Books: Philosopher of the Misfits

THE ORDEAL OF CHANGE (150 pp.)—Eric Hoffer—Harper & Row ($3.50).

President Eisenhower's taste in literature is supposed to run to westerns, but the book he kept pressing on friends and Cabinet members is a work of philosophy called The True Believer. A shrewd study of fanaticism, the book was written by Eric Hoffer, a San Francisco longshoreman and, before that, a migrant farm worker.

Hoffer, 61, is still a longshoreman, but since Ike discovered him he has had no difficulty in getting his thoughts published. In his third book, a collection of gracefully written essays, Hoffer launches into a philosophy of history. As...

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