11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 38


This book (Lawrence and Wishart, 6s.) is a collection of the best speeches de- livered at the recent Second Congress of American Writers, and the theme run- ning through them is, How . can we writers assist in the struggle against Fascism ? It is frequently contended that writers should not meddle in poli- tics, but, with the tremendous changes that recent political events have forced upon all society " how can a writer," as the introductory essay justly asks, " live through this period and remain un- touched ? " To the writer, probably more than to anyone, the preservation of the freedom of thought and speech and respect for the individual as such are vital. Fascism would utterly destroy

these things. The writer is therefore justly concerned. Some of •the most interesting of these speeches, delivered

by such well-known wiiteis- Ernest Hemingway, Archibald Macleish, Gran- ville Hicks and others, deal with " the -writer and war," " Spain and Ainerlean writers," " The American writer faces the future," " Literature under Fas- cism," and " The writer and politics." Undoubtedly the majority of the con- tributors to this book are persons of left opinions and objectivity is not one of their most marked characteristics. On the other hand, all who are concerned to maintain conditions in which literature may survive Will find little here with which they are not in full agreement and much which they will consider to be of the first importance and urgency today.