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January, 1977Back to Top
Author's Reply
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The correspondence [Letters from Readers, December 1976] concerning my August 1976 article, “An Exchange of Populations,” which dealt in large part with the problem of Jewish refugees from Arab lands, seems to me to fall into three categories: first, a commendation from Carl Knoll to which I say, thank you; second, Elia Zureik's melange of distortions and falsehoods; and third, the letters by Rita Zemach Braude, Jonathan Tumin, and Mark Stein, each of which seems largely devoted to an attempt to protect the writer's personal position. Elia Zureik's letter begins with a pretense of reasonableness, saying that my account of the mistreatment of Jews in Arab lands deserves “sympathy,” but goes on to imply that his own position, because he is an “academic” attached to a university, is more balanced and objective.

The Engergy Crisis
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Eugene Bardach . . . writes with uncommon clarity and possesses a debater's skill in argument. Unfortunately, his article, “Save Energy, Save a Soul” [May 1976], fails to say anything substantive about the dimensions of the energy problem or its potential for inflicting serious social and economic damage on the country and the world.

Tsaylemkop
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The Litvak-Galitizianer exchange between Maurice Friedberg and Chaim Raphael [Letters from Readers, October 1976] was a lot of fun, but I suspect that the editorial hand that interpolated “casuist” as the translation for tsaylemkop in Mr.

More on Abortions
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The title of the article by Magda Denes, “Performing Abortions” [October 1976], is somewhat misleading since the article focuses primarily on saline abortions induced during the sixteenth to twenty-third week of gestation.

Getting Roy Cohn
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Irving Younger [“Memoir of a Prosecutor,” October 1976] has written an article in which he confesses wrongdoing on his own part when he was an Assistant United States Attorney under me in 1961, but seeks to place responsibility on me—accusing me of serious abuse of governmental power.

Oil and American Power-Three Years Later
by Robert Tucker
I It is now exactly three years since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raised the price of their oil fourfold.

Are the Courts Going Too Far?
by Donald Horowitz
The last two decades have been a period of considerable expansion of judicial responsibility in the United States. Although the kinds of cases judges have long handled still occupy most of their time, the scope of judicial business has broadened.

The Rise of Brazil
by Norman Gall
We Brazilians possess all the conditions to aspire for a place among the world's great powers. In geographical terms, we have a territory of continental dimensions with a coastline of 4,600 miles leaning out into the South Atlantic, and a greater land frontier, of nearly 10,000 miles, bordering on 10 South American countries.

My Grandfather Invented the Telegraph
by Nicolas Slonimsky
On August 25, 1952, walking home from the Boston Public Library, I picked up an early afternoon edition of the Boston Traveler, as was my daily custom.

Against Presidential Greatness
by Nelson Polsby
Until election day is past, candidates for President campaign among their fellow citizens with the simple end in view of being elected.

The Texture of Jewish History
by Chaim Raphael
Is there some way for an ordinary reader to get on top (as it were) of Jewish history, taking it all in, adding it all up? The answer is probably no, for the complexity of the subject matter leaves even the best historians hard put to convey both its unity and its diversity.

The Performer's Predicament
by Samuel Lipman
In order to understand the situation of performing musicians today, it is necessary to realize that there is now, to a historically unparalleled extent, no relationship between the music famous artists perform and the music serious composers are writing.

American Activities
by William Pechter
Some fifteen years ago, I interviewed a director, Abraham Polonsky, whose first film, Force of Evil (he'd previously written Body and Soul), merits inclusion, I think, with Citizen Kane and The Maltese Falcon in any mention of the handful of most remarkable directorial debuts in American movies.

The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925, by Herbert G. Gutman
by Bertram Wyatt-Brown
The New Consensus The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925. by Herbert G. Gutman. Pantheon. 704 pp. $15.95. From 1955 to 1965 the civil-rights movement seemed to promise a new era in race relations.

The Arabs, Israelis, and Kissinger, by Edward R.F. Sheehan
by Edward Grossman
Step-by-Step The Arabs, Israelis, and Kissinger: A Secret History of American Diplomacy in the Middle East. by Edward R. F. Sheehan. Reader's Digest Press.

The Deadly Innocents, by Muriel Gardiner
by William Bennett
Introduction by Stephen Spender. Basic Books. 190 pp. $8.95.   In this discomforting little book, Muriel Gardiner, a practicing psychoanalyst, recounts eight true stories of murderous children, many of them killers of their parents or other family members. Peter, a bright and attractive child, never knew his real father, who was killed in World War II.

The Essential Talmud, by Adin Steinsaltz
by David Singer
The World of the Rabbis The Essential Talmud. by Adin Steinsaltz. Translated by Chaya Galai. Basic Books. 296 pp. $10.00. The late Abraham Joshua Heschel once argued that Judaism is the least known of the world's major religions; he might have added that the Talmud is the least known aspect of Judaism.

Freedom Spent, by Richard Harris
by Joseph Bishop
Cautionary Tales? Freedom Spent. by Richard Harris. Little, Brown. 460 pp. $12.95. The dust-jacket of Freedom Spent bears the subtitle, “Tales of Tyranny in America,” and the tone of the work is set in the prologue: “Congress is today blind to the people's needs, the Presidency contains the power to bring about a personal form of despotism, and the judiciary nearly always serves the interest of the state rather than its citizens.” After reading this and other equally astonishing statements in the prologue, one might expect something like a Gulag Archipelago tour of the torture chambers of the FBI and the death camps of North Dakota.

February, 1977Back to Top
The Abortion Question
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I was more than a little disturbed by Magda Denes's reply in the December 1976 letters section to the correspondence on her article, “Performing Abortions” [October 1976].

Populism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is a pity that historical scholarship is so slow in reaching people outside of the academy. In his letter [November 1976], Lewis Kapner criticizes Milton Himmelfarb [“Carter and the Jews,” August 1976] for missing “the real concern many Jews have about Carter: his populist heritage which he still embraces.” And Mr.

Peace and the Marxists
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Your correspondent, Dr. Alfred B. Mason [Letters from Readers, December 1976], writes at length on the absence of consideration of the issues of peace in my book, Why Marxism? [reviewed by Victor Baras, September 1976].

Building Prisons
by Our Readers
To the Editor: James Q. Wilson's call for more prisons [“Who Is in Prison?,” November 1976] voices a conclusion which most of us in criminological pursuits have reluctantly reached.

Schoenberg
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a result of Samuel Lipman's article [“Schoenberg's Survival,” November 1976], I wasted exactly 27 minutes and 33 seconds listening to Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, the musical piece which Mr.

Conservative Judaism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Lawrence J. Kaplan's article [“The Dilemma of Conservative Judaism,” November 1976] misses the mark. His description of the anxious mood within the movement is based on the observations of Marshall Sklare.

Anglocommunism?
by Robert Moss
I am sad to confess that every time I fly back to London from any other major Western capital, my heart sinks.

Why the New Right Lost
by Jeane Kirkpatrick
In the years between 1969 and 1975 Kevin Phillips, William A. Rusher, Patrick J. Buchanan, and Richard J. Whalen all wrote books1 assessing the strengths, weaknesses, and prospects of the American conservative movement as they understood it and recommending strategy and tactics for 1976.

Jewish Sons
by Annette Landau
It is 1972 and my son is making his way home from California. He has a B.A. in philosophy and has had a transcendental experience.

Third World Fantasies
by Walter Laqueur
A recent visitor to a Scandinavian university, after a heated debate with a group of students who had complained bitterly about the lack of freedom in their own country and in the West in general, asked which country in the world they most admired.

Poet of Exile
by Robert Alter
Impossible to communicate anything but particulars—historical and contemporary things, human beings as things, their instrumentalities of capillaries and veins binding up and bound up with events and contingencies. —Louis Zukofsky, “An Objective” (1930). When Charles Reznikoff died in January 1976, at the age of eighty-one, he had only recently begun to be generally recognized as an important American poet of the mid-century decades.

