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January, 1969Back to Top
The Protocols
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Credit for a remarkable feat of detection in tracing the literary origins of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion should not be given, as Mr.

Scientists and Orthodoxy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: There are a number of statements in Erich Isaac's article on the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists [“The Loneliest Jews of All,” August 1968] with which one can take serious issue.

The Social Sciences
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences [October 1968], Professor Ben B. Seligman devotes four sentences to a comment on my article in the encyclopedia.

Masaryk's Birthplace
by Our Readers
To the Editor: George Lichtheim's statement, in his article “Czechoslovakia 1968” [November 1968], that Thomas Masaryk was a Slovak, is incorrect. Masaryk's birthplace, Hodonin, happens to be located in the Southernmost part of Moravia bordering on Slovakia.

I. The New York Intellectuals
by Irving Howe
The New York Intellectuals, the first of the two exchanges which follow, was occasioned by Irving Howe's article, “The New York Intellectuals: A Chronicle and a Critique,” which appeared in the October 1968 COMMENTARY.

II. On Music Criticism
by B. Haggin
Music Criticism was occasioned by B. H. Hoggin's article, “Music Criticism Today,” which also appeared in October 1968. Eric Salzman, music critic and composer, is director of the contemporary music series at Hunter College. Since I have been so far spared the fearsome thunderbolts of B.

The Black Revolution & the Jewish Question
by Earl Raab
About a half-century ago, Louis Marshall, the eminent constitutional lawyer who was also president of the American Jewish Committee, said firmly: “We do not recognize the existence of a Jewish Question in the United States.” That distasteful phrase, “The Jewish Question,” evoked the European model: the political uses of anti-Semitism.

The Democrats After 1968
by Penn Kemble
It has already become a cliché that, despite most predictions, the Democratic coalition held together pretty well in the 1968 election—almost well enough, indeed, to have produced a miracle.

The New York School Crisis
by Maurice Goldbloom
“The Axe,” Sir Walter Raleigh told his executioner, “is a sharp medicine but a sure cure for all ills.” A good many people seem ready to resort to Sir Walter's prescription to remedy the ills of New York's schools.

Is White Racism the Problem?
by Murray Friedman
One of the less fortunate results of the black revolution has been the development of a by now familiar ritual in which the white liberal is accused of racism and responds by proclaiming himself and the entire society guilty as charged; the Kerner report was only the official apotheosis of this type of white response to the black challenge of the 60's.

On Pro Football
by Richard Schickel
By common consent, the most striking sports phenomenon in the 1950's has been the displacement of baseball by professional football as the Great American Game.

Witchcraft and the Movies
by Edward Gross
Like The Graduate, the film Rosemary's Baby calls for explanation as a phenomenon of the times. Both movies are polished, professional products of the film-maker's art; both are stories of highly educated, urbanized persons who face the problem of making it in modern America.

The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus
by George Woodcock
Prose Laureate The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell. by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus. Harcourt, Brace & World. 4 vols.

The Urban Prospect, by Lewis Mumford
by Herbert Gans
The Road to Necropolis The Urban Prospect. by Lewis Mumford. Harcourt, Brace & World. 255 pp. $5.95. For over thirty years now, Lewis Mumford has been a major American prophet and preacher, calling for drastic change not only in our architecture and planning but in our entire civilization.

Humanistic Values in the Bible, by Zvi Adar
by Marvin Fox
Paideia Humanistic Values in the Bible. by Zvi Adar. Translated by Mrs. Victor Tcherikover. Reconstructionist Press. 429 pp. $6.50. Matthew Arnold, writing in Culture and Anarchy of the “ineffaceable difference” between Hebraism and Hellenism, concluded that “the face which human nature presents when it passes from the hands of one of them to those of the other, is no longer the same.” This opposition has been recognized and accepted by Jews from Maccabean times to the present.

Film 67/68, edited by Richard Schickel and John Simon; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, by Pauline Kael
by William Pechter
Movie Criticism Film 67/68. by Richard Schickel and John Simon. Simon & Schuster. 320 pp. $6.95. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. by Pauline Kael. Atlantic-Little, Brown. 370 pp.

Children, Poverty, and Family Allowances, by James C. Vadakin
by Robert Lekachman
Social Benefits Children, Poverty, and Family Allowances. by James C. Vadakin. Basic Books. 224 pp. $6.95. Professor Vadakin's temperate and well-documented case for cash allowances to children as an anti-poverty measure appears just at the outset of four, eight, or more years of stagnation (at best) or retrogression (at worst) in national economic and social policy.

Reader Letters January 1969
by Our Readers
Masaryk's Birthplace TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: George Lichtheim's statement, in his article "Czechoslovakia 1968" [November 1968], that Thomas Masaryk was a Slovak, is incorrect. Masaryk's birthplace, Hodonin, happens to be located in the Southernmost part of Moravia bor- dering on Slovakia.

February, 1969Back to Top
Obscenity & the Law
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of The End of Obscenity [November 1968] Professor Bickel says such nice things about my book that it seems uncivil to write this letter.

Puritanism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Milton Himmelfarb's . . . essay on “Paganism, Religion, and Modernity” [November 1968] starts with a Jew in shul on Yom Kippur .

Kol Nidre
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Rabbi Kieval's article “The Curious Case of Kol Nidre” [October 1968] does much to explain this inconsistent formula.

Civil Disobedience
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “Vietnam and the Law” by Beverly Woodward [November 1968] quite properly makes a case for deliberate violation of the law in our society for the purpose of achieving reform.

The Moral Imagination
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jervis Anderson's fine essay, “Race, Rage & Eldridge Cleaver” [December 1968], is itself a wonderful illustration of how the moral imagination which he calls for in American writing can act as a liberating force.

History as Drama
by Jack Richardson
The Great White Hope, by Howard Sackler, is the sort of play for which all of us who battle for the theater's reputation should be grateful.

The Ghost of Social-Fascism
by Theodore Draper
Why should anyone today want to bother with such a relic of the past as “the theory of social-fascism”? One reason is that it once bothered us so much; another is that it may be bothering us again. Historically, the so-called theory of social-fascism and the practice based on it constituted one of the chief factors contributing to the victory of German fascism in January 1933.

A Writer Between Generations
by David Bazelon
I came to New York in the fall of 1943 when I was twenty to make my way as a writer.

The Jewish Community & the Jewish Condition
by Robert Alter
If one travels around much among American Jews, attending the various rites, cultural or religious, by which they celebrate their own self-conscious sense of community, it is terribly easy to become disheartened, depressed, or simply sickened.

The Big Money
by John Thompson
Half of all Americans die broke. Born with nothing, they accumulate nothing. They may have owned in their lives some clothing, a few pieces of furniture, and, on installment payments, a succession of used cars and television sets.

Faith in Israel
by Harold Fisch
In The End of the Jewish People?, a book which appeared in 1967 and which was overtaken by the Six-Day War almost as it came off the press, Georges Friedmann, the French sociologist, wrote: There is no Jewish nation.

Beyond New Leftism
by Steven Kelman
American students created two momentous political events last year: the primary victory of Eugene McCarthy in New Hampshire, and the anti-war demonstrations in Chicago.

Steady Work, by Irving Howe; Thomas Hardy, by Irving Howe
by Raymond Williams
Parting of the Ways Steady Work: Essays in the Politics of Democratic Radicalism. by Irving Howe. Harcourt, Brace & World. 364 pp. $6.95. Thomas Hardy. by Irving Howe. Macmillan.

Post Mortem: The Jews in Germany Today, by Leo Katcher
by Amos Elon
The Remnant Post Mortem: The Jews in Germany Today. by Leo Katcher. Delacorte. 320 pp. $6.95. When the federal republic of West Germany came into being, John J.

The Pump House Gang, by Tom Wolfe; The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe
by Neil Compton
Hijinks Journalism The Pump House Gang. by Tom Wolfe. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 309 pp. $5.95. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. by Tom Wolfe. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Intervention and Revolution, by Richard J. Barnet
by William Pfaff
World Reformism Intervention and Revolution: America's Confrontation with Insurgent Movements Around The World. by Richard J. Barnet. World. 302 pp. $6.95. Vietnam is the last intervention, Mr.

Reader Letters February 1969
by Our Readers
The Moral Imagination TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Jervis Anderson's fine essay, "Race, Rage & Eldridge Cleaver" [December 1968], is itself a won- derful illustration of how the mor- al imagination which he calls for in American writing can act as a liberating force.

March, 1969Back to Top
Kurt Tucholsky
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I realize that in taking exception to Ernst Pawel's remarks on Kurt Tucholsky [in his review of Kurt Tucholsky and the Ordeal of Germany, 1914-1935 by Harold Poor and What If .

Liberalism & Columbia
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I must have read close to half a million words about the Columbia University “insurrection.” . . .

The Electoral College
by Alexander Bickel
The following exchange was occasioned by Alexander M. Bickel's article “Is Electoral Reform the Answer?” which appeared in December 1968.

Is American Jewry in Crisis?
by Milton Himmelfarb
It is easy to praise the Athenians to Athenians: thus Plato. If easy, then unnecessary; but if necessary, then perhaps not easy? Looking back, I see that for some years now, after each Presidential or midterm election I have found it necessary to praise the Jews to Jews.

A Condition of Servitude-A Story
by John Thompson
Had Lena been transformed overnight into the lady of the house, as they used to be called, would anyone but Lena herself have seen much difference in it? In those days, certainly, when Lena was young, the housewives of that neighborhood had no nonsense of leisure about them.

The Prospects of War in the Middle East
by Gil AlRoy
As the hopes of Americans for a negotiated settlement to the war in Vietnam continue to rise, popular apprehension appears to be shifting increasingly toward the Middle East, where, it seems, conditions proceed inexorably from bad to worse.

Among the Aged
by Dorothy Rabinowitz
This is an Institution for the Aged. This is where they come when the other alternatives of their lives become unbearable.

Beneath the Moon
by George Lichtheim
London, January.—In these stirring days when (to crib from one of my contemporaries) we may expect that the strains of I Love Lucy will soon be beaming out over the craters of Earth's satellite, an air of anticlimax inevitably attaches itself to our sublunary affairs.

A Memory of Mexico
by Brian Glanville
The Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Mexico City where, on the evening of October 2, 1968, some two hundred students, women, and adolescents were shot down by police and soldiers, lies at the end of the long Paseo de la Reforma, in the district of Tlatelolco.

110 Livingston Street, by David Rogers
by Nathan Glazer
School Politics 110 Livingston Street: Politics and Bureaucracy in the New York City Schools. by David Rogers. Random House. 584 pp. $8.95. One can scarcely conceive of an issue more important to the future of the cities than the failure of the New York City Board of Education and the political structure of the City of New York to institute an effective desegregation of the city's schools during the 1960's.

Thinking About Women, by Mary Ellmann
by Elizabeth Stevenson
Sex & Sensibility Thinking About Women. by Mary Ellmann. Harcourt, Brace & World. 229 pp. $4.95. Mary Ellmann's book, Thinking About Women, is a diatribe against a stereotype.

The Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten
by Mortimer Cohen
Wise Guy The Joys of Yiddish. by Leo Rosten. McGraw-Hill. 533 pp. $10.00. An anonymous student inscribes “Marcel Proust is a yenta” on a wall; a Pentagon official speaks of the “bagel strategy”; a writer for the London Economist captions a column on mortgage rates “Home Loan Hoo-Ha”; Better Homes and Gardens has a Christmas 1966 issue titled “The Season's Delightful Jewish Traditions and Foods”; Fiddler on the Roof, a musical comedy about life in a Jewish village in pre-World War I Galicia, is a resounding success; the London Times Literary Supplement contains the phrase.

A Short History of Modern Greece, by C. M. Woodhouse; The Web of Modern Greek Politics, by Jane Clark Carey and Andrew Galbraith
by Maurice Goldbloom
On Greece A Short History of Modern Greece. by C. M. Woodhouse. Praeger. 318 pp. $6.50. The Web of Modern Greek Politics. by Jane Clark Carey and Andrew Galbraith Carey. Columbia.

Notes from the New Underground, edited by Jesse Kornbluth
by Walter Goodman
Hippiedom Notes from the New Underground: An Anthology. by Jesse Kornbluth. Viking Press. 302 pp. $7.50. The news from the New Underground is this: Square America drinks too much and fornicates too little.

Reader Letters March 1969
by Our Readers
Liberalism & Columbia TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I must have read close to half a million words about the Columbia University "insurrection." ...

April, 1969Back to Top
Film Critics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As co-editor of Film 67/68 I feel duty-bound to defend not the book but the majority of its contributors from the attack launched in your pages by William S.

Jews, Blacks & Wasps
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Earl Raab's article, “The Black Revolution and the Jewish Question” [January], strikes me as a very profound study.

White Racism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Is White Racism the Problem?” [January] Murray Friedman appears to answer his own question in the negative—without having first defined “white racism.” In fact, while he admits to “many real differences between the Negro and other groups in this country, including the Negro's higher visibility and the traumatic impact of slavery,” he argues that the Negro is “nevertheless, involved in much the same historical process experienced by all groups, with varying success, in attempting to make it' in American life.” .

Liberalism & Activism
by Diana Trilling
Last Month, Diana Trilling, in replying to a comment by Robert Lowell on her article, “On the Steps of Low Library” (November 1968), posed a series of questions to Mr.

The School Strike
by Maurice Goldbloom
The Second Exchange was occasioned by Maurice J. Goldbloom's article, “The New York School Crisis,” which appeared in January. Marilyn Gittell is director of the Institute for Community Studies at Queens College in New York City; Aryeh Neier is executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Marilyn Gittell Mr.

Blacks, Jews & the Intellectuals
by Nathan Glazer
Nathan Glazer here continues the discussion inaugurated by Earl Raab's "The Black Revolution & the Jewish Question" (January) and Milton Himmelfarb's "Is American Jewry in Crisis?" (March).

The Campus & Its Critics
by George Kateb
Is it wrong to find something curious in the current hatred directed toward universities and colleges? After all, there was a time, not long ago, when places of higher education were relatively immune from strong feelings of any kind.

Toward a History of the Holocaust
by Lucy Dawidowicz
In Memory of Max Weinreich A year ago, at the beginning of April 1968, a conference was held in Jerusalem to mark the 25th anniversary of the ghetto uprisings against the Nazis in Europe.

