restricted access For More Than Bread (review)
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Book Reviews45 general, as the foes to agrarian prosperity and security. Also he broke with the leading Quakers, ceased to attend meeting, and was at length disowned by the Society. He worked hard for the election of Jefferson and shared his triumph by entering the Senate in 1801. In the meantime, his name had become notorious for an ill-starred effort to interfere in Federalist diplomacy. He assumed a one-man diplomatic mission to maintain peace with France in the hectic days of 1798, an impulse which accomplished as little as it contained wisdom. Again in the Senate, this same "difficult" temperament caused him to find it more and more impossible to work in party harness and he became prominent in a dissenting minority of the Pennsylvania Republican party. This led to his failure to be even considered for re-election to the national legislature. He ended his active political career with another ill-starred trip to Europe, this time to try to insure peace with Great Britain. This story of high idealism, nervous instability, ill-health and unselfish if something quixotic devotion to causes is told with great sympathy and skill. The author is as nicely balanced in judgment as his subject was unstable. He has a clear understanding of Logan and a style of writing which is enviable. He understands the environment and genealogy, spiritual and physical, which produced Logan. He can comprehend and describe both strength and weakness and make the difficult combination fuse in a convincing personality. In his portrait, light and shadow are skillfully employed to give the true perspective so necessary for the portrayal of this elusive figure. And then we have Deborah Logan to make the story really complete. University of PennsylvaniaRoy F. Nichols For More Than Bread. By Clarence E. Pickett, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1953. 433 pages. $5.00. When asked by an English Friend how the American Friends Service Committee managed to find so many very able people to direct its projects, Clarence Pickett replied that men of ability were not interested in running a peanut stand. Clarence Pickett's "autobiographical account of twenty-two years' work with the American Friends Service Committee" is an elaboration of that short answer. The Committee—and he as its chief executive officer—have looked searchingly at a lot of the world's uglier facets and have tried to work out answers as courageous as the situations have been daunting. The Committee has been neither small nor timorous in its approach. With modesty Clarence Pickett sketches the ways in which the Service Committee has faced some of the tremendous challenges of the times—unemployment, refugees, war distress, post-war demoralization, racial prejudice, the conscription of conscience, mental sickness, the bankruptcy of power politics, the spiritual hunger in high places, young idealism hankering for understanding and the opportunity to gain it by simple service. The picture that emerges is not of an organization plunging 46Bulletin of Friends Historical Association about in sentimental search for spectacular good works, but of a body of men and women, shrewdly and wisely led, seeking before God for penetrating answers to conditions whose existence is a tribute to the power of the Devil. The scale of the operations is relatively small: so was most of the service described in the New Testament. The account that Clarence Pickett gives does not amount to a success story. The world is a more cruel place today than it was when this story begins; the minds of men are more deeply divided; the sights of the politicians less lofty; the godly about as ineffective. But Clarence Pickett has led his fellow-workers ahead, undismayed and sometimes achieving the seemingly impossible. This book throws light on how he has done it. Three gifts stand out. The first is his capacity to stand up to a challenge and work through to an answer, a capacity rooted perhaps in his early experience of family life on a debt-laden Kansas farmstead where there was no turning aside from central issues. This involves having a policy, seeing in advance things that are going to happen, and taking the initiative. Twentieth-century Friends are not always very good...