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REVIEWS 207 formidable organization of these nationalists, was flushed with enthusiasm and confident that it might soon be able to .create an authoritarian state. Its .ideas were those of National SoCialism mixed strangely with Calvinism (the Calvinist tradition is strong amongst all Afrikanders) .· "The Ossewa..: brandwag idea," wrote the chairman of its supreme council, ''being the orgamc, the family and the national idea, originates in creation, in birth· and .therefore in God, and we have every right to describe it as the divine idea, whereas in contrast with the divine, the other may be called the·humari. The other idea, the ·imperialistic, and also the mechanical or liberalistic, originates in the depraved nature of man ·who is under the influence of the Evil One and is doomed to ultimate downfall." Since the conclUsion of the war the Ossewabrandwag has waned .in influenee and membership, whereas · liberal nationalism has grown in strength and in the past year brought Dr. Malan into office with the first exclusively Afrikander cabinet since the Union was established. For the present Dr. Malan has shelved his republicanism, moved closer in practice at least to the concepts of Hertzog, concentrated on the native issue, aild, in face of the present configuration of world politics, modified his former isolationism. The Nationalists are implacably hostile to Communism , and .now regard collaboration with the British Commonwealth as an .aid .in stemming the spread of Communism and in obtaining security for South Africa. In all this, there is an interesting interaction of ideas with .the hard facts of the -contemporary world. THE YOUNG HENRY ADAMS* KENNETH MAcLEAN One of Gibbon's good rules· for reading was: recall all you know of the subject of the book about to be read. This rule will likely be observed in taking up a new biography of one who has told so wonderfully his own story. The reader comes to Mr. Samuels' book with great curiosity to see what .light it will throw on the manner and themes of The ·Education ·of Henry Adams. One statement I should like to be able to challenge in Mr. Samuels' excellent biography is his observation that Adams' taste in litera.. ture was solidly conservative. In style, -The Education is lilce nothing so tnuch as modern poetry. Here Adams has set forth the imagery .experience has left behind, ·with that impressionistic heightening which time and memory ·create in the imagination. He remembered, and we remember, those white kid gloves which worried Lincoln at the Inaugural Ball. Much of the imagery of The Education seems modern because of its terror. The origins of Adams' advanced' literary manner will still remain a mystery, I thjnk, after one J;las been through Mr. Samuels' very careful study, which at the same time w~ show, to the surprise of some of us, the ·rather poo_ r *The Young Henry Adams. By ERNEST SAMUELS. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press [Toronto: Saunders]. 194-B. Pp. xvi, 378. ($6.25) Sa 208 THE UNIVERSITY OF T9RONTO QUARTERLY place .poetry and literature had even in Cambridge and :Boston in the middle.years of nineteenth-century.America. Adams insisted on literature in spite of hiS age. His I-Iorace went to the soldier in camp. Literary critics :Were ·themselves sometimes an obstacle. Samuels suggests that Lowell's ·disparaging critiCism delayed for many years ·Adaill$' . proper reading of Wordsworth, whose Prelude we may suppose suggested to him the aesthetic and philosophical value of those "spots of time" in his own life. Adams says in The Education that no man ever gave him the right steer, no woman the wrong. While there is no mention in The Education of .his wife and her tragic suicide, this writing is at once an.elegy to her and . to that erotic energy, symbolized by Venus and the Virgin, which -disappeared as a force in modern· times with the exploitation of the new energies of science. The reader of Mr. Samuels' biography will indulge a legitimate interest in the personal life and psychology of one who P,as told·of the ·spiritual severance of modern man from woman. Adams himself has probably prepared us too well to see him moving insensitively through his world...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 207-210
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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