. The
fall of man occurred Some time before,
and not immediately after, the decline
of the medieval Catholic church.
The last main idea apparent in the
book is a great looming faith in the
message, the "paideuma," which Pound
is bringing the world. "The civilized
attitude," "culture," "music" . . . ah.
For the rest, there are scraps, a sort
of "cerebral onanism" (as he remarks
of another writer). That egregious ass,
George Holden Tinkham, is applauded
because he kept us out of the League.
The "bunk of a Romain Rolland, the
vacuity of a Gide" are scorned. And
monotonously he slants off any sub-
ject to a diatribe on money. Occasional-
ly however something within Pound
that is a poet and not a crotchety root-
less writer speaks, and there ar com-
ments flaring in their insight. Chauc-
er's "sense of verbal melody, in the tonal
leading of words meant to be sung, or in
a sense of song modes worn smooth in
the mind, so that the words take the
quality for singing." But a poetical
fugue like this comes rarely. And the
gilt intellectual wares, the glib and sys-
tematic idiosyncrasies of Pound over-
shadow the present. Watchman, one
may ask, what of the future? Perhaps

more incisive comment. Perhaps only
a repetition, and a last work, remaining
in manuscript: Letters to Myself, by
Ezra Pound. Rest in peace.
Thanks are due to the Bookroom and
Wahr's for the loan of books reviewed in
this issue,






1 z 2Aec4/2dw

University of Michigan.Literary Magazine

This is a good time to survey the new
books that will be published this spring.
The Spanish war is reflected in a num-
ber of works. It is sympomatic that
every new book dealing with Spain will
be passionately partisan to the Loyalists
-writers-now know that literary free-
dom is impossible without political free-
dom. Hermann Kesten has written-a
novel called "The Children of Guernica"
Archibald MasLeish's radio play, Air
Raid; has already been published. Ted
Allen7the newspaper correspondent, has
written a novel about the boys in the
Abraham Lincoln brigade, which will be
published soon under the title "This
Time A Better Earth." Elliott Paul has
another book coming out, entitled "The
Stars and Stripes Forever." Modern
Age Books is bringing out a volume of
60 drawings on the Spanish war by
Luis Quintanilla, with a text by Elliott
Paul and a preface by Ernest Heming-
way. Ralph Bates has a volume of short
stories on Spain, published by Random
House: "Sirocco."
From Czechoslovakia comes Maurice
Hindus' "We Shall Live Again," and
also "North of The Danube" by Erskine
Caldwell, illustrated with 64 Bourke-
White photographs. From China, "The
Dragon Wakes," by Edgar Ansel Mow-
rer, and also "Inside Asia" by John
Here are some more timely books:
"Escape To Life," by Klaus and Erika
Mann, the first unexpurgated transla-
tion of Mein Kampf, "The New Wes-
tern Front" by Stuart Chase, "Men
Must Act," by Lewis Mumford, "Excite-
ment South" (about South America), by
Josephine Herbst, "Industrial Valley,"
by Ruth McKenney, the girl who wrote
"My Sister Eileen," "Secret Armies"
(about Nazi spies in America) by John
L. Spivak, "The Secret History of Our
Time" by Claud Cockburn (the young
British journalist who exposed the re-
lationship between Chamberlain, the
Cliveden set, and the Nazis).
These books are going to be worth
looking at too: Professor Rowe of the
English department, who knows a lot
about i, is having a book published
under the title "Write That Play." The
Fitts and Fitzgerald translation of
Sophocles' Antigone will be out soon,
and so will Robert Sherwood's new play,
"Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (by the time
you read this, both of these books will
be on sale).
In poetry, Robert Frost and Mark
Van Doren are bringing out their col-
lected poems and Paul Engle is pub-
lishing "Corn" (it is to be hoped that
the title is not descriptive of the con-
George Seldes has still another book,
this one to be called "The Catholic
Crisis," and VincentSheean has a book
on world affairs with the title "Not
Peace But A Sword." "Plato Today,"
by R. H. S. Crossman, should be in-
teresting. Charles and Mary Beard
have written a book of immediate past
history entitled "America In Midpas-
sage." The first biography of Albert
Einstein, by H. Gordon Garbedian, will
be on sale soon. Benny Goodman has
written a book with Irving Rolodin, the
music critic, to be called "The Kingdom
of Swing."
In fiction, there is Hopwood winner
Ruth Lininger Dobson's new novel, "To-
day Is Enough." And there are Kath-
erine Ann Porter's short stories, "Pale
Horse, Pale Rider," and Di Donato's
first novel, "Christ In Concrete," and
Robert Penn Warren's novel, "Night
Rider," and John Herrmann's new nov-
el, "The Salesman." And watch these
three novels: "The Grapes of Wrath,"
by John Steinbeck, "Adventures of, A
Young Man," by John Dos Passos, and
"The Web And The Rock," which will
be published in June as the last work
of the late Thomas Wolfe.
That's a sketchy list, but you will be

