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While the former editor of The New Leader may- in his eighties-be classed as a member of the ""old guard"", this motley assortment of his columns over the years reveals him as anything but a cut and dried old timer. he has his nostalgic moments- and refreshing and pleasant they are- as he writes of a childhood in Ohio, of old time Christmases and new, of an emigrant father who espoused the cause of the Underground Railway, of books and writers, people and ideas. He writes thumbnail sketches of Shaw and Thurber, Norris and Mann, of Joseph Krutch with whom he learned to love the desert, and of Elmer Davis, the irreplaceable man. He records vacations from Maine to Rehoboth- from east coast to west. He emerges from these pages as an individual, looking back on an abortive scholastic career, nipped because he was that dreadful thing- a Socialist- and he talks of Communism today. Bits on politics, bits on labor, a tribute to Israel- one's mood and eye find response in a book that is meant for pick-up reading rather than study. And yet, throughout one senses a plea for Old American pioneer standards, a recognition that the ""bell has tolled for optimistic, self-satisfied America"". Platitudes there may be- and mellow meanderings, but this is a book for older readers who will cherish similar memories. Carl Sandburg in a brief introduction has described ""Bill"" Bohn as writer, editor, oceanographer, geographer, gardener, ball fan, pipe smoker-one ""who knows a hawk from a handsaw"". While this is no Harry Golden- to many he will hold some appeal.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1962
Publisher: Macmillan