Page 5, 31st December 1965

31st December 1965
Page 5
Page 5, 31st December 1965 — CHAD VARAII, founder of The Samaritans : The True Wilderness

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People: Sammy Davis Jim, John Hadfield, ANTONIA WHITE, Van Straelen, RALPH RICHARDSON, Gavin Thurston, Si, D HASTINGS, Robin Brown, CHARLES PETRIE, Harvey Cox, Julian Symons, Colin W. Williams, Nigel Dennis, Eugen Weber, Elspeth Huxley, Paul, Hamish Hamilton, Sheila Birkenhead, SCOTT-JAMES, Physical Law, John Nobody, Eric Mascall, Hatsheput, Antony Jay, Sean O'Faolain, Kathleen Raine, Michael Bourdeaux, Morag Coate, THOMAS CORBISHLEY, PETER LEVI, ROBERT SPEAIGHT, John Buchan, Lenin, Gordon Relief, DOUGLAS HYDE, Sammy Davis, Bernard Spencer, ELIZABETH LONGFORD, CILLA BLACK, Louis Fischer, Barbara Jones, George D. Painter, ALMA COGAN, Isobel English, Hans Rogger, John Lennon, Bonaventure Perquin, Beatle John Lennon, ELIZABETH JENNINGS, Harry Williarns, John Moose, Richard Collier, Charles Peguy, Desmond Fisher, Ian Fawcett, Primo Levi, Russell Braddrm, Ian Cameron, Malcolm Brinnin, J. R. Jones, Janet Adam Smith, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Donat, Otto Dibelius, DUSTY SPRINGFIELD, Neville Brayhrooke, DONALD NICHOLL, Michael Joseph, PETER F. ANSON, Marjorie Villiers (Collins), Muriel •Spark, FRANK SMYTH, CHAD VARAII, TREVOR BEESON, Roy Thomson, RIVERS SCOTT, JOHN BIGGS DAVISON, Alan Ross, Richard Feynman, Tony Parker
Locations: Warsaw, Halifax, Wellington


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CHAD VARAII, founder of The Samaritans : The True Wilderness

by Harry Williarns (('onstable). The last kind of book I would normally read would be a volume of sermons, but nothing could be less sermonical than these. Warning: Do not read if you are afraid of knowing yourself better.

Beyond all Reason by Morag Coate (Constable). Since an increasingly large minority of the population has been. is or will be mentally ill, and the rest will have dealings with them, some understanding of mental illness is obligatory for responsible citizens. which shoeld _aelude all Christians. An this is a moving document written by one who has come through ELIZABETH JENNINGS, poet : I choose two books of verse

— the late Bernard Spencer's

Collected Poems because this fine poet is extrensely underrated (Alan Ross). and Kathken Raine's The Hollow Hill, her first new collection for 13 years (Hamish Hamilton).

PETER F. ANSON. writer : Not even five stars are enough for Ian Cameron's Lodestone and Evening Star, a marvellous saga of explora tion by sea, which tells the story of mariners who have mapped the world (Hodder t Stoughton). The 15 odysseys start with Queen Hatsheput's expedition of 1493 B.C. to the golden land of Punt, and end with Fridhjof Nansen's cross ing of the Arctic Ocean in 1893-6.

We realise that "the desire for knowledge" is the link that binds all these great navigators of every age ; that they were "the men who had a theory, and the faith to leap into the unknown to prove it right the men who had the imagination to dream, and the courage to bring their dreams to reality".

ANTONIA WHITE. writer : I choose Charles Peguy, a study of integrity, by Marjorie Villiers (Collins); Teilhard de Chardin: Pilgrim of the Future, edited by Neville Brayhrooke (Darton, Longman & Todd); and The Hollow Hill, poems by Kathleen Raine (Ilamish Hamilton). insanity to greater sanity than many of us.

Alcoholism by Kessel and Walton (Penguin) illustrates that of all the social problems, alcoholism is the one about which the general public most needs reliable information.

It is only comparatively recently that the widespread incidence of alcoholism has been recognised and this book, more than any other, will help in coping with it.

ELIZABETH LONGFORD, writer : The ,Mandelbaum Gate by Muriel •Spark (Macmillan) is a wonderful story with as many layers of interest as the reader cares to dig for. Most memorable was Wellington and his Friends: Letters of the I st Duke. edited by the 7th Duke of Wellington (Macmillan). Illustrious Friends by Sheila Birkenhead (Hamish Hamilton), the interwoven stories of Keats. Ruskin and the two Severn brothers are by turns melancholy, hilarious — and always inimitable.

DUSTY SPRINGFIELD, pop vocalist :

I vote for Yes I Can by Sammy Davis Mr., because it is an autobiography full of zip, enthusiasm and courage (Cassell). I also liked Barbara Jones's and Isobel English's Gift Book, a joke book about gifts which was very funny (Parrish).


