Reference > The Library > Helen Rex Keller > Reader’s Digest of Books

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
Mr. Crewe’s Career
Winston Churchill (1871–1947)
Mr. Crewe’s Career, by Winston Churchill (1908). Mr. Crewe’s ardent and unsuccessful pursuit of political office is involved in a story of state politics controlled by a railroad. The real hero is Austen Vane, the only son of Judge Hilary Vane. The father, who is chief counsel for the railroad and boss of the political machine, is proud of the public service of the railroad and regards his own service as the part of high patriotism. The son stands unflinchingly for clean politics, and becomes the leader of the Opposition. He does justice to his father’s personal integrity and point of view. He says to the New England farmers who appeal to him: “Conditions as they exist are the result of an evolution. The railroads, before they consolidated, found the political boss in power, and had to pay him for favors…. We mustn’t blame the railroads too severely, when they grow strong enough, for substituting their own political army to avoid being blackmailed.” Austen falls in love with Victoria, the charming daughter of the railroad president. Like her lover, she is forced to find her father’s methods wrong in spite of her affection for him. The central incident is the campaign for governor. Mr. Crewe, the bachelor millionaire, thickly encased in the armor of self-conceit, pushes himself for the nomination, as a champion of the people against the railroad. Austen refuses to accept the nomination, out of respect for his father, and the railroad candidate wins an empty victory, since the handwriting on the wall is visible that the day of domination of the North Eastern railroads is past.  1

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