Party & International Politics
by Daniel Moynihan
It is common nowadays to hear the world described in images suggesting that it has grown smaller: a global village; spaceship earth.

In Praise of New York
by Peter Berger
Different cities acquire great symbolic significance at different moments in human history. Paris was significant in this way in the 18th and 19th centuries, as was London (though perhaps to a lesser degree), and Rome, over and beyond anything that was actually going on there, has retained its powerful symbolic character over many centuries.

Ann Beattie & the 60's
by John Romano
Ann beattie's stories have been appearing in the New Yorker for the past few years, and have now been collected in a volume called Distortions,1 published simultaneously with the author's Chilly Scenes of Winter,2 a novel.

Blind Ambition, by John Dean
by James Wilson
The Greasy PoleBlind Ambition. by John Dean. Simon & Schuster. 415 pp. $11.95.The veterans of the Nixon-administration scandals have displayed almost the full range of possible reactions: Nixon has been defiant, Agnew vulgar, Krogh apologetic, Ehrlichman inventive, Mitchell silent, Colson reborn, and Dean descriptive.

A History of Israel, by Howard M. Sachar
by Joseph Shattan
The Jewish State A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time. by Howard M. Sachar. Knopf. 883 pp. $20.00 Howard Sachar's monumental study, which deals with the history of Zionism, the rise of Arab nationalism, British diplomacy in the Middle East, and the military, political, social, and cultural vicissitudes of the state of Israel from 1948 to the present, is an extraordinary work, a triumph of comprehensive scholarship which is also a delight to read.

America In Our Time, by Godfrey Hodgson
by Elliott Abrams
Low Horizons America in Our Time. by Godfrey Hodgson. Doubleday. 564 pp. $12.95. After years of reporting on life in America for British newspapers, Godfrey Hodgson has now attempted to tell, and to explain, the story of the postwar period in this country.

Khrushchev: The Years in Power, by Roy A. Medvedev and Zhores A. Medvedev
by Joshua Rubenstein
After Stalin Khrushchev: The Years in Power. by Roy A. Medvedev and Zhores A. Medvedev. Translated by Andrew R. Durkin. Columbia University Press.

Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, edited by George Plimpton
by Jonathan Wilson
Literary Talk Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews. Fourth Series. by George Plimpton. Viking. 459 pp. $14.95. Interviewer: And there's your new poem, “Talking To Mice.” Have you any favorite mythological mice? Auden: Mythological!

Norman Thomas, by W.A. Swanberg
by Roger Starr
Idealist's Progress Norman Thomas: The Last Idealist. by W. A. Swanberg. Scribner's. 494 pp. $14.95. If an autobiography is the story of a life written by its subject, there should be a word to describe the story of a life which must be written by its readers.

March, 1977Back to Top
Tsaylemkop Contd.
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Reuven Frank's letter [January], far from impugning my own (and the COMMENTARY editors') command of Yiddish, is actually a splendid illustration of my assertion [Letters from Readers, October 1976] that “one is not born a Litvak but rather, as a result of deficient upbringing, stoops to that condition.” Mr.

Communism, Italian-Style
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The two excellent articles published in November 1976 under the title, “Italian Communism at Home and Abroad” [“The New Class,” by Mauro Lucentini; “The Soviet Connection,” by Michael Ledeen] are quite different from what the international press has been reporting about the Italian situation in the past year and a half.

The Memory of Justice
by Our Readers
To the Editor: One of the few advantages a four-and-a-half-hour film like The Memory of Justice has for a general audience, containing as it does forty-five separate interviews, is that, sooner or later, almost any spectator with enough patience is likely to find a spokesman or spokeswoman for his or her point of view. It should be duly noted that Dorothy Rabinowitz, in her article, “Ophuls: Justice Misremembered” [December 1976], explicitly and almost joyously welcomes Lord Shawcross as her spokesman.

China Watchers
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Congratulations to Edward N. Luttwak for his courageous and incisive article, “Seeing China Plain” [December 1976]. For the past three years I have been working on a book comparing the attitudes and perceptions of Western travelers (intellectuals in particular) who visited the Soviet Union in the 1930's, Cuba and North Vietnam in the 1960s, and China in the 1970's.

America and the World: The Next Four Years: Confronting the Problems
by Walter Laqueur
“Critical” is one of those adjectives whose value has been severely depreciated by overuse, yet in speaking of the importance of future developments in American foreign policy no other word will do.

America and the World: The Next Four Years: Beyond Detente
by Robert Tucker
I Do we live in a new world? To a growing number the question will appear little more than rhetorical. The view that we are witnessing what amounts to a transformation of sorts in world politics is no longer the possession of a select group.

America and the World: The Next Four Years: Defense Reconsidered
by Edward Luttwak
The great revelation of the 1976 elections, both primary and general, both congressional and presidential, was that the majority opinion on the worth of military power, and on the present adequacy of American forces, was no longer marked by the discouraged inattention of the late years of Vietnam and Watergate.

Bakke vs. University of California
by John Bunzel
Few issues today have generated more widespread debate or created more difficult problems than the issue of special preference for “minority groups” in employment and education.

Vanadium-A Memoir
by Primo Levi
A varnish is an unstable substance by definition: at a certain point in its career, it must change from a liquid to a solid.

Abu Daoud and the Law
by Sandra Rapoport
On January 7 of this year, Abu Daoud, a Palestinian revolutionary and leader of Al Fatah, was arrested in Paris, where he had arrived to attend the funeral of another Palestinian.

German Wartime Broadcasts
by Samuel Lipman
Basf—the record label owned by the giant German chemical combine Badische Anilin-und Sodafabriken—has recently made available on the American market nearly one hundred LP's containing vocal performances recorded on early magnetic tape and broadcast on German radio during World War II.

1976 Minus One
by William Pechter
By common consent, last year was the worst year for movies within recent memory—that is, unless one remembers the year before, and the year before that.

On Jews and Judaism in Crisis: Selected Essays, by Gershom Scholem
by Chaim Raphael
Berlin and Jerusalem On Jews and Judaism in Crisis: Selected Essays. by Gershom Scholem. Edited by Werner J. Dannhauser. Schocken. 306 pp. $16.50. It may seem odd that the Jewish love affair with Germany and German culture should, after all that has happened, still exert a strong influence over contemporary Jewish consciousness.

Tweed's New York: Another Look, by Leo Hershkowitz
by Suzanne Weaver
Defending the Boss Tweed's New York: Another Look. by Leo Hershkowitz. Anchor Press-Doubleday. 409 pp. $12.50. On July 8, 1871, the New York Times announced a journalistic and political coup: it had managed to get its hands on documentary evidence of enormous frauds committed against the taxpayers of New York City by the Tweed ring.

Robert Frost: The Later Years, 1938-1963, by Lawrance Thompson and R.H. Winnick
by Edward Hirsch
Transfigured Dread Robert Frost: The Later Years, 1938-1963. by Lawrance Thompson and R. H. Winnick. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 468 pp. $17.95. This volume concludes a venture begun “officially” in 1939 when Robert Frost asked Lawrance Thompson to become his official biographer, and unofficially in 1926 when Thompson, a young undergraduate at Wesleyan, sat in the audience listening to “The Freedom of the Moon.” This was the first Frost poem that Thompson had ever heard and we may assume that Frost “said” it, as he usually “said” his poems, with playfulness and a spirited sense of his own performance.

Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821-1849, by Joseph Frank
by Maurice Friedberg
The Artist & His Ideas Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821-1849. by Joseph Frank. Princeton University Press. 401 pp. $16.50. In recent years, Dostoevsky criticism has tended to downgrade the role of ideas in the novelist's work and to concentrate instead on the formal aspects of his prose.

