WEEKEND IN DINLOCK, by Clancy Sigal. Houghton Mifflin Co. 197 pages, 1960.
THE WAR IN ALGERIA, by Jules Roy. Grove Press. An Evergreen Target Book. 128 pages, 1961.
Here are two books—neither very large—both fitting quite easily into the pocket of one’s jacket. Both deal with worlds far removed one from the other, and equally apart from our own world: in one case, Weekend in Dinlock, a miners’ village in Yorkshire, England; in the other, the most murderous and long-drawn-out nationalist war of our time. Yet, despite this difference, I feel drawn to reviewing them together, to urging the reader to read them if not simultaneously then at least close to one another. Why? Because both clearly come out of an intense search for the truth, out of a desire to see things clearly, with precision and honesty. If the tone of both books is the tone of compassion, the trap of the sentimental fallacy is skirted because of each author’s competence and knowledgeability. Clancy Sigal knows what he is talking about; Jules Roy grasps every side of the Algerian tragedy. Thus, both writers have produced works of superior political journalism often bordering on imaginative writing at its best.
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