Books: The Sands of Power

MIDCENTURY (496 pp.)—John Dos Passos—Houghton Mifflin ($5.95).

Wars and panics on the stock exchange,

machine gun fire and arson,

bankruptcies, warloans,

starvation, lice, cholera and typhus:

good growing weather for the House of Morgan.

—John Dos Passos' U.S.A.

The villain of John Dos Passos' massive Depression trilogy, U.S.A., was big business. The villain of Dos Passos' latest novel, Midcentury, is big unions. This is certainly the most fascinating fact about the book and possibly the most significant. To Dos Passos, the last quarter-century is an upended hourglass in which the sands of power and the abrasive abuse of...

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