By BRUCE CUTLER Written for The Texas Observer \(First of In the past twelve months there have been a series of serious political disturbances in three of the six Central American Republics: First, the invasion of Guatemala by forces under the command of Colonel Castillo Armas from Honduran territory, and the subsequent fall of the Arbenz-led Guatemalan government; Second, the assassination of President Remon of Panama by what appears to have been a group of his close political associates; And third, the invasion of Costa Rica from Nicaraguan territory by forces under the command of an ex-President of Costa Rica, Calderon Guardia, and the son of another ex-President, Teodoro Picado, Jr. \(whom our press has somewhat enthusiastically discovered is a Not mentioned in this chronology is the turmoil which has sur rounded the election of a Liberal candidate for President in Honduras, the desire of General Tiburcio Carias, ex-Dictator of that country, to reassert his power, and the final compromise on a third candidate as the choice of the National Assembly. Only two countries remain fairly stable: Nicaragua under the dictatorship of its most prosperous citizen. Anastasio “Tacho” Somoza, and El Salvador, under the capable and democratic leadership of Presi Inter p re t ive Page 3 January 24, 1955 THE TEXAS OBSERVER Report on Bookstores A Few Booksellers Promote Their Views, But Not Many di. Central and Most of Latin America –las Been in Revolution’s Grip Since ’44 By GLENN BROOKS Written for The Texas Observer \(Second of A fairly recent and somewhat problematical development in the book business in Texas concerns the book sections in department stores. In all but a few of the large stores these sections are owned and operated not by the stores themselves but by out-of-state corporations, usually as part of a chain of such shops. Some critics contend that the chains, located so favorably in the center of busy department stores, are driving the small bookstores out of business. It is natural that a woman shopper, for instance, will not bother to go to a bookstore if she can buy a book while she is waiting for the clerk at the hosiery counter to wrap her new stockings. Supporters of the chains argue that the woman with the new stockings probably would never think to go to a regular bookstore, and therefore a new reader has been added to the list. The Carl K. Wilson Company of Seattle maintains book divisions in Foley’s of Houston, Eiband’s of Galveston, Monnig’s and The Fair of Fort Worth, Goldstein-Migel of Waco, Sanger’s of Dallas, and The White House of El Paso. The General Book Company of New Orleans is represented in Lichtenstein’s of Corpus Christi and The R. E. Cox Company of Fort Worth. These book supermarkets account for a sizeable percentage of books sold in Texas. Certainly they are a dramatic departure from the traditionally personalized bookshop. It is difficult to generalize about the booksellers themselves. They are as diverse as any other group of business people. Many are outstanding leaders in their communities. Some have the good fortune to have other means of income, a particular blessing for those who face the frustrations of selling books to a population that simply does not read many books. It follows that booksellers are idealists of a sort despite the painful materialism to which they are exposed in conducting their businesses. The political philosophies of Texas booksellers sweep the spectrum from liberal to conservative. If businessmen in general tend to be in the right wing, the average of booksellers probably would Glenn Brooks, recent liberal arts graduate of the University of Texas, is sales manager for the University of Texas Press. He takes the rounds of the Texas itten this article based on his priences. His wife Ann teaches +ol in Austin. stand slightly to the left of the position of his colleagues, although conservatives are well represented. Regardless of their political views, the booksellers usually stock any book that is in demand, and sell it without editorial comment. The philosophy which holds that books are too important in themselves to be censored at the point of sale seems to dominate the thinking of Texas booksellers. However, in some cases book, sellers seek to impose their own political beliefs on others through a subtle method of editorializing by omission or promotion. One bookstore in Fort Worth refuses to stock the works of Elmer Davis, Owen Lattimore, or many other liberals. Its shelves bulge with “Iron Curtain Over America” by John Beaty, “McCarthy and His Enemies,” by Buckley and Bozell, and Paul Harvey’s “Autumn of Liberty,” exemplifying the extreme right. On the other hand, a shop in San Angelo leans toward liberal books, although it does have a few of the ultra-conservative titles on the upper shelves. Despite the remarkable growth of business and industry in Texas, bookstores have shown little change. The number of new stores opening is just about counter-balanced by the number of stores folding up, and the reading public has not increased significantly in the last few years. There has been, however, a tremendous boom in religious literature and how-to-do-it books, but as a balance, novels in hard bindings have become increasingly difficult to sell. These trends are not peculiar to Texas but repeat a reading pattern of many sections of the United States. To Texas booksellers, as a regional group, the growing popularity of books about the Southwest may be an encouraging trend for the present and the future. Republican Warns Of Socialist Planners JEWETT, Tex., Jan. 24The Republican Party’s 1954 candidate for Governor of Texas, Tod Adams, has called for a union of Southern conservative Democrats and Republicans to prevent the loss of “our form of government to the socialist planners.” In a speech delivered at an “Eisenhower in ’56” rally here, Adams said: “The only way we can lay a permanent foundation for the preservation of our traditional American way of life is for all Southern Conservative Democrats to join with the Conservative Republican Party under the leadership of Ike Eisenhower.” dent Oscar Osorio. Osorio has used his good offices to try to mediate these political controversies, and El Salvador was the scene of the important Diaz-Armas talks just after the fall of the Arbenz government in Guatemala. Osorio’s influence has been crucial in these cases. However, in the Nicaragua-Costa Rica dispute, he has