For and Against Godard
by William Pechter
Seven years ago, I published a long piece on Breathless which may well have been (and, apart from brief reviews, was almost certainly) the first serious criticism in praise of Godard in English, and during the course of which I invoked comparisons with A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.

Notes on Aggression
by John Thompson
About violence we don't even seem to know the right questions, let alone the answers. Everyone is aware now of human aggression in a way we never were before.

TV Dreams
by Neil Compton
Anyone who calls himself—or allows himself to be called—a television critic cannot afford to neglect the junk that clutters the commercial network schedules.

And Other Stories, by John O'Hara; Mosby's Memoirs, by Saul Bellow; Under the Boardwalk, by Norman Rosten; A House Divided, by S
by Elizabeth Dalton
The Short Story And Other Stories. by John O'Hara. Random Home. 336 pp. $5.95. Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories. by Saul Bellow. Viking. 184 pp. $5.00. Under the Boardwalk. by Norman Rosten. Prentice-Hall.

The President's Men, by Patrick Anderson
by Ralph Huitt
Advising the President: I The President's Men. by Patrick Anderson. Doubleday. 420 pp. $6.95. The President, as Richard Neustadt says in Presidential Power, faces “the classic problem of the man on top: how to be on top in fact as well as in name”—in a word, how to secure power for himself.

The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson, by Eric F. Goldman
by Walter Goodman
Advising the President: II The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson. by Eric F. Goldman. Alfred A. Knopf. 531 pp. $8.95. Toward the end of his intermittently interesting book about the first three years of the Johnson administration, Eric F.

The Beatles, by Hunter Davies; The Beatles, by Julius Fast; The Beatles, by Anthony Scaduto; The Beatles Book, edited by Edward
by Heywood Gould
Up From Liverpool The Beatles: The Authorized Biography. by Hunter Davies. McGraw-Hill. 357 pp. $6.95. The Beatles: The Real Story. by Julius Fast. Putnam. 252 pp.

After the Tradition, by Robert Alter
by John Gross
A Balanced View After the Tradition. by Robert Alter. Dutton. 256 pp. $5.95. By taking as his major theme modern Jewish writing—and in this context modern also generally implies, to use his own term, “post-traditional”—Robert Alter has staked out a difficult course for himself.

Reader Letters April 1969
by Our Readers
White Racism TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In "Is White Racism the Prob- lem?" [January] Murray Fried- man appears to answer his own question in the negative-without having first defined "white rac- ism." In fact, while he admits to "many real differences between the Negro and other groups in this country, including the Negro's higher visibility and the traumatic impact of slavery," he argues that the Negro is "nevertheless, in- volved in much the same historical process experienced by all groups, with varying success, in attempting to make it' in American life." .

May, 1969Back to Top
The Last Generation
by Our Readers
To the Editor: So David Bazelon thinks he is caught between generations [“A Writer Between Generations,” February]. Let me speak briefly .

Stancemanship
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Steady Work and Thomas Hardy by Irving Howe [February], Raymond Williams abstracts certain attitudes of Mr.

A Question of Faith
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Faith in Israel” [February], Harold Fisch says: “To be a Jew is not so much to believe in certain things, but to be in a certain existential situation: The Jew is that person who is caught in !

In Defense of Yiddish
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mortimer T. Cohen's review of The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten [“Books in Review,” March] comes closer than most of the critical reviews to pinpointing the real defects of the work.

Jewish Unity
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “The Jewish Community & the Jewish Condition” [February], Robert Alter writes that the Segals Centre conference demonstrated “at least on a limited scale, that unity among Jews is not a theoretical goal to be realized through ecumenical programs but rather an existential fact, merely ignored, disguised, or hidden from consciousness by the partisan quality of Jewish public life.” But it must be pointed out that Alter creates an inaccurate impression by implying that the conference was a rare, if not unique, instance of Jewish unity.

Non-eyewitness
by Our Readers
To the Editor: An otherwise brilliant issue was sadly sullied by the inclusion of the non-eyewitness account of the student-police riots in Mexico City, written by Brian Glanville [“A Memory of Mexico,” March] .

Social-Fascism, Then & Now
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a young student of history, I must respectfully take issue with the thrust of Theodore Draper's “The Ghost of Social-Fascism” [February] which seems to me to have been misleadingly unhistorical: first, in its anachronistic treatment of the concept of social-fascism and second, in its moralistic drawing of a questionable contemporary parallel.

Poor Statistics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “About one-fifth of all American families . . . live on incomes below the so-called federal poverty line,” John Thompson states [“The Big Money,” February], basing himself on Herbert Gans in the New York Times Magazine—unfortunately a source no better than Ferdinand Lundberg whom Thompson also takes seriously.

The Democrats
by Penn Kemble
The following exchange was occasioned by Penn Kemble's article, “The Democrats After 1968,” which appeared in January. Douglas Ireland, who is currently at work on a book about the New Politics, was Senator Eugene McCarthy's national labor coordinator in the 1968 campaign, and later served on the campaign staff of Allard K.

The Position of Noam Chomsky
by Lionel Abel
I think I would feel an extra obligation to attack the war in Vietnam if I were on the staff of MIT—one of the props, after all, of the American defense establishment; and I would feel an extra obligation to attack supporters of the war, especially those in the intellectual community.

The Alternatives in the Middle East
by Nadav Safran
Is there any hope of breaking the Middle-Eastern deadlock through concerted action by the two superpowers working together with Britain and France? One can only answer this question by examining—and more realistically than has generally been done—the interests and positions of all the parties within the immediate circle of the crisis.

How People Change
by Allen Wheelis
We have not far to look for suffering. It's in the streets, fills the air, lies upon our friends. Faces of pain look at us from newspaper, from TV screen.

Sour or Suntanned, It Makes No Difference-A Story
by Johanna Kaplan
What could make sense? The Israeli playwright had such long legs it was hard to believe he was Jewish. “Little girl,” he said, coming up to Miriam with his very short pants and his heavy brown sandals that looked like they were made out of a whole rocky gang's Garrison belts, “little girl, which languages you are speaking?” But Miriam had not been speaking to anyone: she was walking around the canteen with a milk container going gummy in her hand, and waiting by herself for all the days of camp to be over.

Portnoy & His Creator
by Peter Shaw
Philip Roth's first book, Goodbye Columbus, was accused by many of ignoring the Jewish tradition, of lacking ruth for the six million, and of displaying Jewish self-hatred.

Groping Toward Freedom: The Living Theatre
by Jack Richardson
There were some three hundred of us milling about the stage of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, audience-actors all, shuffling here and there to our own choreography, creating our personal actions and dialogue.

The Example of Solzhenitsyn
by Dan Jacobson
The scene is a room in a hostel for girl students at Moscow University. The time is December 1949. There are four girls in the room.

Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding: Community Action in the War on Poverty, by Daniel P. Moynihan
by Stephan Thernstrom
A Lost War Maximum Feasible Misunderstanding: Community Action in the War on Poverty. by Daniel P. Moynihan. The Free Press. 218 pp. $5.95. The “maximum feasible misunderstanding” Daniel P.

Anti-Memoirs, by Andre Malraux
by Samuel Hux
Hero Politics Anti-Memoirs. by Andre Malraux. Translated by Terence Kilmartin. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 420 pp. $8.95. In 1934 André Malraux flew to Mareb to photograph what might have been the ancient capital of the Queen of Sheba.

Literary Essays, by David Daiches; More Literary Essays, by David Daiches
by Robert Alter
Criticism as Performance Literary Essays. by David Daiches. University of Chicago Press. 225 pp. $5.00. More Literary Essays. by David Daiches. University of Chicago Press. 274 pp.

The Last Years of the Church, by David Poling; The Search for a Usable Future, by Martin E. Marty
by John Keber
The Challenge of Secularism The Last Years of the Church. by David Poling. Doubleday. 153 pp. $4.95. The Search for a Usable Future. by Martin E.

The Insanity Defense, by Abraham S. Goldstein
by Leon Radzinowicz
Mental Illness & the Law The Insanity Defense. by Abraham S. Goldstein. Yale University Press. 289 pp. $6.00. The Anglo-Saxons have an obsession with insanity as a legal issue.

A New Foreign Policy for the United States, by Hans J. Morgenthau
by William Pfaff
The National Interest A New Foreign Policy for the United States. by Hans J. Morgenthau. Praeger. 252 pp. $6.95. The country is pregnant with a new foreign policy, conceived—as with life—in passion rather than reason.

Reader Letters May 1969
by Our Readers
Poor Statistics TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: "About one-fifth of all Ameri- can families . . . live on incomes below the so-called federal poverty line," John Thompson states ["The Big Money," February], bas- ing himself on Herbert Gans in the New York Times Magazine- unfortunately a source no better than Ferdinand Lundberg whom Thompson also takes seriously.

June, 1969Back to Top
American Jewry in Crisis?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: This is to congratulate you on the publication of Milton Himmelfarb's “Is American Jewry in Crisis?” [March]. It was a masterful statement, which I would not want to see changed by as much as a word.

On George Orwell
by John Wain
The following exchange was occasioned by George Woodcock's review of The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus, which appeared in January 1969.

Reflections on Youth Movements
by Walter Laqueur
I can well imagine that on Saturday nights across this country, at hundreds of faculty parties where a year and a half ago the main subject of discussion was the war in Vietnam, thousands of professors and their wives now passionately debate the pros and cons of the student movement, the tactics of the SDS, and the significance of the generational conflict.

Power in the Academy
by Dorothy Rabinowitz
I do not know what became of the graduate students who sat numb with listening in the years between 1958 and 1968—no doubt, some of them are still waiting for dissertation topics to be approved—but perhaps a memory of them and what they saw will go a way in explaining the confrontation malaise of their heirs.

World Politics, 1969
by George Lichtheim
London, May.—The second anniversary of the Six-Day War supplies as good a peg as any on which to hang some remarks about the current Middle Eastern turmoil.

New Israeli Fiction
by Robert Alter
One should present the great and simple things, like desire and death. Amos Oz Something new has clearly been happening in Israeli fiction.

Nixon's Program
by Robert Lekachman
Superficially the initial months of the Nixon administration can be interpreted as something of a relief from the exaggerated fears and dismal visions of the President's more devoted enemies.

Death & the Physician
by Eric Cassell
But at my back I always hear Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near. And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. Andrew Marvell For most of us in the Western world, premature death is no longer imminent.

Birds' Heads and Graven Images
by Cecil Roth
The Study of what may most conveniently be termed Jewish art (though in some cases it is not Jewish, and in some it is not art), begun only a very short while ago, is now making rapid strides.

CBW: Chemical and Biological Warfare, edited by Steven Rose Chemical and Biological Warfare, by Seymour Hersh The Silent Weapons
by Sheldon Novick
Deadly Weapons CBW: Chemical and Biological Warfare. by Steven Rose. Beacon Press. 209 pp. $7.50. Chemical and Biological Warfare. by Seymour Hersh. Bobbs-Merrill. 354 pp. $7.50. The Silent Weapons. by Robin Clarke. David McKay.

A Peace Policy for Europe, by Willy Brandt; Herausforderung und Antwort-Ein Programm fur Europa, by Franz Josef Strauss
by Viola Drath
Two Germans A Peace Policy for Europe. by Willy Brandt. Translated by Joel Carmichael. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 225 pp. $5.95. Herausforderung und Antwort—Ein Programm fur Europa (Challenge and Response—A Program for Europe). by Franz Josef Strauss. Foreword by jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber.

After Auschwitz, by Richard L. Rubenstein; The Religious Imagination, by Richard L. Rubenstein
by Marvin Fox
Jewish Paganism After Auschwitz. by Richard L. Rubenstein. Bobbs-Merrill. 287 pp. $5.95. The Religious Imagination. by Richard L. Rubenstein. Bobbs-Merrill. 246 pp. $5.95. God may be dead, but the Jewish people must live, although they are not a chosen people and there is nothing sacred about their existence.

The Age of Discontinuity, by Peter Drucker
by Fritz Heimann
The Society of Organizations The Age of Discontinuity. by Peter Drucker. Harper & Row. 394 pp. $7.95. Disenchantment with large organizations has in recent times become a widespread social attitude.

Reader Letters June 1969
by Our Readers
American Jewry in Crisis? TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: This is to congratulate you on the publication of Milton Himmel- farb's "Is American Jewry in Cri- sis?" [March].

July, 1969Back to Top
Author's Reply
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I think your readers expect some sort of reply from me to Mortimer T Cohen's “review” of The Joys of Yiddish [March] May I address myself only to where it is excessively false and misleading? 1) I am berated for not discussing the influence of “literary Yiddish” on English What influence? “Literary” Yiddish has exercised no discernible influence on English, my book deals with those Yiddish words and phrases that are encountered in English speech and print It is a peculiar mentality that attacks an author for not discussing a subject that does not exist 2) Your reviewer calls me too “ignorant” to know that Yiddish words invade English for “socioeconomic, not linguistic, reasons “To fortify his odd indictment, your “socioeconomist” says that Greek restaurants are concentrated in the South (I) and that in the English used “in the South, Midwest, the Far West Yiddishlsms are conspicuous by their absence “I was raised in the Midwest, lived for twelve years in the Far West, and have eaten in umpteen Greek restaurants in a dozen cities north of the Mason-Dixon line, your reviewer's statements are as foolish as they are wrong 3) Your reviewer assails my “scholarly apparatus, references to professional journals, and the like” Should I, then, not have credited my sources? And in that case, would I not have been accused of (a) making unsupported statements, or (b) plagiarizing? Compare your reviewer's contempt for the canons of scholarship with the judgment of, say, several editors of The Great Yiddish Dictionary, or F Stuart Crawford of the Mernam Webster New International Dictionary, who writes “The Joys of Yiddish is an extremely useful tool for lexicography We are grateful for the attention given to the origins of Yiddish words, since no existing Yiddish dictionary gives etymologies” 4) Your reviewer says I “butcher” stories, citing a tale “in which the heart of the joke lies in the shadchen's social activity” The poor man understands neither the joke nor its heart what the story illustrates is the remarkable intellectual gymnastics of ordinary Jews who apply sophisticated inductive analysis to everyday problems (I suspect that your peculiar mayvin would dismiss Freud's Wit and the Unconscious as a “collection of stale jokes “) 5) I am scourged for “social bias” because I included two Yiddish words commonly used—and heard at Radcliffe Should I have omitted them because of Radcliffe? How perverse can reverse snobbery be? 6) Your reviewer charges that I have found a “formula” for humor I wish he would reveal it it would make my work easier As for his puzzling attack on The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P* L*A*N, I resign myself to the kinder verdict of three decades of readers and critics (one of whom, Isaiah Berlin, described Mr.

