Commentary Magazine


Welcome to the Archive

More than a half-century of opinion and ideas. Still timeless.

View : All Months | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
January, 1981Back to Top
Alexander Podrabinek
by
To the Editor: Joshua Rubenstein's review of three books on Soviet psychiatry [Soviet Psychoprisons, by Harvey Fireside, Institute of Fools, by Victor Nekipelev, and Punitive Medicine, by Alexander Podrabinek, Books in Review, November 1980] exposes yet again the USSR's suppression of Jewish and other dissidents by psychiatric torture.

“Foreign Policy&rdquo
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Lev Navrozov complains in his letter to the editor [November 1980] that his reply to my Winter 79/80 Foreign Policy article was not published by that magazine.

Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Although I am only superficially acquainted with Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, I was fascinated by Hyam Maccoby's treatment of this man and his place in the origins of Hasidism [“Judaism in Extremis: The Messiah of Bratslav,” September 1980].

“The Empire Strikes Back&rdquo
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Richard Grenier's perceptive article on the disturbing Star Wars phenomenon [“Celebrating Defeat,” Movies, August 1980] demonstrates once again why he is one of the best critics writing today in America. I would like to add a few thoughts of my own to his cogent observations.

Mheta and the Philharmonic
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Samuel Lipman's “Mehta's Philharmonic” [Music, November 1980] is brilliant for its straightforwardness, common sense, and musical judgment. I didn't know there was that kind of writing about music anywhere around. Delighted to have found it.

Nuclear Power
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Roger Starr's article, “The Three Mile Shadow” [October 1980], is dangerously misleading. He offers very little to augment our current understanding of the nuclear issue and no fresh perspectives on the Three Mile accident itself.

The New American Majority
by Norman Podhoretz
DESPITE the fact that the pollsters all said the election was too close to call, the Reagan landslide was predictable from the very beginning.

U.S. Security & Latin America
by Jeane Kirkpatrick
While American attention in the past year has been focused on other matters, developments of great potential importance in Central America and the Caribbean have passed almost unnoticed.

Judaism for the Mass Market
by Ruth Wisse
The almanac—an occasional compendium of useful facts and statistics, demographic and calendrical data, and brief essays usually of an informational rather than an analytic or polemical kind—is both a proffered guide to, and an interesting reflection of, its time.

The Communists & the Committees
by Eric Breindel
For a long time after the McCarthy period itself, most Left-oriented treatments of the domestic campaign against Communism—the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearings, the Smith Act trials, the “Hollywood Probe,” the espionage cases, and all the rest—were characterized by a propensity to ignore entirely the actual issue of Communism.

Maimonides Then and Now
by Hyam Maccoby
Maimonides (1135-1204), known by the acronym Rambam (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon), is a figure the mere contemplation of whom is enough to restore one's faith in the possibilities of the human spirit and particularly of Jewish tradition and culture.

Race Relations at Harvard
by Peter Skerry
The continuing debate over affirmative-action admission policies in colleges and universities has generally focused either on the issue of equity and justice, or else on the social and political consequences of such policies for American society as a whole.

Does the City Opera Have a Role?
by Samuel Lipman
The New York City Opera, so the story goes, had its beginnings in a 1943 meeting in Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's office.

Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, edited by Stephan Thernstrom, Ann Orlov, and Oscar Handlin
by Thomas Sowel
The American People Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. by Stephan Thernstrom, Ann Orlov, and Oscar Handlin. Harvard University Press. 1076 pp. $60.00. The idea of producing an encyclopedia covering the innumerable ethnic groups that make up the American people—as the blurb on the jacket says, everyone from Arcadians to Zoroasters—is something that boggles the mind.

Changing of the Guard, by David Broder
by Arch Puddington
Rear Guard? Changing of the Guard. by David Broder. Simon & Schuster. 512 pp. $14.95. There is an unintended irony in the title of David Broder's new book, since it is his thesis that political leadership in the coming decade will be inherited by the veterans of the various liberal and leftist movements of the 1960's.

Jewish People, Jewish Thought, by Robert M. Seltzer
by Chaim Raphael
Jews & Judaism Jewish People, Jewish Thought. by Robert M. Seltzer. Macmillan. 874 pp. $19.95. In the days when the Jewish world was socially cohesive and bound in religious observance, no one had much need to ask who was a Jew or what it meant.

Prison or Paradise? The New Religious Cults, by A. James Rudin and Marcia R. Rudin
by Terry Eastland
The Cult Boom Prison or Paradise? The New Religious Cults. by A. James Rudin and Marcia R. Rudin. Fortress Press. 164 pp. $8.95. In the mid-1970's Rabbi A.

Answer to History, by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi; Paved with Good Intentions, by Barry Rubin
by Martin Kramer
What Happened in Iran Answer to History. by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Stein and Day. 204 pp. $12.95. Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience and Iran. by Barry Rubin. Oxford University Press.

February, 1981Back to Top
Arguing with God
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Although Abraham Kaplan's article, “The Jewish Argument with God” [October 1980], is an adequate introductory survey, it misses several of the key underlying concepts, primarily as a result of Mr.

Joseph and His Brothers
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is a pleasure to acknowledge another of Robert Alter's splendid contributions to the literary analysis and appreciation of the Bible [“Joseph and His Brothers,” November 1980].

Yiddish
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Permit me to comment on Lucy S. Dawidowicz's article, “The Rise and Fall of Yiddish” [November 1980], in which she gives a commendable analysis and exposition of Max Weinreich's monumental History of the Yiddish Language.

The Persian Gulf
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert W. Tucker's “American Power & the Persian Gulf” [November 1980] is as important as it is timely.

“Joining the Jackals&rdquo
by Daniel Moynihan
A defeat so overwhelming as that which Governor Reagan inflicted on President Carter soon takes on the air of the inevitable.

Pity the Poor Russians?
by Walter Laqueur
Toward the end of World War I, Joseph Conrad wrote to an American friend that he was greatly worried about the future of his native Poland.

Why Madame Bovary Couldn't Make Love in the Concrete
by Joseph Epstein
Poor Madame Bovary, one understands and sympathizes with her condition. It is very awkward—if not so awkward as that of the freshman student at my university who, in a term paper, spotted the difficulty when he wrote: “Madame Bovary's problem is that she cannot make love in the concrete.” How could he know that the word concrete is itself an abstraction, a by now quite stale metaphor, and one used in his unpracticed hand to hilarious effect? How could he know that for professors one of the few pleasures in grading student papers is that of writing zippy comments in the margins, and that he had set up his professor exquisitely? In his unconscious trope rendering Emma Bovary frigid in the concrete, the possibilities he provided for marginal comment—and comedy—were not practically but altogether boundless.

Deformations of the Holocaust
by Robert Alter
Over the last year and a half, there has been a growing debate on what stance Jews should assume collectively toward the Holocaust, what role it should play in their institutional life, in their theology, and in their political thinking.

Toward an Immigration Policy
by Samuel Rabinove
Last March, President Carter signed into law the Refugee Act of 1980, which authorized an increase in the number of refugees admitted each year from 17,400 to 50,000 and, most importantly, eliminated ideological and geographic barriers to admission.

John Lennon's Mourners
by Dorothy Rabinowitz
Within hours of the news of John Lennon's murder last December it became clear that an event was in the making that was something more than still another display of the kind of collective mourning that followed the assassinations of the 1960's.

