Books: Life of Van Loon

REPORT TO SAINT PETER (220 pp.)—Hendrik Willem van Loon—Simon & Schuster ($3).

When he died at 62 (TIME, March 20, 1944), Popularizer Van Loon left this fragment of an autobiography. He began it, he said, partly as a response to letters from servicemen who wanted a plain account of "what this world is all about." Readers may get a few of Van Loon's notions on that subject in the avuncular Van Loon style (history as kiddy talk), but they will learn from this autobiography very little about Van Loon. It appears to have been designed for a leisurely, Montaignesque 700 pages and...

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