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212 THE UNIVERSITY OF T9RONTO QUARTERLY highly appreciative, is _ not blind to the weaknesses of either Delius the man or Dellus the musician. One 1night take issue with Professor Hutchings over his estimate of this o~ that particular work, but his judgments are well balanced and there can be no question of his thorough knowledge of his subject. · When one listens to the best of Delius' music one is inclined to share Professor Hutchings' view that, for all his obsession with Nietzschean philosophy, the composer was essentially religious and, in a sense, a mystic. For that matter it would seem to have been mystical elements in Nietzsche himself. that chiefly attracted him, thcmgh he cultivated at times a somewhat hard, domineering manner, a contempt for wealmess, and an egocentricity that conform to the familiar Nietzschean pattern. In hls :final con-· dusion our author classes Delius as one of those "Nature Mystics" of which England has produced some of the most notable. He makes an illuminating comparison _with Wordsworth: "Delius, like Wordsworth, had an arrogant , aristocratic nature...." But he differed from Wordsworth "by having the temperament only, not consciously following ·the mystical way."·Space forbids further quotation and the reader can only be referred to the book itself. This biography is worthy of its subject and is not likely to be easily superseded. · SHORTER NOTICES The Making of an Insurgent: An Autobiography: 1882-1919. By FioRELLo H. LAGUARDIA. Introduction by M. R. WERNER. Philadelphia and New York: Lippincott [Toronto: Longmans, Green]: 1948. Pp. 222. ($3.50)· Fiorello LaGuardia was one of the·half-dozen outstanding Americans of his generation. No one who knew him will ever forget the incessant activity, the driving energy, the impulsive decision, the reckless honesty, the admitted prejudice, the boisterous humour, the rage for justice, or the depth and breadth of his human sympathies. He was a man of fine intelligence and of great political ~agacity. But he was .also impatient ~nd stubborn. As a result he made mistakes and sometimes the·mistake, as he. himself said, was "a beaut." This frankness in admitting his errors was one of his distinctive characteristics and was responsible in some measure for the affection with which he was regarded by the people of the city he loved and which he served with such zeal, enthusiasm, and success. This book does less than justice to either the head or the heart of its author. Dictated hastily (in an attempt to fulfil a long-standing promise to a publisher) during the last few months of his obviously fatal illness, it provides a plain record of the external facts· of his personal and. public life down to the end of the First World War. It tells concisely of his birth in SHORTER NOTICES 213 New York City and his early years with his band-master father in western army posts, his brief career in the U.S. consular service, his work as an inunigration officer while studying law in ·New York, his first and second elections to Congress, his experiences as a Congressman and a combat flyer (for he worked in both capacities) in the Air Force, and his return to politics ill Washington and New York. As the most significant events in LaGuardia's varied and vigorous career came in later years, the larger and J!lore valuable p~ of the story is still to be told. Fortuna~ely M. R. Werner, the well-known American historian and biographer, was selected before LaGuardia's death to provide the full report of this dramatic life. The Making of an Insurgent has no pretensions to literary style and it reveals only a part of the complexity and charm of the man it describes. The "Little Flower') knew all the tricks of the platform and was even better in direct human relationships; but the pen was not his tool. LaGuardia's humour, ·his knowledge, his ability as an actor, his obvious, transparent, and passionate sincerity, even his irascibility, made him an exciting and persuasive figure on the hustings. He was more effective still in personal contacts. For example, in the ·work of the Canada-United. States Per- . inanent Joint Board on Defence, of which...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 212-213
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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