The May Issue
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Three brief comments on your May issue. First of all, my warmest congratulations and thanks for the splendid article by Allen Wheelis [“How People Change”].

Portnoy Defended
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . I take rather strong exception to Peter Shaw's “Portnoy and His Creator” [May]. Whatever the final merits of Portnoy's Complaint (and I think they are considerable), it seems to me that a reviewer should deal with Mr.

Blacks & Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “Blacks, Jews & the Intellectuals” [April], Nathan Glazer refers to me as one of the “distinguished sponsors” of the International Committee to Defend Eldridge Cleaver and from that seems to draw the conclusion not only that I endorse Mr.

TV Comedy
by Neil Compton
I was a little irritated with one of my English department colleagues the other day This very strict and uncompromising scholar peremptorily rejected his proposed teaching schedule for next year because it included a Monday evening class However, all annoyance melted when I learned the reason he didn't want to miss Laugh-In If it can inspire such devotion even in the academic breast, commercial television must occasionally do at least some things right There are, in fact, four kinds of program in which the pretensions of the major networks are fairly regularly matched by achievement All three organizations are capable of turning out excellent documentaries on any subject which can be expressed in visual terms They cover certain kinds of news with superlative skill—funerals, congressional hearings, political travels, riots, and conventions (but not peace talks, parliamentary or congressional debates, or complex political crises) They have raised the layman's appreciation of such sports as football, basketball, and hockey to the level of devoted connoisseurship—perhaps at the expense of allegedly untelegenic baseball Finally, they seem now to be fostering a tradition of sophisticated comedy which ostensibly subverts the values prevailing everywhere else in the program schedule This last genre appears to be running into trouble After a season of skirmishing over pre-screening for purposes of censorship, CBS and the egregious Smothers Brothers have parted, and the Comedy Hour will not be on the air next autumn ABC's Turn-On was summarily canceled after one “outrageous” broadcast Meanwhile, Senator Pastore has been campaigning for a Surgeon-General's report on the relation between televiewing and moral cancer Naturally, he favors pre-screening, except for wholesome fare like The Sound of Music “Now, you wouldn't want to pre-screen that Everyone knows that's a good movie ”In his unmistakably orotund prose, President Nixon agrees “I share your deep concern and strongly applaud your vigorous criticism of what you regard as a misuse of this great medium” Meanwhile, the deplorably lewd and irreverent show on which Richard Nixon himself once invited us to Sock It To Him reigns unchallenged at the top of the ratings If Senator Pastore hopes to cajole NBC into toning down Laugh-In, then he had better try to manipulate a few low Nielsens There is nothing like a high-cost-per-thousand for engendering virtue in the hearts of network executives _____________ It would be interesting to trace in detail the freedom of television humor as it has broadened down from precedent to precedent over the past two decades The earliest comedy series—such as Ozzie and Harriet, I Love Lucy, and Leave it to Beaver—all blandly celebrated the domestic virtues of suburbia in its days of pre-wife-swapping innocence The nearest approaches to satire were the mother-in-law jokes of the stand-up comedians transplanted from Las Vegas or New York, or the ubiqurtous impressionists imitating Ed Sullivan on Toast of the Town In the mid-50's, Jackie Gleason's The Honeymooners contributed an exhilarating dash of proletarian realism, but the Kramdens' heroic marital conflicts (“Some day, some day, Alice trip to the MOON;”) always modulated toward an improbably tender conclusion Satire and irony made their first real appearance on television in the form of parodies of other kinds of entertainment Sid Caesar was a pioneer of this mode, with his elaborate take-offs on such genres as Italian opera, Japanese movies, pop quartets, and Hollywood epics The Canadian comics Wayne and Shuster specialized in yoking disparate media clichés together, as in their Shakespearean baseball game or their skit, “Frontier Psychiatrist” (“There is no such thing as a bad man—only problem cowboys”) Meanwhile, a new breed of monologists and stand-up comedians, including Shelley Berman, Mort Sahl, and Bob Newhart, began to extend the social and intellectual range of their material—chiefly in the direction of a sort of Oxford-gray equivalent of the black humor then flourishing in theaters and night clubs Nevertheless, American television remained oddly timid and innocuous in comparison with what was going on in Britain and Canada around the same time During the early 60's, the BBC introduced That Was the Week That Was, perhaps the most savagely disrespectful program ever to be regularly broadcast The CBC's This Hour Has Seven Days was scarcely less shocking to Canadian sensibilities, though its improprieties were mild by BBC standards Both these programs were wildly successful for comparatively brief periods, until the need to maintain impetus by escalating outrageousness brought them into conflict not merely with officialdom but also with many of their most faithful original viewers On the other hand, the American version of That Was the Week That Was (1964), which I never saw, seems never to have quite found its own style or its own audience _____________ Political satire is a minor ingredient in the formula of Laugh-In, a series that was launched experimentally on the airwaves in 1967, and has been a regular network feature since January 1968 Laugh-In derives from such venerable American institutions as vaudeville, burlesque, radio programs like the old Fred Allen show, and Hollywood self-parody However, the program's irreverence toward many traditions hitherto sacred on TV undoubtedly derives emotional authority from the social traumata of the civil-rights struggle, the Vietnam war, and the conflict of generations Above all, the daring use of color, the deliberate discontinuity, the hedonistic morality, and the reliance upon absurdity and juxtaposition make Laugh-In an authentic expression of this moment in the history of the American middle classes—a compliment which no previous television program has come even close to deserving The enthusiasm with which it has been greeted by both public and critics in Britain suggests that Laugh-In celebrates a life-style that is becoming universal in the West _____________ Having committed myself to such extravagant praise, I must confess that it is difficult to account precisely for Laugh-In's success the whole is so obviously greater than the sum of its parts The feeble knock-knock jokes, Dick Martin's inane anecdotes of his aunt's escapades, and the rather dreary take-offs on the news would not stand up for a moment in the cold type of a script The program's charm derives almost entirely from skillful editing and a brilliant crew of regular performers The shifts in rhythm and pace among such regular features as the cocktail party with its moments of frozen action while the camera zooms in on a wisecrack, the blackout skits with their variations on a theme (“Heah come de judge!”, songs at the piano), and the cameo shots of celebrities are orchestrated to maintain a constantly varied tension between expectation and fulfillment The cast of characters—Ruth Buzzi's Gladys, Arte Johnson's sinister Kraut and quintessential dirty old man, Alan Sues's gay sports announcer, Henry Gibson's parson, and all the others—constitute a pantheon of American comic archetypes Laugh-In has maintained its élan throughout one and a half seasons—much longer than I would have predicted It seems too much to expect that the pace can be kept up throughout 1969-70, but there is no harm in hoping Never a network to turn down a good thing merely because it too closely resembles someone else's smash hit, ABC made an abortive play for the Laugh-In audience with a program called Turn-On Conceived by Ed Friendly and George Schlatter, the producers of Laugh-In, it hit the air on February 5, provoked immediate howls of disapproval from both network outlets and the public, and dropped forever from the ABC schedules on February 6 Why all the fuss? The jokes on Turn-On seemed to me no “worse” than those of Laugh-In, either politically (“Where is the capital of South Vietnam? Mostly in Swiss banks”) or sexually (“What are we going to do about inflation? Well, I've been taking the pill”).

The Price of Community Control
by David Cohen
Like everything else in the cities, education seems to defy both management and comprehension The struggle over urban schools has in recent years grown progressively more ferocious, with the casualties mounting accordingly Discussions of underachievement and psychological damage have given way to cries of genocide No longer are anger and criticism confined to the malfeasance of an occasional superintendent, the arena of contention now includes entire educational programs—integration, school improvement, community control—each designed in its own way to remedy conditions in slum schools Meanwhile, the schools remain segregated, student achievement shows no sign of change, and the distribution of power is no different from what it used to be Yet while we appear to have been on a treadmill with respect to basic educational reform, the ideological scenery has been going by at a furious rate, at present, the main issue no longer appears to be whether segregation should be eliminated, or more money allocated to schools, but who shall control what exists How has this change come about? Until about a year ago, most people would have agreed that the main purpose of school reform was to eliminate racial disparities in educational achievement, this, in turn, was regarded as the best way to reduce racial disparities in jobs and income The debate, by and large, centered on the question of how the schools should go about accomplishing that task Many Negroes and white liberals supported an emphasis on integration, arguing that segregated schools impaired motivation and achievement, and thereby damaged Negroes' chances for occupational success and full citizenship Educators, on the other hand, typically located the problem not in the racial organization of public education burin the intellectual and cultural “deprivation” of Negro children, hence, they advocated educational programs aimed at compensating for those deficiencies Recently, two new educational proposals have been advanced—decentralization and community control In the form in which they were initially made, these proposals did little to disturb the assumptions underlying earlier efforts at reform Thus, increased accountability to the local community was presented as another way of unlocking a school's potential for raising the educational attainment of its pupils Although other issues have since arisen, the original claims for decentralization rested on the belief that the traditional “liberal” approaches to school reform—integration and/or compensatory education—had been tried and had failed Behind this notion lay three major assumptions One was that government had in fact redistributed resources—in the form of students, teachers, dollars, or whatever—in order to eliminate the racially unequal distribution of results in schooling A second was that the programs of integration and compensatory education had been evaluated, and it had been demonstrated that they did not work i e, test scores had not changed Finally, the reason for this failure was perceived to be administrative or political in nature the school bureaucracy was opposed to reform, the teachers were racist, or the entire structure was hopelessly unresponsive From these assumptions flowed the conclusion that any new policy proposal—be it bloc grants, administrative decentralization, or community control—must center on transforming fundamental political relationships Before taking up the merits of these new proposals, I should like to discuss the assumptions on which they rest For it is by no means self-evident a) that liberal programs of educational reform were in fact tried on a significant scale; b) that where they were tried, they failed, or c) that political and administrative change is necessarily a precondition for change in the distribution of educational achievement _____________ II Hard evidence on the effectiveness of educational strategies has never been easy to come by Until 1966, for example, when the Coleman Report was published,1 virtually no direct evidence existed on the relationship between a school's racial composition and how well its students performed What the Coleman Report revealed turned out to be at some variance with integrationist ideology Negro students in mostly white schools were indeed higher achievers than those in mostly Negro schools, but this apparently bore no intrinsic relation to a particular school's racial composition Rather, in those mostly white schools where Negroes performed well, the white students were typically from more advantaged homes, Negro students in a middle-class white school would do no better than Negro students in an equally middle-class Negro school As a practical matter, integrationists could reassure themselves that the relative lack of a Negro middle class meant that social-class integration would inevitably entail racial integration as well, but in view of this finding they could no longer embrace the notion that a school's racial composition per se affected achievement Of course, the absence of unequivocal evidence on achievement was never the main obstacle to school integration, and in many communities where integration was tried, achievement gains seem indeed to have followed In most communities, however, the attempt was never even made The blame for this may be placed primarily on the indifference, inertia, and opposition of school officials, and on the general political sentiment which they reflected Although committed educational leadership in places like Berkeley, Evanston, and Syracuse showed that organized white resistance could be overcome, most school systems—in the hundreds of communities whose size and demography put integration within easy reach—never reached that stage Even fewer efforts were made in the large cities, where national attention was riveted Integrationists responded to this situation by devising a strategy which promised to reduce white opposition by coupling integration with a variety of beguiling educational attractions educational parks, magnet schools, special education centers, and the like If most white parents, the reasoning went, were forced to choose between inferior all-white schools and educationally superior integrated facilities, they would not hesitate to choose the latter The problem was that educational innovations are as expensive as school budgets are tight, the strategy required new legislation which would allocate much more money to city schools In any event, the strategy was never really tried, since most professional educators chose a different response altogether They saw that Negro parents wanted better schools and higher achievement, and therefore offered programs of remedial and compensatory education in the existing segregated schools When this counter-strategy was embodied in local programs, and in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, it put a premium on the perpetuation of segregated schools It paid educators to maintain schools in the slums rather than create the integrated, educationally superior facilities envisioned in integrationist rhetoric Thus it is incorrect to say that school integration failed, what failed was the politics required to bring it about Like most liberal strategies for social change, integration is politically viable only on the assumption that it is in the interest of whites to reduce the status disparity between themselves and Negroes Inducing whites to choose integration by creating educationally irresistible schools was a clever effort to create such an identity of interest The only flaw was that before white parents could be presented with the choice, vast new funds would have had to be appropriated, with the explicit proviso that they would be used to create these schools And naturally the money itself could not be obtained without substantial white support In political terms this meant that in order to make the strategy work one had to presume the prior existence of that very identity of educational interests which the strategy was designed to bring into being In this case, circular reasoning proved to be as deadly in politics as it usually is in logic only a few of the integrationists' schools have ever been created _____________ The concept of compensatory education favored by most educators represented an effort to avoid this fatal circularity Since compensatory programs operated only in slum schools, they seemed indeed to offer a happy political alternative Whites could assume a progressive stance by supporting improved ghetto education—and better schools for poor whites, too—while opposing or remaining neutral on demands for busing, Princeton plans, and other politically volatile integration tactics For these reasons—to say nothing of the substantial Negro support the remedial programs enjoyed—a powerful coalition of moderate and liberal reformers and schoolmen came together behind such legislation as Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act How did these programs fare? Over the past two years a succession of evaluations has been unable to find much evidence of improved achievement To be sure, their sponsors have proclaimed the programs a success the litanies of praise that have been issued cite improved school conditions, brighter attitudes, better attendance, reduced vandalism, happier teachers, etc Nonetheless, to judge by the main criterion the programs were designed to satisfy, the general absence of gains in achievement makes all these claims seem trivial or disingenuous What accounts for this unhappy record? In a strict sense the question cannot be answered, for as long as we don't know what works, it is impossible to make the comparisons which might suggest the reasons for failure Comparisons aside, however, one can assess in a general way the actual impact on slum schools of the millions of federal dollars that have been appropriated for their improvement Title I increased instructional expenditures for each participating child by about $60 a year in 1966-67, and last year by about $65.

