Page 28 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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JEWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
22
characters there is also a Jew whose family had been killed in Nazi
concentration camps. The role he plays in the novel is an insig-
nificant one. Unlike the other men in the story he is not involved
in conversation about women and love and the enforced separation
from women of lonely army men.
NOVELS ON VARIOUS THEMES
Lucifer with a book
by John Horne Burns (N. Y., Harper, 1949)
is a novel describing life in the Academy, a New England private
school. In reality the conditions described are not confined to
New England private schools alone; they are prevalent in other
American schools as well. Among the many characters in the novel
is Ben Gordon, the fine, manly Jew, who presumably because he
is a Jew, becomes a victim of a plot to strip him of his extra-
curricular honors.
Prejudice as it affects Jews in this country is the major theme of
Mr. Quill's crusade
, a novel, by George Abbe (N. Y., Island
Press, 1948), about an artist and an idealist who wants to live
quietly and paint in peace. I t is also the story of the Lerners, his
next-door neighbors, and only incidentally Jewish refugees. Other
characters, too, big and little people, play their role in it including
David Weiss, the Jewish psychologist, who is “ taken for a ride”
just as a joke.
The first of an ambitious series of novels about contemporary
human beings as seen through the eyes of a psychiatrist is entitled
They move with the sun
by Daniel Taylor (N. Y., Farrar, Straus,
1948). I t is the story of Hank Leher who grew up an intense,
warm, intelligent boy in the town of Perry, Ind. Early in his life
he set himself to find the reasons for the antisemitic hatred that
had surrounded him from childhood. He chose for his profession
the field of medicine, feeling that its positive knowledge would
make him self-sufficient. He decided to specialize in the study of
the mind. I t is the story of many a Jewish young man who
reared in an atmosphere of small-town prejudice seeks understand-
ing and escape in medicine.
The post of honor,
a novel, by David Dortort (N. Y., Whittlesey,
1949) is set in Brownsville, a teeming slum district of Brooklyn,
best known in recent times as the bailiwick of Murder, Inc. The
novel is not much concerned with the slum problems of crime and
delinquency. Except for a lone bookmaker, all the characters in
the novel seek ideological outlets for their depression-born frustra-
tions. There is Max Gerard who in 1934 believed ardently in
the Communist ideal, and who finally casts aside all ideologies
and arrays himself “on the other side of power, whatever that