ON THE SHELF
The Guardian: November, 1942
Christopher Marlowe wasn't thinking of the Guardian when he remarked in 1588 that one often finds "infinite riches in a little room." That epigram, however, describes the magazine's latest issue exactly. Only three articles are included, but they stand far above the calibre of work usually published in Harvard's "Review of the Social Sciences." Everything required of a successful issue is here: theory, fact, and interpretation.
William Snower '44 provides the theory. For clear thought and able synthesis of pertinent material, his "Theory of Planning" excells any undergraduates article printed by the Guardian in several years. Its author is examining a problem which underlies any attempts to chart social reconstruction: namely, the possibility of predicting the effect of any concrete governmental policy. After citing and evaluating authorities from Plato to Sorokin, Snower concludes that the only solution is pragmatic experiment. Presenting original thought on provocative questions is one of the Guardian's chief functions; this article exemplifies that function at its best.
Two Faculty members provide the facts and the interpretation. Dr. Paul Sweezy '32 clears up the fog which has hindered American understanding of the issues involved in the Indian plea for independence. Except for a failure to consider the complex caste system, Dr. Sweezy's survey is a concise summary of largely unknown facts about Britain's tragic failure to her largest dependency.
By implication, Professor Hans Kohn's "Living History" corroborates the Sweezy thesis. Dr. Kohn holds that World War II is actually World Revolution I, and that India is only a part of a planetary upheaval. Hitler saw and seized the new forces before his opponents, thereby gaining an initial advantage which strenuous effort alone can overcome. But, according to Hans Kohn, the effort will be wasted unless the United States recognizes and assumes a new responsibility for world peace.
No recent issue of the Guardian has compressed so much meaty writing in so little space. It can be read in half an hour, but thinking out the implications of its content will be a much longer task.