Books: Times Square Thoreau

ONCE AROUND THE SUN [376 pp.)—Brooks Atkinson—Harcourt, Brace ($4).

Most New Yorkers don't know it, but there are chickadees in Manhattan. J. (for Justin) Brooks Atkinson, 56, a transplanted New Englander, can hear one above the roar of the traffic at two blocks, he says, and run it down by ear.

Bird-Watcher Atkinson is better known for other distinctions. As the influential theater critic of the New York Times, he has as much to do with a Broadway play's success or failure as any living man. He has been a foreign correspondent in China, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 for his dispatches...

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