PLAIN PEOPLE: A for Effort

Alfred Nobel, the Swedish munitions king who endowed the prizes that bear his name, directed that they be given "to those who had most contributed to the benefit of mankind during the preceding year." But in times as touchy as these, for awards as political as Peace and Literature, the Scandinavian selectors prefer to play much safer than that. Last week they chose for Peace two Americans who were more active during World War I than after World War II—and for Literature a German who left his native land not under Hitler but under the Kaiser.

The two Americans were John...

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