For 25 years literary editor of the Los Angeles Times, Paul Jordan-Smith is one of the deans of the literary world. But this autobiography- if such it can be termed -- is far more than the story of a man of letters. It is a vigorous slice of America, with roots in the South- deepest perhaps in the farm of his Virginia grandfather, in Pulaski County, but spreading out into other sections -- midwest and deep south and even across the seas. Mr. Jordan-Smith has used various things as a springboard, so this is not a chronological, orthodox autobiography. But in the total view, the reader finds himself carried back to other times, other ways of life, other scenes, and the panorama of three generations of Americans, true to the best that has made America what it is, is unrolled against the minutely envisioned backgrounds. Coming to his own generation, Paul Jordan-Smith is equally revealing of his inner growth, his schooling, his shifting perspectives and points of view; he is restrained when it comes to his marriages- though a divorce and a remarriage radically changed the pattern of his life and brought him to his role as a bookman, a collector of note, a friend and intimate of a generation and more of writers. Anyone in the field of books- plus a substantial audience of those who like to look behind the scenes- will enjoy this.