THE PROFESSOR'S UMBRELLA by Mary Jane Ward
Kirkus Star

THE PROFESSOR'S UMBRELLA

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Here's a book by the author of The Shake Pit which shows that her abilities are not canalized and that she can write in a different vein with none of the intensity of The Shake Pit but with considerable accomplishment. This gives a fresh background to the problem of anti-semition, sets it off casually on a college campus among the members of the faculty of a mid-western university. Here are the finer points of academic activity as intellectual integrity is overshadowed by social opportunism, profesrial politics, and so on, to which Gregry Kitner, who just liked to teach, remained indifferent. Jewish born, but from a middle west, Methodist background, which left him unexposed to the stigma of anti-semitism, Gregory is unaware of the bias which has blocked his advancement to the full professorship he deserves, and is completely surprised by his dismissal based on an imaginative charge of ""moral turpitude"" which cloaks the prejudice of the University's president. Here are the reactions of his friends, largely fair weather; of the Dawsons with whom he lived for fifteen years; Tom, whose intellectual incompetence was overlooked in his administrative ambitiousness, as he headed for the presidency; Carl Goldwater, Jewish radical, who wanted to make a cause celebre of Grog; Poebles, head of the department, with the threat of retirement and loss of his pension blocking his defense of Greg, and so on. Greg, by no means a crusader, contracts for a lucrative position in another field, is brought back to teaching by Harriet, who keeps him from escaping marriage as well as the world around him.... This will appeal to those who liked certain qualities in We Happy Few and to others who liked the urbanity of Gentlement's Agreements, with its undercurrents of conviction. The impetus given sales by the audience of The Snake Fit will get it off to a good start.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1947
Publisher: Random House