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January, 1984Back to Top
UNESCO (cont'd)
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It was a welcome relief from the hit-and-run tactics which so frequently characterize our press's comments on UNESCO to find Chester E.

Evidence
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In the September 1983 issue, Lucy S. Dawidowicz, in her reply to the letters on her article, “Indicting American Jews” [June 1983], describes me as “a booster for the Irgun version of American Jewish history.” This insight, she tells us, rests on Laurence Jarvik's comment (also in the September issue) that I was the person who suggested that he interview the Irgunists Peter Bergson and Samuel Merlin. My files show that when Jarvik first contacted me asking for information as to who was still alive whom he might approach for film interviews for his project, I suggested the following: Gerhart Riegner, Roswell McClelland, John Pehl, Josiah DuBois, Samuel Merlin, Peter Bergson, Will Rogers, Jr., Dean Alfange, Marjorie Page Schauffler, Ira Hirschmann, Carl Hermann Voss, Emanuel Celler, Benjamin Akzin, Rudolf Vrba, Eva Schlesinger, Claire Barker, Raymond Moley, Dorothy Day, Eileen Egan, Emanuel Neumann, Nahum Goldmann, Robert Borden Reams, Harold W.

Fiction
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am writing as the attorney for Reverend William Howard Melish and Edith Segal, both of whom are mentioned in David Evanier's story, “The Prince of Progressive Humanity,” which appeared in the August 1983 issue of COMMENTARY. Neither Reverend Melish nor Miss Segal participated in any meeting or demonstration referred to by Mr.

Frank Rosenwig
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his interesting article on Gershom Scholem [“The Greatness of Gershom Scholem,” September 1983], Hyam Maccoby also refers to Franz Rosenzweig, and takes the occasion to inform us that “Franz Rosenzweig .

The Tory Victory
by Our Readers
To the Editor: John O'Sullivan's article on the British election, “Thatcherization (Cont'd.)” [September 1983] gave an interesting picture of the political landscape in England; but one or two important features were left out or (it seemed to me) insufficiently stressed. The first is the presidential character of the election.

The Mysterious Messenger
by Our Readers
To the Editor: For forty years, students of the Holocaust have sought the identity of the prominent German industrialist who, at the risk of his life, warned the West in mid-1942 of a plan discussed in Hitler's headquarters to murder all the Jews of Europe.

Reagan vs. the Scientists: Why the President Is Right about Missile Defense
by Robert Jastrow
1. The Threat When President Reagan announced his proposal last spring for defending the United States against Soviet missiles, the reaction from scientists, politicians, and journalists was almost uniformly hostile.

The Voice from the Whirlwind
by Robert Alter
The power of Job's unflinching argument, in the biblical book that bears his name, has rarely failed to move readers, but the structure of the book has been a perennial puzzle.

Liberalism, Stanford-Style
by Tom Bethell
The details soon get complicated, but in broad outline the recent dispute between the Hoover Institution and Stanford University is fairly straightforward: a somewhat conservative institution, set in the midst of an increasingly liberal university, and largely independent of it, has been growing in influence and since 1980 has had friends in the White House, including the President.

In Memoriam: Henry M. Jackson
by Michael Novak
When Senator Henry M. Jackson died last September at the age of seventy-one, much else died with him. Henry Martin Jackson, born in Everett, Washington, on May 31, 1912, earned his nickname, “Scoop,” from a cartoon character in the local newspaper; as a newsboy, he delivered a record 74,880 copies without a single complaint from his customers.

A Conductor in History
by Samuel Lipman
Of all the mountains in a man's life, those of his youth are forever the tallest. In my own musical growing up, one figure stands supreme.

The Hard Left and the Soft
by Richard Grenier
“Five films with political statements due in fall.” There it was, in a headline right on the front page of the New York Times, so it must have been true.

What Does Philip Roth Want?
by Joseph Epstein
There is, as the folks in the head trades might say, a lot of rage in Philip Roth. What, one wonders, is he so angry about? As a writer, he seems to have had a pretty good roll of the dice.

The Roots of Treason: Ezra Pound and the Secret of St. Elizabeths, by E. Fuller Torrey
by Kenneth Lynn
Delusions The Roots of Treason: Ezra Pound and the Secret of St. Elizabeths. by E. Fuller Torrey. McGraw-Hill. 339 pp. $19.95. Edwin Fuller Torrey, M.D., is a member of the psychiatric staff at St.

The Rise of the French Rothschilds, by Anka Muhlstein; Contre Bonne Fortune, by Guy de Rothschild
by Roger Kaplan
Frankfurt, Paris, New York Baron James: The Rise of the French Rothschilds. by Anka Muhlstein. Vendome Press. 223 pp. $17.95. Contre bonne fortune. by Guy de Rothschild. Belfond.

Escape to Freedom: The Story of the International Rescue Committee, by Aaron Levenstein
by Stephen Miller
Refugee Relief Escape to Freedom: The Story of the International Rescue Committee. by Aaron Levenstein. Greenwood Press. 338 pp. $29.95. If communists took over the Sahara, the joke goes, there would soon be a shortage of sand.

Grand Delusions: The Cosmic Career of John DeLorean, by Hillel Levin; Dream Maker: The Rise and Fall of John Z. DeLorean, by Iva
by Don Sharp
The Fast Lane Grand Delusions: The Cosmic Career of John DeLorean. by Hillel Levin. Viking. 336 pp. $15.95. Dream Maker: The Rise and Fall of John Z.

Margaret Mead and Samoa, by Derek Freeman
by Todd Buchholz
Cultural Determinism Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth. by Derek Freeman. Harvard. 379 pp. $20.00. Derek Freeman's refutation of one of the heroes of American academia has incited responses from many angry social scientists.

Reader Letters January 1984
by Lucy Dawidowicz
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: For forty years, students of the Holocaust have sought the identity of the prominent German indus- trialist who, at the risk of his life, warned the West in mid-1942 of a plan discussed in Hitler's head- quarters to murder all the Jews of Europe.

February, 1984Back to Top
Musical New York
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As principal harpist and pension trustee of the New York Philharmonic, I read with great interest Samuel Lipman's article, “Musical New York in Crisis” [October 1983]; Mr.

Ingmar Bergman
by Our Readers
To the Editor: After having seen most of Ingmar Bergman's film oeuvre, I found myself nodding in agreement with many of Richard Grenier's observations in “Bergman Discovers Love” [September 1983].

