After more than a century of intermittent haunting, the ghost of a gloomy British clergyman, Thomas Robert Malthus, was on the rampage last week. Cresting a wave of postwar pessimism, it flashed through the air on the radio, rode through the mails in magazines. Publishers opened their arms and presses to "Neo-Malthusian" manuscripts prophesying worldwide overpopulation and hunger. Two "scarce books"—Our Plundered Planet, by Fairfield Osborn, and Road to Survival (a Book-of-the-Month selection), by William Vogt—were glowingly reviewed and selling like hot cakes. Their influence has already reached around the world....

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