Books: Man of Four Lives

THE CONTRARY EXPERIENCE by Herbert Read. 356 pages. Horizon Press. $6.50.

A pacifist who has earned a decoration for gallantry in battle, an anarchist who has been a successful bureaucrat, a farmer's son who is famous as an exponent of esthetic theory, a spokesman for the avant-garde who can nevertheless write in praise of an idyllic past. The typical Englishman who is all these things is Sir Herbert Read, 69, a highly singular man who needs not one but four autobiographies to do justice to his talent for plural living.

Men of the Moors. Sir Herbert, who despises institutional learning, and so,...

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