The Aging of the New Wave
by Richard Grenier
It was a historic event of sorts. The twentieth anniversary of the birth of the French New Wave, or Nouvelle Vague.

Games Writers Play
by Pearl Bell
Iris Murdoch has for many years been considered one of the major women novelists in the English-speaking world, along with Doris Lessing and, in the younger generation, Margaret Drabble.

Walt Whitman: A Life, by Justin Kaplan
by Kenneth Lynn
Speaking for Whitman Walt Whitman: A Life. by Justin Kaplan. Simon & Schuster. 429 pp. $15.00. The best opportunity a biographer has for appreciating Walt Whitman's unfolding sense of himself lies in the careful examination of his successive revisions of, and additions to, Leaves of Grass.

Radical Principles, by Michael Walzer
by Michael Novak
One Man's Socialism Radical Principles: Reflections of an Unreconstructed Democrat. by Michael Walzer. Basic Books. 310 pp. $15.00. The author of earlier books on the Puritan Revolution, civil disobedience, and war, Michael Walzer has been since 1960 an editor of Dissent, where many of the present pieces originally appeared.

Lewis Namier and Zionism, by Norman Rose
by Jack Rakove
A Choice of Identity Lewis Namier and Zionism. by Norman Rose. Clarendon/Oxford University Press. 182 pp. $29.95. Perhaps the most celebrated cri de coeur in modern historical writing occurs in the opening chapter of Lewis Namier's study of England in the Age of the American Revolution.

Economic Welfare in the Soviet Union, by Alastair McAuley; Social and Economic Inequality in the Soviet Union, by Murray Yanowit
by Steven Plaut
Workers' Paradise? Economic Welfare in the Soviet Union. by Alastair Mcauley. University of Wisconsin Press. 389 pp. $25.00. Social and Economic Inequality in the Soviet Union. by Murray Yanowitch. M.

Theater and Revolution: The Culture of the French Stage, by Frederick Brown
by Stephen Miller
Dramatic Tensions Theater and Revolution: The Culture of the French Stage. by Frederick Brown. Viking. 490 pp. $20.00. The theater has never been an important force in American culture, but in France, as Frederick Brown makes clear in Theater and Revolution, things are otherwise.

Lectures on Literature, by Vladimir Nabokov
by Jeffrey Meyers
Priest of Art Lectures on Literature. by Vladimir Nabokov. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 385 pp. $19.95. The novelist Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), self-exiled from Russia at the age of twenty, was—with Einstein and Mann, Huxley and Auden, Stravinsky and Milhaud—part of the great cultural emigration that came to America during the rise of Nazism.

March, 1981Back to Top
“Foreign Policy&rdquo Cont.
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In a previous letter [November 1980] I stated that Foreign Policy had refused to publish a criticism by me of an article by Dimitri K.

The Holocaust
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The most intriguing detail of Lucy S. Dawidowicz's “Lies About the Holocaust” [December 1980] is the report that Noam Chomsky is among the most vigorous defenders of Robert Faurisson's inalienable right to propagate, from a university chair, the neo-Nazi lie that the Holocaust is a Zionist invention.

“The Feminist Mystique&rdquo
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read with interest Michael Levin's article, “The Feminist Mystique” [December 1980]. Mr. Levin has carefully described the illogic within feminist thought, and the abuses that result when that thought is taken up by a greedy, meddlesome government.

The Election & the Evangelicals
by Earl Raab
Since last year's presidential campaign many political observers have expressed deep concern over the growing political power of orthodox Christian groups in this country.

Carter's Last Capitulation
by Joseph Bishop
On January 19 and 20, James Earl Carter, Jr., then President of the United States, brought to what he evidently regarded as a happy conclusion a disgraceful episode in the history of two nations, Iran and the United States.

What Happened to the Schools
by Joseph Adelson
It is only recently, and only by hindsight, that we have been able to appreciate the enormous stresses imposed upon the schools in the immediate postwar era.

Anti-Semitism and American History
by Jonathan Sarna
The portrait of early America in many American Jewish history textbooks is an alluring one. No anti-Semitism mars the Edenlike national landscape; religious freedom spreads over the face of the country, expanding with the frontier; Jews luxuriate in the blessings of justice and liberty.

Healing
by Annette Landau
Sometimes, when they make love, Kate smooths Alan's flesh with her fingers and sees again the face of her young lover.

Portrait of a Hero
by Ruth Wisse
The general-information section of the Israel telephone directory contains a significant guide to the collective consciousness of the country. Because the demand for new phones has always exceeded the supply, each directory includes a priority list explaining the official policy of distribution.

American Music: The Years of Hope
by Samuel Lipman
Music American Music: The Years of Hope by Samuel Lipman On one of the accreditation visits which European guardians of cultural life periodically pay us, the polyglot literary critic George Steiner has measured America and found it, as ever, wanting.

The Prestige Press and the Christmas Bombing, 1972, by Martin F. Herz
by Charles Horner
The Christmas Bombing The Prestige Press and the Christmas Bombing, 1972. by Martin F. Herz. Assisted by Leslie Reider. Ethics and Public Policy Center.

The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History, edited by Paul R. Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz
by David Vital
One People? The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History. by Paul R. Mendes-Flohr and Jehuda Reinharz. Oxford University Press. 556 pp.

Fire in the Minds of Men, by James H. Billington
by Peter Shaw
Political Mania Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith. by James H. Billington. Basic Books. 677 pp. $25.00. Revolution and its political opposite, reaction, are usually approached by scholars in quite different ways.

The Letters of Evelyn Waugh, edited by Mark Amory
by George Lane
Cynic and Moralist The Letters of Evelyn Waugh. by Mark Amory. Ticknor & Fields. 664 pp. $25.00. There can be little doubt that the least trendy literary talent of our century was the British novelist Evelyn Arthur St.

Group Memory, by Alston Chase; Education and the Democratic Ideal, by Steven M. Cahn
by Chester Finn
The Woes of Academe Group Memory: A Guide to College and Student Survival in the 1980's. by Alston Chase. Atlantic Monthly Press. 330 pp.

Independent Journey: The Life of William O. Douglas, by James F. Simon
by Herman Belz
Professional Liberal Independent Journey: The Life of William O. Douglas. by James F. Simon. Harper & Row. 503 pp. $16.95. Many historians of the Supreme Court in the pre-New Deal era emphasized the relationship between economic interests and legal principles.

Reader Letters March 1981
by Ralph Samuel
"The Feminist Mystique" To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I read with interest Michael Lev- in's article, "The Feminist Mys- tique" [December 1980]. Mr.

April, 1981Back to Top
Teaching Ethics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: William J. Bennett's “Getting Ethics” [December 1980] addresses with clarity and good humor the foibles of today's “ethicists.” .

The Puerto Ricans
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups [Books in Review, January], Thomas Sowell displays a strange sense of proportion.

Nationalism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . Elie Kedourie, in his otherwise admirable article, “A New International Disorder” [December 1980], argues that the precarious position of Africa's new rulers is in part due to the fact that “there is little or no relation between the formal Western-style institutions of government and the traditional African society of which these new rulers .

“U.S. Security & Latin America&rdquo
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jeane Kirkpatrick's article, “U.S. Security & Latin America” [January], is disappointing. She has a reputation as a scholar and yet the article is superficial, polemical, filled with innuendoes unbecoming an Ambassador, and laden with factual errors that could have been corrected not by archival research but by a phone call or a dialogue which many of us in the Carter administration would have welcomed.