Thanksgiving-A Story
by Morris Hedges
“I want cherry soda,” said Sol. “What! Cold stuff?” said Abe. He cares something? thought Sonia An aidem a shtik hults, vus er vaist fon sahn' linke pedeshva.

Hebraism and Hellenism
by Milton Himmelfarb
The present article is adapted from an Adelphi University Theology Lecture Matthew Arnold's Culture and Anarchy was published one hundred years ago In an inaugural lecture, Roy Fuller, the Professor of Poetry at Oxford, reminds us that “Sweetness and Light,” the first chapter, was Arnold's final lecture when he was Professor of Poetry “Hebraism and Hellenism” is another chapter There is a difficulty in assessing great men, an irony that will out, but the irony may tell us more about ourselves than about its objects Who has not written that Philosophy I term paper demolishing Hegel? The temptation is old, and the description of it is old Not completely, but yet in some stubborn part of ourselves we would rather forget that if we are taller than our predecessors, maybe it is because we stand on their shoulders And when a man's name is linked to “sweetness and light”—never mind what it actually meant for him, and for Swift before him—the temptation to patronize him becomes all the stronger.

Radical Agonies
by Dennis Wrong
Any thoughtful radical might at any time since the first decade of this century have chosen the melodramatic title Christopher Lasch has selected for his essays and reviews of the past two years on American radicalism past and present1 Discussions of the “decline” of populism, the “collapse” of socialism, the “isolation” of the intellectuals, the CIA's manipulation of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and the revival of a black nationalism that is of doubtful relevance to the plight of the Negro in this country, document the failure of American radicals even to hold firm to a body of coherent doctrines and values, let alone to build a durable political movement Lasch attributes this failure to the Left's paucity of adequate theory and its proneness to self-defeating habits and attitudes vituperative factionalism, the sacrifice of larger goals to compromised short-run gains, the sell-outs of intellectuals moved by “elitist” concern for their own narrow interests as a professional class, over-susceptibility to foreign ideologies inapplicable to American experience, revolutionary romanticism mindlessly exalting violence, and attraction to the glamor of heroic action and the pathos of defeat as opposed to the prosiness of organization and disciplined thinking Presumably there are also objective circumstances accounting for the limited achievements of American movements of the Left—their failures are unlikely to have entirely resulted from the defects of mind and character of their supporters But Lasch is less concerned with the history of radicalism as a subject of scholarly interest—most of these essays were originally published in the New York Review of Books—than with exhorting the New Left to avoid the shortcomings of its predecessors and chastising it where it has given signs of following, usually unknowingly, in their path In the closing chapter, he presents his own prescriptions for a viable and durable American radicalism, and here, as well as in his penetrating discussion of black nationalism, he expresses his discouragement over the nihilism, violence-worship, contempt for civil liberties, and addiction to the new crude guerrilla Marxism of Third World revolutionaries, of both black militants and student radicals Someone told me the other day that a Columbia SDS leader had recently laid down two new criteria for differentiating liberals from radicals the liberal fears the reactionary backlash that might result from continuing confrontations and disruptions on the campuses, and he still regards the university as more enlightened than other institutions Lasch flunks both these tests of radicalism His disillusionment with the New Left has undoubtedly increased in the six months since he wrote the criticisms included in the present book _____________ The need felt by spokesmen for new political or cultural movements to denounce their immediate predecessors even as they re-enact their errors, is perhaps an inevitable response to the extraordinary discontinuities of contemporary history As a would-be mentor to the New Left, Lasch runs true to form in his long account of the Congress for Cultural Freedom and its covert links with the CIA Better-documented than other recent attacks on the “cold-war intellectuals” and free of any disposition to defend Communist versions of the cold war, this essay nevertheless has most of the characteristic faults of indictments of a past political tendency from the vantage point of retrospective knowledge of the more unsavory consequences to which it led I have, in fact, the almost surrealistic sense of having been disturbed in much the same way that Lasch's account now disturbs me by the very writers who are his targets here Writing in 1955 and with Leslie Fiedler's political essays—cited by Lasch as a glaring example of cold-war chauvinism in the 50's—serving as one of his main exhibits, Harold Rosenberg asserted that “what is remarkable about the manufacture of myths in the 20th century is that it takes place under the noses of living witnesses of the actual events and, in fact, cannot dispense with their collaboration” Lasch is perhaps too young to qualify as a true “living witness,” but what is one to make of Mary McCarthy who in the New York Review of Books (where else?) recently speculated that George Orwell, who died in early 1950, might have supported the Vietnam war had he lived “because of his belligerent anti-Communism, which there is no use trying to discount”? Now Miss McCarthy, whom today Lasch himself finds a bit outre for advising opponents of the war “to provoke intolerance,” addressed public forums of the American branch of the Congress for Cultural Freedom and was a charter member of its organizational predecessor, Americans for Intellectual Freedom, created in 1949 Nor was her anti-Communism in those days noticeably less “belligerent” than George Orwell's And why the invidious adjective, as if to suggest that Orwell favored preventive war? Moreover, are the anti-Communist convictions of a man who has been dead for twenty years to be “discounted” because they can retroactively be made to appear discreditable in light of Vietnam? This reasoning perfectly parallels that of Fiedler in his An End to Innocence essays _____________ Peering into the latest wing added to this hall of distorting mirrors, one is reluctantly moved to insist that the 50's, unpleasant as it is to have to bother with them again, cannot be written off as the Red, White, and Blue decade any more than the 30's were the Red decade they were cracked up to be back in the 50's.

Way Past the Hudson
by John Thompson
Ten years ago, when everything was different, the novel Mrs Bridge by Evan S. Connell, Jr attracted attention as one of those few American books which succeed in telling us something about that mysterious realm, the American Middlewest of the middle classes Even then, it was the Middlewest of twenty years before, but presumably the book spoke to, and spoke for, the generation that had been the right age for the Second World War, and to us, then, in 1959, those days before hadn't yet become remote The things we had grown up believing we still believed then, those articles of faith that distinguished us from our parents (and bound us to them for definition) hadn't yet been stranded on the shores of history In Mrs Bridge Connell named the artifacts of that place and that time, spoke its dialect, rehearsed its folkways, all with the inseparable mixture of love and horror we must each of us have had for our parents and for our own childhood Its form was ingenious A major part of the success of the book was that Connell had found a solution to the problem of making a whole book out of lives whose only story, whose entire theme and plot and texture, is simply that they have no story At their moments of deepest insight, his people feel a vague wordless wondering, a kind of yearning, an empty, unspoken, unspeakable question about whether or not it has really been satisfactory that nothing has ever happened to them Yet this life without event or danger, adventure or challenge, without even discomfort, is precisely its own goal and purpose, and the goal and purpose of all visible parts of this society The dear mindless mother lonely in her too-comfortable doll-house had certainly not gone unrecorded She is the heroine, for instance, of at least a dozen stories by Peter Taylor, beginning in 1939, and his heroine under the various names he has given her might, with a certain descent in social status, a small increase in her myopia, slip into Mrs Bridge's place and find it her own There would be one more difference she might notice the terrible and imperceptible transfixion by a tireless filial eye, day and night, she might find, had undergone some change in focus The relentless apprehension would become in Connell's Kansas City a few watts less piercing, as it were, and yet curiously more obtrusive and distorting (Sometimes I think that the famous Hawthorne effect, in which the mere fact of being observed alters behavior, works in literature too parents who have a child infected with the virus of Novelitis must be subhmmally aware of it They must be as restless as a sleeper who is being watched) But Connell could make a whole book, a novel, out of this life of non-events, and thus his heroine could achieve a representative presence and a name, as Peter Taylor's finer, subtler, larger, more generously-placed heroine could not in her various appearances A novel setting out to narrate in any usual fashion a life of such unrelieved boredom would necessarily drive us to deliriums of boredom and flight, just as the life itself drove us all away as soon as we could get out The usual procedure, as in, say, John O'Hara's stories, is to introduce some violence or some other kind of upset into the quiet industrious anthill, and then to observe the scurrying, but this is a laboratory condition and thus distorting Or, the novelist looks beneath the pretty surface of the wealthy suburb and detects the disavowed urges and hidden actions of the churchgoers, but what if it is true that they really do not do themselves the things they tell their children not to do? Or, again, the novelist takes some rebellious soul, some Carol Kennicott or Emma Bovary, and shows how the grindstones of bourgeois morality wear down her sensitive or romantic spirits Still, there remain those who never do anything but trudge round and round in harness turning those stones like blinkered camels How to tell their story? _____________ Evan S Connell, Jr—what titles of Europe could more bristle with armigerous piety than our good American names—Connell told the story of Mrs Bridge in chapters as short as weather reports, a paragraph, a page, sometimes three or four pages There are 117 of these chapters They recount the tiny significant or significantly insignificant non-events of Mrs Bridge's life Mr Connell is not diffident about summary, neither in narrative exposition nor in character analysis By Chapter Three, “Preliminary Training,” Mrs Bridge is married and has her three children, and we are told straightaway how she deals with them, first in summary and then in an anecdote, one of those non-events She brought up her children very much as she herself had been brought up, and she hoped that when they were spoken of it would be in connection with their nice manners, their pleasant disposition, and their cleanliness, for these were qualities she valued above all others The anecdote shows us that this blandness, recounted by the author in what might well be Mrs Bridge's own words—is this the tone of irony, or of condescension, or of delicacy? Of each of them, sometimes—this bland moralizing is not quite the whole story One day when the children were very small, the older girl, Ruth, innocently appeared naked at the neighborhood swimming pool, and scampered away from the arms that reached for her, thinking it a new game “Then she noticed the expression on her mother's face and when she was finally caught she was screaming hysterically” Chapter Four, “Marmalade,” tells in a hundred words how Mr Bridge works so hard in his law office that the family seldom sees him, and how he is so successful that they move to a new “large home just off Ward Parkway,” and how one morning Caroline says she is sick of orange marmalade Mrs Bridge replies patiently, “Now, Corky, just remember there are lots and lots of little girls in the world who don't have any marmalade at all” The children grow up Mrs Bridge has her moments of doubt and confusion Corky, fiercely competitive, a cheater and yet a loser, marries early and badly Ruth, temperamental, beautiful, and without talent, takes herself away to Greenwich Village In 1939, Mr and Mrs Bridge voyage to Europe Douglas, a confident and manly fellow, joins the Army in 1942.

