From the back cover:
By 1938, when this revealing personal statement was published, Maugham had become a legend as a playwright, novelist and magician of the short story. He then wrote 'The Summing Up' to give some account of how he learned his craft and why he became such an acute observer of human beings. "It seemed to me I could see a great many things that other peole miss," he says.
This is something of an understatement. For as we discover how his bereaved childhood and rigorous training as a doctor sharpened his perception of people, reading 'The Summing Up' is like having and intimate conversation with one of the great cultured minds of the century.