Crooked Paths: Reflections on Socialism, Conservatism, and the Welfare State, by Peter Clecak
by Stephen Miller
Skeptical Socialist Crooked Paths: Reflections on Socialism, Conservatism, and the Welfare State. by Peter Clecak. Harper & Row. 206 pp. $10.95. Peter Clecak is a chastened socialist.

April, 1977Back to Top
Norman Thomas
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of my book, Norman Thomas: The Last Idealist [Books in Review, February], Roger Starr says: “Instead of excerpts from Thomas's speeches, we are given laudatory letters received by Thomas from those who heard him give them.

Saint Paul
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . I am puzzled over Hyam Maccoby's statement in his review of Michael Grant's Saint Paul [Books in Review, December 1976] that “There is no solid evidence that Paul even knew the Hebrew Bible, since his quotations are all from the Greek translation, the Septuagint.” To the contrary, many commentators have produced “solid evidence” that Paul more often than not did use the Hebrew text rather than the Septuagint (which, perhaps, was not even completed in Paul's lifetime).

Court Costs
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Clearly, Donald L. Horowitz wrote his important article, “Are the Courts Going Too Far?” [January], as well as his book, to stimulate the enactment of legislative remedies for an increasingly serious encroachment of the courts into policy-making areas that belong to our elected representatives.

Born Again
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Forrest McDonald's condescending notions and prejudices demand refutation [“A Mirror for Presidents,” December 1976]. He may be competent to help his readers “bone up” on the administrations of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

The Third World
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Walter Laqueur . . . [“Third World Fantasies,” February] has charged that the Third World is led by “demagogues with no genuine interest in economic and social improvements, for whom the nonaligned conferences, UNCTAD, the Paris ‘North-South-Dialogue,’ and the Group of 77 and other such bodies are merely a platform for their own destructive political ends.” In reality, since there are heads of state everywhere who are primarily concerned with their own self-enhancement politically and economically, it is unjust to single out the leaders of developing countries on this score.

Semitic
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Edward Grossman's article on Authur Koestler's The Thirteenth Tribe [“Koestler's Jewish Problem,” December 1976], together with the review in the New York Review of Books, is sufficient to deal a most deserving death-blow to this travesty of historical scholarship.

Life Under Slavery
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . Bertram Wyatt-Brown's review of Herbert G. Gutman's The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925 [Books in Review, January] was both interesting and timely.

Music and Art
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “The Performer's Predicament” [Music, January] Samuel Lipman misses an important point in trying to explain why the professional performing artist today plays almost no contemporary music.

Inventions and Datelines
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Reading Nicolas Slonimsky's charming memoir of his Russian grandfather [“My Grandfather Invented the Telegraph,” January], whose actual priority in conceiving the principles of the telegraph was thought by the Boston Traveler to be a bit of crude Soviet propaganda, recalls to mind a reverse case in which I was involved at the height of Stalin's campaign to demonstrate that the Russians had invented everything first. While correspondent of the New York Times in Moscow, I wrote a story one day mentioning Halley's comet.

Oil
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his . . . excellent analysis, “Oil and American Power—Three Years Later” [January], . . . Robert W.

Thought Control
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Michael Novak's stand against “intellectual muggers” [“Race and Truth,” December 1976] is courageous and perceptive, and all too rare in the intellectual and academic community, which usually ignores the victim's cries because it “doesn't want to get involved.” In matters of race, there is simply no such thing as free discussion.

Against the New Economic Order
by P.T. Bauer
The declaration on the establishment of a New International Economic Order (NIEO)1 was adopted in May 1974 without a vote (but with the expression of reservations by certain delegates) at the Sixth Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The American Stake in Israel
by Eugene Rostow
The place of Israel in the evolution of American foreign policy since 1945 is a cautionary tale for all who study the art, or practice it, and for all who must live with American foreign policy as citizens, as allies, or as adversaries.

Rediscovering Mencken
by Joseph Epstein
I wondered where Cohn got that incapacity to enjoy Paris. Possibly from Mencken. Mencken hates Paris, I believe. So many young men got their likes and dislikes from Mencken. —The Sun Also Rises ____________   The Sun Also Rises was published in 1926, and thus this passage came to be written at a time when H.

The Man Who Refused to Watch the Academy Awards
by David Evanier
I dream that my friend Michael and a crony are in Hollywood, beside the pool, dressed in red, white, and blue suits, and top hats.

Why Breira?
by Joseph Shattan
Ever since the end of the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, pressure has mounted around the world for a final settlement of the Middle East conflict; scenarios and counter-scenarios have been proposed, the merits of step-by-step diplomacy have been weighed against the merits of an overall settlement achieved at once and among each of the parties, and in this country an agonizing debate has gone on over the proper role of the United States with regard to the contending sides, and especially with regard to Israel.

Science and Defense Policy
by Jeffrey Marsh
The 20th century has been called the age of the common man, but a more accurate appellation might be the age of the physicist.

In Praise of Chaim Grade
by Ruth Wisse
Yiddish literature, which flowered a century ago in Eastern Europe as an impulse of modernization, has now become largely commemorative, bearing favorable testimony to the world of traditional feeling and practice which Yiddish writers once rejected and sought to reform.

Class Struggle on Broadway
by Jack Richardson
Since the late 50's, the English theater has been staging contemporary studies in class warfare. Spokesmen for those whom Max Beerbohm called “the unmentioned by Debrett” have by now accustomed even American ears to the social tensions of U and non-U dialogue, to the comic anguish of a society in which a dropped “h” or a misplaced fish knife can erect impenetrable barriers between its citizens.

Selected Poems, 1923-1975, by Robert Penn Warren
by John Romano
Poet of Clarity Selected Poems, 1923-1975. by Robert Penn Warren. Random House. 324 pp. $15.00. There is something anomalous in the poetic achievement of Robert Penn Warren, and it is not the anomaly of his being simultaneously a serious poet and a best-selling novelist (Band of Angels, All the King's Men).

Revolutionary Jews from Marx to Trotsky, by Robert Wistrich
by Hyam Maccoby
On the Left Revolutionary Jews from Marx to Trotsky. by Robert Wistrich. Barnes & Noble. 254 pp. $16.00. That jews were involved in great numbers in the development of the socialist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries is well known.

The Fall of Public Man, by Richard Sennett
by Stephen Miller
Going Private The Fall of Public Man. by Richard Sennett. Knopf. 373 pp. $15.00. Americans have always been chided both for their bad manners and their weak sense of social complexity.

My Mind on Trial, by Eugen Loebl
by Seth Cropsey
Prisoner My Mind on Trial. by Eugen Loebl. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 235 pp. $8.95. In February 1948 the parliamentary government of Czechoslovakia was overthrown in a Communist coup.

Islam and the Arab World, edited by Bernard Lewis
by William Brinner
Orientalism & Anti-Orientalism Islam and the Arab World: Faith, People, Culture. by Bernard Lewis. Knopf. 360 pp. $35.00. A widespread popular interest in the Middle East and in the larger realm of Islam was a feature of Europe's romantic period as well as of its imperialist age.

May, 1977Back to Top
On the Right
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In her critique of the New Right and its political proposals [“Why the New Right Lost,” February], Jeane Kirkpatrick objects that “the New Right theory of American politics” is mistaken “because it is based on an oversimplified conception of ideology in contemporary American politics.” Oversimplification is an easy charge to lay at the door of almost any generalizer, but it is amusing to note how blithely Mrs.

The Holocaust
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The enthusiasm for The Memory of Justice seems to reflect a lack of discernment, notwithstanding Marcel Ophuls's opinion [Letters from Readers, March, in a discussion of Dorothy Rabinowitz's “Ophuls: Justice Misremembered,” December 1976].

