HOAXES: The Midnight Penman Returns

Curiouser and curiouser, this book A History of the Modern Age (Doubleday; $7.95), which will be published next week. It is billed as the work of one Julian K. Prescott, a former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs who suffered a nervous breakdown in 1964 and died four years later, leaving his unfinished manuscript to his old friend Professor Neal F. Morrison for publication.

What a feast of previously unpublished material it contains—everything from an encounter between Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill in a Kremlin steam bath ("a converted dungeon...

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