Books: Portrait of a Hero

Portrait of a Hero THE BIRTH OF A WORLD (432 pp.) —Waldo Frank— Houghton Mlfflin ($5).

"If Nature is against us, we shall fight Nature, and make it obey." The speaker is Simon Bolivar, the South American liberator; the time, 1812; the occasion, an earthquake which, by some terrible stroke of malice, has shattered the cities controlled by Venezuela's rebellious republicans but left untouched the cities loyal to the Spanish king. A royalist monk shouts to the dazed people of Caracas that the cause of their misfortune stands before them: Bolivar. The crowd begins to seethe menacingly. Without a word, Bolivar strides...

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