The Sacred Executioner
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Alter, in his review of my book The Sacred Executioner [Books in Review, November 1983], criticizes my translation of the verb pagash in Exodus 4:24, but overlooks my note (p.

Government
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In James Nuechterlein's discussion of George Will [“George Will and American Conservatism,” October 1983] insufficient attention is paid to the distinction between “strong” government and “big” government.

Deterrence
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “On Nuclear Morality” [October 1983], Charles Krauthammer is so absorbed in looking for contradictions in the thought of those with whom he disagrees that he fails to notice that his own argument against the freeze is logically inconsistent. Mr.

Yellow Rain
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Without wishing to comment on the substance of Lucio Lami's article, “Yellow Rain: The Conspiracy of Closed Mouths” [October 1983], let me just inform you that the last two paragraphs concerning an officer of UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] are totally devoid of truth and invented either by Mrs.

Why an American Arms Build-up Is Morally Necessary
by Patrick Glynn
That the Reagan administration has so far won most of the policy battles in the nuclear debate seems remarkable in light of the fact that it has lost virtually all the moral ones.

Blaming Israel
by Ruth Wisse
After a period of intense political turmoil, Israel appears to be momentarily outside the eye of the storm. The recent official visit to Washington of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir confirmed an improvement in relations with the United States.

Siberian Holiday
by Fernanda Eberstadt
1. The Trans-Siberian Railroad As with so much else in the Soviet Union, you wondered why they were willing to show you this gangrenous hulk of a land mass: bog in summer, permafrost in permawinter, a waste that seems to have been formed solely for the discomfort of convicts, nomad herdsmen, and anchorites.

Breaking with the Communists—A Memoir
by Sidney Hook
W.H. Auden, who was one of the important figures in giving a revolutionary tone and orientation to the 1930's, characterized it, after it was over, as “a low, dishonest decade.” Probably his chief reason for doing so was the acute contradiction between the ideals and aspirations of its spokesmen and their hypocritical judgments on, and silence about, the domestic and foreign policy of the Soviet Union.

German Culture and the Jews
by Jacob Katz
“Jews have not assimilated into ‘the German people,’ but into a certain layer of it, the newly emerged middle class.” This sentence from my doctoral dissertation, written almost half a century ago, has been quoted by my fellow scholars from time to time, and others have come up with similar conclusions on the basis of their own observations.

Is Peronism Finished?
by Mark Falcoff
On December 10, 1983, Raúl Alfonsín of the Radical Civic Union (UCR) began a six-year term as President of the Argentine Republic.

The Democrats and Their Rules
by Penn Kemble
The actual selection of delegates to the Democratic party's presidential nominating convention is about to start: we are coming to the end of the beginning.

The Death Penalty: A Debate, by Ernest van den Haag and John P. Conrad
by Joseph Bishop,
On Capital Punishment The Death Penalty: A Debate. by Ernest Van Den Haag and John P. Conrad. Plenum Press. 305 pp. $16.95. If we must have another book on the rights and wrongs of the death penalty, we are unlikely to get one much better than this debate between Ernest van den Haag and John P.

The Intemperate Zone, by Richard E. Feinberg
by Scott McConnell
Neoisolationism The Intemperate Zone: The Third World Challenge to U.S. Foreign Policy. by Richard E. Feinberg. Norton. 257 pp. $17.50. Richard Feinberg is an economist.

The Brothers Singer, by Clive Sinclair
by Anita Grossman
Joshua and Bashevis The Brothers Singer. by Clive Sinclair. Allison & Busby/Schocken. 176 pp. $14.95. The publication of The Brothers Singer by Clive Sinclair, an English novelist and critic, brings some welcome attention to the work of Israel Joshua Singer, one of the greatest of Yiddish novelists and the man whom Isaac Bashevis Singer called “my older brother and master.” Both were born into the pious household of a hasidic Polish rabbi; as young men, both rebelled against a life of Orthodoxy; and both moved to Warsaw to become part of the Yiddish literary life there. The success of I.J.

The Railroaders, by Stuart Leuthner
by Roger Starr
Working The Railroaders. by Stuart Leuthner. Random House. 152 pp. $19.95. This is a book about thirty-two people who made railroads run, including two women—one a brake-man (brakeperson?), the other a crew caller—and two blacks, one a chef on the 20th Century Limited, the other a porter in Grand Central Station.

Channels of Power: The Impact of Television on American Politics, by Austin Ranney
by A. Chickering
The Media & The Message Channels of Power: The Impact of Television on American Politics. by Austin Ranney. Basic Books. 207 pp. $14.95. Since the major expansion of network news in the early 1960's, television has become a significant factor in American political life.

Reader Letters February 1984
by Robert Alter
To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Without wishing to comment on the substance of Lucio Lami's arti- cle, "Yellow Rain: The Conspiracy of Closed Mouths" [October 1983], let me just inform you that the last two paragraphs concerning an offi- cer of UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] are totally devoid of truth and in- vented either by Mrs.

March, 1984Back to Top
The Education Establishment
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The day after the December issue of COMMENTARY arrived, bearing Peter Skerry's review of The Troubled Crusade by Diane Ravitch, along came the December issue of the American School Board Journal, containing another review of the same volume. The comparison is instructive.

The Mysterious Messenger
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read with interest the letters of Monty N. Penkower and the other correspondents in the January letters section commenting on “Who Was the ‘Mysterious Messenger’?” by Richard Breitman and Alan M.

Economists
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Lester C. Thurow's Dangerous Currents [Books in Review, November 1983], A. Lawrence Chickering (presumably in reference to Thurow and himself) concludes: “Both liberals and conservatives are rightly disturbed by the commitment of professional economists to something called ‘rational individual utility maximization,’ an idea that seems to imply indifference to the content and substance of the good life (what has come to be known as the ‘quality of life’).” This caricature of the economics profession is perpetuated by those who dabble in economics but essentially demonstrate an ignorance (willful or otherwise) of its substance.

Culture Critics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I enjoyed Joseph Epstein's essay on culture critics [“It's Only Culture,” November 1983], but I would like to take exception to his explanation of the problem.

Famine in the Ukraine
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to congratulate Marco Carynnyk for his excellent article on the cover-up of the forced famine in the Ukraine (“The Famine the Times Couldn't Find,” COMMENTARY, November 1983). It might be worth noting, as a footnote to Mr.

