Religion: White Man's Culture

Last week a remarkable book called The Seven Storey Mountain (Harcourt Brace; $3), the autobiography of a young poet who became a Trappist monk (TIME, Oct. 11), was a bestseller in its fifth printing. Thomas Merton's book was not designed to entertain; it does not offer readers escape—or tips on how to be popular or successful. In fact, the popular and successful reader may be made most uncomfortable by The Seven Storey Mountain. A sample of the book is its description of New York City's Negro quarter, Harlem:

"Here in this huge, dark, steaming slum, hundreds of thousands of Negroes are herded...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!