The Future Danger
by Norman Podhoretz
Everyone—or nearly everyone at any rate—now recognizes that a change of major proportions came over the United States after the seizure of the hostages in Iran in November 1979 and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan which followed hard upon its heels.

Ideology & Supply-Side Economics
by Irving Kristol
The terms being applied—by the media, by politicians, by economists—to President Reagan's economic program, and most particularly to the tax-cutting aspect of this program, are “bold,” “revolutionary,” “a risky experiment,” and so on.

France vs. Israel
by Sally Reynolds
Since the end of the Algerian war in 1962, France has pursued a policy of steady rapprochement with the Arabs while periodically acknowledging the security needs of Israel and declaring an official neutrality in the Middle East conflict.

Having Babies Again
by Naomi Munson
Suddenly, having babies is back in fashion. In the red hot center of social enlightenment, where I live and work, the signs of a new trend are unmistakable. On New York's Upper East Side, headwaters of fashion for fashionably enlightened people everywhere—and a virtual desert of sterility since the assault of the women's movement against motherhood began taking hold a decade ago—baby carriages are becoming as common as Peugeot racing bikes, and the infant carrier is worn with as much panache as the downfilled coat.

...Who Made Me a Woman
by George Jochnowitz
“Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who did not make me a woman.” Jewish men have recited this blessing for centuries.

Napoleon Conquers America
by Richard Grenier
During the royalist rising of the 13 Vendémiaire an obscure young officer of the Republic named Buonaparte turned his trained artillery on a Paris mob and cut it to pieces.

James Michener's Docudramas
by Pearl Bell
James Michener's long and earnest novels, which can come to well over 800 pages, have not been found worthy of even the most casual mention in serious studies of contemporary American fiction, and neither do they appear on college-literature reading lists.

The Humanities in American Life: Report of the Commission on the Humanities
by Samuel Lipman
Crisis in the Humanities The Humanities in American Life: Report of the Commission on the Humanities. University of California Press. 192 pp.

The Jew: Essays from Martin Buber's Journal, Der Jude, 1916-1928, selected, edited, and introduced by Arthur A. Cohen
by Hyam Maccoby
“Der Jude” The Jew: Essays from Martin Buber's Journal, Der Jude, 1916-1928. by Arthur A. Cohen. Translated from the German by Joachim Neugroschel.

Ambition: The Secret Passion, by Joseph Epstein
by Stephen Miller
The Fuel of Achievement Ambition: The Secret Passion. by Joseph Epstein. Dutton. 312 pp. $13.95. Like a Hindu god, ambition takes many forms—some distasteful, others attractive, some dangerous, others benign.

Soviet Dissidents, by Joshua Rubenstein
by Maurice Friedberg
Profiles in Courage Soviet Dissidents: Their Struggle for Human Rights. by Joshua Rubenstein. Beacon Press. 304 pp. $12.95. In totalitarian societies political dissidence is not, ordinarily, a result of extreme repression.

White Supremacy: A Comparative Study in American and South African History, by George M. Frederickson
by Jack Rakove
Race & Society White Supremacy: A Comparative Study in American and South African History. by George M. Fredrickson. Oxford University Press. 356 pp.

May, 1981Back to Top
Jewish Women
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As the author of the section, “Women of Valor,” in The Jewish Almanac, I feel that Ruth R.

Russia and Reform
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a chronicler of the tragic fate of Russian liberalism and a resident of the Middle East, I cannot but applaud Adam B.

The New Majority
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I found Norman Podhoretz's article [“The New American Majority,” January] very convincing and very thorough. I just want to suggest that there is one element missing from the prognosis: the leadership element.

The U.S. and the UN
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Daniel P. Moynihan's article [“‘Joining the Jackals’: The U.S. at the UN 1977-1980,” February] attacking the Carter administration's UN record (and me as the architect of it—I was Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from March 1977 to April 1980), raises two important questions: what was that record and what position should the United States adopt in international bodies when the government of Israel itself takes a position that is diametrically opposed to long-established U.S.

How to Make Peace with the Palestinians
by Menahem Milson
Negotiations among Israel, Egypt, and the United States concerning the autonomy plan for the West Bank and Gaza have been deadlocked for some time.

The Imperial Media
by Joseph Kraft
You can tell Superman is Superman in lots of ways. He can fly. He has X-ray vision. He can stop a bullet in mid-flight.

Let Me Call You Quota, Sweetheart
by Walter Berns
It was said of the late Justice William O. Douglas, and it was said by way of praising him, that more than any other judge in our time he dared to ask the question of what is good for the country and to translate (or, at least, to try to translate) his answers to that question into constitutional law.

The Choice
by Jeanette Goldsmith
For years Dorothy had remained close with Paul (formerly Pinny), her childhood sweetheart. They had met in their early teens at a Williamsburgh Y and, contrary to yeshiva student custom, they began dating.

The Universe and Dr. Sagan
by Jeffrey Marsh
Carl Sagan is probably the closest American equivalent of that English institution, the TV don. An astronomer who has been professionally honored for his contributions to the study of the solar system, he is also a gifted popularizer of science, having written a number of well-received books for the general public dealing with subjects as diverse as the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life and the nature of the human brain.

Confessions of a Prodigy
by Samuel Lipman
Let others remember their growing up by houses, schools, and friends; I remember mine by piano teachers. For twenty-five of the first twenty-eight years of my life, I was locked in an intimate relationship with one or another of these masters of the keyboard, all of whom were insatiable, finding in my progress and future both their present welfare and some faint, absurd hope of immortality. So ubiquitous were these demanding creatures in my life that even before I encountered my first real teacher, I had already had two others.

“The Uniforms That Guard Us&rdquo
by Richard Grenier
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut what remains, Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains And go to your God like a soldier. Rudyard Kipling, The Young British Soldier “Making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep” was a phrase of Kipling's that caught in George Orwell's mind.

Growing Up Free, by Letty Cottin Pogrebin
by Joseph Adelson
Letty in Pogrebinland Growing Up Free: Raising Your Child in the 80's. by Letty Cottin Pogrebin. McGraw Hill. 642 pp. $15.95. This is a book about an imaginary society—an anti-utopia—which goes unnamed in the text but which I will name, in honor of its inventor, Pogrebinland.

Zionism in Transition, edited by Moshe Davis
by Robert Wistrich
Israel & the Diaspora Zionism in Transition. Edited by Moshe Davis. Arno Press. 377 pp. $18.00. Great revolutions, “by effecting the disappearance of the causes which brought them about, by their very success, become themselves incomprehensible.” Thus de Tocqueville, in words that apply with peculiar force to, among other revolutions, the Zionist one. Since 1973, fundamental questions concerning the goals and purposes of the Zionist movement have come to the foreground, reflecting not only the international propaganda onslaught to undermine Israel's legitimacy as a state, but also, and as importantly, deep and searching problems connected with Jewish identity in the modern world.

The Road to Gdansk, by Daniel Singer
by Arch Puddington
Crisis in the East The Road to Gdansk. by Daniel Singer. Monthly Review Press. 256 pp. $15.00. For a movement which took pride in its respect for freedom of expression and theoretical inquiry, the New Left contributed surprisingly little to the development of political ideas.