The State of World Jewry
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz's “The State of World Jewry” [December 1983] is a militant but, I think, judicious assessment of the attitude of different sections of world Jewry to Israel.

The Democrats & the Kissinger Report
by Penn Kemble
If you measure by votes, congressional seats, and other old-fashioned standards of political success, one “lesson of Vietnam” is that the Democratic party's identification with the cause of U.S.

Liberating Women: Who Benefits?
by Midge Decter
It is a matter of no small wonder that amid all the urgent public and private conversation about the condition of women carried on throughout this nation for nearly two decades now there has been so little said on the subject of men.

No Hitler, No Holocaust
by Milton Himmelfarb
I For some years after the Bolshevik Revolution, young people in the Soviet Union could leave school thinking that Peter the Great was the name given to economic modernization and political centralization in late feudal Russia.

What We Now Know About China
by Nick Eberstadt
The late 1970's and early 1980's were, quite literally, a time of self-discovery in China. From the 1949 liberation onward, China's Communist leaders had striven to secure unchallengeable power to transform the society beneath them, but they had not shown the same steady interest in familiarizing themselves with the problems and needs of the populace whose lives they intended to transform.

The Decline and Fall of Literary Criticism
by Robert Alter
The decline of literary criticism, an intellectual activity not so long ago thought of as culturally significant in America and England, has often been noted.

Memories of the Moscow Trials
by Sidney Hook
More than any other series of events abroad, the Moscow Trials of 1936-37 were a turning point in the history of American liberalism.

Cynthia Ozick, Jewish Writer
by Joseph Epstein
On more than one occasion Edith Wharton was called “a Henry James in skirts,” a remark that chagrined, irritated, and finally infuriated her.

The Idea of Poverty, by Gertrude Himmelfarb
by Maurice Cranston
Discovering the Poor The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age. by Gertrude Himmelfarb. Knopf. 606 pp. $25.00. In the early 18th century, philosophers wrote about wealth—Adam Smith on The Wealth of Nations, for example, or Rousseau on Riches or Voltaire on Luxury.

Israel in the Mind of America, by Peter Grose
by Steven Spiegel
The Special Relationship Israel in the Mind of America. by Peter Grose. Knopf. 361 pp. $17.95. In Israel in the Mind of America, Peter Grose, director of Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, has written an entertaining and engaging account of America's fascination with the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land.

KGB Today, by John Barron
by Edward Epstein
Invisible Statecraft KGB Today: The Hidden Hand. by John Barron. Reader's Digest Press. 489 pp. $19.95. John Barron's KGB Today, which draws on a wealth of new data and is written with a conceptual clarity rarely found in books about espionage, is indispensable to an understanding of the recent activities of Soviet intelligence.

The Politics at God's Funeral, by Michael Harrington
by Werner Dannhauser
Faith Without Faith The Politics at God's Funeral: The Spiritual Crisis of Western Civilization. by Michael Harrington. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

The Coercive Utopians, by Rael Jean Isaac and Erich Isaac
by Robert Nisbet
Paradise Now The Coercive Utopians: Social Deception by America's Power Players. by Rael Jean Isaac and Erich Isaac. Regnery. 325 pp. $19.95. Who are the coercive utopians? According to Rael Jean and Erich Isaac in this valuable book, they are the people in present-day America who hold the view that man is by nature both innocent and perfectible; that man's innate decency is tormented by the forces of industry, technology, and the needs of national defense; and that therefore extraordinary, even coercive, tactics are required for his redemption. As prime examples of the coercive utopians, the Isaacs adduce the following: those elements in the hierarchy of the World and National Council of Churches who, against the views of the vast majority of members of these churches, do not hesitate to make financial and other donations to “the Palestine Liberation Organization, the governments of Cuba and Vietnam, the pro-Soviet totalitarian movements in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and several violence-prone fringe groups in this country”; those environmentalists whose belief in the myth of a once immaculate continent leads them to assail the industrial and technological systems which over the past two centuries have made the American standard of living, and also of international generosity, one of the wonders of history; those “counterfeit peacemakers” who, indifferent to the threat posed by the Soviet Union, press upon the United States a nuclear freeze, one that could not but greatly erode the pattern of deterrence that has thus far protected the world from nuclear catastrophe; those members and camp followers of left-wing groups that posit honor and decency and incorruptibility in the Marxist sectors of the Third World, but hardly ever in the United States; finally, those who, shrinking from overtly revolutionary careers, enter schools of journalism, law, and theology to pursue through these professions the weakening of bourgeois democracy. The Coercive utopians is a compact and readable account of the influence exerted upon major institutions in America by this entire array of left-leaning bureaucrats, lawyers, theologians, journalists, professors, and the like.

Reader Letters March 1984
by Norman Podhoretz
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Norman Podhoretz's "The State of World Jewry" [December 1983] is a militant but, I think, judicious assessment of the attitude of differ- ent sections of world Jewry to Is- rael.

April, 1984Back to Top
To Our Readers
by Our Readers
To our Readers In our October 1983 issue we published a translation of an article by Lucio Lami (which originally appeared in the Italian newspaper il Giornale) that described a meeting between Mark Brown, then a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Mrs.

Ezra Pound
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Readers of Kenneth S. Lynn's interesting review of E. Fuller Torrey's book about Ezra Pound, The Roots of Treason [Books in Review, January], might be interested to know that Pound's wartime broadcasts from Italy, for which he was charged with treason after the war, are available at the relatively new Museum of Broadcasting located in New York City. The first time I visited the museum, I stumbled across Pound's diatribes in the catalogue and listened to them with no small degree of astonishment.

Publishing
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The rumor, suspected by writer Claudia Bemel in Jeffrey Miller's story, “Writer at Work” [November 1983], that “someone had typed out one of Jerzy Kosinski's books, verbatim, .

Phillip Roth
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In a telling passage in Philip Roth's The Anatomy Lesson, a critic quotes in a letter a scatological reference to “Jewish suffering” found in one of the author-protagonist's novels.

Pierre Monteux
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his delightful tribute to Pierre Monteux, “A Conductor in History” [January], Samuel Lipman refers to the “fabled Monteux wit.” I can second his observation, from personal experience. During the 1940's I attended a Monteux rehearsal of the New York Philharmonic at which von Weber's Jubilee Overture was being prepared.