A Season in the Stands
by William Phillips
Football is not only the most popular sport it is the most intellectual one It is in fact, the intellectuals' secret vice Not politics, not sex, not pornography, but football, and not college football but the real thing, pro ball, is the opium of the intellectuals Few intellectuals have written about it, and this is because vices and addictions are difficult to write about, particularly when there is no literary tradition for doing so To write about the kind of perversity that is regarded as normal by most people requires the confessional ingenuousness of Rousseau, or the all-consuming vanity of a de Sade, who ground all his experience into his obsessions, or some 19th-century pornographer who wrote about his vices in the form of an anonymous boast The few writers who have written at all about sports have been popular writers and they have usually created, like Ring Lardner, just a more stylized kind of journalism Most recently the only sophisticated writer able to write about football has been George Plimpton, and he has done this by living out, as it were, his story Nevertheless, what strikes one most about Paper Lion is the general tone of awe and hero-worship, as though Plimpton were indulging in a secret childhood he could not suppress So when I decided to write about my secret passion, the New York Giants, I had that uneasy feeling that comes from trying to act normally in an abnormal situation, like watching a pornographic movie for the first time Unless we are faced with a new experience for which there is no readymade form, we tend to forget how much the act of writing depends on the styles and forms we make our own but which are originally handed down to us This is why, for example, most students reproduce at best the latest platitudes when they are asked to write about their “experience” Only in undergraduate courses in exposition is writing taught as the description of some happening that is interesting or important, instead of the imposition of one's style on a subject, in a medium Norman Mailer's accounts of political or sports events, for example, are really Mailer's way of surrounding a subject, the way an amoeba surrounds what it eats Most sportswriting has its own style and its own conventions, but it is rarely a sophisticated style, and its conventions come mostly from a blend of ordinary sports-talk and the newspaper feature story This is why, I suppose, most sportswriting is full of jazzed-up commonplaces made to look like inside stuff The style is usually a kind of quickie journalism, a strange mixture of “expertise,” locker-room gossip, and “human interest,” a running put-on of itself And worst of all, the endless flow of copy manages to give very little real information Reversing the formula of high-class journalism, which hides its emptiness behind skilled prose, sportswriting substitutes snappy clichés for fact and original observation One of the best of recent football books, Seven Days to Sunday, a blow-by-blow account of a week with the Giants, is full of images like that of Homer Jones “driving as though his body were made of frozen steel” and generalizations like “To perform the impossible, that is the stuff of heroes To possess an awesome talent that defies definition and leaves one staggered to see it” It is not just a question of writing In general, the trouble is that football seduces us by appealing to feelings that the modern intellectual has learned to scorn—and which much of the nation is now beginning to question On the surface, the football boom is, of course, a product of TV and shrewd promotion But much of its popularity is due to the fact that it makes respectable the most primitive feelings about violence, patriotism, manhood The similarity to war is unmistakable each game is a battle with its own game-plan, each season a campaign, the whole thing a series of wars Football strategy is like military strategy, the different positions, each with its own functions but coordinated with the rest of the team, are like the various branches of the armed services There is even a general draft And one is loyal to one's country—according to geography and the accident of birth There is also a parallel to Vietnam, in the support of teams in foreign cities by local fans, which is considered as a hang-up, if not as treason For intellectuals, particularly—but also for a growing number of people generally—these are feelings they would ordinarily be ashamed of, so pro ball legitimizes their untamed feelings the way Evergreen accommodates voyeurs All sports serve as some kind of release but the rhythm of football is geared particularly to the violence and the peculiar combination of order and disorder of modern life Baseball is too slow, too dependable, too much like a regional drawl Basketball is too nervous and too tight, hockey too frenzied, boxing too chaotic, too folksy Only football provides a genuine catharsis _____________ * * * So I went Sunday after Sunday for my periodic emotional depletion at Yankee Stadium But watching the Giants also provides certain fringe frustrations The game has been streamlined but the facilities are underdeveloped The VIP pressbox though unheated is at least glass-enclosed and centered on the fifty-yard line But a reporter from COMMENTARY sits in the open near the goal posts, overdressed but chilled, constantly trying to decide whether he can see better with or without field glasses The glasses give a close-up of a small field of action, like some of the line play, but as in television shots you lose the action as soon as the ball is snapped, and your eyes scurry frantically all over the field to keep up with the play (If we can send back pictures of the moon, why can't we have television cameras and field glasses that take in the whole scene the way the eye does?) Even more frustrating, however, is watching the sloppy, unpredictable, soft play of a team that has been permitted to run down Like the nation as a whole, the Giants give the impression that while ev-everything is there, something is missing Occasionally, of course, and sometimes for a good part of a whole game, which is when they usually won, the team was high and strong But on analysis this was usually due to some of the men lifting their game to compensate for the let-down of the rest of the team—or perhaps the lethargy of the other team served to inspire the Giants And sometimes it was just Fran Tarkenton's one-man show that made up for the breakdown of the offense or the defense, which took turns in collapsing Watching the Giants was like what I imagine many Frenchmen felt every time they had to fight the up-to-date German army The state of the Giants is very much like that of America as a whole full of past accomplishments but unable to cope with modern problems Also, too much affluence at the top I suspect the Giants have been permitted to run down because they can fill Yankee Stadium week after week with almost any kind of team Hence the Maras, who own the club, didn't spend enough money on players or build up a modern scouting apparatus to compete with the other ambitious, hungry, and efficient teams, like the Packers or the Cowboys or the Jets or the Colts, and they didn't bother to compete with the new League when it was lavishly and ruthlessly building up its war-plans The story is a familiar one Year after year the Giants waste most of their draft choices, and don't pick up enough gifted free agents Hence they do not have enough overall talent, and they rarely get any superstars who can hop-up the rest of the team or break open a game Occasionally they draft someone like Tucker Frederickson or Ernie Koy, who would be good enough if some of the other men were first-rate, or Willie Young, who is strong but not overpowering enough to solidify the left side of the offensive line (Besides, I imagine he would make a better guard than a tackle, especially because he is quite fast for his size, if the Giants' other tackles were good enough to release him for guard) Also, a smart trade was made when Lurtsema was picked up from the Colts, but again he is not as overwhelming as Olsen or Lilly or even Page, or some of the other top defensive linemen As one looks over the roster of the Giants, one gets the feeling that the team has been put together by some kind of managerial and coaching ingenuity—the way little magazines manage without enough money And the sportswriters who might have served the function at least of prodding the Giants' management into keeping up with the development of the game have been either too timid or too lazy ever to write concretely about what's wrong with the Giants as a whole For example, the weakest spots for the last few seasons have been the ends, yet there have rarely been more than a few hints about this in the sports pages of the Times, the Post, or the News Only when the Giants made two ends, Dryer and Vanoy, their first two choices in the last draft, did the sportswriters let on that the ends were porous (And now the loss of Vanoy to Canada indicates the same old sloppy pre-draft intelligence) It is hard to tell whether the sportswriters' retroactive wisdom is the result of ignorance or caution The rest of the team has the same kind of uneven, middling talent, just enough for a fairly good game most of the time, a brilliant one on occasion, especially when the opposing team breaks down, and a sloppy one often enough to keep the team on an even keel of mediocrity To get back to the ends, Katkavage is too slow, too small, too old, too dependent on age and savvy—indispensable to an outfit that has to live on its memories Anderson, like so many of the other men, almost has it he is just not quite quick enough or massive enough or smart enough Hence he sometimes gets around or over his blocker spectacularly and then on the next play gets sucked in or knocked down easily, particularly when he is hit low Willie Young, as I suggested, might be devastating if he were four or five inches taller, as it is, he is able to take out all but the very rangy, fast and strong ends Because his center of gravity is low he usually is better on a rush than on pass-blocking In a way, Young is a symbol of the Giants' fate drafted as a chance find, he turned out better than expected, and the sight of him bulling and outstepping an end like a pudgy ballet dancer is both reassuring and disappointing Wright is steady and uninspired, the kind of tackle who keeps the team from doing either too well or too badly The guards are weak Case is competent—some say underrated—but not too big, Dess highlights the generation gap on the team, and the other guards are undistinguished, picked up at the bargain counter To complete the offensive unit, the tight ends are quite ordinary, Crespino is above average but not fast enough, nor is he a first-rate blocker or pass-receiver, Wilson made the trade for him look good only in the collapse of Morrall in the Superbowl game Of the other ends, Homer Jones of course is a stand-out The rest are either fading or not blooming, though Thomas can be flashy at times Larsen is steady, though declining, and it is time to develop a replacement, but Chuck Hinton's performance so far has tended to be self-effacing One might note that almost all the men fall somewhere between outstanding speed and outstanding power, which might be the definition of the average, competent, unspectacular player (And in the offensive back-field the Giants also could use at least one spectacular back to return kicks and kick-offs of the kind so many other teams in both leagues seem able to acquire) Of the defensive tackles, Lurtsema is the best The others are always on the brink of coming through, and it is hard to tell whether the chaotic development of the team has not permitted them to grow up Silas never came on strong, after being traded And so on The linebackers show flashes of talent—Crutcher is tough and Avery determined—but they are small and undependable, and Davis plays like someone from whom you expect everything in the future, very little right now Possibly the best unit is the defensive backfield, though it needs one more good back-up man _____________ * * * If I sound like the frustrated manager inside every fan, satisfied with nothing but a winner, magnifying the team's failures, dreaming of sensational trades all winter long, it is because it is hard to invest your competitive feelings in a team that's a success when it wins more than it loses.

Kurt Gerstein, by Saul Friedlander
by Guenter Lewy
A Question of Conscience Kurt Gerstein The Ambiguity of Good by Saul Friedlander Knopf 228 pp $5 95 The story of Kurt Gerstein involves one of the most bizarre episodes of the Nazi era, a period of human history not lacking in the fantastic Gerstein was an SS Obersturmfuhrer, in charge of supplying the deadly Zyklon B gas to Hitler's murder factories At the same time, he was a member of the Confessing Church, an opponent of Nazism, and a man who repeatedly risked his life in attempts to alert the Western world and the Vatican to what was happening in the Nazi death camps At the end of the war Gerstein surrendered to the French, then, in July 1945, he was found dead in a prison cell in Paris, an apparent case of suicide. This, in very broad outline, is the story of Kurt Gerstein, a story that was popularized and brought to the attention of a wide audience by Rolph Hochhuth's play The Deputy, of which Gerstein is one of the heroes As is so often the case, however, reality is more intricate than a playwright's interpretation Saul Friedlander, a professor of contemporary history at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, and best known for his work of documentation, Pius XII and the Third Reich, through painstaking research has been able to reconstruct the actual drama of Kurt Gerstein Beyond telling the life story of one rather unique man, Friedlander attempts to come to grips with the moral dilemmas of an entire society As I shall try to show later, the ramifications of these dilemmas reach into our own lives today. The early years of Kurt Gerstein do not reveal any very unusual traits Friedlander calls him “a German like so many others” Born at Munster in 1905, he grew up in a Protestant Prussian middle-class family, his father was an ardent nationalist and later a convinced Nazi Young Gerstein, too, shared the intense nationalism of so many members of his generation, as a student at the University of Marburg he joined one of the most chauvinistic fraternities in Germany But he was also a deeply religious person, preoccupied with feelings of guilt and a longing for purity He became actively involved in the Evangelical Youth Movement, and when the Nazis, in late 1933, insisted on merging this organization into the Hitler Youth, Gerstein protested Not that he was opposed to Hitler's political aims—Gerstein had joined the Nazi party in May 1933, and for a long time he continued to insist on his loyalty to the Fuhrer However, he was seriously disturbed by the Nazis' neo-paganism, and he felt duty bound to insist that a nation without God was “a dangerous thing” During the following years, Gerstein wrote and distributed pamphlets setting forth this view He was twice arrested and in October 1936 he was expelled from the Nazi party In a letter which he wrote in 1938 and which he mailed to his uncle in America, he spoke of tragedies arising “from loss of intellectual freedom, religious freedom, and justice” But after the outbreak of the war and Hitler's impressive early victories, Ger-stein's attitude to the Nazi regime changed again He agreed to write for the Hitler Youth and in August 1940 he sought reinstatement in the party A few months later, or perhaps even earlier, he applied for service in the Waffen-SS and in March 1941 he joined the military branch of the Nazi elite guard _____________ The motives for this decision are not altogether clear At war's end Gerstein said that he had wanted to find out for himself about the Nazis' compulsory euthanasia program for the insane and mentally retarded (his sister-in-law had been one of its victims) Then, after seeing clearly into this dreadful mechanism, he wanted to “cry it aloud to the whole nation “But Friendlander thinks that Gerstein's motives were more complex There is evidence that Gerstein talked about joining the Waffen-SS as early as the end of 1939, well before the first rumors about the killing of the feeble-minded had begun to circulate Furthermore, the question of ho wa person twice arrested by the Gestapo could be accepted into the Waffen-SS—at that time still an elite force—remains an enigma After basic military training, Gerstein, on account of his technical proficiency, was assigned to the office of the Hygienic Chief of the Waffen-SS Here he distinguished himself in constructing disinfection and water-purifying equipment, and in January 1942 became head of disinfection services, with the rank of Obersturmfuhrer It was this office that soon thereafter was given charge of supplying the lethal gas for the death camps, and in August 1942 Gerstein personally witnessed mass gassings at Belzec and Treblinka The experience proved so shattering that from that time on, and in a perfectly reckless manner, he began to reveal the details of the machinery of the Final Solution to a large number of influential people Contrary to the dramatic account in The Deputy, he failed to gain admittance to the Papal nuncio in Berlin, but he did succeed in telling his horrifying tale to several neutral diplomats, German churchmen, and many others To Gerstein's utter dismay and distress, nothing happened as the result of his revelations that mass murder was being committed on an unprecedented scale The Pope and the German churchmen maintained a discreet silence, the Western Allies, while denouncing the crimes, rejected proposals to bomb the gas chambers or the transportation system leading to the death camps The machinery of destruction continued to function smoothly—with the increasingly distraught Gerstein as the chief purchasing agent of the deadly Zyklon B gas Here begins the element of high tragedy After the war Gerstein asserted that he had been able to divert and destroy several shipments of gas, but a German Denazification Court in 1950, while accepting the truth of this assertion—for which substantiating testimony is available—nevertheless refused to exonerate Gerstein “After his experiences in the Belzec camp, he might have been expected to resist, with all the strength at his command, being made the tool of an organized mass murder” This he did not do In fact, he became a cog in the machinery of the Final Solution Despite the fact that Ger stein had destroyed trifling quantities of the gas supplied by him, said the court, and had made courageous attempts to inform the world of the murder of the Jews, he could not be freed of a share of responsibility for the crimes which his actions had facilitated _____________ In January 1965, Gerstein was rehabilitated in West Germany Kurt Kiesinger, then prime minister of Baden-Wurtemberg, based his decision on the fact that “Gerstein resisted National Socialist despotism with all his strength and suffered consequent disadvantage” Friedlander welcomes this rehabilitation, but finds that the reasons given do not sufficiently come to grips with the earlier condemnation He argues that unlike most “good” Germans who remained quiet while millions of Jews died, Gerstein accommodated himself to the crime in order to resist it—risking his life in the process Under a totalitarian regime resistance can be carried out only from within the system The resister, therefore, often seems indistinguishable from the executioner Had there been in Germany thousands or even hundreds of Gersteins to divert shipments of gas or cause files to go astray or instigate delays in the construction of the gas chambers or even to warn Jews, then hundreds of thousands of victims would have been saved by these “accomplices” of the regime Much of Gerstein's tragedy, Friedlander concludes, lay in the loneliness of his action “his appeals having brought no response and his dedication having proved a solitary commitment, his sacrifice appeared ‘useless’ and became ‘guilt’” Friedlander's reasoning is unexceptionable but it does not fully clarify the moral issue posed by the so-called “inner emigration” of officials who stayed at their jobs in order to ameliorate the disastrous results of the system they continued to serve How does one balance the good such men did against the horrible crimes which resulted from the continued fulfillment of their official duties? Is it not true that the machinery of extermination was able to grind away mercilessly precisely because the Globkes, Weizsackers, and Gersteins remained at their posts, all the while consoling themselves that their inner opposition plus an occasional act of necessarily minor sabotage left them with clean hands? If the answers to such questions are difficult to find, it is equally hard to draw the proper lessons to be learned from these tragic events—a task not undertaken by Friedlander but relevant to the moral vocabulary of our time In a letter written in March 1944, the elder Gerstein reassured his son Kurt on the subject of the latter's guilt feelings “The person who bears the responsibility is the man who gives the orders, not the one who carries them out There can be no question of disobedience You must do what you are ordered to do As an old official and a former Prussian officer, that is the way I learned things “When the orders in question involve deeds that outrage all accepted canons of morality, it is not difficult to reject this kind of insistence on unquestioning obedience, thus, the Nuremberg courts repudiated the plea of obedience to superior orders by declaring that “individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual State” But the problem becomes more complicated when the immorality or injustice of the actions one is ordered to perform is less clear. Ever since the revelation of the hideous crimes committed by the Nazis—crimes whose perpetrators often defended themselves by pleading that they were merely following orders—it has become fashionable to celebrate the primacy of the individual's conscience over the commands of the state Now, the tradition of subjecting legality to the scrutiny and judgment of morality is an old and honorable one, and in some cases disobedience to law can clearly become a moral duty But are we today perhaps in danger of going to the opposite extreme from that of the Nazi officials who faithfully carried out Hitler's monstrous orders? Is the only lesson to be learned from the Nazi experience that we should distrust all legality, presume it to be in the wrong unless proved otherwise, and follow the commands of our private judgments without regard to the social consequences of our actions? Unthinking obedience to law just because it is law can lead to gross immorality, but absolute reliance on conscience rather than on law can bring about an equally undesirable state of affairs In such a situation, the racist, following his conscience, will push around the defender of minority causes, militant Rightists will break up meetings of their opponents on the Left with the justification that they are following the dictates of their own moral convictions In short, the absolute reliance on conscience leads to an absolute reliance on raw force, with the outcome of disagreements determined by the criterion of strength and ruthlessness One need hardly add that a Hitler or a Himmler would undoubtedly pass with flying colors the test of strong personal convictions and sincerity _____________ In this country, the conflict between legality and morality was revived in the days of Martin Luther King's nonviolent civil-rights movement and lives on in the crisis of confidence in democratic government engendered by the war in Vietnam But uncritical praise of civil disobedience and resistance to a law branded as unjust or immoral has by now itself become an important factor in the spread of hate and violence, and has seriously weakened the social fabric of America Has the time not come to call a moratorium on the cult of conscience? I do not wish to belabor a point that has been forcefully and eloquently argued in these pages by Nathan Glazer and others, but I do wish to register the opinion that it is possible to criticize American policy and the conduct of the war in Vietnam, on political as well as moral grounds, without speaking of genocide, and that this odious comparison in fact constitutes a veritable act of blasphemy toward the memory of the six million dead, to say nothing of the gross historical obtuseness it reveals The moral problem faced by Kurt Gerstein was at once easier and more difficult than the dilemmas we face today The evil Gerstein confronted was overwhelming and obvious, but the price exacted for his fidelity to conscience was infinitely higher than that which anyone is expected to pay today The lessons to be learned from Gerstein's predicament are complex and cannot be deduced by crude analogies But as little as blind and unqualified subservience to law will the apotheosis of conscience help us to act in conformity with our political and moral heritage

