A popular novelist turns his thoughts backward over education as he experienced it, and makes his own personal story a reflection of types and periods of education in this country. First the rural -- or semi -- rural school of his childhood; then a town high school; then Drake, with a year of post graduate work at Columbia. And in between and afterwards, experience in teaching in different types of schools himself. It is colloquially and acidly done, he has no shibboleths, he does not hesitate to expose clay footed idols. He is blunt, virile, pretty raw at times. But he succeeds in giving an unusual picture of American schools -- and revealing their shortcomings.