China and Tibet
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . Edward N. Luttwak [“Seeing China Plain,” December 1976] has done a great service by presenting the deeper realities of the People's Republic of China and its colonial treatment of countries like Tibet.

The Abu Daoud Case
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to add a few remarks to Sandra E. Rapoport's analysis of the legal aspects of the Abu Daoud case [“Abu Daoud and the Law,” March]. Critics of the French action contend that under the Franco-German treaty the French government was obligated to detain Daoud for a minimum of twenty days, and that under the Franco-Israeli treaty Daoud should have been detained for an even longer period—sixty days.

Interviewing Auden
by Our Readers
To the Editor: How distressing it was to read in Jonathan Wilson's review of Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, Fourth Series [Books in Review, February] that Auden was “made to suffer the silliest interview.” Suffered, indeed.

Party and Faction
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Daniel P. Moynihan [“Party and International Politics,” February] errs in his comments on the American Founders. Senator Moynihan writes: “For all the genius of the framers of the American Constitution, they did not foresee, indeed strove with all their unexampled ingenuity to prevent, the emergence of ‘faction.’ And yet faction there was almost from the outset, and most would agree that faction has had much to do with the stability of the American political system, or at least of its capacity to endure.” It is certainly true that Madison, Hamilton, et al.

Anglocommunism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Moss [“Anglocommunism?,” February] is an effective polemicist, but after admiring the vigor with which he chews the scenery, I'm not sure I detect much substance in his art.

The Issue of Human Rights
by Walter Laqueur
On June 15 in Belgrade, representatives from the thirty-five signatory countries of the Helsinki pact will assemble to review the progress achieved since the final act of that agreement was signed in 1975.

Losing Sight
by Eleanor Clark
How strange it is that I fairly often forget what has happened and get shocked back into awareness of it, over and over, each time as if it were a brand new happening.

Zionism and Jewish Identity
by Jacob Katz
Jewish identity is problematic in the modern world as it was not in pre-modern times. In the Middle Ages and until the breaking-up of the ghetto in the 18th century, whatever the burdens of Jewish life might have been, a self-questioning skepticism about individual identity was not one of them.

Europe Breaks Apart
by Michael Ledeen
A mid the general clamor surrounding the unleashing of the Carter administration's new foreign policies, a major anniversary slipped by with little fanfare; in Rome late in March, the members of the European Common Market celebrated the passage of two decades since the establishment of that institution.

The Assimilationist Dilemma: Ambassador Morgenthau's Story
by Barbara Tuchman
The incident that suggested Henry Morgenthau, Sr., as a focus of the modern Jewish dilemma is one of history's classic ironies: that by his alert dispatch of assistance to the Jewish colony of Palestine in August 1914—when serving as U.S.

King of Pianists
by Samuel Lipman
Vladimir Horowitz is the king of pianists. Tickets for the limited number of concerts he chooses to play are sold out as soon as his enthusiastic public is informed; the prices charged are higher than those for any other solo instrumentalist, and rather than play for a mere fee he receives by far the larger part of the box-office proceeds.

Redemption According to Cheever
by John Romano
When, in John Cheever's new novel, Falconer,1 Ezekiel Farragut's impossibly beautiful wife Marcia returns from three weeks in Rome with her lover, Maria Lippincott Hastings Guiglielmi, she at first wants nothing to do with Ezekiel.

Fellini's Fall
by William Pechter
By now, given the mass defections from the already thinned ranks of the Fellini camp that have been caused by Fellini's Casanova, the “sociology” of Fellini's reputation has almost replaced the film itself as a subject of interest.

Gold and Iron, by Fritz Stern
by Edward Luttwak
Bismarck's Jew Gold and Iron: Bismarck, Bleichröder, and the Building of the German Empire. by Fritz Stern. Knopf. 620 pp. $17.95. Gerson Bleichröder, Jew, German patriot, and leading banker of his day and country, was Bismarck's expert for all money matters, personal, political, or national during almost thirty years; he was also Bismarck's confidential diplomatic agent.

Utopia and Revolution, by Melvin J. Lasky
by Paul Hollander
The Collective Dream Utopia and Revolution. by Melvin J. Lasky. University of Chicago Press. 726 pp. $35.00. Intellectuals are perhaps more susceptible than other classes in society to the rhetoric of revolutionary change, especially when what is promised is nothing less than a radical transformation of all existing human relations and social institutions.

Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine, by Tom Wolfe
by Dorothy Rabinowitz
Satire and Beyond Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine. by Tom Wolfe. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 243 pp. $8.95. In Contemplating existence thirty or forty years hence, one is struck dumb by the prospect of having to explain to a new generation, insane in its own right, what the 60's and 70's were like.

The First Amendment and the Future of American Democracy, by Walter Berns
by William Bennett
The Role of the Court The First Amendment and the Future of American Democracy. by Walter Berns. Basic Books. 266 pp. $12.50. The recent First Amendment decisions of the Supreme Court have met with criticism both from those who think the Court has gone too far and from those who think it has not gone far enough.

Memoirs, by Pablo Neruda
by Mark Falcoff
Poetry & Politics Memoirs. by Pablo Neruda. Translated by Hardie St. Martin. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 370 pp. $11.95. An autobiography, as Cardinal Newman once confessed, is an exercise in self-justification.

Survey: A Journal of East and West Studies, edited by Leopold Labedz
by Carl Gershman
East-West Survey: A Journal of East and West Studies. 100th Issue. by Leopold Labedz. Oxford University Press. 339 pp. $8.00. The publication of the 100th issue of Survey magazine is a noteworthy event, both because it is a milestone in the history of this distinguished journal of East-West studies, and because the issue itself is of exceptional value.

June, 1977Back to Top
Breira: Pro and Con
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As someone who respects COMMENTARY, I was flabbergasted by the attacks made on me by Joseph Shattan [“Why Breira?,” April].

O Death, Where Is Thy Sting-a-Ling-a-Ling?
by Leslie Farber
A word about my title—a line from a British soldiers' song, popular in World War I. Clearly it is an irreverent version of a passage from St.

Churchill and Us
by Edward Luttwak
On December 5, 1938, in the fifth year of his preachings for an accelerated British rearmament, Winston Churchill rose yet again in the House of Commons to berate the government, this time for laxity in preparing London's anti-aircraft defenses.

Settling the Arab-Israeli Conflict
by Bernard Lewis
The future of the Arab-Israel conflict will be shaped by the course of events at three levels: first, that of relations between the state of Israel and the Arab states, more particularly those which are its neighbors; second, the relationship between the Israelis and the Palestinians; and third, the policies and actions of the great powers, and in particular of the United States and the Soviet Union.

How Important Is Soviet Dissent?
by Valery Chalidze
Western experts and journalists have oscillated between two extremes in their estimates of the scope of dissent and of the human-rights movement in the USSR.

The Sanctification of Literature
by Harold Fisch
The great majority of the irreligious are not liberated from religious behavior, from theologies, and mythologies. They sometimes stagger under a whole magico-religious paraphernalia, which, however, has degenerated to the point of caricature and hence is hard to recognize for what it is. —Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane I sometimes find myself wondering at which point in the history of modernity secular literature, in particular poetry, became elevated into the realm of sanctity.

The Hostage Mentality
by Dorothy Rabinowitz
When, against a din of pealing church bells, the Hanafi Muslims released their prisoners in Washington, D.C., last March, it was understood by everyone who had paid attention to the recent history of domestic terrorism that only the first and most crucial stage of the drama had ended.

What Makes Vidal Run
by Joseph Epstein
In those journals in which they appear, Gore Vidal's essays are the intellectual equivalent of the comics. Intellectual journals are not noted for providing many laughs, but laughter is Gore Vidal's specialty—what he plays for and what he is about.

