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December 04, 1938 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1938-12-04

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Ex Libr*S I History Of PolitiCs And Ethics'
B)JOSEPHGIES Compiled By Professor Joad
GUIDE TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF the time the Reformation had run its
The literary controversy discussed MORALS AND POLITICS, C.E.M. course, the subjects of ethics and
in this column two weeks ago has re- Joad, Random House, New York, politics had come to be irreconcil-
$2.50. ably separate. Consequently, Profes-I
cci veci an important addition in the I I sor Joad divides the next section of
form of a communication from Mr. By ELLIOTT MARANISS his book into two parts
Bernard DeVoto, editor of the Satur- Professor Joad has attempted one H
day Review of Literature. The whole of the most difficull: feats of modern which relate to the nature and source1
thing started, it will be recalled, with
a passage from Professor Allan Ne-- scholarship. His book represents an of moral obligation, which historical-
vns' new book, The Gateway to His.. effort to describe and relate one to ly have been discussed without any
tory, in which a certain anonymous the other the various systems of reference to the principles that un-
biographer of John Reed was accused thought which have molded men's be- tion which we call society.
of intentionally omitting letters show- liefs and actions through the ages- Early Writers Isolate Politics
ing Reed's disillusionment with the beginning wtih Plato and Socrates, ps
Rus; ian Revolution because their in- an ocuigwthtepwrpi Similarly, during the period of 300
Russan evoutin bcaue teiri~iand concluding with the power phi- years between the end of the Renais-
clusion in his biography would hurt losophy of contemporary Europe.
the portrait he had drawn of Reed Isance and the 19th century, a num-
as a revolutionary. Mr. Granville products ofhan thinys than ber of writers were reating of poli-
Hicks, the only biographer of Johnpcsf huathkg at
classify the facts of physical nature. tics in more or less complete isola-
r x'ct4t, frn n+hi-I~e1nL~ __3 T-Ii

The present novel is the story of an conventional type. so Mr. Foster
k I Xactress, and most of it in outline, is avoids the consequences sf having
!pretty familiar stuff. Anne is a little an unromantic hero. The. whole
Romantic Novel Of Stage girl at the t,:ginning of the book thing vy nicely executed
whose father is an old trouper who InsotTo emm rAtM-
Life Demonstrates is always talking about the famous night possesses all the merits of the
H is S k i ll old Breath of Broadway act in which other romantic novels as a source of
he and Anne's mother, now dead,
TO REMEMBER AT MIDNIGHT, by used to lay them in the aisles in
Michael Foster. William Morrow Shreveport. Ill. and similar places.
& Co., New York. $2.50. After an interlude of down-to-earth
Iroutine on his second wife's farm,
By JOSEPH GIES William Henry takes his daughter



It is about a year and half since
the publication of American Dream
placed Michael Foster in the first
rank of romantic novelists. In the
interval he seems to have learned
nothing and forgotten nothing. This
is not a derogation of his work, how-
ever, for there is little he could havt
added or subtracted; in his own field
he has gained supremacy.
His own field is not asually thought'
of as a restricted one. The romantic
novel, whatever its deficiencies as an
art form, offers scope for such mam-
moth productions as Anthony Adverse
and Gone With The Wind, whose ex-
cessive popularity is proof of the
public's enduring taste for this sort
of thing. Foster's work, however, is
not quite like the two tomes named
above; its escapism is much more
subtle. Instead of simply yanking

Reed, flatiy denie~ any such circum~ Yet if there is to be a summary there
stance or knowledge of the alleged must-be some system of classifica-
letters,Pr and demanded aneapology tion. Professor oad realizes that a
from Professor Nevins. Nevins injpatrmutbate tdvnift
reply said the information came from Iptenyyuting atrmtnen he it
Mr. DeVoto, and offered to include is only by putting a strain on the na-
a footnote in his second edition stat- terial that it can be woven into the
ing that the biographer in question a n The material which falls
quesionwithin the compass of the book is
was not Mr. Hicks. The correspon- familiar; what is interesting is the
dence between the two men on the masterly organization of the material,
csubject was sent to me by Mr, Hicks the clear, undogmatic presiltation of
in reply to a letter I had written himn it, and above all, the author's own
asking about the matter. I gtn vanint , neouivneal11 ov iinh

