Books: Postwar Commonwealth

WORLDS BEGINNING—Robert Ardrey —Duell, Sloan & Pearce ($2.50).

Fifteen years after World War II, the U.S. was bankrupt. Industry had not exported so much as a mousetrap since the rest of the world had gone all out for synthetics and self-sufficiency. Unemployment and race riots swept the country. A terrible apathy descended upon the people of America ("Yes," sighed a visiting Chinese, "that's how my people were for 1,000 years"). No one guessed that a new world was just around the corner.

The Davis brothers were its founders. Ben Davis invented a synthetic wire that could replace copper wire. George Davis figured a...

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