Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 28, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, December 28, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 A collection of brief book reviews "Canadian Children's An- nual" (Potlatch Publications, 180 pages) Robert Neilson has edited the first all Canadian children's annual, similar to the "annuals" published for many years in Britain. This edition contains a collection of short stories, puzzles, car- toons and poems. There are informative articles on karate, basketball, astrology; there are do it yourself directions for building your own computer, making a revolving road map and devis- ing a small loom for weaving a scarf. The editor claims that the book is not meant to be blatantly nationalistic but is rather "written for Canadian children by Canadian authors." Of local interest is one story in the book by a south Albertan, Peter Nagai. The cover picture is a winter street scene by the well known painter William Kurelek. The annual will probably appeal most to children about 10-14. ELSPETH WALKER "Valleys and Vistas" by David Bogard. (G. R. Welch Co. Ltd., 94 This book is a man's struggle to overcome the death of his wife. It delves into the feelings of guilt, remorse and eventual accep- tance of the death of one's partner. The author, a former clergyman, relies heavily on the scriptures in overcoming his deep sense of loss. GARRY ALLISON "High A Farewell to the Pain of Alcoholism" by Mark Only (Prentice Hall Inc., 158 The author, a member of AA, takes the reader on a grim tour through his own mind's hidden corridors of fear to the very root of his disease in this extraordinarily personal, passionate saga of hope and inspiration. He tells the story of his recovery, beginning with the all impor- tant admission that he was ill, through his own application and acceptance of the guiding principles of AA to the joyous realization that he and everyone and anyone could do what he had thought im- possible. For AA members interested in an intensely moving affir- mation of their own beliefs for those alcoholics who can't seem to come to grips or who aren't sure whether they want to, or acknowledge they even have the disease for families and friends of people with a "little drinking problem" and for the reader interested in a timely, vital expose of human sur- vival, this book will bring in- sight, personal understanding and joy. CHRIS STEWART "Let Us Prey." Edited by Robert Chodos and Rae Murphy. (James Lorimer Co., paperback 200 This book consists of four- teen articles that have recent- ly appeared in Last Post, a Montreal based far left un- derground magazine. The in- troduction attacks Canadian journalism as the stuff that separates the ads on the pages because it consists mainly of sterile chatter of the wire ser- vices. reprints from American papers and the pun- ditry of press gallery hacks. Let Us Prey also maintains that the essential issues that face Canadians are simply either not dealt with in the press, or mystified beyond comprehension. The articles range from expose of Bata shoes and Brascan to IT T and its Canadian connextions. Interesting in parts but rather spoiled by a sensational approach. ERNEST MARDON "Six War Years" by Barry Broadfoot, (Doubleday, 417 The author of Ten Lost Years has come up with another nostalgic winner. I'm sure the story of the activities of Canadians during the Se- cond World War, written by themselves, will be in- teresting to both young and old. Not only have the soldiers both home and overseas con- tributed to the book, but Mr. Broadfoot has included stories from civilians; the frustrated soldiers, those who were vital to the war effort and therefore not allowed to enlist; and the Zombies, the reluctant soldiers. By allowing the inter- viewees to do the talking, many of the touchy areas that came up during the war period are handled without hysteria. However, the im- pression that all Canadians at home were contributing their all to a great cause was cer- tainly dispelled by reading some of the exerpts from the book. JOANNE GROVER "A Quail In the Family" by William J. Plummer (Henry Regnery Co., dis- tributed by Fitzhenry and Whiteside This is the story of a family who was adopted by a very small Gambel s quail. Found alone on the desert by one of the children, he was brought home to become another member of an already diverse menage, including a kangaroo rat and a tortoise. "Peep" as he was christened, flourished on such delicacies as cherry pie filling and ice cream and substituted dust baths in tem- porarily untended flour for the real thing. He took over com- pletely the hearts and lives of his human family, having the run of the house and con- stituting himself the official watch dog. His adventures as he survived the various crises brought on by his identifica- tion with humans rather than his quail kindred are thoroughly amusing reading. He