Simone Weil: A Life, by Simone Petrement
by Edward Grossman
Moraliste Simone Weil: A Life. by Simone Pètrement. Translated by Raymond Rosenthal. Pantheon. 577 pp. $15.00. The nose, the hairdo out of the cartoons, the eyes swimming in myopia—but a rather nice mouth, round as a rosebud.

Guerrilla, by Walter Laqueuer
by Seth Cropsey
Insurgency Guerrilla. by Walter Laqueur. Little, Brown. 462 pp. $17.50. The notion that Mao Tse-tung either invented or somehow perfected guerrilla warfare is a myth—one of a number of myths punctured by Walter Laqueur in his new book.

Community and Policy, by Daniel J. Elazar
by Julius Weinberg
The Corporate Mode Community and Polity: The Organizational Dynamics of American Jewry. by Daniel J. Elazar. Jewish Publication Society. 421 pp. $12.50. Since 1945 a corporate revolution has transformed the character of American Jewry.

Traditions of American Education, by Lawrence A. Cremin
by Chester Finn
School & Society Traditions of American Education. by Lawrence A. Cremin. Basic Books. 172 pp. $8.95. One might suppose the history of American education to be a quiet scholarly backwater, dominated by academics far removed from the intellectual battles that rage both in other branches of history and in contemporary studies of educational policy, and one would not be entirely wrong.

Synagogue Life, by Samuel Heilman
by David Singer
Shul-going Synagogue Life. by Samuel Heilman University of chicago press. 306 pp. $12.95. There is a nice irony in the fact that Samuel Heilman's Synagogue Life appears under the auspices of the University of Chicago Press, for it was that publishing house which in 1928 issued Louis Wirth's sociological classic, The Ghetto, a book which argued in no uncertain terms that Judaism and the Jewish community were anachronisms slated for inevitable extinction.

The Gamesman, by Michael Maccoby
by Stanley Rothman
The Managerial Elite The Gamesman. by Michael Maccoby. Simon & Schuster. 285 pp. $7.95. Michael Maccoby is a disciple of Erich Fromm, and in this book he applies Fromm's hypotheses about the nature of modern life to an analysis of one segment of the American managerial elite.

July, 1977Back to Top
Breira
by Our Readers
To the Editor: By means of a selective quotation, accompanied by a misleading headline in an ad in the June issue of COMMENTARY, Breira gratuitously attempts to identify me with its position.

Middle East Policy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The excellent article by Eugene V. Rostow [“The American Stake in Israel,” April] brings to light the submerged causes of the Arab-Israeli wars and of the confused and vacillating American policy in the Middle East.

Containment
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert W. Tucker [“Beyond Détente,” March] quite correctly points out that there is little evidence that Soviet hostility to the West has substantially diminished.

Jews and Revolution
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his stimulating review of my book, Revolutionary Jews from Marx to Trotsky [Books in Review, April], Hyam Maccoby has raised two important points which deserve an answer.

The Bakke Case
by Our Readers
To the Editor: John H. Bunzel, in his excellent analysis of the Bakke case [“Bakke vs. University of California,” March], .

Art and Politics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Samuel Lipman's “uneasiness” concerning the release on BASF of nearly one hundred recordings made by the German radio during the Nazi dictatorship [“German Wartime Broadcasts,” Music, March] is easily understood and readily shared.

The Third World
by Our Readers
To the Editor: P. T. Bauer and B. S. Yamey's article, “Against the New Economic Order” [April], states: “The declaration on the establishment of a New International Economic Order (NIEO) .

Why the Soviet Union Thinks It Could Fight & Win a Nuclear War
by Richard Pipes
In a recent interview with the New Republic, Paul Warnke, the newly appointed head of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, responded as follows to the question of how the United States ought to react to indications that the Soviet leadership thinks it possible to fight and win a nuclear war.

Carter and Israel
by Steven Spiegel
One of Jimmy Carter's talents, both as a candidate for the Presidency and now as President, has been the ability to state controversial issues in such a manner that each of two conflicting parties can believe he has taken its side.

Henry Adams at Nuremberg-A Fantasy
by Steven Schnur
He had missed the Civil War, had heard of the pyrotechnics and ruin from his comfortable vantage of a few thousand miles remove like a Xerxes of privilege and been puzzled by it.

The Real T.E. Lawrence
by Elie Kedourie
During his lifetime, and even more so after his death, Colonel T. E. Lawrence, “Lawrence of Arabia,” was the subject of a great deal of curiosity and speculation.

Portrait of a Prodigy
by Samuel Lipman
In April 1929, a twelve-year-old violinist made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic playing three concerti—Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms—accompanied by Bruno Walter.

Joan Didion & Her Characters
by John Romano
Two paradoxes characterize Joan Didion's writing. The first concerns her subject matter. She is drawn to the timely-verging-on-fashionable-verging-on-chic, to film stars and wealthy indolence and the sexuality of power.

Looking Back
by Daphne Merkin
Robert Kotlowitz's first novel, Somewhere Else (1972), was justly praised for its unsentimentalized evocation of shtetl life in turn-of-the-century Poland, and for its complex account of the impulse to escape from the confines of that life.

We Must March My Darlings, by Diana Trilling
by Hilton Kramer
Class & Culture We Must March My Darlings. by Diana Trilling. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 320 pp. $10.00. In the lengthy note that Diana Trilling appended to her piece on “Liberal Anti-Communism Revisited” in her new book of essays,1 causing it to be rejected by her original publisher, she speaks with evident anxiety about “a new generation of readers” who are likely to be bewildered by “the very idea of writing in 1976 about something called ‘anti-Communism.’ ” “As to a division, and an ever-sharpening one,” she observes, “between the anti-Communist ‘position’ and the anti-anti-Communist ‘position’ such as I write about .

Psychiatric Slavery, by Thomas Szasz; Schizophrenia, by Thomas Szasz; Karl Kraus and the Soul-Doctors, by Thomas Szasz
by Peter Schuck
Psychiatry & the State Psychiatric Slavery. by Thomas Szasz. Free Press. 127 pp. $10.95. Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry. by Thomas Szasz. Basic Books. 237 pp.

Gates of Eden, by Morris Dickstein
by Joseph Epstein
Advance Man Gates of Eden: American Culture in the 60's. by Morris Dickstein. Basic Books. 300 pp. $11.95. Is a disinterested view of the 60's possible? At the distance of nearly a decade, it still seems unlikely.

Unity Mitford, by David Pryce-Jones
by Hyam Maccoby
A British Aristocrat Unity Mitford: An Enquiry into Her Life and the Frivolity of Evil. by David Pryce-Jones. Dial Press/James Wade. 292 pp.

August, 1977Back to Top
Ambassador Morgenthau
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Barbara W. Tuchman's article, “The Assimilationist Dilemma: Ambassador Morgenthau's Story” [May], . . . omits more than can be justified by family ties.

The First Amenment
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Walter Berns's The First Amendment and the Future of American Democracy [Books in Review, May], William J.

The Hostage Mentality
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As one of the more than 100 hostages held for thirty-eight hours at the B'nai B'rith building last March, I am outraged by Dorothy Rabinowitz's uncomprehending observations in “The Hostage Mentality” [June].

Switzerland and Europe
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Michael Ledeen's article, “Europe Breaks Apart” [May], is unfortunately typical of the naive and less than well-informed ideas that characterize much of the thinking of American experts on European affairs.

The New Thanatology
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “O Death, Where Is Thy Sting-a-Ling-a-Ling?” by Leslie H. Farber [June] caused me to think back on the deaths in my own family and to try to see where the new death-liberationists could help me.

The Politics of Human Rights
by Daniel Moynihan
There's an ideological struggle that has been in progress for decades between the Communist nations on the one hand and the democratic nations on the other.

On Being Blocked & Other Literary Matters
by Henry Roth
Henry Roth's 1934 novel, Call It Sleep, which the English critic Walter Allen called one of “the great achievements of American writing in this century,” was reprinted in 1960 and appeared in a best-selling paperback edition four years later.

