The December issue of the Guardian presents a judicious balance in its contributors, between Faculty and student body, and, in its subjects, between the various interests of the social studies.
The Master of Dunster House introduces the number with a sufficiently magisterial, yet eminently readable, article on "Revolution in Brazil." The leading articles are terminated by the attempt of a less widely known authority from the same House to deminstrate that, behind the radical whiskers, lurks J. M. Keynes, a conservative defender of capitalism.
In between, the reader is familiarized with the current status,--in the nation,--of the tenant farmer problem and,--at Harvard,--of the great Sorokin controversy; with the peculiar and lamentable treatment of Indian students by Indian Universities, and with the more recent developments in fascist circles in Roumania. This is surely evidence of catholic taste and wide range interests.
The contributions to this issue are all of an acceptable level which is something, perhaps, that could not be said of earlier numbers. Is it evident that the Guardian in growing out of the diaper stage is probably finding an increasing supply of manuscripts in its doorsteps from which to choose? It is unfortunate that one cannot record the same progress in all respects.
The proof-reading of this number is almost inexcusably bad. The reviewer noted at least a dozen mistakes, some of which badly distort the sense of the material.
Haring Writes on Brazil
Professor Haring's article on Revolution in Brazil might well be taken as a model by student practitioners in this journal. It manages to be interesting without resorting to the attempts at pungent journalism which are too frequently accepted by the students as necessary to acceptable prose.
Where, by the way, did Mr. De Varon for his article, "And Now the Poor Farmer" discover "this strange and slithy credit system"? Our experts in Money and Banking have confessed themselves unfamiliar with this mechanism. Professor Haring's thesis would seem to be that the Vargas regime is not fascist but is simply an "old-fashioned South American dictatorship."
At the same time, as he points out, he fascist party in Brazil has accepted the new constitution and the new position of the president with satisfaction.
In a longer and more scholarly article we should insist that Professor Haring penetrate somewhat deeper into the difference between fascism and South American dictatorship but here, quite rightly he limits himself to raising the right questions.
The discussion of Indian Universities by C. Balakrishna Roa is an Oxford contribution and a good one. Unlike so much of the writing emanating from that source it does not drown the substance in epigram.
The teaching at Indian Universities would seem to provide an almist perfect picture of what a University should not do and this account of it might well be instructive to the more extreme defenders of ivory tower academic traditions in this country.
Sorokin Battle Continues
In the last issue of the Guardian the account of round one in the battle royal between Professor Sorokin and his critics ended with Professor Sorokin breathing hard and apparently on the ropes. In this number, however, the professor comes back strong and, with a succession of hooks and jabs, backs his critics into a corner.
As one who has not yet read the three volumes of "Social and Cultural Dynamics" this reviewer assumes a strictly neutral position but close enough to the ring to enjoy the give and take.
It is to be hoped that if the participants cannot be encouraged to continue the bout in subsequent numbers, fresh combatants can be found for what is, after all, one of the most enjoyable features of the Guardian.
Considerations of space prevent more than a brief mention of other, consistently good contributions. The material for Mr. De Varon's article was drawn mainly from the Report of the President's Committee on Farm Tenancy.
Mr. McDonald wrestles valiantly with Keynes and seems at the end to have his shoulders pinned squarely on the mat though with so slippery a customer one can never be sure. Messrs. Geeharn and Marcus analyze effectively the recent Mexican land report and the Twentieth Century Fund Report on "Facing the Tax Problem."