Columnists: Awesome Epigrams

After four widely acclaimed books, a vivid CBS-TV interview and a celebrated meeting with President Johnson, Longshoreman-Philosopher Eric Hoffer, 65, has become a hot literary property. So the Manhattan-based Ledger Syndicate asked him to do a newspaper column. His first response to Ledger President John W. Higgins was a resounding no, but he finally relented. An impressive 214 newspapers have now signed up for his weekly column called "Reflections."

Four "Reflections" have appeared to date. Like his books, they deal with what book reviewers call "the human condition" and therefore are not required to be topical. While most columnists...