Henry M. Jackson
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I feel that in Michael Novak's article, “In Memoriam: Henry M. Jackson” [January], too little mention was made of Senator Jackson's great support of Jewish causes, particularly in regard to Israel.

Stanford
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I could not believe my eyes when I read, in Tom Bethell's fine article, “Liberalism, Stanford-Style” [January], John Manley's fatuous argument that the presence and autonomy of the Hoover Institution on the Stanford campus undermine the “idea” of a university, which he describes as “nonpartisanship, objectivity, and a rejection of overt and covert political participation.” Those of us who were at Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement indelibly remember that the central issue in that affair was precisely the right of members of the university “community” (loosely defined) to use campus facilities for overtly political activities—to organize, to recruit, to propagandize, to raise funds, and to plot off-campus actions.

Buckley and Gratitude
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz [Books in Review, November 1983] says that the hostility William F. Buckley, Jr.'s Overdrive has encountered is based less on political antagonism than on the offensiveness, in critics' eyes, of such an unabashed celebration of life.

Charles Sanders Pierce
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I write to congratulate Josiah Lee Auspitz on a job well done [“The Greatest Living American Philosopher,” December 1983].

American “Europeans”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The close observer of U.S.-European relations will not be surprised by Owen Harries's “European ‘Sophistication’ vs. American ‘Naiveté’” [December 1983].

Preventing Crime
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his generally favorable article [“Thinking About Crime Again,” December 1983] on the new edition of my book, Thinking About Crime, Ernest van den Haag renews our longstanding quarrel about the relative merits of deterrence and incapacitation as crime-reduction strategies.

Jesse Jackson; the Blacks & American Foreign Policy
by Arch Puddington
Since the time of Vietnam, when Martin Luther King, Jr. lent his considerable moral prestige to the antiwar cause, the participation of prominent blacks in the debate over American foreign policy has been a source of intermittent and sometimes heated controversy.

Marxism vs. the Jews
by Paul Johnson
Why is anti-Semitism, at least in its new “respectable” form of anti-Zionism, now found predominantly on the Left of the political spectrum? Why in particular is this new form increasingly common among intellectuals? If we begin by tackling the second question first, we find a curious paradox.

Vietnam: The Revised Standard Version
by Norman Podhoretz
When a few years ago I undertook to write a book called Why We Were in Vietnam, I was a little startled to discover that there was hardly anyone around who still wanted to talk about Vietnam.

In Defense of Public Diplomacy
by Carnes Lord
I If opinion was ever mistress of the world, it would seem to be singularly so in the contemporary world. The global proliferation of modern means of communication has given masses of ordinary people an unprecedented access to information and ideas, while the spread of literacy and of education at all levels has profoundly altered social and political relationships both in advanced and in underdeveloped countries.

The Phenomenal Life of Sir Moses Montefiore
by Chaim Raphael
Anyone famous who lives to be a hundred acquires an extra bonus of esteem; and this was the experience of the most famous Jew of the 19th century, the English philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore, whose double centenary is being celebrated this year.

Sex and Euphemism
by Joseph Epstein
In the beginning was the Word. There followed, at an undetermined but (one assumes) decent interval, private, harsh, and dirty words.

The World's Favorite Movie Star
by Richard Grenier
It starts with a vulgar case of armed robbery. Three thugs break into a lunch counter, where, to their misfortune, Dirty Harry Callahan is in the habit of taking his absent-minded snacks.

In the Land of Israel, by Amos Oz
by Ruth Wisse
Matters of Life & Death In the Land of Israel. by Amos Oz. Translated by Maurie Gold-Berg-Bartura. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 257 pp. $12.95. The history of the state of Israel is (unfortunately) so dramatic that the great issues always threaten to obscure the subtleties of daily and individual life.

The Alliance, by Richard J. Barnet
by Steven Munson
Revisionism Up-to-Date The Alliance. by Richard J. Barnet. Simon & Schuster. 511 pp. $19.95. Richard J. Barnet is a founder and corrector of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.; a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the New Yorker; and the author of nine books, including The Economy of Death (about the “militarization” of America), The Roots of War (illuminatingly subtitled “The Men and Institutions Behind U.S.

Tracking the Marvelous, by John Bernard Myers
by Jean Frumkin
Artists and Dealers Tracking the Marvelous: A Life in the New York Art World. by John Bernard Myers. Random House. 285 pp. $17.95. It is only now, after almost forty years, that we are beginning to look with fresh eyes at that period in American cultural life when the Parisian Surrealists, practically en masse—Matta, Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró, André Breton—were in New York.

America's Hidden Success, by John E. Schwarz
by Nelson Polsby
How are we Doing? America's Hidden Success: A Reassessment of Twenty Years of Public Policy. by John E. Schwarz. Norton. 208 pp. $12.95. On A day-to-day basis, bad news is what makes the headlines.

The Plot to Kill the Pope, by Paul Henze; The Time of the Assassins, by Claire Sterling
by Roger Kaplan
“Wet Affairs”   The Plot to Kill the Pope. by Paul Henze. Scribners. 216 pp. $14.95. The Time of the Assassins: Anatomy of an Investigation. by Claire Sterling. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Reader Letters April 1984
by Ernest den
To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In his generally favorable article ["Thinking About Crime Again," December 1983] on the new edition of my book, Thinking A bout Crime, Ernest van den Haag renews our longstanding quarrel about the rel- ative merits of deterrence and incapacitation as crime-reduction strategies.

May, 1984Back to Top
Plaudits
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As an avid reader I must tell you that I am not averse to long controversial letters. In fact, having much Irish blood on both sides, I indeed relish the fine art of argumentation.

World Jewry
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As Norman Podhoretz suggests in “The State of World Jewry” [December 1983], world Jewry may have survived the test for now by supporting Israel in its war against the Palestinians in Lebanon.

Capital Punishment
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I did not expect—in Joseph W. Bishop, Jr.'s review of our book, The Death Penalty—to find a sympathetic response to my side of the debate with Ernest van den Haag [Books in Review, February].

Israel and the Arabs
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Ruth R. Wisse [“Blaming Israel,” February] is on target in noting that the nature of the Arab-Israel conflict has been turned on its head, but I would suggest that Mrs.