Halifax by the Earl of Birkenhead (Hamish Hamilton), a first class biography, marked by a felicity of style and shrewdness of judgment of both individuals and events. It shows no falling-off when compared with the author's Life of his father.

The Great Thames Disaster by Gavin Thurston (Allen & Unwin) is the story of the sinking of the Princess Alice in the Thames in 1878 with the loss of 640 lives. An enthralling book.

John Buchan by Janet Adam Smith (Hart-Davis) is a most revealing study of an exceptionally complex character. both as writer and statesman, who after a brilliant start seemed to be approaching the end of his public usefulness when he scored his greatest success as Governor-General of Canada.


This year my reading has been almost entirely theological. One book I found most Interesting — because it takes an unfamiliar line on Eastern philosophy — is Our Attitude towards Other Religions by Henry 'Van Straelen, (Herder), a Cambridge Ph.D. who is Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religion at Nanzan University, Japan. Another book which attracts became of its unusual approach is The Diocesan Clew, by Bishop Charue of Namier (Deselee).

DR. RAMSEY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY This year I greatly enjoyed Victoria R.I. by Elizabeth Longford (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) and Halifax by the Earl of Birkenhead (Hamish Hamilton).

CATHOLIC HERALD STAFF They do not come strictly into the category of books but some of the documents of Vatican II made some of the most encouraging and important reading of 1965 for me. I would select particularly the Constitution on Divine Revelation, which will, one hopes. reverse the Catholic reluctance to read the Bible and the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World which is the first attempt to lay the foundations for what Pope Paul sees as a new form of Christian humanism. Desmond Fisher

No newspaperman could resist Roy Thomson of Fleet Street (Collins) the biography of Lord Thomson, owner of the Sunday Times and newspapers and television stations in Britain and overseas. Russell Braddrm writes well; Lord Thomson is a biographer's dream subject. A must for anyone who wants to know how to become a millionaire. Ian Fawcett

FRANK SMYTH, Editor of Record Retailer

Constantine Fitzgibbon's Life of Dylan Thomas seemed to me to be one of the most interesting that I have read during 1965 (Dent). Despite the various criticisms levelled at it. it is well researched, crisply written and throws light on that major part of Thomas's life as a poet and man not covered by Malcolm Brinnin's Dylan Thomas in America.

FATHER THOMAS CORBISHLEY, Si., Among the spate of books about Teilhard de Chardin, the most striking, I have found, is, The Faith of Teilhard de Chardin by Henri du Lubac S.J. (Bums Oates). I was impressed by Eric Mascall's The Secularization of Christianity (Darton, Longman & Todd) and also—a very different sort of book—about the life of Gueseral Booth entitled The General Next to God by Richard Collier (Collins).

TREVOR BEESON, Editor of New C'hristiatz: Like every other editor. I have handled hundreds of books during the past year. Of those which I have been able to read. the most memorable are these three: The Secular City by Harvey Cox (S.C.M. Press). This is a piece of really creative theological writing by a brilliant young American who shows how God is to be found in the modem urban world, and suggests ways in which Christians can influence and serve 20th Century communities.

"Where is the World by Colin W. Williams (Epworth Press). This is based on a series of papers produced by the World Council of Churches on "The Missionary Structure of the Congregation". Its suggestions for missionary strategy are revolutionary and. I believe, compelling.

The Holocaust Kingdom by Alexander Donat (Seeker & Warburg). This is the astonishing story of a Jewish family in the Warsaw ghetto who managed to survive concentration camps and almost every conceivable kind of cruelty.

JOHN BIGGS DAVISON, Conservative MP for Chigwell:

"Left or Right: Which is which?" That is how The European Right, edited by Hans Rogger and Eugen Weber (Weidenfield & Nicolson) begins. I choose it because the ground covered has long been left fallow. It clarifies political terms often abused or misunderstood in a generation misled by the cult of the "image" and the generalisations of journalistic convenience.

Professor Weber quotes a press interview given by an Algerian colon, who said that his kind were accused of being "extreme Right" but that those of their number who got on in the world read the papers of the Left. Today's intellectual "establishment" is "Left of Centre", and not all millionaires are Right Wing.

The professor makes "Radicalism" one of the ingredients of a philosophy of the Right. Disraeli's Toryism was both Conservative and Radical. Fascism and National Socialism, in their various forms, were radical Movements. Essentially. however, they were Left rather than Right.

To get power they appealed to conservative and royalist elements in society, to the Churches, the aristocracy, the armed forces. Having power, the Fascist or Nazi regime would proceed to isolate, discredit and destroy centres of allegiance other than their own Party-State. In war and Stress the demagogic dictatorship tethered them as scapegoats.

The Right Wing resistance in Nazi and Fascist Europe receives too little honour. One of the contributors, Dr. J. R. Jones, recognises no English Right beyond the wide bounds of the Tory Party.

He ably analyses the Tory and Liberal Unionist revolt against the callousness and cosmopolitanism of classical Liberalism and the inadequacy of Free Trade and laissez-faire to keep Britain awake and abreast in the coming world of Continental empires.