Ideas and the Novel, by Mary McCarthy
by Ann Hulbert
The Province of Art Ideas and the Novel. by Mary McCarthy. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 121 pp. $7.95. For several decades Mary McCarthy has been warning that the novel, in the ample form in which it flourished in the 19th century, has been wasting away in the 20th, the victim of a harsh aesthetic.

Corporations and Their Critics, edited by Thornton Bradshaw and David Vogel
by Leslie Lenkowsky
Business and Society Corporations and Their Critics. by Thornton Bradshaw and David Vogel. McGraw-Hill. 285 pp. $14.95. For most of the last decade, the American corporation has been the object of criticism unequaled in scope and intensity since the muckraker era.

June, 1981Back to Top
Maimonides and Kant
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hyam Maccoby's “Maimonides Then and Now” [January] is a further example of his considerable learning, literary and analytic abilities, and his general sense of fairness and civility (alas, so often absent in current Jewish scholarship), which I have come so thoroughly to appreciate in his COMMENTARY articles. I would like to take issue with Mr.

America and Iran
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joseph W. Bishop, Jr. [“Carter's Last Capitulation,” March] disputes the description of the militants as “students,” as “super-Muslims.” Having met with the leaders of the students inside the embassy in March of last year, and having recently received a letter from one of the former hostages (John Limbert), I can assure you that the dominant consciousness inside the embassy was Islamic, and that, furthermore, these were in fact students.

The New Wave
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Richard Grenier's article on the French New Wave [“The Aging of the New Wave,” February] is, quite simply, the best piece of film criticism I have seen.

McCarthyism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It was distressing to read Eric M. Breindel's article, “The Communists & the Committees” [January]. COMMENTARY should be used for purposes of enlightenment and not as a forum for reviving and justifying the anti-Communist hysteria which swept the country and destroyed thousands of lives and jeopardized our basic freedoms during the period of McCarthyism.

Music Critics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: When one disagrees with a music critic, sometimes to the point of irritation, one is tempted to think: he should try composing, conducting, playing that.

Bad History?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In the December 1980 issue, in her otherwise valuable article [“Lies About the Holocaust”], Lucy S. Dawidowicz derides the decision of the Organization of American Historians to seek a historical refutation of the material in the Journal of Historical Revision, an issue of which was sent to the membership through the purchase of the organization's mailing list.

The Schools
by
To the Editor: Joseph Adelson's article [“What Happened to the Schools,” March] is typical of his lucidity and thoroughness. It clearly outlines some of the major issues confronting youth policy in America.

Immigration
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Samuel Rabinove's article, “Toward an Immigration Policy” [February], conjures up an image of “hundreds of millions” of immigrants desperate for the chance to devour our resources and destroy our standard of living.

Vietnam
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review [March] of a book on the Christmas bombing of Vietnam [The Prestige Press and the Christmas Bombing, 1972 by Martin F.

The Holocaust
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is disturbing to find one's work judged in the pages of COMMENTARY not for its own merits or demerits but for the company it keeps.

Mexico & Other Dominoes
by Carlos Rangel
In the debate now raging in the U.S. over the Reagan administration's new policy toward Marxist gains in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and also toward Cuba's role in the matter, much is made of Mexico's position by North American supporters of Marxist movements in Latin America.

The Most Beautiful Woman in Vilna
by Ruth Wisse
For Eva F. Raby, David G. Roskies, and in memory of our brother, Benjamin. My grandmother's portrait has always hung over my parents' ample bed.

In Defense of Religious America
by Terry Eastland
“Religion in American life, Mr. Cadwell. We need it.” That is the concluding line of a radio commercial which for some, perhaps providential, reason I have had occasion to hear several dozen times over the past year.

Locke and the Law of the Sea
by Robert Goldwin
Powerful individuals and nations rarely have much need of philosophy; it is not usual for ignorance of philosophy to cost them much, if anything.

IQ on Trial
by Nathan Glazer
We are all increasingly governed by judicial decisions. Decrees of the court tell state officials and employees, teachers and school administrators, staff and administrators of hospitals, mental hospitals, schools for the retarded, government contractors, and indeed all employers, what they may or may not do.

Rehearsal for the Holocaust?
by George Watson
At a brief meeting near Berlin over and after lunch, one January day in 1942, a decision was taken to kill all the Jews in Axis Europe.

New Jewish Voices
by Pearl Bell
It is the character of our culture to be on perpetual alert for change, and so it is not surprising that we can now speak of a new generation of American Jewish writers—among them such novelists and storytellers as Cynthia Ozick, Hugh Nissenson, Johanna Kaplan, Jay Neugeboren, Arthur A.

Updating James Bond
by Richard Grenier
Ian Fleming, writer of single-mindedly anti-Communist pop thrillers, was a quintessential product of the cold war. In the tradition of popular, even pulp, fiction, he invented escapades for his Agent 007 never seen on earth or in heaven and violated the procedures and “tradecraft” of real espionage at every turn (and knowingly, since he had served in British Naval Intelligence during World War II).

Solvency: The Price of Survival, by James Chace
by Peter Rodman
Doing Less Solvency: The Price of Survival. An Essay on American Foreign Policy. by James Chace. Random House. 112 pp. $9.95. This is a book that could only have been written in the Carter administration.

Dostoevsky and the Jews, by David I. Goldstein
by Steve Zipperstein
Blind Hatred Dostoevsky and the Jews. by David I. Goldstein. University of Texas Press. 217 pp. $17.50. An exuberant twenty-three-year-old Fyodor Dostoevsky related in a letter to his brother in 1844 the literary projects he planned to undertake now that he had completed his degree at the St.

Self-Destruction, by Cincinnatus
by Seth Cropsey
How we Lost? Self-Destruction: The Disintegration and Decay of the United States Army During the Vietnam Era. by Cincinnatus. Norton. 288 pp. $15.95. L.

The Life of John O'Hara, by Frank MacShane
by George Lane
An American Maugham The Life of John O'Hara. by Frank MacShane. Dutton. 274 pp. $15.95. Ernest Hemingway once suggested that somebody should take up a collection to “send O'Hara to Yale,” and it was notorious that of all “the boys in the back room” of American literature (as Edmund Wilson called them) it was John O'Hara, chronicler of the fast life of Broadway and Hollywood as well as the mores of the provincial haute bourgeoisie and the well-heeled of the Eastern establishment, who most loudly lamented having missed an Ivy League schooling, if only for the fringe benefits it conferred: contacts, revelry, the “right” clubs, most of all access to the world of the super-rich, which would have effectively satisfied his lifelong lust to rub their noses in it back in Pottsville, Pa. Now, eleven years after O'Hara's death, academics may be coming around to something like a fair appraisal of him as an observer of American customs and aspirations in the 20th century.

High in America, by Patrick Anderson
by Bryan Lops
The Pot Lobby High in America: The True Story Behind NORML and the Politics of Marijuana. by Patrick Anderson. Viking. 328 pp. $13.95. One Saturday evening in November 1972, Patrick Anderson, a journalist, political novelist, former speechwriter for Robert Kennedy, and future speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, left his suburban Virginia home with his wife to drive into Washington for dinner and a private party.

Making Scenes, by Robert Brustein
by Robert Kagan
Getting Even Making Scenes. by Robert Brustein. Random House. 341 pp. $15.00. Robert Brustein came to Yale in 1966 at the invitation of president Kingman Brewster to add a bit of life to a fading Yale Drama School.

