Already an essayist and critic of some report (The Art of Modern Fiction, with R. W. Stallman) Mr. West has produced a lively, well referenced volume on American short story writing since 1900. Chronologically and categorically the naturalists (Crane, Dreiser, Anderson etc.) who explained man as a fighter of evil in nature, and the traditionalists (Fitzgerald, Porter, Robert Penn Warren etc.) who examined the nature of evil, the contemporaries Hemningway and Faulkner, and the as yet unjudgeable writers of the '40's- are all analyzed in regard to their European and American backgrounds, in the light of the New Criticism, and with particular references to individual stories that show Mr. West to be a man of artistic appreciation and social awareness. Stimulating reading.