Indicating the liabilities which face the critic of a humorist, particularly a humorist such as Thurber much of whose work was ""casual,"" Prof. Morsberger has managed to write most of them off in this tempered appreciation. Thurber himself is difficult to isolate; E.D. White wrote that ""there were at least two, probably six Thurbers"" just as his superb satire, while perhaps limited in range, was extremely versatile in form. Thurber wrote parodies and a play, fables and fairy tales, essays and biography, and drew the inimitable slumping males and drooping basset hounds. There is a nice synthesis here of his own life and his work, of his own views and those of his contemporaries. Best known, the male animal of the early Thurber, anxious, irritated and embarrassed as he contends with ubiquitous women, machinery and the perversity of life. Then there's the later Thurber with his increasing concern with the ""terror, horror, morbidity"" of the contemporary world. His motifs, his people, his animals, his romanticism and anti-rationalism and conformity, are all exposed and assessed... A careful and considered study which may well return readers to the original who has proved to be- so far anyway- irreplaceable. A title in the publisher's U.S. Authors series.