The Moguls, by Norman Zierold; Thalberg, by Bob Thomas; The Studio, by John Gregory Dunne
by Heywood Gould
The Last Tycoons The Moguls by Norman Zierold Coward-McCann 339 pp $6 95 Thalberg by Bob Thomas Doubleday 389 pp $7 95 The Studio by John Gregory Dunne Farrar, Straus & Giroux 252 pp $5 95 Whatever else it may be, there is one thing that Hollywood is, was, and always will be a business In its infancy, the movie was recognized as a medium of tremendous commercial appeal, many diverse entrepreneurial types struggled to control it, but power was finally seized by a group of ruthless, egocentric profiteers so similar in background, taste, and personality that the movie business seemed to have been created with them in mind Hollywood did not spring full blown from the fevered, philistine imagination of the public It was painstakingly developed by these men, and if one can wade through the anecdotal effluvia of Norman Zierold's The Moguls, one can see how and why they did it Zierold's subjects are the men who ran the film studios that flourished in Hollywood's golden era Carl Laemmle of Universal, L B Mayer and Irving Thalberg of MGM, Samuel Goldwyn, Lewis J Selznick, Jesse Lasky, Adolph Zukor, Cecil B De Mille, and B P Schulberg of Paramount, Darryl F Zanuck, William Fox, Harry Cohn of Columbia, the Warner brothers, the Schenck brothers-men who legitimized a bastard industry and became national figures in the process Like most people who write about the movies, Zierold unabashedly rehearses those twice-told tales that are infuriatingly familiar even to those who have only a nodding acquaintance with Hollywood mythology Yet the mere juxtaposition of the lives and careers of the moguls provides a well-drawn, remarkably consistent portrait of a type of American capitalist that is slowly becoming extinct With the exception of Zanuck, all the moguls were Jewish (Cecil B De Mille qualifies because of his Jewish mother) Most of them were born in the ghettos of Eastern Europe to large, poverty-stricken families Almost all of them (including Zanuck) were forced to fend for themselves at early ages Lewis J Selznick, who came from a family of eighteen, migrated from Kiev to London at the age of twelve Samuel Goldwyn left Warsaw when he was eleven Adolph Zukor arrived in England from Hungary at the age of fifteen with forty dollars sewn in his pockets The moguls began in the retail trades traditionally followed by Jews Goldwyn was a glove salesman, Selznick a jeweler, Fox a cloth sponger, Zukor a furrier, Laemmle a store manager They were drawn to what was then the nickelodeon business by retailing, not by artistic interests (“The picture business is like the Wool-worth business where you can bring the whole family,” L B Mayer often said) The set-up was ideal quick turnover, cash customers, and no returns They understood better than anyone else that a business with these advantages could be immensely profitable The moguls were ambitious and maniacally energetic They had an obsessive commitment to film making which never flagged during their long years in the business On the whole they were uneducated men who used their untutored tastes as touchstones for judging public receptivity They were shrewd about others and completely naive about themselves—the paradoxical psychic combination that one finds in most successful men The moguls who failed were the cultured, introspective ones, whose self-deprecating cynicism diluted their ambition Lewis J Selznick, who built a multimillion dollar film empire before 1920, but preferred to sit at home surrounded by his collection of Chinese vases, once said “Less brains are necessary in the motion-picture industry than in any other” He enraged his colleagues with his cavalier attitude toward them and the business that meant so much to them But Selznick lived to regret his impieties, he was driven into bankruptcy by his vindictive partner Adolph Zukor B P Schulberg, the only college graduate in the Hollywood hierarchy, was destroyed by the twin hazards of movie success—whiskey and available women—temptations the other moguls could take in great quantities or leave severely alone _____________ Zierold shows how Fox and Laemmle wrested control of the film industry from a powerful trust that controlled 85 per cent of the motion-picture patents, plus all the producing, distributing, and licensing facilities The trust was composed of ten companies that were run by men who had a patronizing contempt for their product and the people who paid to see it The business was slowly languishing under their lackadaisical despotism when Fox and Laemmle, both nickelodeon owners, decided to break away Fox formed his own film distribution company and sued the Trust for violation of the Sherman Act when it tried to drive him out of business When Laemmle started his own production company the Trust slapped him with more than 300 patent infringement suits in a three-year period, and hired goons to beat up his employees and wreck his equipment In 1915, however, the Wilson administration filed an anti-trust suit of its own, and the Trust was doomed Unable to win in the courts or compete on the open market, it relinquished control of the film industry to the men who believed in its future Perhaps only foreigners could have wrought the miracle that the movie business soon became What, after all, was Hollywood but America seen through the worshipful, distorted prism of an immigrant's sensibility? Only an immigrant could so idealize the homely fortitude of Tom Mix, the cherry-pie goodness of Miss Mary Pickford, America's Sweetheart Only an outsider could be so taken with a popular culture that many native Americans considered beneath contempt The moguls weren't ashamed of their Jewishness—but in those pre-Portnoy days the Jewish image was no asset at the box office Mayer promised to hire Danny Kaye on the condition that he get a nose job And Harry Cohn refused to sign a Jewish actor for an important part, saying “Around this studio the only Jews we put in pictures play Indians” Yet they did add much from their own background to the mythic American landscape of the movies The fantasies of mud-caked ghettos and dismal tenements were transformed into the American Dream with the rise of stout, sultry, middle-European vamps like Theda Bara, and Vilma Banky Slippery gigolo types like Valentino and Navarro came more from the European ideal of suave, manipulative masculinity than from anything American But the avid, protean taste of the public had no trouble absorbing them By creating the star system and the feature-length film, by their genius for publicity, but most of all by their conviction that the public shared their taste for opulence, melodrama, and intrigue, the moguls built an empire that withstood a depression, a war, another anti-trust action, and the rise of TV Acting as the Inner Circle of Hollywood, they sometimes put the well-being of the industry ahead of their own studios' fortunes With their mutual backgrounds they represented a familial force as potent for the movie business as that of the great corporate dynasties like the Fords and the Rockefellers In their time the moguls acquired a reputation for vulpine villainy that was unsurpassed even by the bad guys in their movies Intellectuals condemned them for having deliberately stunted the artistic growth of the film form To Edmund Wilson they were “megalomaniac cloak and suiters” who had seduced and despoiled his “needy friends” with their extravagant salaries and shoddy standards They had no more virulent critics than those who labored profitably in their studio sweat shops Analysts' offices and magazines were full of breast-beaters who took home hundreds of thousands in the depression days and hated themselves and their benefactors for it _____________ Time and the passing of an era have taken the edge off much of that invective The moguls now survive in stories told by people whose memories have taken a self-gratulatory turn Under Zierold's condescending scrutiny they emerge as well-worn vaudevillians, strutting, sneering, and bumbling through one disastrous confrontation after another They are rebuffed by leading ladies, riposted by writers, and bested by cunning agents Zierold himself never stops to wonder how these paper tigers ever managed to build such imposing businesses He never seeks to expose the master oneupman who lurked behind Samuel Goldwyn's malapropisms, or the iron ambition so successfully masked by absent-minded, avuncular men like Zukor and Laemmle Like the industry they created, the moguls were complex, ambiguous men Zierold does not honor them in their complexity The moguls decided very early in the game that it was sheer folly to leave the destiny of corporate Hollywood in the irresponsible hands of the artists Executives were needed to oversee the products of their film factories men who could think like businessmen but speak like film makers, who understood the consequences of financial failure and would sacrifice everything, including quality, to avoid it Thus the producer was born And because everyone in Hollywood has to be “creative,” the myth of the creative producer followed soon afterward _____________ Irving Thalberg, the subject of Bob Thomas's informed biography, was the apotheosis of the type Known as the “boy wonder” of Hollywood, he developed an awesome reputation as a master producer while still in his early twenties At twenty he was the studio manager of Carl Laemmle's Universal Pictures At twenty-five he was production head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer At thirty-seven he was dead, a legend in his own time, the recipient of an outpouring of grief and tribute that Hollywood has yet to equal Thomas, the author of a biography of Harry Cohn, has approached his subject with cautious affection He neither glorifies nor debunks Thalberg, he simply tells the story of a capable, contradictory man who was driven and destroyed by the system he helped create By Hollywood standards Thalberg combined the soul of an artist with the instincts of a moneymaker His formula was simple big stars, lavish productions, sparkling dialogue, and simple plots He was diabolically accurate in figuring complicated film budgets, a master at cutting corners without sacrificing production value A Thalberg movie was a lesson in how to make a “quality product” that was also a commercial success His best pictures—Camille, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Good Earth, Grand Hotel—had an extravagant, larger-than-life quality that became known as the “Thalberg touch” He was a dedicated, skillful producer of popular entertainment who took himself very seriously None of his movies even remotely satisfies the standards one reserves for a work of art But it was Thalberg's personality, not his oeuvre, that created the legend A frail, dark-eyed young man with a saintly, sepulchral demeanor, he exercised a hypnotic fascination over everyone who knew him Even the most sardonic observers of Hollywood like Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur were completely captivated “He carried with him the accoutrements of an artist,” Budd Schulberg wrote, “he was like a young pope” F Scott Fitzgerald, who was intrigued by obsessive personalities, based The Last Tycoon on Thalberg's power struggle with Louis B Mayer, a struggle which Thalberg lost, to the everlasting advantage of his mystique _____________ Thalberg was the Camille of Hollywood He had been born a blue baby A shattered, diseased heart pounded in his chest, making him subject to frequent physical breakdowns Nevertheless, he worked at a pace that would have killed healthier men, making bittersweet allusions to his imminent death in the presence of worshipful underlings He was courtly, considerate, and persuasive, but though he inspired respect and loyalty he made no lasting friendships He had the kind of retailer's mind that could worship talent but hold talented people in contempt because they were working for him, not he for them.