July, 1981Back to Top
Language, Round 2
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his reply [Letters from Readers, May] which, incidentally, is not a reply, to my letter about his article on language [“Why Madame Bovary Couldn't Make Love in the Concrete,” February], Joseph Epstein writes: “I should prefer not to respond to Edwin Newman's letter, but instead allow its large-hearted modesty to speak for itself.” No doubt.

The Humanities
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Samuel Lipman, in his review of The Humanities in American Life [Books in Review, April], observes: A traditional answer to the problem of the intellectual content of the humanities might be that they consist .

Docudramas
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In Pearl K. Bell's otherwise admirable analysis of the “docudrama” phenomenon, as exemplified by James Michener's The Covenant [“James Michener's Docudramas,” April], she writes that “it is the unequivocal certainty that one can trust Michener to deliver the goods, that his facts, significant or trivial, are always right” which accounts, in great part, for his remarkable success.

Anti-Semitism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I found Jonathan D. Sarna's article [“Anti-Semitism and American History,” March] for the most part informed, balanced, and perceptive, but I would like to take exception to several of his points concerning the nature and extent of American anti-Semitism generally, and to certain criticisms he makes of my book specifically. First, one minor point.

Evolution and Dr. Sagan
by Our Readers
To the Editor: One who criticizes Carl Sagan's scientific ideas should himself be better grounded in science than is Jeffrey Marsh when he takes Sagan to task for saying that evolution is a fact [“The Universe and Dr.

The Evangelicals
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Fanaticism of the Right was a source of concern to many observers of the 1980 election. Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab [“The Election & the Evangelicals,” March] reassure us on this score, but in doing so, they show a kind of contempt for religious values, buttressed by pseudo-scientific evidence, which borders on being its own brand of fanaticism. Fanatics can be identified as those who make a case that the opposition “does not deserve to be in the debate at all.” One way of doing this is to show contempt for the way the opposition understands itself by looking beyond what people say they are doing to a “deeper” level of motivation.

The Timerman Case
by Mark Falcoff
One morning in April 1977, twenty armed men in civilian clothes, claiming to be under orders from the Tenth Infantry Brigade of the Argentine army, invaded the Buenos Aires apartment of a well-known newspaper publisher and editor named Jacobo Timerman.

Hemingway's Private War
by Kenneth Lynn
In the summer of 1924, Ernest Hemingway wrote to Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas to report on the progress he was making with a long short story in which he was “trying to do the country like Cézanne and having a hell of a time and sometimes getting it a little bit.

Thinking About Terrorism
by James Wilson
For a decade or more, the United States government, like the governments of most Western powers, was largely silent on the question of Soviet complicity in international terrorism.

Varieties of Jewish Verse
by Robert Alter
Once every few decades, an anthology appears that reaches beyond mere scissors-and-paste operations to restore to contemporary readers a lost literary past.

Singing Wolf
by Samuel Lipman
Like so many other forms of serious music, the German Lied—a musical setting of a short poem, often about love or suffering and their various combinations—can now be seen as having a completed history.

A Soviet “New Wave&rdquo ?
by Richard Grenier
The prodigious achievements of 19th-century Russian literature were all made in the shadow of the Czarist censor—and were freighted with incomparably greater meaning precisely because press censorship made fictional stories the only vehicle for expressing certain social and political ideas.

Governing America, by Joseph A. Califano, Jr.
by Chester Finn
The Carter Years Governing America. by Joseph A. Califano, Jr. Simon & Schuster. 474 pp. $16.95. Anyone whose memories of the Carter administration zig-zag from pity to contempt to wistful regret, and who is not sure why, should read this book.

The Winding Passage, by Daniel Bell
by Michael Novak
Class, Culture & Society The Winding Passage: Essays and Sociological Journeys 1960-1980. by Daniel Bell. Abt Books. 370 pp. $25.00. “Already the sun is at mid-tierce.” So reads the inscription from Dante at the head of this book, whose eighteen essays by one of the country's leading sociologists constitute a “winding passage” through scientific, political, and cultural disciplines.

At Home in America, by Deborah Dash Moore
by David Singer
Second Generation At Home in America. by Deborah Dash Moore. Columbia University Press. 303 pp. $15.95. For a long time it was standard in American Jewish historical writing either to ignore or to dismiss the so-called “second generation” in American Jewish life.

Real Security, by Richard J. Barnet
by Penn Kemble
Giving Up Real Security: Restoring American Power in a Dangerous Decade. by Richard J. Barnet. Simon & Schuster. 160 pp. $10.95. As a work of substance, this small book could easily go unnoticed, but as a case study in changing political styles it is a gem.

Wealth and Poverty, by George Gilder
by Adam Meyerson
The Spirit of Enterprise Wealth and Poverty. by George Gilder. Basic Books. 306 pp. $16.95. As a work of entrepreneurship, George Gilder's book has succeeded far beyond the wildest expectations of Gilder himself or his publishers.

Hunger and Ideology
by Nick Eberstadt
World hunger is not only a material problem, but an intellectual problem as well. To an extent we do not fully recognize, the hunger which stalks millions of wretched families and homeless drifters is related to a lack of understanding and a want of ingenuity. These are not failings of the poor themselves.

August, 1981Back to Top
Pogrebinland
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is disappointing and misleading to write a parody of a book review in order to undermine an author's serious thesis.

Griffith and Coppola
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his otherwise masterly article on Abel Gance's Napoleon [“Napoleon Conquers America,” April], Richard Grenier writes: “As history the film lies somewhere between Parson Weems's George Washington with his cherry tree (‘I cannot tell a lie’) and D.W.

“The Future Danger'&rdquo
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Only on one point do I believe Norman Podhoretz [“The Future Danger,” April] could have put more stress.

Hollanditis: A New Stage in European Neutralism
by Walter Laqueur
Holland has long been known as an exemplary country, sober, industrious, tolerant, a country whose people had to struggle hard for their prosperity against the forces of nature.

Are Jews Becoming Republican?
by Milton Himmelfarb
Everyone says that it remains to be seen whether the 1980 election was a watershed in American politics. It also remains to be seen whether 1980 was a watershed in the politics of American Jews.1 In 1972 Nixon got more than 60 percent of the vote to Reagan's 51 percent in 1980, and Nixon's margin over McGovern was more than 20 percent to Reagan's 10 percent over Carter.

Central America and Its Enemies
by Constantine Menges
That there has been a dramatic increase in Central American revolutionary violence in the past four years is obvious to everyone.

The Politics of Muslim Anti-Semitism
by Daniel Pipes
The representative of the Zionist entity is evidently incapable of concealing his deep-seated hatred toward the Arab world for having broken loose from the notorious exploitation of its natural resources, long held in bondage and plundered by his own people's cabal which controls and manipulates and exploits the rest of humanity by controlling the money and wealth of the world.

The Case of Janet Cooke
by Naomi Munson
When “Jimmy's World,” the story of an eight-year-old heroin addict, appeared on the front page of the Washington Post last September, it created quite a stir in the city.

The Noblest Distraction
by Joseph Epstein
The bookworm, like the tapeworm, is omnivorous. He joins Freud's appetitive types, those fornicators and feeders who wish each in their own fashion to devour the world, by virtue of his wish to devour all the books in the world.

Self-Seekers
by Pearl Bell
For the past two hundred years, ever since Rousseau began his Confessions with the presumptuous word “I,” the expression of the self has been a compulsive preoccupation in Western literature.