We now inhabit that world. A just social order and a European vision are proper aims of a modem Right. ROBERT SPEAIGHT, writer and actor :

Halifax, by the Earl of Birkenhead (Hamish Hamilton) is an exemplary biography of an interesting and important English character. Vire Moil by Sean O'Faolain (Hart-Davis), shows a novelist's selective judgment in a most winning account of his own upbringing while The Hound and the Falcon by Antonia White is one of the most remarkable records of spiritual crisis that I have ever read.

CILLA BLACK, pop vocalist :

I like practical books, and one that I have particularly enjoyed this year is The Flavour of Italy, which contains over 200 exciting recipes (Hamish Hamilton). I espec

ially like cooking Continental dishes because I can't cook very well and found on reading this book that it became very easy — rather like shorthand. I also found John Hadfield's anthology A Chamber of Horrors most thrilling (Studio Vista). DOUGLAS HYDE. political commentator : Five Women by Tony Parker is significant because it deals with a problem which should weigh far more heavily on Christian consciences than it does (Hutchinson). It also helps non-specialists to understand the social roots and human tragedy of the misfit and recidivist. and in so doing makes us take a critical look at the society in which we live.

I select Opium of the People: The Christian religion in the U.S.S.R. by Michael Bourdeaux because of the significance of the subject at this moment (Faber).

MACDONAI.D HASTINGS, commentator :

Out of what I have read, the most important book of this year is Elspeth Huxley's Brave New Victuals (Chatto & Windus). Fact not fiction, it is more terrifying in its way than Orwell's 1984.

I recommend the first novel by Robin Brown called When the Woods became the Trees (Michael Joseph). The author, a 28 year-old Rhodesian imagines in a thrilling story, what might happen in Rhodesia in a Black Revolution. My own guess, with my fingers crossed, is that it will never happen. This is not a book for people who like comfortable books.

The anthology of the year, in my opinion, is The Pick of the Rhubarb collected by Antony Jay (Hodder & Stoughton). It was the basis of a series of TN. programmes. It's the right book to have by the telephone to fill the time when. inevitably. you can't get through.

SIR RALPH RICHARDSON, actor : I select The Character of Physical Law: the Messenger Lectures by Richard Feynman (B.B.C. Publications). I like to know about things I cannot understand— is this a characteristic that makes Catholics of us all? This book was a mystery thriller for me.

England's Pride by Julian Symons (Hamish Hamilton). me the old, old story — long to hear it again". The old Gordon Relief story as told by the author is as spellbinding as ever. One day I shall read it again.


My book of the year is A Concise British Flora in Colour by the Rev. W. Keble Martin. with its excellent illustrations (Michael Joseph). I deplore the increasing use of colour photography to illustrate text books, and this enormous collection. of beautiful botanical drawings by one hand is something rare. I alsoenjoyed the second volume of George D. Painter's life of Proust (Chatto & Windus).


The outstanding novel of the year for roe has been John Moose's The Waters tinder the Earth (Collins). And the runner-up for me was Mar

garet Lane's A Smell of Burning (Hamish Hamilton).

PETER LEVI. Si, poet : The books I found exciting this year were none of them recent. except Dom Moraes' poems. John Nobody, a dark powerful. magnificent collection in which (as in Shakespeare) even the soft metal is interesting (Eyre & Spottiswoode). There has been little theology worth mentioning except for the Council decrees, though Jeremias' Central Mes. sage of the New Testament is a most interesting book. I was also fascinated by the Oxford Centenary Essays on Dante: they were technical, but they made him live in a way no vulgarisation can do (Oxford University Press).

DONALD NICHOLL. historian : Louis Fischer's Lenin gave me a much warmer feeling for Lenin, the human being, than do the usual essays in hagiography or demonography about him (Weidenfeld & Nicolson). Ergeny Lampert's Sons Against Fathers is a model of how to write intellectual history, (Oxford University Press). Otto Dibelius' In the Service of the Lord is the autobiography of a righteous Cierman and Christian, who has endured much on both counts from Nazis and from Corrimunists (Faber) RIVERS SCOTT, writer :

Three books I am specially grateful to have encountered this year are The Truce by Primo Levi. the strange journey of a group of concentration-camp survivors, recounted by one of them (Bodley Head); Jonathan Swift by Nigel Dennis, a modem wit on an old one, and a brilliant reappraisal (Weidenfeld & Nicolson); and Abba, Father by Bonaventure Perquin, O.P. which struck this layman at least as a model of devotional writing, beautifully and deeply reasoned, simply and warmly expressed (St. Paul Publications).

ALMA COGAN, pop vocalist: Two of the best books I have read this year have been by two of my favourite show business friends, Sammy Davis Jim and Beatle John Lennon. Sammy Davis's Yes I Can I found a most interesting and an outstanding story of courage (Cassell), and John Lennon's Spaniard in the Works (Cape) was even funnier than his first bestseller.

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