Books: Waldo

THE LETTERS OF RALPH WALDO EMERSON—Columbia University Press—6 vols. ($30).

The best letters are brief, direct, factual. The best letter writers are usually women and soldiers, who observe closely, state simply. Worst letter writers are usually writers—who philosophize. Among topflight U. S. letter-writing writers have long been Henry Adams, Henry James, John Hay, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Last week readers who could spare the price could look at all the Emerson letters they were ever likely to want, in six good-looking, gilt and salmon-pink volumes. Of these letters, claims Editor Ralph Leslie Rusk, 2,313 have never been printed...

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