The F.B.I. in Our Open Society, by Harry and Bonaro Overstreet
by Isidore Silver
The Bureau The F B.I in our Open Society by Harry and Bonaro Overstreet Norton 400 pp. $6.95. In an era when books like Jerome Skolnick's Justice Without Trial, James Q Wilson's Varieties of Police Behavior, and Paul Chevigny's Police Power have systematically analyzed the social functions of law-enforcement agencies, it is nothing short of foolish to believe, as the Overstreets do, that the FBI responds “simply and literally to instructions given it by an appropriate authority” Analyses of which laws are enforced and of how they are enforced, of the political relationships of agencies to other power groups, and of agencies' perceptions of their roles, have become the staples of serious, current attempts to understand the role of law enforcement in our society But in their analysis of the FBI, the Overstreets, relying on secondary sources and making no field inquiries of their own, do not get beyond confidently depicting a world of selfless and dedicated law enforcers conscientiously doing a thankless and complicated task This is the stuff of whimsy, not social analysis The title of their book notwithstanding, the role of federal law enforcement in a democracy is the one subject resolutely avoided in the Overstreets' tendentious attack on J Edgar Hoover's enemies The Overstreets' technique of relying on Hoover's testimony before Congressional committees and on statements made by his former employers (attorneys-general of the United States) may be sufficient to demolish some of the more ornate fantasies about the FBI spun by Max Lowenthal, Fred J Cook, William Turner, and other critics, it is singularly irrelevant to any analysis of the Bureau's actual function Moreover, the Overstreets are no more accurate than these critics when they turn to defend the Bureau Thus, they condemn the selective quotations which distort the validity of Lowenthal's and Cook's attacks, yet the President's Crime Commission Report of 1967, which they frequently cite as authority for the proposition that the FBI IS a highly competent agency fully aware and respectful of its own limitations, actually condemned the Bureau for lack of cooperation during the 50's with the Justice Department's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section Donald R Cressey's recently published Theft of a Nation amply corroborates the Crime Commission's verdict _____________ This is not the only criticism of the FBI overlooked by the Over-streets with the same methodical selectivity that Cook and Lowenthal seem to have employed Norman Ollestead's Inside the F B I is mentioned, but his belief that the Bureau cannot relate to Negroes, especially when forced to choose between them and Southern police chiefs, is never acknowledged Nor do the Overstreets take note of the common charge that the Bureau has practiced racial and religious discrimination in its hiring, or that Senator Joseph McCarthy used FBI files for his investigations—indeed, McCarthy's name is never mentioned even though Hoover's admiration for him is a matter of record The closest the authors come to recognizing the existence of criticism is the flat—and undocumented—assertion that Bureau files are always confidentially maintained Insofar as The FBI in Our Open Society exposes the often intemperate criticisms to be found in Cook and Lowenthal, it performs the minor service of reassuring us that muckraking is a hazardous enterprise, especially when the muck is well-hidden Unfortunately, anti-muckraking is all but useless when it resorts to the same techniques—a naive reliance on self-serving statements and ad hominem attacks on one's opponents Since much of what Mr Hoover says is unprovable and often contradictory (he has, for example, been on all sides of the wiretapping issue), blind faith is as inappropriate a stance as blind condemnation _____________ Thus, although it is quite clear that J Edgar Hoover is not a fascist ogre seeking to clamp a Gestapolike police state upon us, neither is he the Overstreets' ideal type of the law enforcer, scrupulously upholding his sworn duty to carry out the mandates conferred upon him by Congress or by the attorney-general The political infighting for power between Hoover and certain attorneys-general, Robert F Kennedy among them, has been too well-documented to be doubted seriously Hoover is a shrewd, perhaps even brilliant man who has certain beliefs about the meaning of the elusive term “national security” and about the role of the FBI in protecting it He has acted on those beliefs, has attempted to convince others (especially Congress) of the essential validity of his aims, and has used his authority to seek broad social acceptance of his positions on certain crucial matters, notably that of Communism in American life Though they fail to examine the effect of Hoover's beliefs on the conduct of his Bureau, the Over-streets indirectly do raise some interesting problems in their defense of him The liberal Left, in its quest for scapegoats, has fastened undue attention on the FBI After all, at the beginning of World War II, as the authors point out, the greatest violation of civil liberties was perpetrated not by the Bureau secretly but by the the military overtly “The darkest injustice of the war period in this country was indubitably that practiced against the West Coast Japanese That was an Army operation, and, significantly, Hoover opposed it” Although their explanation for Hoover's stand is not reassuring (“No security purpose was, to [Hoover's] mind, served by the wholesale uprooting of our Japanese population”), his position on this question cannot be ignored Yet it seems to be very important for the Left to convince others, though not necessarily itself, that Hoover is a fascist In the service of this necessity Hoover's style (his perspiring-hand phobia, his priggishness) and the Bureau's incredible “squareness” are often confused with those functions it actually performs, and which do not always correspond with its manners Some of Hoover's more outlandish pronouncements do engender general disquiet, but his prissiness should offset rather than stimulate fears that we are all having our phones tapped and are about to be hauled out of our beds at night Ironically, the only known night raids in recent times occurred in 1962 when the Bureau, on orders of then Attorney-General Robert Kennedy, raided newspapermen's homes to get some information about the steel price rise _____________ The fascination of the Left—and, for that matter, the Right too—with the FBI lies in its being not “un-American” but rather, as Walter Goodman has noted about the House Un-American Activities Committee, all too American If anyone bothered to study the personal qualities of the average special agent, he would probably discover an unusually high quotient of Midwest provincialism, xenophobia, and chauvinism, the Bureau is staffed with men who yearn for urban peace, for the simple pleasures of a Tsarist Russia or a Chiangist China, and who cannot quite understand the political and social revolutions of our time Like most small-town Americans, FBI men believe that snooping is a perfectly acceptable form of social activity, especially if your neighbor is up to no good, and most especially if he makes strange political noises Of course, we cannot ignore the great potential for harm inherent in Babbitry in the guise of law enforcement Huey Long once said that fascism, if it comes to America, will come in the guise of Americanism The FBI represents a dangerous streak of authoritarianism in American life, but it would take a great deal—and neither a world war nor a cold war, it should be remembered, was enough—to convert that into totalitarianism J Edgar Hoover, like Joe McCarthy, has preferred to fish in small ponds of troubled waters and has eschewed any grand designs for oceanic whale-hunting One shudders to think what the FBI would have been like had it been headed by a true ideologue like Allen Dulles The type of person the Bureau attracts is far less dangerous than those Harvard Ph D's, their minds aflame with political theory, who prefer to work for the “swinging” CIA Not that the FBI IS not in need of reform But reform has always, and necessarily, been a slow process, changes in the Bureau occur not so much with the enactment of new laws (as the Overstreets argue), and not in accordance with the Bureau's own malevolent inclinations (as its critics believe), but in response to society's changing concerns When the Ku Klux Klan became worrisome in the 20's, the FBI acted because strong political and public pressure forced it to (not, as the Overstreets ridiculously maintain, because the Klan threatened to violate Louisiana's constitutional right to a republican form of government) As the “Communist menace” recedes and the dangers of organized crime increase, Bureau resources will be shifted accordingly Of course, the shift may well be delayed by Mr Hoover's perceptions and by “organizational lag,” but it will come Although The FBI in Our Open Society seems to have been written principally to refute Fred J Cook's The FBI Nobody Knows, and therefore tells us virtually nothing about the Bureau's function, it does modestly serve to limit the range of valid criticism And it also offers the occasion to observe that in this time of deep-rooted questioning, we should be frying other institutional fishes The FBI need no longer rate a high priority on our list of social devils, at the moment, it is a strictly second-rate danger

The Fiscal Revolution in America, by Herbert Stein; Monetary vs. Fiscal Policy, by Milton Friedman and Walter W. Heller
by Robert Lekachman
Economic Revisionism The Fiscal Revolution in America by Herbert Stein University of Chicago Press 526 pp $10 00 Monetary vs Fiscal Policy A Dialogue by Milton Friedman and Walter W Heller Norton 95 pp $3.95. For American Keynesians February 1964 was a month to remember After more than a year of haggling, Congress finally enacted a major income-tax cut at a time when a budgetary deficit already existed and the economy of its own accord was expanding The moment was particularly triumphant for Walter W Heller who as Chairman of the Kennedy Council of Economic Advisers had patiently educated his principal in modern economics to such effect that by 1962 Mr Kennedy was prepared to accept the political risks involved in combating the time-worn identifications between public and private finance and individual and governmental virtue which still appeared dear to the hearts of many Congressional antiques Fed by happy events, the economists' euphoria lasted nearly two years Just as the Council of Economic Advisers had predicted, the pace of economic advance in 1964 and 1965 accelerated and unemployment fell to gratifyingly low levels, only midway in 1965 did prices slowly begin to stir.

Hanoi, by Mary McCarthy; Trip to Hanoi, by Susan Sontag
by Peter Shaw
Sentimental Journeys Hanoi. by Mary McCarthy. Harcourt, Brace & World. 134 pp. $2.45. Trip to Hanoi. by Susan Sontag. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 91 pp. $1.45. For at least four years the intellectual community poured out a steady stream of reasoned and informed criticism of the Vietnam war without seeming to have any appreciable effect on events.

Reader Letters July 1969
by Our Readers
Blacks & Jews To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In his article, "Blacks, Jews & the Intellectuals" [April], Nathan Glazer refers to me as one of the "distinguished sponsors" of the In- ternational Committee to Defend Eldridge Cleaver and from that seems to draw the conclusion not only that I endorse Mr.

August, 1969Back to Top
Student Protest
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Professor Walter Laqueur [“Reflections on Youth Movements,” June] does well to remind us that there is nothing essentially new about either student movements of protest or student violence, and that there is bound to be an inherent ambiguity in any revolt based upon generational considerations.

Jewish Art
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I gladly take the opportunity to comment on Cecil Roth's essay [“Birds' Heads & Graven Images,” June] discussing the problems raised by the Bird's Head Haggadah, the earliest Ashkenazi illuminated Haggadah dating from the end of the 13th or the early 14th century.

Cold War
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have just read Lionel Abel's article, “The Position of Noam Chomsky” [May], and, quite coincidentally, I had just finished reading the May 5 issue of I.

Campus Rhetoric
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Since I have just concluded two semesters of teaching at San Francisco State College, during the 1968-1969 academic year, I found Dorothy Rabinowitz's article in the June issue [“Power in the Academy”] fascinating and perceptive.

Is There a Backlash Vote?
by Maurice Goldbloom
The past political year has seen a number of events which, at least on the surface, have appeared to herald the downfall of the traditional party structure.

The Second Year of the Cold War: A Memoir & An Anticipation
by H. Hughes
To someone who has been out of government service, as I have, for more than twenty years, the present spate of revisionist history on the origins of the cold war makes curious reading.

The Oath-A Story
by Leo Litwak
There was in our old Detroit neighborhood a restaurant called the Cream of Michigan, famous for its barley soup and delicatessen.

The Problem of the Golden Rule
by Edward Hoagland
Like a good many New Yorkers, I've often wondered whether I was going to be mugged. I've lived in a number of neighborhoods and, being a night walker, have many times changed my course or speeded my stride, eyeing a formidable-looking figure as he approached.

Soviet Jewry Today
by Maurice Friedberg
In an article published in this magazine only four and a half years ago,1 I had occasion to contrast the many disabilities suffered by the Jews of the Soviet Union with Communist Poland's relatively enlightened treatment of her tiny Jewish community.

Nabokov's Ardor
by Robert Alter
Vladimir Nabokov possesses what is probably the most finely cultivated sense of form of any living writer, and so there is a satisfying justness in the fact that not only his individual works but also the sequence of his books should evince a formal harmony.

Truth in the Courtroom
by Edward Epstein
To what extent can criminal trials be expected to establish the truth about historical events? The question is a serious one, but it has been confounded by a discrepancy that exists between the legal and the popular conception of what a trial does.

Pornography & Propaganda
by John Thompson
For all I know, the “Frank Newman” who wrote Barbara1 may actually be named Frank Newman, and the “Odette Newman” credited with So You Think Sex Is Dirty?2 may be a real name too.

The Origins of Socialism, by George Lichtheim
by Shlomo Avineri
Before Marx The Origins of Socialism. by George Lichtheim. Praeger. 302 pp. $6.95. A scholarly yet compact introduction to socialist theory has not been available in English for some years: G.

Real People, by Alison Lurie
by Elizabeth Dalton
Life & Art Real People. by Alison Lurie. Random House. 180 pp. $4.95. The novels of Alison Lurie are almost enough to make one believe in the increasingly dubious notion that reading fiction is fun.

Prayer in Judaism, by Bernard Martin
by Erich Isaac
The Siddur Prayer in Judaism. by Bernard Martin. Basic Books. 270 pp. $7.50. The prayer book, or Siddur, forms, with the Bible and Talmud, one of the major repositories of Jewish tradition, yet it is a work that has received comparatively little study in general evaluations of Judaism.

Nihilists, by Ronald Hingley
by George Woodcock
Terror Politics Nihilists. by Ronald Hingley. Delacorte Press. 126 pp. $3.95. In 1862 Ivan Turgenev, that sensitive observer of Russian trends, published Fathers and Sons, and created a character who became a type of iconoclastic rebel—Bazarov—and a label that was to mark a generation of rebels—Nihilism.

The World of the Thriller, by Ralph Harper
by Leo Braudy
Private Identity The World of the Thriller. by Ralph Harper. Case Western Reserve. 139 pp. $4.95. In New Essays in Philosophical Theology Basil Mitchell proposes a parable to illustrate the difficulties in deciding what constitutes counter-evidence for a belief in God.

The Economy of Cities, by Jane Jacobs
by Peter Schrag
Urban Nostalgia The Economy of Cities. by Jane Jacobs. Random House. 268 pp. $5.95. Reading Jane Jacobs in New York in the summer of 1969 is, I imagine, a little like reading Walden in a Chinese commune.

Reader Letters August 1969
by Our Readers
Campus Rhetoric TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Since I have just concluded two semesters of teaching at San Fran- cisco State College, during the 1968-1969 academic year, I found Dorothy Rabinowitz's article in the June issue ["Power in the Acad- emy"] fascinating and perceptive.

September, 1969Back to Top
The Middle East
by Our Readers
To the Editor: A most peculiar aspect of the study of international conflicts is that theorists no longer explain these conflicts with reference to the real world but attempt to resolve them instead in a utopian land of “unthinkable” and contradictory scenarios.

Jewish Belief
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Marvin Fox's review of After Auschwitz and The Religious Imagination by Richard L. Rubenstein [Books in Review, July] “prefers to try to understand him.” As a student of Rabbi Rubenstein at the University of Pittsburgh, I learned that he is often misquoted and “misunderstood.” Mr.

Learning & the Schools
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The sleeper in David K. Cohen's article [“The Price of Community Control,” July] is his phrase, “The obvious defect of presuming that schools have an impact on student's achievement, when most evidence on this point tends in the opposite direction.” And I have heard David Cohen say, speaking to the Northeast States Boards of Education, that all the data since 1925 indicate little, if any, correlation between what the schools have pretended and what they have performed.

The Fantasy of Black Nationalism
by Theodore Draper
Whatever the 1960's may go down in history for, the resurgence of “black nationalism” will surely be high on, if not at the top of, the list.

Goodbye to Poland
by Gabriel Meretik
I decided to leave. Of course, that decision was made not all at once but a little at a time; it was the product of innumerable insignificant details, a gradual sliding that resulted from the games of hide-and-seek that I played with myself.

In Defense of the 50's
by John Mander
Among the young, the word has got around that the 50's were not a good time to be alive in.

Decline & Fall of Dingdong-Daddyland-A Story
by Nelson Algren
Folding a copy of Playboy in his left hand while holding his pants up with his right, the old man slipper-sloppered through the old flat dark and narrow— Don't throw bouquets at me—he cajoled a world that had long dishonored him— Don't laugh at my jokes too much—he asked a world that had never thought him a comic— People will think we're in love—although he'd always found people detestable and people had found him a horror. Coughing, hawking, phlegming, one shoulder higher than the other from working with penitentiary rubber, he lurched lopsidedly with one suspender dragging.

De Gaulle-A Summing Up
by George Lichtheim
Paris, July.—The eight million inhabitants of this city are currently about to go on their annual vacation in a fairly relaxed mood.

On Walter Benjamin
by Robert Alter
“For the critic,” Walter Benjamin once wrote, “the highest court of appeal is his own colleagues. Not the public. Even less posterity.” The statement reflects the stance of intellectual rigor and self-skeptical inner distance that Benjamin maintained toward everything he cared about seriously—literary criticism, literary experience itself and its future in an age of technology and mass societies, Marxism (though perhaps here there were lapses in the rigor), Zionism, European culture, Jewish tradition and its theological categories of vision.

The Kingdom and the Power, by Gay Talese
by Joseph Epstein
Paper Politics The Kingdom and the Power. by Gay Talese. World. 555 pp. $10.00. The New York Times is far and away America's greatest newspaper.

Hayim Greenberg Anthology, edited by Marie Syrkin
by Arthur Hertzberg
A Forgotten Voice Hayim Greenberg Anthology. by Marie Syrkin. Wayne State University Press. 343 pp. $3.95. Hayim Greenberg appeared too late on the Russian Jewish scene—just before its virtual end in the October Revolution—and too early on the American Jewish scene—in the late 1920's and early 1930's—to affect the thinking of his contemporaries to the extent that he should have.

Norma Jean, by Fred Lawrence Guiles
by Michael Wood
Marilyn Norma Jean. by Fred Lawrence Guiles. McGraw-Hill. 352 pp. $8.95. The biographer's familiar cry: the real thing, the onion's heart, the truth teased out from all the dirt and rumor and gossip.

