I was young—in my later thirties, but my time-table has always been in retard; I had more money in my pocket than I felt was due me as “professorial lecturer” at the University of Chicago. I had had a relative failure or two during the Depression years with The Woman of Andros and Heaven’s My Destination. But I was healthy, filled with curiosity, and ignorant.1

What I was principally ignorant of was politics. I was thoroughly book-taught in politics from Aristotle down and I took a lively interest in presidential elections that turned on our hopes that a wise government would repair the appalling condition into which the country had fallen. In writing the book which I have designated as my second failure I had written—without knowing it—a...

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