Russia-Beyond Brezhnev
by Walter Laqueur
Almost every new Russian ruler for the last two centuries has been hailed as a liberator upon acceding to power, and in almost every case initial euphoria has given way to disappointment, and worse.

Iron-A Memoir
by Primo Levi
Outside the walls of the Chemistry Institute it was night, the night of Europe: Chamberlain had returned from Munich tricked, Hitler had entered Prague without firing a shot, Franco had crushed Barcelona and was settled in Madrid.

New York and/or Jerusalem
by Robert Alter
These are indeed troubled times for Israelis pondering their national future and for those Jews of the Diaspora who think much about their relation to Israel.

American Jews: Still a Distinctive Group
by Charles Liebman
“As does the Christian so does the Jew.” This insight into the social behavior of modern Jews, which we owe to the poet Heinrich Heine, has become something of a sociological axiom, in particular for students of American Jewry.

History Into Art
by John Romano
“One January afternoon in the year 1941, a German soldier was out walking, enjoying an afternoon's liberty, when he found himself wandering alone, through the San Lorenzo district of Rome.” So begins Elsa Morante's History: A Novel1 History at its ugliest looms behind the presence of a German soldier in Italy in 1941: the Rome-Berlin Axis, the Fascist alliance just then engaged in defending annexed territories in Greece and North Africa.

Shattered Peace, by Daniel Yergin
by Edward Luttwak
The Train of History Shattered Peace: The Origins of the Cold War and the National Security State. by Daniel Yergin. Houghton Mifflin. 526 pp.

The Dragons of Eden, by Carl Sagan
by R. Herrnstein
Psycho-Physiology The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence. by Carl Sagan. Random House. 263 pp. $8.95. Among the ancients it was believed by some that the power of vision depended on invisible emanations issuing from our eyes and probing objects as blind people's canes do.

Loose Change, by Sara Davidson
by Jane Crain
O Brave New World Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties. by Sara Davidson. Doubleday. 367 pp. $9.50. Sara Davidson was graduated from the University of California in 1964, at about the time beatniks were becoming hippies and the staid and earnest civil-rights movement was giving way to the New Left.

Wake Up, Wake Up, to Do the Work of the Creator, by William B. Helmreich
by James Lehmann
Growing Up Orthodox Wake Up, Wake Up, to Do the Work of the Creator. by William B. Helmreich. Harper & Row. 210 pp.

The Inequality of Nations, by Robert W. Tucker
by Michael Ledeen
Challenge to the New Order The Inequality of Nations. by Robert W. Tucker. Basic Books. 214 pp. $10.95. This short and extremely well-reasoned book was written, as Robert W.

Taking Rights Seriously, by Ronald Dworkin
by William Bennett
Prejudices & Principles Taking Rights Seriously. by Ronald Dworkin. Harvard University Press. 320 pp. $12.00. In recent years, appeals to rights on the part of individuals and groups have reached tidal proportions; Daniel Bell has referred to the swell of such claims as a “revolution.” Not all these appeals are-political; the rights “revolution” has also penetrated places like the family and the classroom, where once the whole issue of rights would not have been thought to belong.

The Totalitarian Temptation, by Jean-Francois Revel
by Stephen Haseler
Democrat The Totalitarian Temptation. by Jean-François Revel. Translated By David Hapgood. Doubleday. 311 pp. $8.95. Jean-François Revel is in the Orwell tradition—a European socialist implacably opposed to Communism—and The Totalitarian Temptation is, accordingly, an essay in heresy.

September, 1977Back to Top
Carter and Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Carter and Israel” [July], Steven L. Spiegel points out the errors inherent in an ambiguous administration policy only peripherally concerned with the issues in the Arab-Israel conflict.

Gore Vidal
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Because Joseph Epstein's analysis of Gore Vidal's writings [“What Makes Vidal Run,” June] starts with some acute literary observations, it is somewhat surprising to find Vidal's leftist political views simplistically accounted for by his “contentious homosexuality.” .

Churchill and Us
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The article by Edward N. Luttwak, “Churchill and Us” [June], is admirable, and its content is strikingly true and therefore scary. England was rescued ultimately by the U.S.

Quotas and College Admission
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In reference to John H. Bunzel's “Bakke vs. University of California” [March] and the subsequent discussion in your letters columns [July], I have yet to hear advocated the open admission of Jews to universities as a compensation for the injustices of the past—the numerus clausus, the quota, the gentlemen's agreement, “the ark of the restrictive covenant.” The advocate of affirmative action will immediately reply that Jews have already—or have always—achieved in higher education all that their proportion of the population entitles them to. Yet from my years as college adviser and later as principal of a highly academic high school with a 90 per cent Jewish student body, I have some ironic memories.

Simone Weil
by Our Readers
To the Editor: An essayist addressing himself to the life, opinions, and character of Simone Weil is obliged to confront her anti-Semitism full tilt, as Edward Grossman has done in his review of Simone Pétrement's biography [Books in Review, June].

Interpreting Soviet Nuclear Strategy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As one who has been involved in the U.S. Congress in SALT issues and defense appropriations, I have experienced the frustrations associated with any effort to have Soviet strategic doctrine and actual force structure taken seriously, as Richard Pipes has done in his article, “Why the Soviet Union Thinks It Could Fight & Win a Nuclear War” [July].

The War Against the Atom
by Samuel McCracken
Most discussions of nuclear power are conducted in a haze of misinformation: there are few areas of public controversy where so much of what everyone “knows” is not really so.

Looting and Liberal Racism
by Midge Decter
On July 13, 1977, at 9:30 in the evening, New York City went suddenly and totally dark. The electric power had failed throughout the entire city.

Quebec's Jews: Caught in the Middle
by Ruth Wisse
Until very recently, the prevailing ethnic tension in Canada's province of Quebec—between the French-speaking Roman Catholic; majority and the strong minority of English Protestants—stimulated the development of a large, cohesive Jewish community, perhaps the most vigorous in North America.

Are Human Rights Universal?
by Peter Berger
The current preoccupation with human rights raises very serious political questions, the most serious of which is whether this new emphasis in American foreign policy signals a turning away from the Kissinger strategy of orderly retreat, or, on the contrary, serves as a smokescreen for the continuation (if not actually the acceleration) of that strategy.

The Unknown Catacombs
by Michael Ledeen
Italian Jews are finding it very difficult to examine and preserve the records of their own history. The town of Venosa in the South of Italy, for example, boasts a group of ancient catacombs of exceptional historic importance.

Socialist Surrealism
by Joshua Rubenstein
In a recent essay published in the Russian emigré journal Kontinent and titled “The Literary Process in Russia,” Andrei Sinyavsky points out that labor camps and prisons are the predominant theme of the manuscripts that circulate unofficially in the Soviet Union.

Convention, by Richard Reeves; Marathon, by Jules Witcover
by Nelson Polsby
Campaign Journalism Convention. by Richard Reeves. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 246 pp. $10.00. Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency, 1972-1976. by Jules Witcover. Viking. 684 pp $14.95 Anybody who says that the American political system is hopelessly mired in the status quo cannot have been paying much attention to presidential nominating politics.

The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, by Edward N. Luttwak
by Bernard Brodie
The Rule of Rome The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the Third. by Edward N.

Hitler's War, by David Irving; The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler, by Robert G. L. Waite
by Leonard Bushkoff
The Revised Hitler Hitler's War. by David Irving. Viking. 926 pp. $17.50. The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler. by Robert G. L. Waite. Basic Books. 482 pp.

The Auden Generation, by Samuel Hynes
by Ronald Berman
The Dishonest Decade The Auden Generation: Literature and Politics in England in the 1930's. by Samuel Hynes. Viking. 394 pp. $12.50. W. H. Auden wrote of the 30's—and of his own participation in them—that it was a low, dishonest decade.