was a real personality. All this, besides being highly entertaining reading for the whole family, is coupl- ed with a good deal of infor- mation and insights into quail behavior; a thoroughly en- joyable book. HELEN SCHULER "The Gardener's Catalogue" (George J. McLeod Limited, 320 This Gardener's Catalogue is anything but a catalogue, something the publisher ad- mits on page four. It has -nothing for sale. But is has everything else, and everything else is spiked with nostalgia. The whole book is loaded with illustrations in black and white taken out of old catalogues and gardening books from as far back as 1700 and this makes it very interesting. There are articles by experts on about everything in gardening including some for specialists. Crammed with information the book deserves a place in every gardener's library. TOM LAST "The Treasury of Great Cana- dian Humor" edited by Alan Walker (McGraw Hill Ryer- son, 413 Humor is probably the toughest of all types of writing at which to be successful. One of the reasons it is difficult to attain success with humor is that there is no universal appreciation of what con- stitutes the humorous. Alan Walker, in his introduction, says he laughed so much gathering this treasury together that he was tempted not to accept payment for editing the book. On the other hand, while some of the pieces caused me to laugh, the ma- jority of them didn't. There are 91 selections, representing 36 authors. Unless a person hasn't a fun- nybone at all, there ought to be some smiles and chuckles for almost everyone. DOUG WALKER "Deenie" by Judy Blume (Clarke, Irwin Company, Limited, Deenie Fenner was a girl, almost 13, and very pretty. Her mother wanted her to be a fashion model and kept her so busy training for her modell- ing career that Deenie had hardly any time at all to spend with her friends. She would much rather have been with Janet and Midge at Woolworth's tracking down Harvey Grobowsky, captain of the football team. Deanie wanted to be a cheerleader too, and to be able to go to the seventh grade mixer to hear Buddy Brader play his drum solo. Deenie never did make the cheerleading team but it wasn't because of her mother. Instead, suddenly Deenie had doctors and socialists to see and a body brace to wear. All at once Deenie had to cope with something that was real- ly frightening and'that might be hers forever. This is a very good book! JANICE CUTFOKTH "Model Cars and Trucks and How to Build Them" by Harvey Weiss (Fitzhenry Whiteside Limited, 74 Model makers, young and old, beginner and ex- perienced, should enjoy this book on building model cars and trucks. Clear instructions plus drawings, photographs and plans are given for racing cars, trucks, trailer trucks, tractors, derricks and a motor driven model. There's a useful chapter on tools and materials but unfortunately, safety precautions for the home workshop were not emphasized. TERRY MORRIS "God and Mr. Gomez" by Jack Smith, (Clarke, Irwin Company, 216 This is a Mexican version of Mr. Blandings Builds his Castle, but it cannot be com- pared to its English prototype in humor, style or content. It is a light, anecdotal account of an American's frustrations with a Mexican contractor who builds him a vacation home in lower California. Readers who have suffered delays, disappointments and rising costs with the building trade will find this book amusing. MARY HEINITZ "Sidelights on the American by Webb Garrison. (G. R. Welch Co. Ltd., 176 From female soldiers to ex- poses on Paul Revere and other revolutionary heroes, the author shoots holes in many of America's favorite myths and legends. Some legends suffer from this ex- posure while some grow in stature. An interesting look at how history can sometimes become distorted. GARRY ALLISON "The Complete Illustrated Book of Dyes from Natural Sources" by Arnold and Con- nie Krochmal, (Doubleday Canada Ltd., 272 The recent revival in crafts has led many craftsmen to natural dyes. Two botanists have compiled 220 recipes for such dyes accompanied by lin- ed drawings or photos of the plants. There is a brief description of each plant, where it grows, and the part used, also a precautionary note on which plants to avoid to protect from depletion. The dyes are mainly for wool. Eight full color pages show dyeing examples from various parts of the world. ELSIE MORRIS "Lovers and Others" by Joan Sutton (Clarke, Irwin and Company Limited, 119 In this book Joan Sutton writes about love, inside and outside marriage, and love between friends and love in the family. These essays were written over a period of three years. Some of the experiences she writes about are her own, some have been submitted by readers. This is a delightful book and would make a nice gift at any time of the year. HILDEGARD RICKARD Going home Groenen Southern B.C. history "East Kootenay Saga" by David Scott and Edna H. Hanic, (Nunaga Publishing Co., softback, The