Garet Garrett’s first novel from 1921, The Blue Wound, is now up in the study guide. This blogger thinks it is a wonderful book. Garrett’s biographer, Carl Ryant, says this is probably his best book. I just read it yesterday, and I can’t really agree.
The book tells the story of a journalist seeking the answer to the question of who started the war. His taken on a fantasy-style tour through history to investigate the questions. Yes, there are fascinating chapters on debt and war. But overall, I’m just not that impressed. For one thing, the style isn’t really my thing. I’d rather read straight fiction; fantasy doesn’t really do it for me. The second matter concerns what I detected as a confusion on the matter of trade. Garet here (1921) has no problem with genuine free trade on equal terms but he is filled with moral outrage about trade that is forced and backed by guns, such as when Japan was forced open by American imperialism or Britain opened China. His outrage is just and correct, but he goes too far: he seems to suspect that all international trade arrangements are tainted with militarist means and so seems to prefer the route of self-sufficiency as the best means to insure both peace and prosperity. Now, here we have bias toward the wrong kind of isolationism, and I suspect that this early in his career, Garrett wasn’t quite as alert as he would be later to the distinction between the state means and the economic means.
Nonetheless, I’m not the judge here, and it is now in the Study Guide as an important historical curiosity. Maybe other readers will be as impressed as the blogger linked above.
Meanwhile, we are on the lookout for a copy of the incredibly rare book called The Cinder Buggy, which tells the story of steel – much more exciting.