Books: What Did Shaw Believe?

BERNARD SHAW (242 pp.)—Eric Bentley —New Directions ($2).

A lecture by Single-Taxer Henry George convinced George Bernard Shaw that modern society was ill-made and needed to be completely rebuilt. Since then (1882), Shaw has played to perfection the role of the world's gadfly jester. In turn, the world has stared at him with amused perplexity, never certain when Shaw was serious and always a little bewildered about the meaning of his dazzlingly written but contradictory plays and prefaces.

Was Shaw merely an iconoclastic critic of humanity's failings who exaggerated for the sake of sensation?...

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