BEHIND the renewed agitation for repeal of the federal estate-tax stand in solid ranks the President and the Secretary of the Treasury, the United States Chamber of Commerce, state legislators by the hundred, polled on the question by the well financed organizations who are agitating it, and many others—in short, a goodly portion of the organized wealth of the country. Some of these gentlemen believe, and frankly say, that they are opposed to any inheritance tax, no matter by whom levied. To such honorable combatants this article is not addressed.
Mr. Wells, in The World of William Clissold, presents, not precisely his own mind as it has developed on the basis of his personal experience and way of life, but—shifting his angle—a point of view based on an experience mainly different from his own, that of a successful, emancipated, semi-scientific, not particularly high-brow, English business man. The result is not primarily a work of art.
Banzai, by John Paris, New York: Boni and Liveright. $2.50. The author, at one time attached to the British embassy in Tokyo and writing under the name of John Paris, knows well certain phases of Japanese life. In Banzai he indicates his familiarity with geisha and yoshiwara problems, with student life and restaurants. But Banzai is much more trivial than the author’s previous novels of Japanese life, Kimono and Sayonara.
Pushkin, by Prince D. S. Mirsky. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company. 266 pages. $2.50. Gogol, by Janko Lavrin. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company. 263 pages. $2.50. The Republic of Letters series, under the editorship of Dr. William Rose, was recently inaugurated with Mr. Aldington’s admirable study of the life and genius of Voltaire.
Joan of Arc, by Joseph Delteil. Translated from the French by Malcolm Cowley. New York: Minton, Batch and Company. 268 pages. $3. There are many kinds of biography in these days of its vogue: one might almost say that Joan of Arc has been subjected to them all. There is the factual volume of Michelet from whose “excellent formula there is lacking the obscure part of God”; there is the sturdy attack of Anatole France and the glowing defense of Andrew Lang. There is Mark Twain’s imaginative romance based on twelve years’ accumulation of facts; there is Mr.
Rough Justice, by C. E. Montague. New York: Doubleday. Page and Company. $2.50. In no respect has the change in attitude toward human experience reflected by fiction been so marked as in regard to war. The last century knew the military novel as a specialty similar to the political novel, the ecclesiastical novel, the novel of education or industry or the sea. The profession of arms was like other professions, an affair of a class. It lent itself to fiction because of its opportunities of adventure, humorous in camp, glorious in the field.
Complete figures dealing with automobile accidents in 1925 have recently been made public. They reveal that safety on the highway, or the present lack of it, may now fairly be reckoned as one of the major problems of the day. Last year more than 22,000 persons were killed in or by automobiles, and something like three quarters of a million injured. The number of dead is almost half as large as the list of fatalities during the nineteen months of America’s participation in the Great War. In 60 percent of the cases, the person killed was a pedestrian struck by a car.
After leaving Pennsylvania, the next stop is Illinois! The searchlight of investigation is now to be turned on expenditures in the recent Senatorial primary in that state. The Senatorial committee which has been looking into the Pennsylvania orgy decided some time ago that as soon as Congress adjourns it will move to Chicago and continue its activities there. Since then Senator Caraway has made charges on the floor of the Senate which if confirmed will make the stigma attached to Illinois politicians quite as serious as that now clings to the Pennsylvanians.