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To the Editor of the Crimson:
Several months ago an official of Widener Library asked me to submit a list of books presenting the H. S. U. attitude toward the war for the proposed "war-libraries." He said that he wanted all points of view represented in the collection. I talked it over with members of the executive committee and we turned in a list which was later incorporated in the Widener bibliography of The World Today.
A few days ago the Student Council distributed the first batch of books to the House libraries. Not one of the books recommended by us was among them. We had intended to provide some theoretical basis for a non-interventionist position. Instead of our selections, most of the books with non-interventionist implications were such as would discredit our point of view (The Wave of the Future). Though manifestly intended to provide Harvard students with a factual and interpretive basis for understanding the issues of today, the "war library" has eventually emerged with the lurid confessional of Jan Valtin prominent among its volumes. I consider this an insult to the intelligence of undergraduates.
By now we are all used to the tactics of the Washington strategists for war. Again and again they have smothered genuine anti-fascist sentiments for keeping out of war, and have identified us with the already discredited Lindberghs and Vern Marshalls. But this is Cambridge and we are still going through the motions of a composed search for truth. If the Student Council does not mean us to take its library literally as a War Library, but intends it for part of our education, it should correct its choice of books. For when the frenzy of Washington jingoism succeeds in permeating the Yard there will no longer be any reason for remaining at Harvard. We can then go home, curl up on the couch with that useful anesthetic, Out of the Night, and remain lost in a morbid phantasmagoria while we await the postman with his message from the Department of War. Leo Marx '41 Editor of the Harvard. Progressive.
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