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Robert Coles


A “Tolstoyan” Correspondence

The Correspondence of William James, Volume I: William and Henry (1861–1884). Edited by Ignas K. Skrupskelis and Elizabeth M. Berkeley. Virginia. $45.00. When I was a boy Sunday meant going to church with my mother in the morning, a family lu [...]

Down-And-Out American Voices

The Common Interest. By Leslie Dunbar. Pantheon. $9. 95 paper. The title of this book is a phrase many of us use from time to time—a modest declaration of transcendence, perhaps: there are certain matters that we all have an interest in examinin [...]

All About Dickens

Dickens: A Biography. By Fred Kaplan. Morrow. $24. 95. When I was a youth, my father, an Englishman by birth and education, was constantly urging the novels of Charles Dickens upon my brother and me. We resisted, naturally. We continued to resist [...]

An American Tragedy

F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography. By André LeVot. Translated by William Byron. Doubleday. $19.95. Moralists wear many disguises, perhaps none more intriguing than the particular concealment practiced for so long by F. Scott Fitzgerald—an alcoho [...]

Charles Dickens and the Law

Some of the important details of the life of Charles Dickens are as familiar to many of us as the various qualities of mind and heart which we have come to associate with such memorable characters as David Copperfield and Philip Pimp, otherwise kn [...]

Much More Than A Textbook

Mississippi: Conflict & Change. Edited by James W. Loewen and Charles Sallis. Pantheon. $10.00. THERE is no better way I know to discuss the fate of Mississippi: Conflict & Change than to call upon a woman I came to know in 1964, when I worked in [...]

Even Yet the South

The American South. Edited by Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Louisiana. $22.50.In the late 1960's, after a decade of intense involvement with black and white children of the urban and rural South, I began the difficult personal task of saying goodbye, once and [...]

Freud and God

Relatively unknown, and resident of a strongly Catholic city, Freud dared take on belief in God at a meeting in early March 1907 of the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society. He presented a paper with the title of "Obsessive Actions and Religious Practi [...]

Preachers of Protest

Against the Grain: Southern Radicals and Prophets, 1929—1959. By Anthony P. D. Dunbar. Virginia. $16.95. As I read this extremely well-narrated study of mid-20th-century Southern radicalism, by Anthony Dunbar, I kept remembering the words of a w [...]