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book reviews

Sigmund Freud, the Never-Ending Storyteller

Adam Phillips’s new study, Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst, is an effective breviary and defense of Sigmund Freud, and not because it dazzles with a tightrope act of theory, but because it simply and directly underscores Freud’s tremendous accomplishments of comprehension. 

Five American Poets

Dissolution is not a new theme for Edwin An lington Robinson, for it was in "Merlin" that he told of a noble civilization falling back into violence and barbarism. It was the war that made Robinson feel so. In his latest and last book, "King Jasper," he returns to this point of view, having in the meantime studied and re-studied the involved psychological effects of death on small groups of characters.

Patrician and Patriot

The American hero is strong rather than symmetrical. Abounding in exuberant and ill-controlled vitality, he lacks grace and restraint. The soil of the United States, under the benign sun of democracy, has produced an abundant crop of sturdy patriots, wild, rough, native growths, vigorous and free, not unlike the forests of the back country in grandeur and in uncouthness. 

The American Short Story

To the twentieth century, annual collections of short stories are as familiar as "Keepsakes" or "Tokens" were to the nineteenth. At first sight of still another year-book of the American short story, Thomas H. Uzzell's "Short Story Hits, 1932," readers generally might echo the question posed by the book's editor in his introduction—why a new entry into a field already crowded? 

A Plutarch for Virginia

The Virginia Plutarch. By Philip Alexander Bruce, LL.D. 2 volumes. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. $9.00. The importance of "The Virginia Plutarch" lies in its scope, in its essential sympathy and understanding of the backgr [...]

Facts and Foreign Affairs

Survey of International Affairs, 1927. By Arnold J. Toynbee. Issued under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. New York: Oxford University Press, $8.50. American Foreign Relations, 1928. American Foreign Relations, 1929. By [...]

The Descent of the Theater

The Theatre: Three Thousand Years of Drama, Acting and Stagecraft. By Sheldon Cheney. New York: Longmans Green and Company. $10.00. Poot-lights Across America. By Kenneth Macgowan. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company. $3.50. At first view it m [...]

Footnotes to History

The revival of interest in our early history which the last dozen years have witnessed, has brought about certain curious phenomena. None is more so than the tendency for picking up odd bits of information about various characters or events, appending them to documents usually already well studied and published, and printing the result with a loud hurrah.