Books: Editor's Elegy

LAMENT FOR A CITY (371 pp.) — Henry Beetle Hough — Atheneum ($4.75).

A truth that most newspapermen would hoot at in a barroom is one in which most of them also privately believe — that a newspaper is the soul of its city. To Cornelius Tyler, the narrator of Newspaperman Hough's dour novel, the truth is evident, and so is the fact that like other souls, a newspaper can be sold. Well into his 80s and a touch liverish, Tyler writes bitterly — but with enough sense to know why he is bitter — about the decay of a New England...

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