three largest cities of Alberta have their own in- dividual passes through the Rockies Edmonton has the Yellowhead. Calgary the Kicking Horse and Lethbridge the Crowsnest Pass. Only the last was discovered from .the west. In fact the discovery of the Crowsnest Pass in 1873 was really an extension of the gold rush centering around Wild Horse Creek in 1863. From the time of its founding in the 1880s, Lethbridge has been in- terested in the pass and beyond. The Gaits intended to extend their railroad west through the mountains from the beginning From that time until the railway was completed in 1898 there was constant agitation for a line to the "fabulous Kootenay ledges" or to "cut off J. J. Hills tentacles." Fernie, Cranbrook, Kimberley and Creston are now places quite familiar to residents of Southern Alberta but little is known by local residents of their history and origins. Now David Scott and Edna H. Hanic have come up with this little book that fills the need. Here are the stories of Wild Horse Creek, Fort Steele, Crai.uiook, and Kimbeley. Even the well known story of David Thompson takes on a new color as writers, familiar with the area, give it an im- mediacy that eastern writers fail to do. I must admit that although I have read most ac- counts of and by David Thompson. I did not realize the great part played by the deity in the exploration of western North America. A great number of the myths and legends are recounted along with stories of the important personalities Colonel Baker, William Fernie, Father Coccola, Baillie Grohman, Chief Isadore and many others showing that the East Kootenay has as colorful a past as any part of the west. Even Fernie and its in- teresting story is included which should help to end the secession movement. If not always accurate particularly in regard to coal mining the work is always interesting and is one more in the much needed, easy to read, western histories. There are fine archival pic- tures and good hand drawn maps which locate the places described without clutter. Do you know why a certain area is called Canal Flats? This book will tell you. WM. J. COUSINS Empty spaces of disillusionment THE VOICE OF ONE Dr. Frank S. Morley Which is better? "We Can Have Better Marriages" by David and Vera Mace (G. R. Welch Com- pany, Limited, 172 The authors have set out to prove that within the traditional framework of marriage there is a life style which can revitalize the relationship of both marriage partners and the institution itselt. They call it "com- panionship and it is characterized, not by no strings arrangements and limited commitments but by bringing partners closer together in a creative sharing of life with emphasis on true intimacy and continuing growth. Most couples, they say, have problems in making the transition from a superficial pattern of traditional marriage to companionship marriage. In most cases, help can best come through marriage environment groups in which couples grow and learn together, helping and supporting one another. This book offers a sound plan for this success. David and Vera Mace, joint executive directors of the American Association of Marriage Counselors before Dr. Mace became professor of family sociology at Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and Mrs. Mace director of the education department of the National Marriage Guidance Council, hold the view that the reason for failure of the traditional marriage in our modern world is not that the relationship is too close, but that it is not close enough. They disagree with those who claim that marriages are fail- ing because the bond is too close, so that it stifles the growth and individuality of the pa "ners. They argue that what will make marriage happy and fulfilling is bring- ing the couple closer together in a relationship in depth that makes possible the creative sharing of life. The boredom of which so many married couples complain springs not from their being too close but too far apart, they say. It is not the tight bond, but the empty space that leads to disillusionment. An excellent book for all those working towards better- ing their marriage. CHRIS STEWART "Better the end of a thing than the beginn- ing said the cynical Koheleth, author of Ecclesiastes. Koheleth was a cynic who believed that the end of everything was the grave. The destiny of both the righteous and sinners was dust and ashes. All that man did was doomed to perish. He has tried hard work, sensual pleasure, fasting and feasting, religion and philosophy with bouts of self- indulgence, but the whole thing ends in the verdict, "Vanity of vanities! All is Like Omar Khayyam and Schopenhauer, he sees life full of disillusion and misery. He has seen marriages begin full of romance and end in boredom and quarrels. He has seen businesses make a brave start full of expectation and end in bankruptcy. He has seen countless treaties signed to promote