A reflective collection of literary essays, reviews, and occasional pieces; those who read On Native Grounds (1942) will remember Alfred Kazin as a critic of wide vision and precise judgment as well as a fine stylist. These evaluations which may originate at a particular point (often of publication) extend their range and there is often an intimate illumination of the man behind the book. This is particularly true in his appreciation of James Joyce- the unregenerate non-conformist who ""by living for his art...may yet have given others a belief in art worth living for""; of Blake whom he sees in his absolute isolation, of Flaubert in his anger. He honors William and Henry James together-in the irony that they were always apart- for with so much devoted ""fraternity"" there supply lines and the experiments in using them most efficiently. Reorganization after World War I saw a change from the regimental form to batallions made up of four campanies each. Growth through the 20's and 30's readied the railroads for their first real overseas work and since then operational territories have included Alaska, North Africa, Italy Northern Europe, Iran, India, Japan and Korea. Militarily precise and well padded with statistics and the names of military railroad personnel, the text is dry and lifeless. Of value to the specifically interested rather than general reader.