The Democrats
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As one who belongs to the “27 percent of the Democrats . . . who describe themselves as conservatives,” I would like to comment on Penn Kemble's interesting article, “The Democrats and Their Rules” [February].

Jewish Writers
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “She considers herself, she wishes to be known as, she is, a Jewish writer,” Joseph Epstein comments, meaning to define my “point of view” [“Cynthia Ozick, Jewish Writer,” March].

The Book of Job
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The book of Job, which Carlyle without hyperbole described as “the grandest book ever written with pen,” will never cease to disclose new insights to sensitive and sympathetic readers.

Arms and Anxiety
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It was interesting to read “Why an American Arms Build-up Is Morally Necessary” by Patrick Glynn [February] the same week that the article entitled “Danger in Moscow” by Seweryn Bialer appeared in the New York Review of Books.

The Lesson of Lebanon
by Michael Ledeen
Less than two years ago the PLO's military base in Lebanon was smashed by the Israeli armed forces, and dozens of terrorist organizations that had used the country as their training and operational center were dispersed around the globe.

Best-Case Thinking
by Owen Harries
Although the phrase “worst-case thinking” is now an established term of art among international-affairs analysts and commentators, it is generally in bad odor.

Cravat Jews and Caftan Jews
by Theodore Hamerow
Half a century after the founding of the Third Reich, the role of the Jewish community in the history of Germany is receiving more scholarly attention than ever before.

Homage to Raymond Aron
by Scott McConnell
Raymond Aron, who died in Paris last October at the age of seventy-eight, was one of the great intellectuals of Europe's liberal tradition, and France's most lucid political writer in this century.

East Europeanists Need Not Apply
by Mark Pinson
For some time now, we have been hearing about a crisis in the field of Soviet and East European studies in the U.S.

Politicizing Science
by Jeffrey Marsh
In an age in which intellectual fashions seem to shift more frequently than the seasons, it is remarkable for a mass-circulation magazine to flourish continually, with virtually no change in its format or style, for over thirty-five years.

Bartok at the Piano
by Samuel Lipman
Composers of serious music in the 20th century have often complained about the mixture of incompetence and self-regard with which performers have allegedly played their works.

Mayor, by Edward I. Koch
by Norman Podhoretz
The Power of Ideas Mayor. by Edward I. Koch. Simon & Schuster. 364 pp. $17.95. Edward I. Koch is certainly one of the most popular mayors New York City has ever had.

Horace's Compromise, by Theodore Sizer
by Chester Finn,
Teaching and Learning Horace's Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School. by Theodore Sizer. Houghton-Mifflin. 320 pp. $16.95. Besieged and benumbed as we already are by proliferating studies of American education, we might fairly wonder what could possibly justify another one.

Civil Religion in Israel, by Charles S. Liebman and Eliezer Don-Yehia
by David Vital
The Rites of Zion Civil Religion in Israel. by Charles S. Liebman and Eliezer Don-Yehia. University of California Press. 308 pp. $24.95. There is something to be said for George Eliot's dictum that “the happiest nations have no history.” One way or another, the Jews are a people encumbered by their past: the past as history, the past as tradition.

In the Shadow of FDR, by William Leuchtenburg
by John Chalberg
New Deal Memories In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. by William Leuchtenburg. Cornell University Press. 364 pp. $19.95. Buried in the preface of this book is the author's version of a modern American success story.

Religion in the Secular City, by Harvey Cox
by Mary Tedeschi
Entering the Kingdom Religion in the Secular City: Toward a Post-Modern Theology. by Harvey Cox. Simon & Schuster. 304 pp. $16.95. It is nearly twenty years since Harvey Cox, a professor at the Harvard Divinity School, became a sensation among liberal theologians with the publication of The Secular City.

Reader Letters May 1984
by Sidney Hook
Arms & Anxiety TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: It was interesting to read "Why an American Arms Build-up Is Morally Necessary" by Patrick Glynn [February] the same week that the article entitled "Danger in Moscow" by Seweryn Bialer ap- peared in the New York Review of Books....

June, 1984Back to Top
German Jewry
by Our Readers
To the Editor: How assimilated were the German Jews? Opinions on the subject have varied widely, both among Jews and Gentiles, creating a strange set of alliances in their respective interpretations.

“Star Wars”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Congratulations and thanks to Robert Jastrow for “Reagan vs. the Scientists: Why the President Is Right about Missile Defense” [January].

Can the Democracies Survive?
by Jean-François Revel
Democracy may, after all, turn out to have been a historical accident, a brief parenthesis that is closing before our eyes.If so, in its modern sense of a form of society reconciling governmental efficiency with legitimacy, authority with individual freedoms, democracy will have lasted a little over two centuries, to judge by the speed at which the forces bent on its destruction are growing.

The Media and the Middle East
by Daniel Pipes
The task of the historian is often not to ascertain what the press says, but to go behind the face of the returns and to determine why it says what it says, when it says it, and what is the effect of what it has said. —Lucy Maynard Salmon, The Newspaper and the Historian (1923) American press coverage of the 1982 war in Lebanon rightly provoked a storm of criticism.

“Julia” & Other Fictions by Lillian Hellman
by Samuel McCracken
In February 1980, Lillian Hellman brought a libel action against Mary McCarthy. Miss McCarthy, appearing on the Dick Cavett Show, had called Miss Hellman a bad and dishonest writer, and had then repeated on television a judgment she had made earlier in an interview: “Every word she writes is a lie including ‘and’ and ‘the’.” Whether this statement constitutes a libel is properly a concern for the courts.

The Decline and Fall of Islamic Jewry
by Bernard Lewis
Western travelers, almost unanimously, confirm the impression that the period from the end of the 18th into the second half of the 19th century was the lowest point in the existence of the Jews in the Muslim lands.

In Coventry—A Memoir
by Dan Jacobson
It was “Kudu” Kent, the master in charge of Standard Five, who set the pack on me. It was one of his specialties.

Deficit Thinking
by Melville Ulmer
What is the significance of the currently bulging federal deficit, and what should be done about it? Needless to say, in a presidential election year, questions like these take on a partisan tinge.

The Sunshine Girls
by Joseph Epstein
I do not have the attention span to sustain a lengthy depression, but I have of late been reading two novelists who do: Renata Adler and Joan Didion.

The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud, by Peter Gay
by Paul Johnson
Sex and Society The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud. Volume I: Education of the Senses. by Peter Gay. Oxford University Press. 534 pp.

