DECEMBER 16, 1944
WASHINGTON, Friday—Do you ever reach a point where you have so many new books piled up on your table that you feel almost desperate about ever finding the time to delve inside them?
Last night I spent a little time looking through Margaret Bourke-White's "They Called It Purple Heart Valley." The pictures are, of course, wonderfully interesting. They could not fail to be because of their subjects. I have not yet read the story that goes with the pictures, but anything about the Italian front must have enough of the heroic to make it vastly interesting to an American citizen.
There is another short book on a subject in which every one of us is deeply interested at the present time. It is called "What To Do With Germany," by Louis Nizer. I think everyone should read it. It gives a picture of what education has done to the German youth. We must remember that education will do this same thing to youth in any country, and there is no one who comes in contact with the young Nazi who will not bear out all Mr. Nizer says on this subject.
Unconditional surrender is one thing, but the final stamping out of Nazism and Fascism must be done in every country in the world, and in every individual. This system came to its highest development in Nazi Germany and in Japan, and if we are successful there, we will be successful in other places as well. This book of Mr. Nizer's seems to me one of the "must" books for us all.
Then there is a little book by E. Stanley Jones, called "The Christ of the American Road," which I think we might keep on our bedside tables to read a chapter at a time just before we go to sleep. Each chapter requires a little reflection, since it is not just a book to read, but a book which should affect our way of living.
Lastly, I have just finished Gwethalyn Graham's "Earth and High Heaven." I do not recommend it for the very young, but I do recommend it for the mature who know human nature and its evils as well as its virtues. I recommend it because it deals with prejudices—in this case with only one particular prejudice, but the pattern repeats itself wherever prejudices are allowed to flourish. We never know where prejudices will lead us. Neither do we know how often we use our prejudices to excuse or cloak motives and emotions which we would be ashamed to bring into the light of day if we had to face them without something as a camouflage to cover them over. Erica Drake was a wonderful character. Torn by many loyalties, she still knew that there was one supreme loyalty—the loyalty to one's own inward sense of what is right for oneself.