Books: Man Under Pressure

LOOK DOWN IN MERCY (308 pp.)—Walter Baxter—Putnam ($3.50).

"Courage," Ernest Hemingway once said, "is grace under pressure." Look Down in Mercy is a tale of disgrace under pressure. In an uncommonly good first novel, Author Walter Baxter tells the story of an ordinary British captain and how his codes and courage crack wide open under the strain of retreat, ambush and torture in Burma in World War II.

Himself a company commander of a British outfit in the early Burma fighting, Author Baxter writes with authority and unblinking candor. His book is not for the...

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