A composite of critical and personal commentary is rewarding reading for those Interested in literature and the state of society. James Farrell ranges in his prose from a backward glance at his preparation for becoming a writer to a study of Joyce as related to Ibsen. Personal and literary reflections include the way the author wrote The Face of Time, commentaries on Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson, the relation of literature and politics literature and sociology, a transcript of the court record when the author appeared as plaintiff in a censorship case, observations on naturalism in fiction, particularly that of Zola, a compliment to H. L. Mencken. There is a moving tribute as well as penetrating reporting in the story of Dewey's heading of the commission that heard Trotsky in Mexico. The author's warmth in regard to the men of whom he writes, his concern for things literary, sociological and political blend to form a mellow mixture of substance and heart.