uton Irom ethics-Hobbes and Locke
and Rousseau in the 17th and 18th
centuries, Hegel and Herbert Spen-
cer in the 19th century.
In the 20th century, Professor Joad
feels, the streams have come to-
gether again. Their confluence is, in
fact, one of the most distinctive fea-
tures of the thought of our time. That,
ethics and politics are by their veryI

and goes back to vaudeville. The life
of the two knocking around the kero-
sene circuit is perhaps the most in-
teresting part of the book, and in it
Mr. Foster's peculiar skill at disguis-
ing romantic situations and occur-
ences as realistic ones is shown to
best advantage. Finally Anne gets
to go to New York and presently be-
comes a big . star on the stage.
Some of Mr. Foster's devices are
worth noticing. For instance he in-
troduces an elegant and polished old
gentleman, lifted bodily out of the
Victorian tradition, and removes the
harshness of impossible unreality by
remarking (in Anne's mind)that the
old chap is an extraordinary sort of
person, at that. Again, his hero, he
is at pains to point out, is an ex-
ceedingly ugly-faced young man, al-
though endowed with genius and
personality; thus he profits from the
novelty of breaking with tradition,
although the picture he presents is a
perfectly common one. Then the
girl Anne doesn't marry this young
man; she falls in love with a more
English Boot and Shoe Maker
Our new repair department, the
best in the city. Prices are right.
438 South State and Factory on
South Forest Avenue,

nature inextricably interwoven must the reader off to Leghorn in 1797 or
be conceded. Charleston in 1861, Mr. Foster grace-
Professor Joad's view oa this closing fully transports him back to some
of the schism is extremely interest- nostalgic segment of the past not
ing. He is willing to admit that the quite disconnected from the present,
pursuit of either politics or ethics in and ultimately leading up to it. The
isolation is apt to be unprofitable, element of realism is far stronger in
or to yield results which are incap-' Mr. Poster's work than in that of
able of fruitful application, but at Mr. Allen, Miss Mitchell, Mr. Cabell,
the same time he wonders whether Mr. Young, etc. ad nauseam; Mr. Fos-
contemporary thought in returning to ter's people are, in fact, real enough,
the Greek standpoint has not shown for the most part; the only thing
a tendency to adopt its perversion that makes him a romanticist is that
rather than its truth. That the good they lead rather adventurous lives.
life for man cannot be realized apart
from society is no doubt true, but
that the good life for man can be I
realized only as a part of the good
of society is, Professor Joad insists, a / Ccen t on S
palpable falsehood, leading to those
monstrosities of modern thinking
which treat the individual only as a We are prepared to meet
means to the well-being of the state.
Influenced By Old Distinction I all tha t is choice in modern
The point to be made is that, how- drama and criticism, inclu
ever much he may insist that the fu- English editions.
sion of politics and ethics is a. con-
temporary necessity, Professor Joad's
own thinking is marked by the old
distinction between the two. He T
has surveyed the entire field of poli-
tics, he has seen the old landmarks 0$outh State 2n
go by, and because the path before
us seems treacherous and uncertain, Lecture tonight: Kimon Friar
he has come to distrust all roads, even of T S. Eliot". 8 o'clock, 25
the journey of politics in itself. He
has become obsessed with the old - ---
aphorism of Lord Action's that "all
power corrupts and absolute power
corrupts absolutely." The fact that
has completely escaped Professor
Joad-the fact which Max Lerner in-
sists is the realistic method of. ap-


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Give Him This
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Admr-14d -

1 11










* In every first issue of the Gargoyle since 1934 one face has greeted the
incoming freshman and made him forget home, mother, and the first year
blues. Marcia Connell is, in spite of all her, publicity, still a "swell" girl.
A living refutation of the "beautiful but dumb" theory, Marcia has found
time, while piling up an imposing stack of "A's" to take the lead in many
campus activities.
Marcia has often modeled clothes in the Gargoyle fashion pages and
on campus she maintains the same high standard. To keep her wardrobe
fresh and spotless she uses Greene's, Microclean method and Greene's has
her most ardent approval.

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