Books: What Heroes Learn

A EUROPEAN EDUCATION (248 pp.)—Romain Gary—Simon & Schuster ($3.75).

French Novelist Romain Gary has created a gallery of heroes who are willing to die for liberty but have to settle for the lesser victory of self-knowledge. Whether they enter the lists on the side of justice and liberty (The Colors of the Day) or fanatically defend so unlikely a symbol of freedom as the disappearing elephant (The Roots of Heaven), they wind up knowing that man's nature itself precludes the achievement of worldly grace. A courageous fighter himself (in the French and Free French air forces for eight years). Gary saves his...

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