Books: Vanishing American

JOHN JAY CHAPMAN AND HIS LETTERS —M. A. DeWolfe Howe—Houghton Mifflin ($4).

The average American, asked who John Jay Chapman was, might emerge from a mental merry-go-round of Roy Chapman Andrews, John Hay, Gerald Chapman and John Hays Hammond with the guess that he was anything from a diplomat to a gunman; his times anything from the early eighteen hundreds to the present day. Fact is, he was a law-trained, wealthy politicaster, Manhattan-born, Harvard-bred and of old New England stock, who never held public office but was rampant in all the reform...