1 OCTOBER 1948, Page 4

I shall- be surprised if Barbara Ward's new book, The

West at Bay, which is published this week, does not take a high place in the literature of international affairs, for there are few men, and I think it can safely be said no women, in this country qualified to write with equal authority on' the political and economic state of the world. As assistant-editor of The Economist Miss-Ward is handling every week the subjects she marshals in this volume, and she has travelled enough, particularly in the United States and Germany, to give her first-hand acquaintance with many of the questions she discusses. The book is something of a tour de force. It could not be begun, as its author explains, much before January zoth, when it was clear that the Marshall Plan would get through Congress, and it had to be finished by the middle of March in order to appear in the autumn. That is good going for a volume with over a hundred thousand words. It is satisfactory to find that Miss Ward believes the West can—and still will—find solution in the form of union that she outlines, which is the rational and practical step-by-step system. (These observations I make with all deference to the reviewer who will record his considered conclusions on The West at Bay next week.)

* * * *