Los Angeles Herald Examiner Review
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WHO SPEAKS FOR THE NEGRO? by Robert Penn Warren. Random House, $5.95.
“Who Speaks for the Negro?” is a long book and a fascinating one. You must read it slowly and carefully to get the full values it offers, its brilliant play in contrasting lights, its developments, its searches for that elusive contemporary target—a national consensus.
By any measure, it is one of the year’s outstanding books.
One subject very fully explored is the white liberal’s place in Civil War II. That liberal is treated briskly and gently by turns.
Warren is good at dramatizing a tension, not merely labeling it in a banality’s faded ink. He likes to explore paradoxes.
Thus he shows us that the servility associated with Uncle Tomism is by no means confined to persons with dark skins. Every human organization yields persons who may be hell-roarers in their little bailiwicks yet bow like willows when the boss comes around.
A boon this book confers is to remind us that a main thrust in civilization can never cease to be toward decency and courtesy and justice for all. And in our planet’s present fix, that requires everyone’s best efforts.
( C ) New York Times News Service
8/1/65 Los Angeles Herald Examiner
(Handwritten notes in italics)Collapse