I wish to thank the New York Times for permission to include material which originally appeared in the "Books of the Times" column, much of it in somewhat different form.
I thank The Macmillan Company, New York, for permission to quote "In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations'" from Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy; Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., for permission to quote from 1984 by George Orwell and from The Just and the Unjust and Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens; William Sloane Associates, Inc., for permission to quote from The Big Sky by A. B. Guthrie Jr.; and E. P. Dutton and Company for permission to quote from a ballad by Bryan MacMahon, author of The Lion Tamer.
I also wish to thank my wife. No writer's wife, I feel sure, ever bore with better grace her husband's continual preoccupation with his task. Without the sound critical insight with which she read these pages as they were written they would now be disfigured by many more shortcomings than they are.