OCTOBER 10, 1941
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Yesterday afternoon Mrs. William Denman brought Mr. Miguel Corvarrubias, the Mexican to see me. His beautiful maps in Pacific House will be remembered by everyone who went to the San Francisco Fair. We had a pleasant talk about Mexico and I was delighted to find that he is as enthusastic about Steinbeck's film, "The Forgotten Village" as I am. He told me that he had helped him in every way and assured me that it was authentic because he had lived among the Indians in their villages himself, and took a great interest in the developments which would eventually lead to the elimination of some of the superstitions and to the improvement of sanitary and agricultural conditions.
Another guest was Mr. Alberto Rondon, a native of the Argentine. He is editing a magazine in Hollywood which is circulated largely in South American countries. And, to emphasize that the world is small, a friend of the late Mr. George Foster Peabody, Mr. Harry Hodgson, from Georgia, dropped in, and at once found a point of contact with Mr. Rondon because his brother had travelled in South America on business and returned with a keen interest in the countries and their people.
I have been sent a little brochure from the Consumers Book Cooperative, which they call Reader's Observer. It is a helpful little publication because it lists books in various fields, and has an article at the beginning, telling one about the trend of interest in reading material, and commenting on books in many fields. I was interested to find that a popular vote which they have taken shows a great interest in religious books, and secondly in books that can be classed as education for democracy. They recommend a book called "The Religions of Democracy" which is sponsored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. This is a collection of interpretative essays, written by authoritative people on the religions of Judaism, Catholicism and Protestantism. I quote one thought from their article: "It is vital in a democracy for each of us to know what the other believes, for tolerance can only exist through understanding. And in a time of crisis, more than in any other, it is essential to know one's own background as well as possible."
The last part of that statement struck me particularly, because I am very apt to be rather superficial in my knowledge of religious subjects. I am afraid that my reading of the Bible and the New Testament has been confined often to sections which I like particularly and not to sections which are particularly concerned with the reasons for my beliefs.