The Unperfect Society, by Milovan Djilas
by David Bazelon
Tailoring the Dream The Unperfect Society: Beyond The New Class. by Milovan Djilas. by Dorian Cooke. Harcourt, Brace & World. 267 pp. $5.00. “As the chapters that follow will illustrate, it is my belief that society cannot be perfect.” Shall we laugh or cry? The latter, I assure you.

Notes from the Century Before, by Edward Hoagland
by Margerie Lowry
Frontier Notes from the Century Before: A Journal from British Columbia. by Edward Hoagland. Random House. 237 pp. $6.95. Notes from the century before is a document unlike any I have ever read, and it has left me with a feeling of the vast country to our north that we know so little about.

Reader Letters September 1969
by Our Readers
Learning & the Schools To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: The sleeper in David K. Cohen's article ["The Price of Commu- nity Control," July] is his phrase, "The obvious defect of presuming that schools have an impact on student's achievement, when most evidence on this point tends in the opposite direction." And I have heard David Cohen say, speak- ing to the Northeast States Boards of Education, that all the data since 1925 indicate little, if any, correlation between what the schools have pretended and what they have performed.

October, 1969Back to Top
Author's Reply
by
To the Editor: Michael Reisman and Amos Perlmutter [“Letters from Readers,” September] have not really grasped what I was trying to say or do in my article, “The Alternatives in the Middle East” [May].

Vietnam, the Cold War & Other Matters
by Lionel Abel
The following exchange was occasioned by Lionel Abel's article, “The Position of Noam Chomsky,” which appeared in our issue for May 1969.

The Decline of Liberal Politics
by William Pfaff
We cannot find an explanation for the decline of liberal politics in this country without questioning the relevance of the modern tradition of liberalism, and even the relevance of the Left—for this country is above all a creation of the Enlightenment and of the liberal tradition, and in the 20th century its politics and government have been dominated by the liberal Left.

The Urban Mood
by James Wilson
The numerous mayoralty elections in big cities this year should, some argue, tell us once and for all whether the “backlash” voter now has the upper hand.

Journal from Israel
by Edward Grossman
Jerusalem: A group of Baptist students at the West Jerusalem Y.M.C.A., where I am staying. I recognize their faces—the faces of what we called in junior high school “straight arrows,” some scheming, others chaste and good.

The Myth of American Affluence
by Stephan Thernstrom
In 1958 John Kenneth Galbraith, as his publishers tell us, “added a new phrase to our language” by declaring that ours was an “affluent society.” Median family income in the United States then was less than $4,000 per year.

Biblical Legends
by David Daiches
Let me begin with three quotations. One is from Marvin Pope's introduction to his edition of the Book of Job in the Anchor Bible: “The Bible cannot be properly studied or understood apart from its background and environment which comprises the whole ancient Near East.” The second is from Stanley Cook's Introduction to the Bible (1945): “The study of the Bible involves some fourteen or more centuries of ancient history: it enters into studies of myth and legend, religion, custom and law, prehistoric man and ancient history, archaeology and the monuments, anthropology and sociology, primitive and scientific ideas of the universe, men's thoughts about things, and the validity both of their ways of thinking and of our own.” The third is from Erasmus: “By identifying the new learning with heresy, you make orthodoxy synonymous with ignorance.” A book which for many centuries was seen by adherents of two great religions as the true Word of God is now seen to be a collection of diverse works of very different dates intimately related to (as well as in some significant respects interestingly different from) a great mass of other literature and mythology emanating from the same part of the world which produced that book.

Moon Watching
by Neil Compton
In the very week that technology achieved its apotheosis in the moon landings, Life devoted pride of place on the cover and inside the issue of July 18 to a strikingly different phenomenon—the rural youth communes which are the latest mutation of the hippie movement.

The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968, by Andrew Sarris
by Paul Warshow
Moviemakers The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968. by Andrew Sarris. Dutton. 383 pp. $2.95. The title of Andrew Sarris's new book is really a misnomer.

Weimar Germany's Left-Wing Intellectuals, by Istvan Deak
by Martin Jay
Radical Jews Weimar Germany's Left-Wing Intellectuals. by Istvan Deak. University of California Press. 346 pp. $9.75. Among those who chastise today's radical intellectuals for their “irresponsible negativism,” the example of Weimar Germany has often served as an analogy of compelling weight.

A Set of Variations, by Frank O'Connor
by Elizabeth Dalton
Irish Tales A Set of Variations. by Frank O'Connor. Knopf. 338 pp. $6.95. The Irish have an insidious gift for making their national failings attractive.

The Great Society's Poor Law: A New Approach to Poverty, by Sar A. Levitan
by Ben Seligman
The OEO The Great Society's Poor Law: A New Approach to Poverty. by Sar A. Levitan. Johns Hopkins. 348 pp. $7.95. It should be made clear at the outset that this is not a book about poverty.

Industrial Society in Communist China, by Barry M. Richman
by John Fairbank
Mao's Economy Industrial Society in Communist China. by Barry M. Richman. Random House. 968 pp. $15.00. This massive volume lives up to its subtitle: A Firsthand Study of Chinese Economic Development and Management—With Significant Comparisons with Industry in India, the USSR, Japan, and the United States.

Reader Letters October 1969
by Our Readers
Author's Reply TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY Michael Reisman and Amos Perlmutter ["Letters from Read- ers," September] have not really grasped what I was trying to say or do in my article, "The Alterna- tives in the Middle East" [May].

November, 1969Back to Top
Greeks, Jews & Macmillian
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The article by Milton Himmelfarb, “Hebraism & Hellenism Now” [July], is a curious mixture of scholarship and twisted logic.

Soviet Oppression
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read with great interest Maurice Friedberg's “Soviet Jewry Today” [August]. It is hard to imagine a better summary of the current situation of Jews in the USSR, but it might be of some interest to your readers to point out that in one important respect the “inability to view the subject of Soviet Jews within a general Soviet framework,” of which Mr.

Community Control
by Our Readers
To the Editor: We would like to comment on David Cohen's “The Price of Community Control” [July] and on the issue of community control in general. Black demands for control of ghetto schools derive from two separate, although related, sources.

The “Cream”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read Leo Litwak's story “The Oath” [August] as one who grew up next door to the Cream of Michigan restaurant in Detroit.

“Thanksgiving”—Pro & Con
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . I was shocked when I read “Thanksgiving” by Morris Hedges [July]. . . . Yiddish is slowly passing out of the picture—why leave such a bad taste for those of us who still remember Yiddish as taught to us by our parents? There was a time when such expressions were never seen in print, and it was considered a disgrace to hear them spoken.

The Cold War
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have just read H. Stuart Hughes's “The Second Year of the Cold War” [August], in which he reconsiders that period—March 1946 to July 1947—which he spent in a responsible position in the State Department. It is clear now, as it should have been to all, that the position of his dissenting group in the Division of Research for Europe was both right and inescapable.

Oh! Nudity!
by Jack Richardson
The depressing thing about Oh! Calcutta! is that, for all its cool amusements and gritty determination to titillate, it ends only by proving that our society has a long way to go before it can produce and enjoy a truly licentious spectacle.

Envy; or, Yiddish in America-A Novella
by Cynthia Ozick
Edelshtein, an American for forty years, was a ravenous reader of novels by writers “of”—he said this with a snarl—“Jewish extraction.” He found them puerile, vicious, pitiable, ignorant, contemptible,, above all stupid.

The Politics of ABM
by Aaron Wildavsky
Issues have lives of their own. Men cannot often choose the ground on which to fight major issues; they must take what the world offers up.

Is There a New Republican Majority?
by Andrew Hacker
It is not easy to argue that Richard Nixon's election marks a revival of Republican fortunes. While he need not apologize for entering the White House with less than a popular majority—after all, Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, and John Kennedy shared that distinction—his is nevertheless the smallest plurality any candidate has mustered since 1912.

The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition
by Arthur Cohen
How can it be that Christianity, regarding itself the successor and completion of Judaism, should have elected to take into itself the body and substance of that Jewish teaching which it believed to be defective, which it regarded itself as having in measure rejected, in measure transformed, in measure repaired and fulfilled? How can it be that Judaism, the precedent in principle and progenitor in history of Christianity, should have remained not only independent of but unassimilated by the doctrinal vision and historical pressure of Christianity? This is a conundrum, but it is not without solution.

On Eric Hoffer
by Penn Kemble
To judge by a recent flurry of articles in important magazines, and the echoes of Marxist-Leninist slogans coming out of the New Left, the working-class white American may be in for a good deal of attention in the next few years.

Social Change and History, by Robert A. Nisbet
by Dennis Wrong
The Autonomy of History Social Change and History. by Robert A. Nisbet. Oxford University Press. 335 pp. $6.75. Robert Nisbet adopts in this book the same approach to intellectual history that he employed in his previous book, The Sociological Tradition.

A New Jewish Theology in the Making, by Eugene B. Borowitz; How Can a Jew Speak of Faith Today? by Eugene B. Borowitz
by Louis Jacobs
Liberal Beliefs A New Jewish Theology in the Making. by Eugene B. Borowitz. Westminster Press. 224 pp. $6.50. How can a Jew Speak of Faith Today? by Eugene B.

Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story, by Carlos Baker; Henry James, The Treacherous Years, by Leon. Edel
by Elizabeth Stevenson
Literary Lives Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. by Carlos Baker. Scribner's. 697 pp. $10.00. Henry James, IV, The Treacherous Years. by Leon Edel. Lip-pincott. 381 pp.

A Long Journey, by George Blake Charney
by Maurice Goldbloom
An American Communist A Long Journey. by George Blake Charney. Quadrangle. 340 pp. $7.50. There have been a great many autobiographies of leading Communists and ex-Communists, both in the United States and elsewhere.

My Turn at Bat, by Ted Williams
by Edward Grossman
Hero My Turn at Bat: The Story of My Life. by Ted Williams (as told to John Underwood). Simon if Schuster. 288 pp.

Reader Letters November 1969
by Our Readers
The Cold War TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I have just read H. Stuart Hughes's "The Second Year of the Cold War" [August], in which he reconsiders that period-March 1946 to July 1947-which he spent in a responsi- ble position in the State Depart- ment. It is clear now, as it should have been to all, that the position of his dissenting group in the Division of Research for Europe was both right and inescapable.

December, 1969Back to Top
Black Nationalism---Fact & Fantasy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . In my opinion, in “The Fantasy of Black Nationalism” [September], Theodore Draper (and COMMENTARY in publishing the article) have performed a service for honesty and understanding in dealing with the tangled, passionate, and often self-contradictory issues comprehended in the black nationalist thrust.

Antigone & the New Left
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In an inevitable reevaluation of the 1950's [“In Defense of the 50's,” September], John Mander states: “It was the happiest, most stable, most rational period the Western world has known since 1914.” Mr.

Truman's Speech & Noam Chomsky
by Our Readers
To the Editor: There are familiar forms of self-righteousness in which people become so suffused with the virtue of their cause that they cease to care about intellectual honesty.

Socialism and the Future
by Robert Heilbroner
Some years ago, writing on the prospects for American capitalism, I began by asserting that the capitalist system, whatever the strains and stresses to which it would be subject, bade fair to remain the dominant system in America and Western Europe during our lifetimes,; and that any serious attempt to project large-scale social trends should begin from that premise.1 Now I should like to undertake a similar speculative examination of the prospects for socialism, for I also take it as a datum that some form of socialism will be the predominant economic system in most of the rest of the world during our lifetimes, and that even in Europe and America it will constitute the image of a society against which capitalism will be measured by its critics. But no sooner do we raise the question of the prospect for socialism than we encounter a difficult problem.

The End of Culture
by John Thompson
Wonders are many on earth, the greatest is man. . . . The use of language, the wind-swift motion     of brain He learned; found out the laws of living together In cities, building him shelter against the rain And wintry weather.

Coming of Age in Chicago
by Joseph Epstein
I have always doubted that Chicago ever even faintly resembled the city of Carl Sandburg's poem, but I know for certain that by the time I was born there the city of the big shoulders had developed a serious slouch.

A Real Russian Ikon
by Paul Theroux
Fred Hagberg, forewarned by his travel agent in Cleveland of the Russian hunger for hard cash, had been in Moscow for two days and there had not been even a glimmer of interest in his dollars.

From the Ruins of Empire
by George Lichtheim
London, October.—Among the penalties of having pitched one's tent within the ruins of a collapsing empire, the agonizing spectacle of injured pride masquerading as stoicism must surely rank foremost for any naturalized inhabitant of the British Isles these days.

1968
by Walter Goodman
Once more into the snows of New Hampshire! Once more the tear gas of Chicago! There's no escaping the 1968 election.

Nietzsche in His Letters
by Werner Dannhauser
Have I been understood?” Nietzsche asks repeatedly in Ecce Homo, a book he completed less than a month before madness enveloped him.

An Unfinished Woman, by Lillian Hellman
by Dorothy Rabinowitz
Experience as Drama An Unfinished Woman. by Lillian Hellman. Little-Brown. 280 pp. $7.50. Not the least important thing about a memoir is who has written it.

The Trial of Dr. Spock, by Jessica Mitford
by Leon Friedman
Conspiracy & Due Process The Trial of Dr. Spock. by Jessica Mitford. Knopf. 266 pp. $5.95. In retrospect—after, that is, the Chicago explosion of 1968, after campus upheavals and ghetto convulsions—the acts which led to the trial and conviction of Dr.

The Politics of War, by Gabriel Kolko; Empire and Revolution, by David Horowitz
by Wilson McWilliams
Revisionism The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943-1945. by Gabriel Kolko. Random House. 685 pp. $12.95. Empire and Revolution: A Radical Interpretation of Contemporary History. by David Horowitz. Random House.

The Flight of the Wild Gander, by Joseph Campbell
by Robert Ackerman
Myth The Flight of the Wild Gander. by Joseph Campbell. Viking. 240 pp. $7.50. In an essay in 1953 in Partisan Review called “The Myth and the Powerhouse,” Philip Rahv accused certain critics and philosophers then writing about myth of trying to escape from history by bootlegging religion, and hence of being covert conservative apologists.

Reader Letters December 1969
by Louis Fischer
Truman's Speech & Noam Chomsky TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: There are familiar forms of self- righteousness in which people be- come so suffused with the virtue of their cause that they cease to care about intellectual honesty. Dr.

Hebrew As She Is Spoke
by Hillel Halkin
The story was told me by an American who was traveling in Israel several years ago when his rented car began to stall.




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