The Light of Other Days is an important and illuminating review of the mores and socioeconomic machinations of author Rexford Tugwell's turn-of-the-century generation, energically as it came to manhood during the Wilson years and influential middle age in the New Deal . Although the book by rights only spans the author's Chautauqua-Niagara-Buffalo boyhood and early college days, the intellectual plan of attack is something else again, in these pages time sets the Proustian twist, the general store mixes with genocide, the Ford auto makes way for the Hiroshima bomb. And rightly so indeed, for former Roosevelt brain trustee Tugwell's recollective purpose is to explain how the small town Prote culture which spawned him- led to two world wars, one major depression and the current complex of international military and industrial dissension known as the nuclear age. In doing as, propulsion, progressivism, public ownership, Keynesian policies, all are commented upon and more or less found wanting. Tugwell denounces the seemingly inextricable entanglement of big business with government, the ugly growth of unplanned cities, the catch as catch can uproar of a commercial civilization. He describes glowingly his poetic matter, his youthful , blealistic schooling and firm friendships; he seems just a little like an elder statesman of a town meeting opting for a socialist idyll. Nevertheless, the wisdom and warmth is apparent, as well as the gravity of his questioning.