The March of Folly, by Barbara W. Tuchman
by David Gress
From Troy to Saigon The March of Folly. by Barbara W. Tuchman. Knopf. 448 pp. $18.95. At first glance, a remarkable idea: to examine cases in world history in which rulers, to preserve their power or principles as they saw them, persisted in policies which damaged or destroyed that power.

The Jews of East Central Europe Between the World Wars, by Ezra Mendelsohn; From a Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish J
by Maurice Friedberg
Vanished Worlds The Jews of East Central Europe Between the World Wars. by Ezra Mendelsohn. Indiana. 300 pp. $27.50. From a Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish Jewry. by Jack Kugelmass and Jonathan Boyarin. Schocken.

Why Are They Lying to Our Children?, by Herbert I. London
by Peter Shaw
The Catastrophists Why Are They Lying to Our Children? by Herbert I. London. Foreword by Herman Kahn. Stein & Day. 197 pp. $15.95. The dogmas of the 1960's counterculture have not stood up well either to logic or to experience.

The Heyday of American Communism, by Harvey Klehr
by Eric Breindel
Popular & Other Fronts The Heyday of American Communism. by Harvey Klehr. Basic Books. 528 pp. $26.50. This outstanding study of the American Communist movement during the Depression era fills an important gap.

Reader Letters June 1984
by Franz Oppenheimer
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Congratulations and thanks to Robert Jastrow for "Reagan vs. the Scientists: Why the President Is Right about Missile Defense" [Jan- uary].

July, 1984Back to Top
Capital Punishment, Cont'd
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joseph W. Bishop, Jr. manages to cram a sufficient number of factual errors into his review of the Ernest van den Haag-John P.

The Art World
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . In her review of John Bernard Myers's Tracking the Marvelous [Books in Review, April], Jean Frumkin, though admitting that Myers went everywhere and knew everyone in the New York art world, feels compelled to cast doubt on everything he says by stressing that he is “dependable if you have corroboration,” otherwise not.

Clint Eastwood
by Our Readers
To the Editor: How nice that Richard Grenier [“The World's Favorite Movie Star,” April] has discovered Clint Eastwood twenty years after the rest of America (outside of New York).

Strategy for Survival
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Patrick Glynn's excellent explanation of the moral necessity for American strategic rearmament will, I hope, be read with care by the Reagan defense policy-makers [“Why an American Arms Buildup Is Morally Necessary,” February].

Blaming Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I applaud Ruth R. Wisse's analysis of anti-Israel propaganda in “Blaming Israel” [February], but I offer two simpler explanations for the phenomena she describes. First, the rising levels of shrillness and distortion inherent in recent attacks on Israel, and the extent of their penetration into the respectable, establishment press, correlate roughly but unmistakably with the politics of Israel's ruling parties.

Literature & Theory
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . While I agree with several things Robert Alter says in “The Decline and Fall of Literary Criticism” [March]—and I confess I do like his reading of the Yeats quatrain—there is a paradoxical quality to his thought processes that is annoying.

Men and Women
by Our Readers
To the Editor: After reading Midge Decter's article, “Liberating Women: Who Benefits?” [March], I found myself wondering whether men would choose to respond to her picture of them, so much more damning than that of the feminists, with “bowed heads and bitten tongues.” Alas, I think Miss Decter has it right.

The Holocaust
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Contrary to what Milton Himmelfarb implies in “No Hitler, No Holocaust” [March], I do not believe in determinism in history.

Education in Defense of a Free Society
by Sidney Hook
As we approach the bicentenary of the American Constitution, it seems to me fitting and fruitful to explore two related themes in the intellectual legacy of Thomas Jef- ferson, the first philosopher-statesman of the fledgling American republic to call himself a democrat.

The Political Dilemma of American Jews
by Irving Kristol
Jews have a long history, and with that long history goes a long memory. So it is entirely to be expected that the political loyalties and habits of mind of a Jewish community should change very slowly—so slowly, sometimes, that an odd divergence can occur between Jewish thinking and the developing social, political, and economic realities.

Alma Redeemed A Story
by Bernard Malamud
Gustav Mahler's ghost. Bruno Walter had seen it as Mahler conducted one of his last concerts. It waxed in music as the conductor waned.

The Networks vs. the Recovery
by Paul Weaver
In the summer of 1981, some six months after Ronald Reagan took office, the U.S. economy stopped growing and began to contract.

Underdevelopment Revisited
by Peter Berger
The poverty in which large numbers of human beings live has been a stubborn and morally troubling reality for a long time.

European Diary
by Walter Laqueur
Liverpool, London, and Points South After a considerable delay American commentators, official and unofficial, have finally discovered the decline and fall of Europe.

Call of the Wild
by John Sisk
The late Henry Arthur FitzRoy Somerset, tenth Duke of Beaufort, must have given little comfort to English animal lovers. When his death at eighty-three was announced early this year it was revealed that the Duke had by his own estimation spent four thousand days in the saddle pursuing foxes, few of which, one must assume, evaded the pursuit.

Caveat, by Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
by Norman Podhoretz
Mistaken Identity Caveat: Realism, Reagan, and Foreign Policy. by Alexander M. Haig, Jr. Macmillan. 367 pp. $17.95. Reading Alexander M. Haig, Jr.'s Caveat is a painful experience.

From Time Immemorial, by Joan Peters
by Daniel Pipes
Refugees? From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine. by Joan Peters. Harper & Row. 601 pp. $24.95. Joan Peters began this book planning to write about the Arabs who fled Palestine in 1948-49, when armies of the Arab states attempted to destroy the fledgling state of Israel.

How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art, by Serge Guilbaut
by Lionel Abel
Paint & Politics How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War. by Serge Guilbaut. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer.

Winston S. Churchill: Finest Hour, 1939-1941, by Martin Gilbert
by Spencer Warren
In the Ranks of Honor Winston S. Churchill: Finest Hour, 1939—1941. by Martin Gilbert. Houghton-Mifflin. 1,274 pp. $40.00. On November 30, 1934, Winston Churchill celebrated his sixtieth birthday.

