AMERICAN CHRONICLERay Stannard BakerScrlbners ($3.50).
One day in 1897 a young Chicago newspaperman named Ray Stannard Baker bought a small notebook and began to jot down notes about everything that caught his interest: people, conversations, landscapes, speculations. After a few years he bought larger notebooks. In almost 50 years, he has filled 70 of them with a total of about two million words.
It was one of the most profitable investments a writer ever made. When journalism left Baker ill and exhausted, he turned to his notebooks and, drawing on their recorded...