Books: Helas!

RUDYARD KIPLING—Edward Shanks—Doubleday, Doran ($2.50).

A French critic, asked who was really France's greatest poet, answered: "Helas! C'est Victor Hugo." Mr. Shanks sadly admits that no recent English critic would have thought of including Rudyard Kipling among England's great, even tagged with an "Alas!" Mr. Shanks says briskly that this is a lot of nonsense: Kipling was not merely a great writer but a great political thinker, and got better & better as he went along. Less a critic than a partisan, Mr. Shanks thus arouses, in his own fainter way, echoes of the...

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