The Future That Doesn't Work, edited by R. Emmett Tyrrell
by Michael Novak
Failed Socialism The Future that Doesn't Work: Social Democracy's Failures in Britain. by R. Emmett Tyrrell. Doubleday. 208 pp. $6.95. Many liberals today have an uneasy conscience about socialism, which as an ideal once seemed to be our best hope for overcoming the harshness of profiteering capitalism and cruel individualism.

Why They Give, by Milton Goldin
by Marc Raphael
Fund Raising Why They Give: American Jews and Their Philanthropies. by Milton Goldin. Macmillan. 261 pp. $10.95. Philanthropy in Judaism is not so much an individual as a collective project, and has become even more of one in recent American Jewish life.

The Japanese, by Edwin O. Reischauer
by Charles Horner
Japan in the World The Japanese. by Edwin O. Reischauer. Harvard University Press. 443 pp. $15.00. “Someone has calculated,” Edwin O. Reischauer writes, “that, whereas in 1934, there were only thirteen scholars in the United States capable of making substantial use of the Japanese language, by 1969 there were five hundred.” Reischauer was probably one of those first thirteen; certainly he has been instrumental in expanding the number ever since.

Reader Letters September 1977
by Irwin Stark
Interpreting Soviet Nuclear Strategy TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: As one who has been involved in the U.S. Congress in SALT issues and defense appropriations, I have experienced the frustrations asso- ciated with any effort to have So- viet strategic doctrine and actual force structure taken seriously, as Richard Pipes has done in his article, "Why the Soviet Union Thinks It Could Fight & Win a Nuclear War" [July].

October, 1977Back to Top
Judging Mailer
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Morris Dickstein's Gates of Eden [Books in Review, July], Joseph Epstein attacks Dick-stein for inflated critical judgments and offers as an example his praise of Norman Mailer.

Antidote
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Leslie H. Farber's “O Death, Where Is Thy Sting-a-Ling-a-Ling?” [June] is a witty and cogent article which serves as a wonderful and long overdue antidote to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross el al., who have been expounding such well-meaning but pompous nonsense for far too long. [Dr.] William A.

Churchill and Begin
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As I read Edward N. Luttwak's stimulating article, “Churchill and Us” [June], I found myself drawing a series of parallels between the Churchill of the 1930's and the Menachem Begin of the 1970's which frightened me no less than did Mr.

Anti-Anti-Communism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The notion that “anti-anti-Communism” is somehow the mark of progressive thinking and authentic anti-fascism has become part of the current elitist, political vogue.

In the Synagogue
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I feel moved to respond to David Singer's thoughtful review of my book, Synagogue Life [Books in Review, June], because Mr.

T. E. Lawrence
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Elie Kedourie has written such a powerful critique of the Lawrence cult [“The Real T. E. Lawrence,” July] that it is almost graceless to fault him for not making the warning in his superb final paragraph more specific.

Human Rights
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “The Politics of Human Rights” [August], Daniel P. Moynihan attempts to distinguish “authoritarian regimes of the Right,” which violate human rights in the name of national security, from the Soviets, who “deride liberty as a ‘bourgeois’ illusion,” in principle as well as in practice.

Does Washington Have the Means to Impose a Settlement on Israel?
by Steven Rosen
The issue of possible American economic and military sanctions against Israel is in the wind once again. For some time, Arab leaders have called upon Washington, which in the view of President Sadat holds “99 per cent of the cards in this game,” to use its considerable powers of persuasion to force Israel to make territorial and other concessions that it does not otherwise seem to be prepared to make.

Africa, Soviet Imperialism & the Retreat of American Power
by Bayard Rustin
After years of being regarded by the United States as a continent of little political, strategic, or economic significance, Africa has quite suddenly become the object of considerable attention in Washington.

The State of the Novel
by John Aldridge
Preoccupation with the state of the novel was until about ten years ago one of the major bores of American criticism.

The “News&rdquo About Eurocommunism
by Michael Ledeen
Many of our leading papers and magazines have lately been spreading the “news” that West European Communists have reached a point of no return in their relations with the Soviet Union, and are on the verge of becoming (or have in fact already become) democratic, pluralistic, and pro-Western.

Sexual Stereotypes
by John Sisk
I understand that Dr. Benjamin Spock's completely revised Baby and Child Care will, among other things, warn parents about the danger of sexual stereotyping.

Creation According to Cosmology
by Jeffrey Marsh
Cosmology, the study of the origin and evolution of the universe, deals with the largest questions which can be asked by science.

Coover's Revisionist Fantasy
by Pearl Bell
In the past two decades, the American writers dedicated to the kind of big, artfully disheveled, anticly serious novel which infallibly excites the Zeitgeist brigade have felt themselves brought to an impasse.

Arab Strategies and Israel's Response, by Yehoshafat Harkabi
by Edward Grossman
Hawkish-Dovish Arab Strategies and Israel's Response. by Yehoshafat Harkabi. The Free Press. 194 pp. $10.00. Two complaints have become traditional when considering the writings of Yehoshafat Harkabi, probably Israel's most famous, possibly its most influential, commentator on the everlasting conflict with the Arabs.

The Serial, by Cyra McFadden
by Daphne Merkin
Consciousness III The Serial. by Cyra McFadden. Illustrations by Tom Cervenak. Knopf. III pp. $4.95. If William Thackeray were living in the age of Norman Lear, Vanity Fair might have been written along the lines of Cyra McFadden's The Serial.

It Didn't Start with Watergate, by Victor Lasky
by Marc Plattner
Defending Nixon It Didn't Start With Watergate. by Victor Lasky. Dial. 438 pp. $10.00. It is now more than three years since Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency as a result of the Watergate affair, and more than five years since the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Music and Society Since 1815, by Henry Raynor
by Edward Rothstein
Dissonance Music and Society Since 1815. by Henry Raynor. Schocken. 213 pp. $15.00. In the days when music was taken seriously, the interval of the augmented fourth was outlawed by the Church.

Perpetual Dilemma: Jewish Religion in the Jewish State, by S. Zalman Abramov
by Howard Sachar
Zionism & Orthodoxy Perpetual Dilemma: Jewish Religion in the Jewish State. by S. Zalman Abramov. Fairleigh Dickinson Press/World Union for Progressive Judaism. 459 pp.

A Rumor of War, by Philip Caputo
by William Bennett
War Guilt A Rumor of War. by Philip Caputo. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 320 pp. $10.00. The Vietnam war, a tragedy in the history of the Republic second only to the Civil War, has been a subject of continuing commentary, but few of the many books and articles about it have focused on the details of fighting the war.

November, 1977Back to Top
The Catacombs
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Profound thanks to Michael Ledeen for his article, “The Unknown Catacombs” [September]. In 1970 a Friar at the San Sebastiano catacombs almost directly across the Via Appia Antica angrily insisted to me that he had never heard of the Jewish catacombs, that they did not exist, and that he would have no interest in them if they did exist.

American Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I want to commend Charles S. Liebman on his insightful notes on American Jewish life [“American Jews: Still a Distinctive Group,” August].

Israel vs. the Diaspora
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As I can only thank Robert Alter for his more than generous review of my book, Letters to an American Jewish Friend [“New York and/or Jerusalem,” August], I trust it will not count as ingratitude if I choose to take issue with certain criticisms he makes of the book. I am quite willing to accept Mr.

Looting and Liberal Racism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Congratulations to COMMENTARY for publishing Midge Decter's article, “Looting and Liberal Racism” [September]. Never before, to my knowledge, has any writer expressed so succinctly and so well the bankruptcy of the prevailing liberal ideology as applied to racial matters.