been unable to mediate successfully. His mediation team was told in Managua, the Nicaraguan capital, that there were no grounds for compromise. What lies behind this unrest? Since 1944, all of Central America and most of Latin America has been in the grip of a popular revolution. Many commentators have stressed as causes the increase in raw-goods prices paid in the United States during the war years, which inflated Latin American economies. Equally as important, however, were the principles of government enunciated in the Atlantic Charter, which gave new ideals and hope to people living under totalitarian governments in our own hemisphere. Generally, t h e revolutionary movement has aimed at equality of social and political rights between rich and poor, “indians” and non-indians \(the APRA movement was an example of this in South America and figures like Arevalo of Guatemala, Osorio of El Salvador, Figueres of Costa Rica, Remon of Panama, and Galvez of Honduras been a desire for a more satisfactory price-policy for raw-goods sold in the United States. Demands made at Rio de Janeiro for a fixedprice policy for U.S. purchases last November reflected this firm agreement by almost all Latin American governments. In the wake of these revolutions came a counter revolutionary movement of considerable proportions. In some cases, as in Venezuela and in Costa Rica, it has been armed coup-d’etat and not widely supported among the population at large. In other cases, as in Guatemala, it gained support as a deliverance from political extremism and Soviet satellitism. The News in Grief Some interesting headlines in the Texas Press: ‘will There Always Be a Houston?” Houston Chronicle, Dec. 31 Probably. “Selecting Right Books Important in Reading” Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 12 Thank you, professor. “Age of Idiocy Not Yet Arrived. But Idiots Thrive in Washington” Houston ‘Chronicle Just give ’em time. They got rid of Truman and now if they can clean out the Eisenhower radicals … ” ‘Ruin Knowland’ Is Latest Goal Of New Dealers” Houston Chronicle, Dec. 10 “Ike Angered by Knowland Stand Against Censure of McCarthy” Dallas Times-Herald, Dec. 7 See? “Dior’s Relaxed Silhouette Dominates Spring Fashion” Houston Post, Jan. 12 That’s one way to put it. BAR TURNS DOWN PLAN AUSTIN, Jan. 24The State Bar of Texas, voting in secret ballot, decisively rejected a plan of the Bar’s constitutional reform committee to establish a “central authority” in the Supreme Court over all Texas courts. The plan was fully debated in the December journal of the association. The vote was 1,950 for, 3,800 against. A Displaced Person To the Editor: Congratulations on The Texas Observer … I will be interested in following the progress in Texas through frank and honest reporting …. I am a native Texan and left in September, 1954. Your paper keeps my hopes alive that someone is doing something to put the record straight. DOROTHY C. WILSON Olympia, Washington From Mrs. Granbery To the Editor: I am writing to thank you for the very fine article you have in The Texas Observer for January 3 on The Emancipator and my husband. You have done a very fine job, with the material I sent you and have given a summary of my husband’s career that is just and inspiring. I like very much the whole setup of the Observer …. I wish for you and the Observer a fine future a n d increasing influence and power. MRS. JOHN C. GRANBERY San Antonio Best Wishes To the Editor: … your publication is well-edited and well-dressed and certainly deserves the patronage of every loyal Democrat in Texas, and I would like to suggest a goal to work to: 100,000 subscribers by 1956. Is that too much to hope for? I think not and will assuredly do my part to achieve it, for we have finally got a medium to carry our message to “Garcia,” the people, and every good loyal Democrat should amplify that message …. M. M. JOHNSON Dallas NEW WAVERLY Recently I have read two pamphlets, both printed from speeches made before important meetings. Both are authored by men in the steel industry, but from opposite sides of the bargaining table. One by Clarence B. Randall, Chairman of Inland Steel Co., is titled: Our Foreign Economic Polic y. The other is titled: Steelworkers and the National Economy, and was given by David J. McDonald, President, United Steelworkers of America. Randall’s speech deals with causes; McDonald deals with effects of economic policy. Both are intensely interesting and gravely important., especially as the President has asked Congress for early action on his reciprocal trade program and Congress even now is holding hearings on it. Both of these men served on the President’s Commission on Foreign Economic Policy which was composed of ten men from Congress and seven representing the public. The findings of this commission form the basis of the President’s program now before Congress. The seven men representing the public voted unanimously; the Commission as a whole voted 14 to 3, which Randall says “I submit is a greater unanimity than can be found in this audience \(he was ject that I might suggest not excluding the Ten Commandments.” In this space I cannot give you the gist of these speeches, but I would like to lay it on your consciences to follow Congress on its Of Vet’s Land To the Editor: …. Why did the Land Board , low investment companies to make payments for $250 an acre which these companies had just purchased for $30 an acre? Wasn’t the land Board \(Shivers, Shepperd, and Texas veteran and assure him correct value in his investment? What did Giles mean when, at the beginning of an interview, he told the Cuero reporter that he intended to get tough at the end of the threeyear period \(if the veterans were not then making their own payAre we expected to absolve Shivers and Shepperd from blame because they attended few board meetings? Would an employee of free enterprise continue to hold his job if a three-man committee, of which he was a member, administered its employer’s business in ibis manner? Giles says the Board was under pressure. Under pressure from whom? CORDYE HALL Dallas From McAllen To the Editor: Needless to say that I am enjoying The Observer very much. I hope it will grow fast and strong and it will spread the truth and honesty throughout the whole State of Texas. I know you are facing a hard job, but with a will and a fighting spirit I know you can
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