GUNS OR BUTTER by R. H. Bruce Lockhart
Kirkus Star


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British Agent made Bruce Lockhart a best seller. Some of the subsequent titles fell down in sales, so that a new book is scanned with interest -- and watchful waiting. This, we feel, has the best chance for big sales of anything he has done since British Agent. The subject matter is timely -- a survey of conditions at first hand in Central Europe, by one who has lived there and known the region thoroughly in the past. Lockhart, while not a profound scholar in his approach to the subject, is more than a good journalist. He has an emotional approach to the countries he loves, which enables him to sense undercurrents, and to interpret superficial impressions. His journeyings took him first to the Scandinavian countries, which in their freedom from fear and sense of well-being provided an interesting background for Central Europe. Then back to Yugoslavia, to Bulgaria, to Rumania -- all sitting on the edge of a volcano, all fearful of Germany and Italy. Then to Czechoslovakia, where he saw Benes, and realized that he had no faith in his allies standing by. He was in Vienna at the time of the Nazi plebiscite. He finished his journeyings with a stay in Berlin. And, again and again, he stresses the plea from all the small countries for strength on England's part, a strength they needed -- and doubted. In addition to the interest politically in the material, every reader will enjoy Lockhart's gift for making places and people come to life, for his skilful inclusion of the personal, only so often as to give a special flavor. A more human book than Gibbs -- and should appeal to the same market.

Pub Date: Nov. 4th, 1938
Publisher: Little, Brown