This is for the Kipling loyalists -- is it perhaps a turning back to another, safer day? Shanks presents this enthusiastic appraisal of Kipling as an artist and a thinker. He attempts to vindicate him before his critics, showing wherein his artistry lay, what were his political ideals. Against a thread of chronological narrative, from his school days to his early journalistic experience in Indian, Shanks alternates discussion of his work and his theories, as prophet of empire, living in an era of colonial wars and imperialism which treated war as a game. His last years were mellower, there was less aggressive verse, there was more of the spiritual element in his prose. Not a book that will make new converts, but a book that will reenforce the old enthusiasts. Public library, schools and colleges.