In a paper on “Vicious Literature” recently presented at the Twentieth Century Club of Detroit, Mrs. Oscar Janes declared: “Despite the recommendations of the press and pulpit, I cannot endure Ben Hur . . . .” What’s the matter with the best-selling novel in American history since its publication more than 30 years ago? What makes it “vicious” in her view? “[T]he fact that the hero won the chariot race by a base trick,” the Detroit Free Press reports. One can only imagine Mrs. Jane’s reaction if Ben-Hur were to end up as the inspiration for one of those newfangled talking moving pictures.
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