BACK HOME by Bill Mauldin
Kirkus Star


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**Some of us were afraid Up Front was an accidentally great book. But here is proof that young Mauldin has something to say and knows how to say it, in text as well as cartoons -- that he is unafraid, and while acknowledging that in all probability his ""radical years are almost over"", he is still willing to go on record for his ideals, his beliefs, his faith. This is partly autobiographical:- the story of an ""amateur citizen"" an ex G.I., who comes home to find himself a V.I.P., with too much fame and too much money for his own good in his goal of recording the vicissitudes of veteran-into-citizen But in his thinking he bridges the gap, he can still speak for the underdog. The link between text and pictures is not quite so close, for the text discusses candidly his ""non-expert"" political observer role, his indignation in regard to the American Legion, and the high pressure methods used to swell its ranks, and he calls the Legion a mixture of N.A.M. advertising and a Hearst editorial. He feels that the A.V.C. is on the right track, but in its development does not provide the answer. He talks out freely on problems of anti-semitism, race problems, the United Nations, the Atomic Age -- and the people they do not represent. His piece about Soviet Russia and its waste of the reservoi of good will in the United States will be echoed in many hearts. He speaks freely on the subject of the Free Press, using his own experiences as springboard, and pays tribute to the N.Y. Herald-Tribune for its hands-off policy, and to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for making him assess his own values. The text is fascinating reading- disturbing- challenging -- a shot in the arm for discouraged liberals whose difficult road he shares. He say many things people wont want to read, and these unpalatable truths may curtail the sales of his book. But he says things that need to be said, with the same warm heartedness, humanity and wry humor, the same sense of color and drama, that characterized Up Front. Book of the Month selection for November sends it off to a good start. A book to sell- and worth selling.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1947
Publisher: Wm. Sloane