Kid Stuff
by Richard Grenier
In the summer of 1981 American movies are enjoying flush times. The country is being bombarded with a series of blockbuster movies which, if thunderous opening weeks are any guide, seem destined to save the American cinema.

National Defense, by James Fallows
by Eliot Cohen
Of Arms & Men National Defense. by James Fallows. Random House. 204 pp. $12.95. It seems strange but is undeniably true that now, less than a decade after Vietnam, responsible American political observers agree that our military forces require strengthening.

The Ethnic Myth, by Stephen Steinberg
by Howard Brotz
Back to the Melting Pot? The Ethnic Myth: Race, Ethnicity, and Class in America. by Stephen Steinberg. Atheneum. 277 pp. $14.95. This book is an attack on the doctrine of cultural, or ethnic, pluralism—an attack which is in principle long overdue. As propounded by Horace Kallen in 1915, when New York City was teeming with immigrants, cultural pluralism was an argument against the idea of America as a “melting pot.” Kallen's benign social intention was to help create an atmosphere in which immigrants and their descendants could have both respect and self-respect without trying to run away from themselves.

American Patriots and the Rituals of Revolution, by Peter Shaw
by Jack Rakove
Roots of Resistance American Patriots and the Rituals of Revolution. By Peter Shaw. Harvard University Press. 279 pp. $17.50. On August 14, 1765, a Boston crowd protesting the Stamp Act hung two effigies from an elm tree in the South End.

The Engima of Felix Frankfurter, by H. N. Hirsch
by Herman Belz
Judicial Philosophy The Enigma of Felix Frankfurter. by H. N. Hirsch. Basic Books. 253 pp. $14.95. Scholars of the law have long held that judicial decision-making depends at least as much on the political and social attitudes of judges as it does on the impartial application of legal rules and precedents.

Russia's Failed Revolutions: From the Decembrists to the Dissidents, by Adam B. Ulam; The Rise of the Gulag: Intellectual Origin
by Maurice Friedberg
Nationalism vs. Ideology Russia's Failed Revolutions: From the Decembrists to the Dissidents. by Adam B. Ulam. Basic Books. 453 pp. $18.95. The Rise of the Gulag: Intellectual Origins of Leninism. by Alain Besançon. Continuum.

September, 1981Back to Top
The Christmas Bombing
by Our Readers
To the Editor: May the author of the book, The Prestige Press and the Christmas Bombing, 1972, about which Anthony Lewis and Charles Horner had an exchange in the June issue, have permission to comment? In their argument neither of them mentioned what is written in my book. I think Mr.

Jewish History
by Our Readers
To the Editor: We are pleased that David Vital lauds our book, The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History, as “the best of its kind” [Books in Review, March].

Supply-Side Economics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Irving Kristol's article, “Ideology & Supply-Side Economics” [April], has amusing echoes of the preconditions for any revolutionary economic theory outlined by the late Harry G.

The New Motherhood
by Our Readers
To the Editor: If Naomi Munson had limited her observations to the excesses of “prepared” childbirth, “Having Babies Again” [April] would have been an amusing piece of social commentary.

The First Amendment
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his thought-provoking article, “In Defense of Religious America” [June], Terry Eastland espouses a “narrow” interpretation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Mexico and Latin America
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Carlos Rangel [“Mexico & Other Dominoes,” June] has pierced the veil of political mythology and misinformation regarding Mexico.

The Middle East: Carterism Without Carter?
by Robert Tucker
Almost every great international crisis has its ebbs and flows. The crisis centered in the Persian Gulf is no exception to this pattern.

Human Rights and American Power
by Samuel Huntington
During the 1960's and 1970's many intellectuals—foreign and American—expounded what can perhaps best be termed “the myth of American repression”—that is, the view that American involvement in the politics of other societies is almost invariably hostile to liberty and supportive of repression in those societies.

CBS vs. Defense
by Joshua Muravchik
This past June CBS-TV News broadcast “an unprecedented documentary project, more ambitious than any CBS News has undertaken,” entitled The Defense of the United States.

Philip Roth Then and Now
by Ruth Wisse
Philip Roth's was the first literary voice that seemed to speak for our bunch, our group, our set, the particular gang of adolescents with whom I shared a mutual affection and an idea of what we stood against.

The Quintessential Liberal
by Robert Nisbet
More than anyone else I can think of, including the late Hubert Humphrey, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., George McGovern, and James McGregor Burns, among others, John Kenneth Galbraith is the nearly perfect exemplar of American liberalism as we have come to know it since World War II.

From the Memoirs of an Administrator-A Fable
by John Hollander
You see, it was because one's rights in property were more assiduously protected, under the Former System, than one's rights to and in one's person, that we had to change everything.

John Hinckley-A Face in the Crowd
by Peter Shaw
Perhaps the most distressing aspect of the attempt on the life of President Reagan last March was the failure of anyone, in the days and minutes before it took place, to restrain his attacker.

The Mogul Who Loved Art
by David Aberbach
It is rare that highly successful businessmen possess or are able to satisfy the urge to create art. The worlds of business and art demand such different talents and are each so separately absorbing that success in one would seem to decree failure or only minimal success in the other.

The World Challenge, by Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber
by Roger Starr
Futurist Manifesto The World Challenge. by Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber. Translated by Martin Sokolinsky, Elizabeth Bartelme, and Leon King. Simon & Schuster. 280 pp. $14.95. Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber is a French futurist, carrying on a profession that got off the ground when Joseph accurately forecast the course of fourteen years of the Egyptian economy.

Revolution in Judea, by Hyam Maccoby
by Hillel Halkin
Jesus as Jew Revolution in Judea: Jesus and the Jewish Resistance. by Hyam Maccoby. Taplinger. 256 pp. $9.95. Prior to the Enlightenment, Christian authors almost always minimized the Jewishness of Jesus, while Jewish sources regarded him either as an all-too-human impostor or else as an agent of the devil, and were indisposed in either case to make fine distinctions between him and the church that arose in his name.

A Life in Two Centuries, by Bertram D. Wolfe
by James Nuechterlein
Radical's Journey A Life in Two Centuries: An Autobiography. by Bertram D. Wolfe. Introduction by Leonard Schapiro. Stein & Day. 728 pp. $29.95. This is a disappointing book, but it is so for reasons largely beyond the author's control.

Origins of the Novel, by Marthe Robert
by Renee Winegarten
Foundlings and Bastards Origins of the Novel. by Marthe Robert. Translated by Sacha Rabinovitch. Indiana University Press. 235 pp. $19.95. What is the source of the human impulse to tell stories and to delight in them? Is there indeed one only? And if we knew what it was, would we be any nearer to rescuing literature (and particularly the novel), together with literary criticism, from the “post-humanist” tide? These are some of the questions prompted by Origins of the Novel, a speculative study by Marthe Robert, notable French authority on Kafka, translator of his journals, letters, and stories into French, and author of The Psychoanalytic Revolution and From Oedipus to Moses: Freud's Jewish Identity. The original title of Marthe Robert's book, Roman des origines et origines du roman, gives a better idea of its contents than the English one does.

The Bureaucracy of Truth, by Paul Lendvai
by Arch Puddington
Thought Control The Bureaucracy of Truth: How Communist Governments Manage the News. by Paul Lendvai. Westview Press. 285 pp. $24.75. Paul Lendvai's study of the mass communications policies in the Soviet bloc is important not only for its much needed perspective on a widely misunderstood subject, but also because it represents the kind of intelligent anti-Communist journalism which is invaluable for a serious evaluation of the totalitarian phenomenon.

