The North Atlantic pact, which involves one of the most fateful decisions in American history, is being discussed in a series of articles in the New Republic. Last week Captain B. H. Liddell Hart, noted British military expert, analyzed the defensibility of Western Europe, and in an editorial we gave our reasons for believing that the North Atlantic pact deserves support. The article below, by Blair Bolles, offering an argument against the plan, is published for its intrinsic interest.
The liberal, as we understand it, is the person who sincerely wants as many of the good things of this world for his fellow man as he does for himself. His credo is the Bill of Rights (still a very revolutionary document), the Roosevelt Bill of Human Rights, the Truman Civil Rights Program, and all legislation stemming from them.
The fortunate few who can afford Fortune were treated in the November issue to an essay by John Chamberlain on "The Businessman in Fiction." Preaching in Henry Luce's tabernacle for the already converted, Chamberlain made a fervent plea for faith in the businessman not only as the source from whom all our blessings flow, but also as a beneficent force in the culture and an admirable family man and community-conscious citizen who has been treated villainously by the ingrate novelists. Chamberlain's discussion of the novelists from William Dean Howells and Frank Norris to Norman Mailer and Hiram
Doing Fine, Thanks Sir: My heart was wrung as I read in your issue of May 24 about the hardships the English people are suffering. But then I suddenly came to, and realized that Mr. Whiteside must be writing about me. After all, I came here two years ago with my wife and three small children, and we’ve lived on British rations ever since. All of us are well, and all have put on weight. How is it done? I give top marks to the British government for the fairness with which it has distributed the available food. Children are priority No. 1.
Faithful to its responsibilities and unintimidated by the constables of church or state, the picture industry continues to battle on the social barricades. In this summer of coups d’etat, assassination, war and the threat of war, Hollywood has discovered that crime never pays and that history has inflicted a vile libel on the memory of the American Indian. The alarming message sent us by J. Edgar Hoover in the preface to “The Street with No Name” is that America is threatened by gangsterism of unprecedented ferocity.
Instead of visiting the scene of the crime, as I did when the Republicans assembled in Philadelphia, I convened with the Democrats over my receiving sets. Sometimes I used radio and television simultaneously. You get mighty queer effects when you shut off the voice channel on your television set and let the radio commentator supply the background to the scene appearing on the “screen.” Or, you can just turn off all the noise and see how foolish the man on television looks as he throws himself into his act.
I began Arthur Hopkins’ little series of papers on the theatre, Reference Point (Samuel French; $2.50), with a slight impulse to quarrel with him. I ended with a great measure of admiration. The admiration transcends my pleasure in the excellent things Hopkins has to say about the theatre, though the book is replete with memorable aphorisms. It is an admiration for the spirit of the man—a spirit now all but extinct, not only on Broadway but generally in American life. The producer today is, all too frequently, not even an honest dilettante.
The Invisible Island, by Irwin Stark (The Viking Press; $3). This first novel by Irwin Stark, a young New York school teacher, is an encouraging performance. Decidedly it has its faults.
Chaplin: Last of the Clowns, byParker Tyler. Illustrated with Photographs (Vanguard Press; $3). Parker Tyler’s Chaplin, Last of the Clowns, has all the virtues and weaknesses of his earlier books. It is an inextricable blend of real depth and false glamor. Reading this book is like riding on a seesaw: at one moment you are fascinated by the author and at the next exceedingly irritated. Tyler conceives Chaplin as a clown with an alter ego.