peace and end in war. For him hope is folly and faith futile. How he would have scoffed at the optimist, Robert Browning, "Grow old along with me; The best is yet to be; The last of life for Which the first was made." Much more would he have agreed with Wordsworth, "The things which I have seen I now can see no more, The rainbow cornes and goes, and lovely is the rose. The moon doth, with delight, look round her when the heavens are bare, Waters on a starry night are beautiful and fair, The sunshine is a glorious birth, but yet I know where'er I go That there hath passed a glory from the earth." Ring down the curtain, Koheleth would say, the farce is over. He could never, like Ten- nyson's Ulysses, end his days sailing the seas, believing there were new worlds to conquer, new continents to discover, determined "to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." Life had him completely beaten and he would be glad to see it ended. That was the conclusion of James Thomson in his description, not of London but of the world, as "The City of Dreadful Night." "All is "a striving after says Koheleth. "For in much wisdom is much vexation and he who increases knowledge, increases sorrow." Take good care of yourself, however, and do not be rash and radical. Avoid unnecessary risks and excesses. Do not be too good or too wise, but avoid extremes. Be a cautious con- formist. Nothing matters after all. It is deadly teaching. Nothing is so destruc- tive to the spiritual nature of man as cynicism. It is appropriate that Koheleth repeats, "I got me I made me I gathered me Whatever mine eyes desired I kept not from them." The book is a wearisome repetition of "I." Selfishness and cynicism go together like Siamese twins. Such persons are indifferent to the struggles of the race, scornful of enthusiasms for good causes, and a foe of social progress. I shall forever be grateful for Walter Lipp- mann, a germinative thinker who profoundly influenced my youth. In an age of cynicism he believed in morality and gave himself to great causes. He grappled with problems of the nation and the world, always taking the high ground, always keenly aware of values and ethical issues, always committing himself fearlessly, believing in direct contrast to Koheleth that there were causes worth fighting for. He brought the political and social wisdom of his time into focus and held it steadily in public view, challenging the cowards and Quislings. To take one issue where his intervention was decisive, he led the U.S. from the isolationism of a misunder- stood Monroe Doctrine into an inter- nationalism which not only saved Europe but was America's salvation also. To the end he believed in an enlightened, liberal democracy, which stubbornly refused to sur- render or compromise moral issues. He saw his world crazily adrift, at the mercy of currents and winds, but he believed in a power of goodness that would prevail at last despite such madness as the Vietnam war and the crazy motion of a sensate civilization. For him the beginning was a glorious adven- ture and the journey and its end, despite adversity, filled with potential hope. Reason against the Jungle By Joseph Kraft, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON "Whirl is King, having driven out Zeus" is the motto Walter Lipp- mann drew from Aristophanes for his best- known book, A Preface to Morals. It fixes his position in American thought and denotes what made him such a remarkable figure in American life. For Mr. Lippmann was an elitist working against the grain of a populist civilization. To the unbridled energy and rampant stir of 200 million throbbing Americans, he sought to op- pose the settled values of an older and more patrician culture. He stood for reason against the jungle. He grew up it is important to note in this time of heightened pride and guilt over ethnicity in a German Jewish family of New 'York. That meant, during the last two decades of the 19th century, an atmosphere more German than Jewish. Learning, music, the fine arts and leisurely travel to storied capitals were normal parts of life, and for Lippmann they became passions which he in- dulged to his dying days. The WASP culture of that time far from being the narrow, self-doubting copy of the British aristocracy which its detractors now vilify shared the cosmopolitan heritage. Harvard, indeed, became what it was thanks in no small part to co-operation between Yankees and German Jews, and Lippmann, as a student there, made the migration to the American establishment without becoming either anxious or self-assertive. His masters at Harvard were the philosophers William James and George San- tayana. He revered James and used to tell me and many others, I suppose endless stories of his wit. But as Arthur Schlesinger shrewdly pointed out, it was Santayana who drew him most, and for whom he went to work. Lippmann, in other words, turned away from