Tortilla Flat, by John Steinbeck. New York: Covici, Friede. $2.50. Not since the days of W. W. Jacobs, making his disarming characters out of scoundrels, has there been a book quite like this one. Both Jacobs and Steinbeck must have worked on the assumption that most of us, having a slice or two of Caspar Milquetoast in our systems or a streak that calls for out and out anarchy, are likely to revel in the antics of anyone getting away with what he shouldn’t. The Paisanos of Tortilla Flat get away with agreat deal in their tireless efforts to supply their gullets with red wine.

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Europe: War or Peace? by Walter Duranty. Boston: World Peace Foundation. 47 pages. 50 cents. The Pipe Dream of Peace, by John W. Wheeler-Bennett. New York: William Morrow and Company. 318 pages. $3. Peace and the Plain Man, by Norman Angell. New York: Harper and Brothers. 344 pages. $2.50 The Price of Peace, by Frank H. Simonds. New York: Harper and Brothers. 380 pages. $3. The title of Mr. Duranty’s booklet, “Europe: War or Peace?” is a question that is asked today more anxiously than it was in 1914.

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Out of the recent planetary turmoil of the Supreme Court, those down below who have been counting on the liberal Justices have been denied even a handful of stardust. Mr. Justice Roberts cut short in the railroad pension case what had been all along a rather indecent one-sided flirtation. Justices Hughes and Stone have been giving the liberals a passing solace, but theirs was never a deeply rooted point of view, and their liberalism has waned with the decline of the prestige of the New Deal. As for Mr.

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An Omen for America Sir: In the name of a group of Cuban revolutionary exiles I would like to call your attention to the following considerations: Cuba’s situation is not today being given the same consideration it has received in analogous circumstances in the past.

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An Omen for America Sir: In the name of a group of Cuban revolutionary exiles I would like to call your attention to the following considerations: Cuba’s situation is not today being given the same consideration it has received in analogous circumstances in the past.

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One of the points brought out by the exhibition of “Abstract Painting in America” held at the Whitney Museum last spring was the fact that between 1915 and 1935 a surprising number of American painters had turned to Europe for direction. A few of them came to understand the trends that painting was taking with their European contemporaries during that time quite thoroughly— in fact, were able to produce work along the same lines that might have passed without adverse comment in any group showing of avant-garde European work of its period.

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With the exception of one amendment, the Wagner labor-disputes bill, as finally enacted by Congress, does not differ much from the measure in its original form. But that amendment may be a joker and turn the entire Act into a company-union charter. It has to do with Section 9b, which governs the choice of the appropriate unit for collective bargaining.

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It was a grand week for the Sound Thinkers in Washington. The House swatted the “death sentence” in the utility bill. The Senate Banking Committee—the same committee that brought in so many “reforms” two years ago—reported Senator Glass’s amended Reserve bill to the Senate with some queer things in it. The tax plan troubles the Sound Thinkers, of course, but they have really derived a lot of satisfaction from it because its ill starred career thus far has revealed the President in a not very pleasant light.

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Washington Notes

A majority of Congress would like to drop Mr. Roosevelt’s tax program, gather up its heat-prostrated families and go home. It doesn’t quite dare do it. The likelihood is that a tax measure will be passed sometime in August, and that the measure will be much more useful than the one originally proposed by the President. Instead of stopping with trivial increases on incomes of more than a million, there is hope that Congress will undertake the upward revision of the whole income surtax schedule, perhaps beginning at the $4,000-a-year level.

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Forest Hour

We said: “The sun’s gone, it is dusk, the full moon tops that giant spruce.” We said: “Our lips launch clouds, the snow’s cold crunch is brittle.” “In dusk’s rinsed blue and moon’s rinsed glacial light this forest hour,” we said, “has the vast dream-stillness of our shadows.” “That delicate swift stipple of wild paws on snow, the ferns asleep, the moss, the sleeping birch and ash, the sleep of chipmunks and the starlings’ sleep!” we said, hushed as the haze of frost. James Daly has had both poetry and prose published in magazines, and has worked in steel mills, taught school, directed and acte

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