hearing about the books which I haven't
mentioned. -HARVEY SWAL)OS

VOL. IL, No. 3

University Proving Grounds t


,r E University of Michigan's lore
in evolution, the bemused attitude
of the layman observer, the stu-
dent's ceaseless complaints, the
professor's nippy criticism might lead
one to conclude that this mighty ma-
chine of education could best be des-
cribed as the frantic Chinaman saw his
first automobile. "No pushee, no pullee,
but go like hellee all the samee!" Indeed,
the University of Michigan is a great
machine-a machine of power, of hu-
man dynamics, of fine mechanism, but
that it travels without energy, purpose,
and guidance is a mistaken idea. Rather,
it has spark, fuel, a driver, and destin-
A proving ground for the product of
the University is all that is needed to
make this vividly apparent.
A poll of student opinion is one way
of subjecting our machine to the third
degree. The results shown in the follow-
ing analysis came from a carefully con-
ducted survey of five hundred and nine-
ty four students who responded to the
questions shown on Page Two. That is,
a little more than a five percent repre-
sentative sample of campus attitudes.
(See note, page 2.)
I. Collegiate Spark Plugs.., .
The ignition system of our educational
vehicle is one of the most complex. What
reasons set these thousands of students
off in mental combustion, or perhaps
fail .to set them off? Test polls showed
that there were nineteen fundamental
reasons for young people coming to the
University of Michigan. The final sur-
vey demonstrated that five of these
spark plugs were most energizing.
The Reasons For Which They Entered
The University Of Michigan:
1) Professional or vocational train-
259 MEN-or 59.67% of the total 434
gave this as one of their reasons for
entering the University of Michigan.
77 WOMEN-or 48.12% of the total
160 gave this as one of their reasons for
entering the University of Michigan.
Obviously, the expression "profession-
al or vocational training" can include
a broad variety of interests, but what
is fundamentally proven is that tremen-
dous weight is given by students to the
question: What am I going to do in life?
How -am I going to earn a living?
- Men naturally show serious concern
for these basic and inevitable problems.
Social tradition, at least, dicates as
much. Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief,
as the saying goes! But beside those,
the spark of architecture, dentistry, ed-
ucation, business administration, for-
estry, pharmacy, music, and all the other
embryo occupations represented by fal-
tering literary college students gives
impetus to our engine.
The women . are. not far behind the
men in their concern for these problems.
Consider what difference in ratio a poll
of the women's class of 1890 might de-
monstrate. Men's men often pooh-pooh
the much publicized belief that their
competition from women is on the ad-
vance. At least -Michigan coeds would
disagree: they say,. "It's. a fact'".
To professional educators and others
formuatin- our policies these results

This thir
men is dif.
pret. One
"major int(
Cousins Ha
centage is
and vocati
has some i1
men seem b
are not o
charge: "H
appears to
to that oft
70 WOM
160 gave a
entering th
ing for per
Here is sc
educators a
It means t
men), the
stigmatic cc
not prove i
see eye to e
tion." Then
to microbe
back again.
4) Again
men cling
men, the "
145 MEN
give as on
The mea
58 WOM
160 said th
entering th
The reas
ular expres
was its fr
great way
the questic
have score
by educato
ing for per
again. on
5) MEN-
434 mainta
for enterir
expensive I
160 mainta
for enterii
pursue" th
flavored w
The leas
curiously e
get marrie

-By Christine Nagel

must not be underestimated. At least
half of your students evince a strong
"practical" streak. Are you going to
buck this, or encourage it, or temporize?
2) To Get A University Degree . .
182 MEN-or 41.49% of the total 434
gave this as one of their reasons for
entering the University of Michigan.
83 WOMEN-or 51.88% of the total
160 gave this as one of their reasons for
entering the University of Michigan.
Somehow, a "University Degree' seems
to retain most of its electrifying desir-
ability, although the question of just
what the degree itself represents has
long been questioned. Most students
shortly out of college will admit that
the sheepskin is consigned to mothballs
at once; employers simply note "A.B."
or "B.S." on the application blank and
forget about it. Who has ever heard
another individual say, "I've got an
M.A.; what have you got?" Of course,
there is a question whether the, desire
for a degree is incidental or all-impor-
tant, but in any case students would
be displeased if they had to take the

Because more women apparently prize
a degree upon entering college than
men is not too significant. Yet a ten
percent difference is not inconsiderable.
Why do they? Perhaps the social pres-
tige for a graduated woman is greater
than for a man. There must be fewer of
If it can be said that a degree in
itself is at as high premium as could be
implied from the above figures, our.
professors of history, and English, lit-
erature, and economics, and sociology,
and ... and all of the college of "Liberal
An "education" at its best should require
no explicit spark plug label such as
Arts" must be somewhat discouraged.
"Champion" or "A.C."
3) Further reasons for entering the
University of Michigan show that igni-
tion for the next cylinders of our edu-
cational motor is not supplied by the
same wires in the case of men and
169 MEN or 38.94%of -the total 434
indicate that one of their reasons for.
entering the university is to "pursue"
their "major interest."

H. Educ

Still our
age is not
"no pushee
all the spa
and it still
The high
ucational m
students ri
ilar. Still
shifts of i

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