PRESS

In Japan they use wooden pillows. A pillow fight there means something. Similarly in America, we have the National Association of Manufacturers, and consequently, a controversy over the contents of social-science texts is no cream-puff affair. Somebody raised the cry that many school books are "subversive" and "un-American"--and so the aforementioned industrial patriots felt called upon to conduct an investigation of their own. With characteristic impartiality, they placed an assistant professor of banking in charge of the inquiry.

The whole undertaking, to our mind, is like having a devotee of Eddie Guest decide whether or not Shelley's poetry is immoral; or like a Fence Club Sophomore telling Ely Cuthbertson how to play contract bridge. No doubt if the social-science texts being scrutinized fail to go down the line for Parson Weems and the cherry tree story, the good manufacturers will conclude that American youth is being inculcated with totalitarian propaganda.

Obviously, if there is reason to believe that school books contain subversive material, an investigation should be conducted under the auspices of an educational group, a group which knows whereof it investigates. But we question if there is anything seriously amiss with the texts. Before publication, the ideas contained therein have all been examined by competent authorities in the field concerned. . . .

The Association's proposal that its members convey their opinion of individual texts to their local school boards has the most dangerous possibilities. A book might be banned simply because a moss-backed industrialist long out of school chanced to disagree with the author. In the current controversy, trusting the National Association of Manufacturers to maintain an unbiased point of view would be like trusting a rabbit in a cabbage patch.--Yale News.