Apostle of a World Society
The obituary leader on H.G. Wells in the New York Times concluded with the statement that he was the greatest public teacher of our time. This is an arresting, and to some may seem an extravagant, statement. I believe, however, that a sober review of the changes that have taken place during the first half of the twentieth century in the opinions, interests and outlook of the public of the Western world, intellectual, ethical, social and political, will confirm its accuracy. Above all, those who were entering manhood when H.G. Wells was in early middle life, and reflect what Wells has contributed to the environment in which they have since lived, will agree that it is no exaggeration. There have been other great public teachers in this time, but none has so consistently and persuasively taught and exhorted so wide a range of readers. Wells was more than a public teacher, but he was that above all, and in his influence upon two generations none equalled him. No epitaph of a single sentence could be so just and appropriate.
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