Books: Australia Infelix

BOTANY BAY — Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall — Little, Brown ($2.50).

Whatever damage they are doing elsewhere, the Japanese are currently boosting the sales of Nordhoff & Hall's Botany Bay. Reason: U.S. curiosity about the Pacific Ocean in general, about Australia (a potential anti-Axis bastion) in particular.

The South Seas are almost a Nordhoff & Hall property. Joseph Conrad's domain was the Indian Ocean and the East Indies, which, in the guise of simple sailors, squatters and scoundrels, he populated with the greatest crew of 1890 neurotics to be found in 20th-century...

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