October, 1981Back to Top
In Pursuit of Papa
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Kenneth S. Lynn's “Hemingway's Private War” [July] is yet another unfortunate example of what happens to scholars who venture out of their own fields—in this case, history—into the treacherous realms of psychology and literary criticism.

007 and the Cold War
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Richard Grenier's pompous, humorless, inaccurate article “Updating James Bond” [June], uses the word “idiotic” to describe the plot of On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Corporate Ethics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to react to a few of the points raised by Leslie Lenkowsky in his review of the book Thornton Bradshaw and I edited, Corporations and Their Critics [Books in Review, May]. He is correct in criticizing the modern liberal concept of corporate social responsibility on the grounds that it is vague and open-ended; it provides managers with no principle for determining which of the public's complaints against business they should respond to and which they should be encouraged to resist.

The Palestine Question
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Menahem Milson is a notable Arabist, and much of what he says in “How to Make Peace with the Palestinians” [May] reflects considerable expertise.

Women's Blessings
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In regard to George Jochnowitz's article, “. . . Who Made Me a Woman” [April], I would suggest that the reading of the Roth Manuscript No.

Looking Ahead
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read Norman Podhoretz's article, “The Future Danger” [April], with great interest, especially his views on U.S.-China relations.

The Killing Ground
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Alter's cogent criticism of the exploitation of the Holocaust [“Deformations of the Holocaust,” February] evoked intense debate among correspondents in your June issue.

Speaking to the Third World
by Peter Berger
“Third World.” The very phrase by now evokes a multitude of images, positive as well as negative. Empirically, of course, the words bear little resemblance to reality—except, perhaps, at the United Nations, where the so-called Group of 77 does possess a real political form.

On the Ninth of Ab
by Frank Talmage
The liturgy for the Ninth of Ab, the day of fasting which marks the destruction of the First and Second Temples as well as other tragedies in Jewish history, laments the fate of Jerusalem, “The mournful, wasted, degraded, and desolate city.” Every year the Israeli rabbinate is asked if one must still say these words, if indeed it is not now blasphemous to say them at all.

The Surrealists in New York
by Lionel Abel
I visited Meyer Schapiro one summer night in 1942 and found him engaged in conversation with a slender, well set-up, quite handsome young man, with blond hair falling in pale, flat lines across a high forehead.

Bribing Delinquents to be Good
by Susan Adler
In strange contrast to the volume and heat generated by the problem of delinquent juveniles is the silence that surrounds what is actually being attempted and done to treat them.

Beyond Nuremberg
by Allan Gerson
On January 21, 1981, the Supreme Court, in one of its most extraordinary opinions, decided the case of United States of America v.

Arms & the Movies
by Richard Grenier
The most hackneyed profundity bandied about in recent years by people who confine their reading of classic authors to Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is George Santayana's “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Translated into plain language, this usually means, “No more Vietnams”—although few of the quoters show signs of having read the work of Santayana's from which the quotation is taken, an essay which no more than seven sentences after the line in Bartlett's, reads: “In a moving world readaptation is the price of longevity.” This last, much more characteristic of what Santayana was trying to get at, obviously argues very strongly against “the past” teaching us any fixed, rigid, simplistic lesson, since there's a lot of very heterogeneous past out there to remember, and it keeps getting added to and, in its ordering of suggested imperatives, changing. Now the film-makers of Hollywood probably know little more of the past than most of their countrymen, but if there's one small piece of the past they know exceedingly well it is how successful their last movie was, and when it comes to readapting they can sometimes move with the speed of light—much more swiftly than the op-ed page of the New York Times, for example, which subsists in a rarefied, airless world, protected from all real competition.

Sequels
by Pearl Bell
When John Updike published Rabbit, Run in 1960—though he was only twenty-eight, it was his fourth book and second novel—no one could have expected that it would be the first of a continuing, if intermittent, chronicle of working-class life in a small industrial town of southern Pennsylvania.

Ethnic America, by Thomas Sowell
by William Petersen
American Mosaic Ethnic America: A History. by Thomas Sowell. Basic Books. 353 pp. $16.95. If one came to this book fresh, having read nothing else on the subject, one might find it a deceptively simple work.

New Rules, by Daniel Yankelovich
by Robert Kagan
Surveying the 70's New Rules: Searching for Self-Fulfillment in a World Turned Upside Down. by Daniel Yankelovich. Random House. 278 pp. $15.95. If sociologists have their way, it is going to be difficult to remember the 1970's with anything but displeasure.

Jacksonian Jew, by Jonathan D. Sarna
by David Singer
Early American Jacksonian Jew. by Jonathan D. Sarna. Holmes and Meier. 233 pp. $29.50. Mordecai Noah (1785-1851) was a remarkable character. The best-known American Jew of his day, he was at once a bold visionary and a self-centered conniver, a champion of democratic values and an apologist for slavery, a staunch American patriot and a fiercely loyal Jew.

Riding on a Blue Note, by Gary Giddens
by Robert Richman
The “Art” of Jazz Riding on a Blue Note. by Gary Giddens. Oxford University Press. 313 pp. $16.95. For much of its history, jazz has been considered a form of entertainment, music to be dined, danced, and drunk to.

Within the Whirlwind, by Eugenia Ginzburg
by Leonard Schapiro
Remaining Human Within the Whirlwind. by Eugenia Ginzburg. Translated by Ian Boland. Introduction by Heinrich Böll. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 423 pp. $17.50. The author, a university lecturer in Kazan, was thirty-one in 1937 when she was arrested on a trumped-up charge of “counter-revolution.” She died in Moscow, after rehabilitation, in 1977.

November, 1981Back to Top
Letters on Letters
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Edwin Newman [Letters from Readers, May] takes Joseph Epstein to task for writing: “It is an error of the kind of which only the poorly educated are susceptible.” If this criticism reflects the standards set by Mr.

Ethnic Groups
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of my book, The Ethnic Myth [Books in Review, August], Howard Brotz seriously misrepresents my views on a number of key issues. It is a gross distortion to accuse me of “advocating assimilation for the length of [my] book.” The issue for us as social scientists is not one of personal values, or of my “pessimism” versus someone else's “buoyancy,” but of what is happening in the empirical world.

The Jewish Vote
by
To the Editor: Milton Himmelfarb's thorough analysis of the Jewish vote in the 1980 elections is outstanding [“Are Jews Becoming Republican?,” August].

The Law of the Sea
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert A. Goldwin's objections to the draft treaty on the Law of the Sea are in no way related to a supposed misreading of Locke by the negotiators [“Locke and the Law of the Sea,” June]. The history of properties regarded as commons—land parcels, water, air, space—indicates that unmanaged commons tend to be damaged by overuse and maltreatment, and that, with the growth of population and production, it becomes desirable to manage them.

Leon Festinger
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In the September issue, there is an article by Robert Nisbet entitled, “The Quintessential Liberal.” At the bottom of the first column on page 62, Mr.

Dissonance in Music
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Samuel Lipman's adieu to Rosina Lhevinne [“Confessions of a Prodigy,” May] pictures her in 1965, in her eighties, listening in “rapt attention” as a student plays the Opus 119 Klavierstücke of Brahms.