An American Procession, by Alfred Kazin
by Kenneth Lynn
Getting Things Wrong An American Procession. by Alfred Kazin. Knopf. 408 pp. $18.95. The major key to his native city, said Henry James, was the monstrous labyrinth stretching from Canal Street to the Battery, the “down-town” world of business and finance, but as he acknowledged in the preface to the New York Edition of Daisy Miller, Pandora, The Patagonia, and Other Tales, the task of exploring lower Manhattan literarily was one for which he was in the last degree unprepared and uneducated.

Reader Letters July 1984
by Milton Himmelfarb
To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Contrary to what Milton Him- melfarb implies in "No Hitler, No Holocaust" [March], I do not be- lieve in determinism in history.

August, 1984Back to Top
Monteux
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It's about time someone wrote about Pierre Monteux, and to have it done with the style, elegance, warmth, affection, and perception which Samuel Lipman brought to the subject made his article, “A Conductor in History” [January], at least doubly enjoyable.

East Europeanists
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The experiences of Mark Pinson [“East Europeanists Need Not Apply,” May] are familiar to those of us who recently entered the federal job market after extensive studies in distinguished graduate programs designed to fill the so-called “national need for East European specialists.” A year ago, I was a junior fellow in the Averell Harriman Institute for the Advanced Study of the USSR while completing my M.A.

The Moscow Trials
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Sidney Hook, in his “Memories of the Moscow Trials” [March], rebuts Walter Duranty's conclusion that Trotsky was guilty as charged on the grounds that Duranty's “type of thinking would lead to the conclusion that Lenin was in the pay of the German Imperial Army to overthrow the regime of Kerensky.” I was under the impression that material from the German Foreign Office definitely establishes that Lenin's party was indeed “in the pay of the German Imperial Army to overthrow the regime of Kerensky” (see G.

Islamic Jewry
by Our Readers
To the Editor: This is just a brief “fan letter” on Bernard Lewis's fine article, “The Decline and Fall of Islamic Jewry” [June].

Euphemism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joseph Epstein certainly entertains us, and nicely reveals himself, with his engaging and old-fashioned views about sexuality [“Sex and Euphemism,” April].

Vietnam
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read Arch Puddington's article, “Jesse Jackson, the Blacks & American Foreign Policy” [April], with disappointment. Mr. Puddington's approach is simply to compare, disapprovingly, the foreign-policy attitudes of a number of black leaders and organizations with conventional American foreign-policy attitudes.

Jesse Jackson
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read Arch Puddington's article, “Jesse Jackson, the Blacks & American Foreign Policy” [April], with disappointment. Mr. Puddington's approach is simply to compare, disapprovingly, the foreign-policy attitudes of a number of black leaders and organizations with conventional American foreign-policy attitudes.

How to Cope With the Soviet Threat A Long-Term Strategy for the West
by Richard Pipes
To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill .

Westmoreland vs. CBS
by Donald Shaw
The months of charges, counter-charges, investigations, and denials following the airing by CBS-TV of The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception on January 23, 1982, took a step toward resolution when retired General William C.

Christianity's Break With Judaism
by Hyam Maccoby
Which is the true continuation of the ancient Israelite religion—the Christian church, or the Jewish synagogue? To simple believers on each side, the answer has always seemed obvious, and the opposite answer absurd.

Neoconservatism & Irving Kristol
by James Nuechterlein
Neoconservatism is a movement that, as far as most of its adherents are concerned, would rather not speak its name.

The Jewish Way of Crime
by Jonathan Sarna
The seamier side of modern Jewish life has in recent years become the subject of considerable scholarly interest. We now know more than we ever did before about the Jewish underworld in Germany dating back to the 17th century; the role played by Jewish convicts in the genesis of Australian Jewry; the Jewish criminal element in 18th- and 19th-century England; the activities of Jewish gangsters in America; and Jewish involvement in prostitution ranging over five continents.

What Really Happened on the “Bounty”
by Richard Grenier
They stand within a few feet of each other on the quarterdeck of HMS Bounty. Fletcher Christian, the second in command, on the verge of hysteria, has in a wild, impulsive action “taken the ship,” mutinied, a crime for which the Royal Articles of War allow only one punishment: hanging.

The Other Side of the Story, by Jody Powell
by Joshua Muravchik
Good Press, Bad Press The Other Side of the Story. by Jody Powell. Morrow. 322 pp. $15.95. Jody Powell's four years as White House press secretary left him “upset,” even “angry” at the press corps, and he has written a book to explain why.

In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power, by Daniel Pipes
by Elie Kedourie
Muslims & Modernity In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power. by Daniel Pipes. Basic Books. 373 pp. $22.50. Daniel Pipes's book is divided into three parts.

The Life and Times of Cotton Mather, by Kenneth Silverman
by Fernanda Eberstad
At the Lord's Table The Life and Times of Cotton Mather. by Kenneth Silverman. Harper & Row. 479 pp. $29.95. Any biographer of Cotton Mather is faced with a lot of wrongs to redress.

The New Diplomacy, by Abba Eban
by Martin Sieff
Primer for Diplomats The New Diplomacy. by Abba Eban. Random House. 427 pp. $19.95. Any work on diplomacy by a man who was his country's UN representative and Foreign Minister for successive decades deserves serious consideration.

Sex and Destiny, by Germaine Greer
by Carol Iannone
Feminism Ad Absurdum Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility. by Germaine Greer. Harper & Row. 541 pp. $19.95. Anyone reading this book might find it hard to believe that its author also wrote one of contemporary feminism's pioneering texts.

Reader Letters August 1984
by Sidney Hook
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I read Arch Puddington's article, "Jesse Jackson, the Blacks 8e Ameri- can Foreign Policy" [April], with disappointment. Mr. Puddington's approach is simply to compare, dis- approvingly, the foreign-policy at- titudes of a number of black lead- ers and organizations with conven- tional American foreign-policy atti- tudes.

September, 1984Back to Top
“Scientific American”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I was glad to discover from Jeffrey Marsh's “Politicizing Science” [May] that I was not alone in detecting the steady march toward political-adversary status of Scientific American.

Marx and Anti-Semitism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Paul Johnson's article, “Marxism vs. the Jews” [April], offers an excellent analysis of the fateful ambivalence of Marxism toward the Jewish question or, rather, the question of Jewishness and anti-Semitism.

Cravat and Caftan
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read Theodore S. Hamerow's “Cravat Jews and Caftan Jews” [May] with great interest. In researching the case of Jewish assimilation in Poland for my book on Polish Jewry between the wars, I became aware that the assimilationist Jews in Poland modeled themselves consciously on the assimilated Jews of Germany.