pragmatism, that characteristically American line of thought, in favor of a doctrine of estheticism rooted in a hierarchical society. His first jobs and books confirmed that choice. He worked in 1911 as an assistant to Lincoln Steffens, the most famous investigative reporter of his time, and in 1912 for the Socialist mayor of Schenectady. But he quickly concluded that radical reform and exposure of the dirty story would not transform America. Not, as the muck- rakers and their latter-day successors sup- pose, because of the corrupt power of the big interests. On the contrary, it was the very nature of American society, the beliefs of the majority, which blocked fundamental change. Thus, in 1913, he wrote in A Preface to Polities' "No financial power is one-tenth so corrupting, so insidious, so hostile to originality and frank statement as the fear of the public Anybody can take a fling at poor old Mr. Rockefeller but the great mass of average citizens must be left in undisturbed posses- sion of its own prejudices." His most important books drift and Mastery in 1914 and Public Opinion in 1922 carried the argument further. In the first he explored the possibility of how scholars and experts might aid statesmen in bringing pur- pose and order out of the clamors of mass democracy. In the second, he developed the concept of the "stereotype" to show how un- fitted the public was to provide guidance to political leaders on complex issues. Great events were to the public "out of reach, out of sight, out of mind." In foreign policy, where his newspaper column became the predominant expression for his views, his big work was to cut through the rhetoric of Ameri- canism to show the United States as a world power like other world powers. He believed America had finite interests defined by geography, not an unbounded mission imposed by the wonderful character of the American people. In that spirit he questioned most of American postwar foreign policy including, most cut- tingly, the Vietnam war. The mistakes he made were connected with his central philosophy not merely, as some friends have claimed, bad calls explained by the tyranny of the deadline. His faith in the reason and order of an older time, blinded him to the pathologies making up in the dark and unknown caverns of the modern soul. He underestimated the malevolence of Hitler in the early Nazi years, and (or so I believe) of Stalin and his heirs. His departure from Washington and the years that followed until his death were par- ticularly sad and not only because he laps- ed into semi-senility. What is truly grievous is that Mr. Lippmann has not been here to do battle for the high culture, with its inner constraints and modest hopes, which is now dying with him. A truly great journalist From the Internationa] Herald Tribune He won a Harvard degree at 20; was a public servant of distinction before 30, and the editor of one of America's greatest newspapers, the New York Wold before 40. Yet after so precocious a career, Walter Lippmann continued to write, in books and newspaper columns, for more than 40 years with a clarity and intellectual integrity that made him one of the greatest of the jour- nalists of this century. "Journalist" is a word of many meanings, encompassing some of the best, as well as some of the most fleeting literature of an era. As applied to Lippmann, a man of the widest culture as well as acquaintanceship with the ephemera of his long day, both men and events, the term means the application of wisdom, learning and conscience to what is happening now, and may happen tomorrow. This is apparent in the titles of some of his most important books. He did not write "Morals" or "Politics" as if he or his time could provide the final summation on how men govern themselves, or one another. Rather, he called his works "prefaces" "A Preface to "A Preface to Politics." And while Walter Lippmann was called, disparagingly, a he did not hand down his thoughts in his newspaper columns as Holy Writ, or smother them in his own deep knowledge of philosophy and history. His conclusions were clear cut enough, and forceful; but they were argued with a respect for other opinions that made contesting them a matter of rational debate rather than the exchange of epithets. And in a day when per- sonality in journalism was generally more readily saleable than thought, he did not obtrude himself. His personality was private a pleasure for those privileged to know it, rather than an instrument of public argue- ment and exploitation. For the International Herald Tribune, whose parent in New York gave Walter Lipp- mann, despite his frequent dissents from its own policies, his public forum after the departure of the New York World, the pass- ing of Mr. Lippmann at 85 is a matter of grief and pride, for an association that intellectual- ly enriched the institution, while giving it the opportunity for a major public service.