Books and Arts
As a would-be democrat, I should like to believe passionately in the movies. I am told constantly of their great educational possibilities. By the innocent and ubiquitous movies we are to be made over, insensibly led to higher things. Buoyed by such hopes, I go with ever-renewed courage. But into that democrat that I long to be I shall never be made by such exhibitions as "The White Terror," "an educational feature film in four reels," sponsored by the National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis.
Political Thought in England from Herbert Spencer to To-day, by Ernest Barker. (Home University Library.) New York: Henry Holt and Co. 50 cents net. When peace has at last been signed, and the world becomes in some sort a reasonable place, Englishmen will be compelled to turn to the reconstruction of their political life. What is the mental attitude in which they will approach that task? Whence will be drawn its deepest inspiration? To these questions Mr. Barker's book is in some sort an answer. It is a valuable book.
I was told authoritatively the other day that the editors of the popular fifteen-cent magazines, an increasing and formidable army that is driving the book trade to its last intrenchment, thus exhort all contributors: "Don't be literary! Whatever you do, don't be literary." Some time since I was requested, for reasons that will not interest the public, to read carefully the contents of a certain magazine.
It was off and on through a wakeful night that I read this book. This I read while waiting for an honest broker to impart the bad news. This I read after eating too much luncheon. Which of these sentences tells the truth about the book reviewer? He hardly ever lets us know, yet his review is dyed in circumstance of this order. Nor should we be less surprised, most of us, if he told us such things than if he mentioned his pulse, temperature, or systolic and diastolic blood pressure.