The life and work of Ellsworth Milton Statler presents an intricate mosaic of hotelkeeping, which for all its statistical and enumerative detail somehow makes fascinationg reading. From bellhopping in Wheeling, W.Va., to the owner of the chain of Statler Hotels, he was determined to stay out ot the luxury field and still provide basic comforts at a price for ordinary people. From the beginning, with his own eating place, to his dogged determination in Buffalo, at its Exposition and later the one in St. Louis, to prove mass catering could be decently accomplished with proper organisation, he went from innovation to innovation, insisted on the best, not to please but to attract his customers, developed the systems of standardization and efficiency that eliminated waste effort and time and cut costs. And along with a perfected preparedness are the stories of the mishaps, the emergencies, the unforseen difficulties that make hotel managers and their staffs shudder. There are stories too of the skippers, the conventions, the effect of changing customs (twin beds for instance), of house morals, of engineering and repairs, and of the individual hotels -- in Buffalo, St. Louis, Washington, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, etc., and the one to come in Hartford. It's quite a tale, of greater interest than might be generally thought, which, in its once over thoroughly, is a happy public relations handling.