Carter vs. Israel: What the Polls Reveal
by Seymour Lipset
Even before the furor over the new Soviet-American declaration on the Middle East, there was considerable interest in the White House on the state of American public opinion on the Middle East conflict.

The Strange Case of George F. Kennan
by Edward Luttwak
George F. Kennan has sufficient claim to be taken seriously when American foreign policy is discussed: indeed, many consider him the most eminent commentator on the subject.

The Example of Isaac Babel
by Simon Markish
Isaac Babel fits perfectly into the landscape of Soviet literature of the 1920's. Thematically, his collection of short fiction, Red Cavalry, takes its place alongside the stories of Vsevolod Ivanov, Dmitri Furmanov's Chapayev, Alexander Fadeyev's The Rout, and innumerable other works on the civil war.

Why Spinoza Was Excommunicated
by Yirmiahu Yovel
On July 27, 1656 a sentence of excommunication was pronounced on a twenty-four-year-old Jew of the Portuguese community of Amsterdam and recorded in the communal record book as follows: The members of the ma'amad [i.e., the elders or parnasim of the council] make known to you that having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch d'Espinoza, they have endeavored by various means and promises to turn him from evil ways.

A Note on the New Equality
by Eugene McCarthy
Dorothy Sayers, in her book The Mind of the Maker, quotes a memorable passage from a lecture by L.P. Jacks, given in the 1920's: I am informed by philologists that the rise to power of these two words, “problem” and “solution,” as the dominating terms of public debate is an affair of the last two centuries, and especially of the 19th, having synchronized, so they say, with a parallel rise to power of the word “happiness.”.

The Mahler Everyone Loves
by Samuel Lipman
Gustav Mahler, it would seem, is our most successful 20th-century composer. Despite the fact that the century is now almost eighty years old—and that Mahler died more than sixty-six years ago—his is still the newest name to penetrate the consciousness of both musicians and non-musicians, of committed fans and casual concert-goers alike. The frequency of concert performance of his music is itself impressive.

Philip Roth: Sonny Boy or Lenny Bruce?
by Pearl Bell
Not so long ago, no one questioned the fact that the work of Philip Roth, whether damned or praised for its unrelenting comic assault on the Jewish family, Jewish attitudes about sex, and the mores of Jewish-American suburbia, aggressively represented, as well, less insular fashions in contemporary culture.

Big Story, by Peter Braestrup
by Paul Weaver
Covering Vietnam Big Story: How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968 in Vietnam and Washington. by Peter Braestrup. Westview Press.

The Feminization of American Culture, by Ann Douglas
by Steven Schnur
Pink and White Tyranny The Feminization of American Culture. by Ann Douglas. Knopf. 403 pp. $15.00. It has become a commonplace of modern literary and historical criticism to speak of the dominant role women played in cultural affairs during the middle and late 19th century.

Hitler's Children, by Jillian Becker; Carlos: Portrait of a Terrorist, by Colin Smith
by Eric Breindel
Urban Terrorists Hitler's Children: The Story of the Baader-Meinhof Terrorist Gang. by Jillian Becker. Lippincott. 322 Pp. $12.50. Carlos: Portrait of a Terrorist. by Colin Smith. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Wartime, by Milovan Djilas
by Stephen Miller
Hero's Story Wartime. by Milovan Djilas. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 470 pp. $14.95. Wartime is a compelling story of civil war, of the internecine fighting among Yugoslavs of differing loyalties that began after the German invasion of April 6, 1941.

Agency of Fear, by Edward Jay Epstein
by Seth Cropsey
Of Drugs & Bureaucrats Agency of Fear. by Edward Jay Epstein. Putnam. 352 pp. $9.95. Many newspapermen are called “investigative reporters” these days, but their “investigations” generally consist in printing leaks handed to them by one group of bureaucrats trying to further their own interests against another group of bureaucrats.

Reader Letters November 1977
by Robert Alter
Looting & Liberal Racism TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Congratulations to COMMENTARY for publishing Midge Decter's arti- cle, "Looting and Liberal Racism" [September].

December, 1977Back to Top
Lionel Trilling
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I wish to collect the correspondence of Lionel Trilling with a view to possible publication. If anyone has letters from him, I should be grateful if copies were sent to me c/o Mrs.

Liberals and Looting
by Our Readers
To the Editor: What certainty Midge Decter displays [“Looting and Liberal Racism,” September] as she assures us that the blackout looting in New York City's ghettos and certain poorer neighborhoods last July had nothing to do with the economic and social factors widely believed to have triggered that behavior!

Nuclear Energy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I should like to express my appreciation to COMMENTARY and Samuel McCracken for “The War Against the Atom” [September], .

Europe: The Specter of Finlandization
by Walter Laqueur
The term “Finlandization”—meaning that process or state of affairs in which, under the cloak of maintaining friendly relations with the Soviet Union, the sovereignty of a country becomes reduced—has entered the political dictionary despite the protests of Helsinki, Helsinki's Western well-wishers, the Russians, and some American neo-isolationists.

Europe: The Collapse of the Social Democrats
by Stephen Haseler
Whatever happened to reliable old European social democracy? Only a few years ago it was thought of as the political model of development that would keep Western Europe free, affluent, stable, and forever linked to the United States and the liberal system in general.

Israel's Dilemma
by Shlomo Avineri
The problems facing Israel's policymakers have not changed with the coming into power of the Likud-led government, and they will remain the same whether or not a Geneva peace conference is convened within the next months.

Vanity, Fame, Love, and Robert Frost
by Donald Hall
When I grew up—in the suburbs, at suburban schools—I heard adults mention one living poet, and only one. Professors might prefer Eliot; young poets might imitate Auden—but for the American public Robert Frost was the Great Living Poet.

Do the American People Know What They Want?
by Paul Weaver
When President Carter announced his proposals for reforming welfare policy last summer in Plains, reporters were quick to take note of a peculiar feature of his statement.

Her Son, the Teen-Aged Ascetic
by Alice Green
A man may remember his childhood with pleasure, but where is one who does not wince at the memory of his adolescence? —John A.

The English Sickness
by Pearl Bell
If one reflects on “the great tradition” of the English novel (using F. R. Leavis's term more generously than he would approve), it is evident that the quality of British fiction in the I970's has deteriorated into the great traduction.

Government by Judiciary, by Raoul Berger
by Elliott Abrams
The Chains of the Constitution Government By Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment. by Raoul Berger. Harvard University Press. 483 Pp. $15.00. Perhaps no other legal scholar has in recent years received as much attention from the press as Raoul Berger.

The Unmaking of a President, by Herbert Y. Schandler
by Nelson Polsby
Vietnam Turnaround The Unmaking of a President: Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam. by Herbert Y. Schandler. Princeton University Press. 419 pp. $16.50. Students of contemporary history occasionally talk themselves into canonical versions of significant current events.

Honor Thy Father and Mother, by Gerald Blidstein; Maimonides, by David Hartman; Theology in the Responsa, by Louis Jacobs; Tradi
by David Singer
Recent Judaica Honor Thy Father and Mother. by Gerald Blidstein. Ktav. 234 pp. $15.00. Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest. by David Hartman. Jewish Publication Society.296 Pp.

The First Duce, by Michael Ledeen
by Joseph Shattan
Early Fascist The First Duce: D'Annunzio at Fiume. by Michael A. Ledeen. Johns Hopkins University Press. 225 Pp. $13.50. The period in European history between the two world wars has often been called the fascist epoch, yet even today the nature of fascism remains problematic.

The Never-Ending Wrong, by Katherine Anne Porter
by Roger Starr
Sacco and Vanzetti The Never-Ending Wrong. by Katherine Anne Porter. Atlantic-Little, Brown. 63 pp. $5.95. Katherine Anne Porter has couched her reminiscences of the last days of Sacco and Vanzetti in a tone more nostalgic than elegiac.




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