Books: Mixed Fiction, Feb. 14, 1955

THE SELF-BETRAYED, by Joseph Wechsberg (301 pp.; Knopf; $3.95). Czech-born Author Wechsberg often patrols the same prose beat as Tyrolean-born Ludwig Bemelmans; on it the major misdemeanors are underdone Wiener Schnitzel and overdone Central European whimsy. Wechsberg strays off his favorite beat in his second novel, a somber, loose-jointed documentary on the rise and fall of a big party wheel in Communist Czechoslovakia. Wechsberg's Communist hero-heel is named Bruno Stern, but his career closely parallels that of the late Rudolf Slansky, powerful, Moscow-trained secretary general of the Czech Communist Party who was...

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