World Hunger
by Our Readers
To the Editor: One of Nick Eberstadt's central contentions in “Hunger and Ideology” [July] is that prevailing estimates of the magnitude of world hunger are inspired by “ideological arguments” and “idées fixes” with which he disagrees.

Human Rights and American Foreign Policy A Symposium
by William Barrett
Recently, the editors of COMMENTARY addressed the following questions to a group of American intellectuals of varying political views: What role, if any, should a concern for human rights play in American foreign policy? Is there a conflict between this concern and the American national interest? Does the distinction between authoritarianism and totalitarianism seem important to you? If so, what follows from it in practice? If not, what distinctions would you make in judging and dealing with non-democratic regimes? Does the approach of the Reagan administration, to the extent that it can be inferred from statements of the President and other high officials, compare favorably or unfavorably with the Carter administration's human-rights policy? The responses—eighteen in all—are printed below in alphabetical order. William Barrett: Human rights would certainly seem to be an important part of foreign policy, since the present struggle for the world is about liberty, and indeed the survival of liberty for the conceivable future of our civilization.

Murder and the Intellectuals
by Lionel Abel
Not a few of us in New York have been witness to killings—and killings, mind you, of the innocent; many of us live with the expectation of seeing such things.

A Scandalous Journalistic Career
by Stephen Morris
Wilfred Burchett is no ordinary journalist. An Australian, he has been actively involved in reporting the major confrontations between East and West for over forty years.

The French Lieutenant's Person
by Richard Grenier
Karel Reisz, an anglicized Czechoslovak, is one of the world's most accomplished film directors. His Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and Morgan are considered central works in the 60's renaissance of British cinema.

Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion, by P.T. Bauer
by Nick Eberstadt
Overcoming World Poverty Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion. by P.T. Bauer. Harvard University Press. 293 pp. $17.50. In an attempt to account for the rather disappointing economic performance of so many poor countries, some scholars have suggested that there must be forces at work within the “world system” which perpetuate poverty.

Auschwitz and the Allies, by Martin Gilbert; American Jewry and the Holocaust, by Yehuda Bauer
by Eric Breindel
The Holocaust & The World Auschwitz and the Allies. by Martin Gilbert. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 368 pp. $15.95. American Jewry and the Holocaust. by Yehuda Bauer. Wayne State University Press.

The Jefferson Scandals: A Rebuttal, by Virginius Dabney
by Peter Shaw
The Hemings Affair The Jefferson Scandals: A Rebuttal. by Virginius Dabney. Dodd, Mead. 154 pp. $8.95. In 1974 the late Fawn Brodie's Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History revived the unprovable charge that Jefferson kept a slave mistress at Monticello and fathered her five children.

On a Field of Red, by Anthony Cave Brown and Charles B. MacDonald
by Harvey Klehr
The Comintern On a Field of Red: The Communist International and the Coming of World War II. by Anthony Cave Brown and Charles B.

The Litigious Society, by Jethro K. Lieberman
by Herman Belz
Judicial Activism The Litigious Society. by Jethro K. Lieberman. Basic Books. 212 pp. $13.95. The term “imperial judiciary,” originally coined for the purpose of calling attention to activist excesses, has passed into usage as a simple description of the power of the courts in contemporary American government.

The Wars of America, by Robert Leckie; The History of American Wars from 1745 to 1918, by T. Harry Williams
by Eliot Cohen
The Way We Fight The Wars of America by Robert Leckie. Harper & Row. 1160 pp. $29.95. The History of American Wars from 1745 to 1918. by T.

December, 1981Back to Top
On Reading
by Our Readers
To the Editor: So many current essays are so sharp-edgedly polemical that finding one . . . about the wholly impractical subject of the joy of reading and the polarities separating the active from the bookish person is a great delight.

“The Timerman Case&rdquo
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mark Falcoff [“The Timerman Case,” July] is to be commended for tackling the Timerman controversy from a Latin American angle and giving the reader a unique insight into the ideological jungle that prevails in Argentina as well as for pointing out the oversimplification inherent in labeling as “Nazi” the goings-on in that crisis-ridden nation. Mr.

“CBS vs. Defense&rdquo
by Our Readers
To the Editor: We at CBS News are flattered, though not surprised, that COMMENTARY chose to devote so much space to an “analysis” of the recent CBS News documentary series, The Defense of the United-States [“CBS vs.

Appeasement & the AWACS
by Robert Tucker
Seldom in recent years has the Congress, particularly the Senate, given the sustained consideration to an issue of foreign policy that it gave to the Saudi arms sale.

Can El Salvador Be Saved?
by Max Singer
In countries where the mass of people have been exploited and oppressed for generations, and have no possibility of peacefully securing their freedom or decent treatment, violent revolution often seems to be the only way to produce the necessary change.

A New Direction for American Jews
by Murray Friedman
As outsiders in so many of the countries in which they have lived, Jews have always had to create machinery for dealing with the broader society.

Patenting Life
by Leon Kass
Every once in a while, we come upon an event of seemingly minor import which, on reflection, turns out to betoken deep and problematic truths about our culture.

My Friend Walter Benjamin
by Gershom Scholem
Before I made Walter Benjamin's personal acquaintance, I saw him in the autumn of 1913 at a meeting that took place in a hall above the Cafe Tiergarten in Berlin.

Children of Chopin
by Samuel Lipman
Recent history would suggest an inverse relation between a country's economic performance and the amount of official attention paid to its national culture.

Why “Nicholas Nickleby”?
by Myron Magnet
How different is the Royal Shakespeare Company's eight-and-a-half-hour version of Charles Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby from the last “theatrical event of the decade,” the Living Theater's Paradise Now of a dozen years ago.

Our Lady of Corruption
by Richard Grenier
“He shook hands with the Pope. How many pimps can say that?” This single line of dialogue, plucked almost at random from the middle of True Confessions, tells you a good deal about this remarkable film.

Political Pilgrims, by Paul Hollander
by Leonard Schapiro
Fellow-Travelers' Tales Political Pilgrims: Travels of Western Intellectuals to the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba 1928-1979. by Paul Hollander. Oxford University Press. 524 pp.

Javits: The Autobiography of a Public Man, by Jacob K. Javits
by Nathan Glazer
A Life in Politics Javits: The Autobiography of a Public Man. by Jacob K. Javits, With Rafael Steinberg. Houghton Mifflin. 527 pp. $16.95. Jacob K.

Tocayo, by Antonio Navarro
by Mark Falcoff
Fighting Castro Tocayo: A Cuban Resistance Leader's True Story. by Antonio Navarro. Sandown Books. 270 pp. $14.95. The exile memoir is not normally the most valuable guide to the history of a revolution.

The Holocaust and the Historians, by Lucy S. Dawidowicz
by Martin Gilbert
Confronting the Holocaust The Holocaust and the Historians. by Lucy S. Dawidowicz. Harvard University Press. 187 pp. $15.00. Browsing in a London bookstore recently, I chanced upon a new biography of Hitler by a British academic historian.

The Struggle for Afghanistan, by Nancy Peabody Newell and Richard S. Newell
by Arch Puddington
The Forgotten War The Struggle for Afghanistan. by Nancy Peabody Newell and Richard S. Newell. Cornell University Press. 236 pp. $14.95. In the immediate wake of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in December 1979, it was widely predicted that the USSR's international reputation would suffer a serious decline because of this naked act of aggression against a defenseless Third World country.




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.