Lillian Hellman
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Thank you for Samuel McCracken's “‘Julia’ & Other Fictions by Lillian Hellman” [June]. The late Miss Hellman's mendacity is, as Mr.

Best-Case Thinking
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his brilliant article, “Best-Case Thinking” [May], Owen Harries traces the “deeper roots” of such thinking to the universalistic liberal tradition that denies “the reality of conflict in the name of a fundamental harmony of interest.

Lebanon
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is possible to compliment Michael Ledeen [“The Lesson of Lebanon,” May] for a thoughtful analysis of the Reagan administration's actions in Lebanon and to agree with many of his conclusions but still part company with him on what appears to be his major premise: that our retreat from forward positions in Lebanon “was not an isolated case but part of a systematic pattern of reluctance in both the executive and legislative branches to use military power in support of our diplomatic objectives.” Mr.

Comparable Worth: The Feminist Road to Socialism
by Michael Levin
In December 1983, Federal Judge Jack Tanner accorded the fullest legal recognition it has so far received to the novel economic doctrine of “comparable worth.” This doctrine holds that women in the work force are paid less than they are really “worth” in terms of the “value” of what they do.

Beirut & the Great Media Cover-Up
by Ze'ev Chafets
On April 23, 1981, hundreds of Syria's elite special forces gathered in designated meeting places near the northern city of Hama.

How to Understand Central America
by Mark Falcoff
It is now more than three years since Central America became the United States' most dramatic and divisive foreign-policy issue since the Vietnam war.

Philosophy & the Disappearing Self
by William Barrett
The 19th is still a century we are struggling to extricate ourselves from. It has thus something of the ambiguity of a parental image for us, and our grasp of it, in consequence, is still somewhat uncertain and confused.

Weekends in New York—A Memoir
by Henry Roth
April 1939, Saturday night I walked east to Central Park West, and there, across from the park, turned south. It was now 8:30 P.M.

A Primer for Polemicists
by Owen Harries
Irving Kristol has written that in an ideological age such as ours, the key political question is: who owns the future? Owns, that is, in the sense of determining the spirit of the age, the prevailing notions concerning what is possible, inevitable, desirable, permissible, and unspeakable.

From Eton to Havana
by Richard Grenier
Has Great Britain sent us a film of social and political significance? So it would seem from the reaction of a large portion of the American press to Another Country.

Reality and Rhetoric, by P.T. Bauer
by Michael Novak
Up from Underdevelopment Reality and Rhetoric: Studies in the Economics of Development. by P.T. Bauer. Harvard University Press. 184 pp. $15.00. Throughout the 1930's the intellectual sky was gray with books predicting the doom of capitalism; then, after World War II, came the wholly unexpected “economic miracles” of Western Europe and Japan.

The Transfer Agreement, by Edwin Black
by Richard Levy
Dealing with the Devil The Transfer Agreement: The Untold Story of the Secret Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine. by Edwin Black. Macmillan.

First Lady from Plains, by Rosalynn Carter
by Diana West
Partner First Lady from Plains. by Rosalynn Carter. Houghton Mifflin. 370 pp. $17.95. The Carter White House seems to have spawned more memoirs more quickly than any other, a phenomenon that may owe something to the advent of the word processor.

Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony, by Lewis Thomas
by Ronald Bailey
Politics of the Cell Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony. by Lewis Thomas. Viking. 168 pp. $12.95. As a rule, scientists who share the dominant predilections of the literary establishment are lionized regardless of their competence to comment intelligently upon social and political problems.

The Exile: A Life of Ivy Litvinov, by John Carswell
by Anita Grossman
The Commissar's Wife The Exile: A Life of Ivy Litvinov. by John Carswell. Faber & Faber. 216 pp. $19.95. Ivy Low Litvinov (1889-1977) has long deserved to be the subject of a book, as much for her life as for her writing.

The Democratic Muse, by Edward C. Banfield; Culture and Politics, by Ronald Berman; Excellence & Equity: The National Endowment
by Chester Finn,
Endowing Culture The Democratic Muse. by Edward C. Banfield. Basic Books. 244 pp. $15.95. Culture and Politics. by Ronald Berman. University Press of America. 172 pp.

Reader Letters September 1984
by Ernest den
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: It is possible to compliment Mi- chael Ledeen ["The Lesson of Leb- anon," May] for a thoughtful an- alysis of the Reagan administra- tion's actions in Lebanon and to agree with many of his conclusions but still part company with him on what appears to be his major premise: that our retreat from for- ward positions in Lebanon "was not an isolated case but part of a systematic pattern of reluctance in both the executive and legislative branches to use military power in support of our diplomatic objec- tives." Mr.

October, 1984Back to Top
Bartók
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Samuel Lipman's “Bartók at the Piano” [May] is most perceptive and convincing. One of his observations, however, is based on a mistaken premise and cannot properly be used to support his somewhat negative opinion of Bartók as a pianist.

Jews in Muslim Lands
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Bernard Lewis has written a very important and informative article, “The Decline and Fall of Islamic Jewry” [June], which does away .

Adlai vs. Ike
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In the July COMMENTARY Lionel Abel, in an excellent review of a book about the abstract expressionist painters [“How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art,” by Serge Guilbaut], drags in my name so as to contrast the political views of the painters with mine.

The Deficit
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . As Melville J. Ulmer details in his pithy article, “Deficit Thinking” [June], our government has been unable to resist the temptation of going into debt so that it can spend beyond its means.

Jewish Voters & the “Politics of Compassion”
by Irving Kristol
To the Editor: Irving Kristol [“The Political Dilemma of American Jews,” July] has summarized usefully a number of changes in the political complexion of this country, with particular reference to the traditional attitudes and roles played by Jews.

Democracy's Future
by Eugene Rostow
To the Editor: Jean-François Revel's article, “Can the Democracies Survive?” [June], is a brilliant and eloquent manifesto, of the greatest importance.

Has the Burger Court Gone Too Far?
by Walter Berns
Only yesterday, it seems, federal judges were being admired for refusing to confine themselves to the modest but appropriate role of interpreters of statutory or constitutional texts.

An Open Letter to Milan Kundera
by Norman Podhoretz
Dear Milan Kundera: About four years ago, a copy of the bound galleys of your novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, came into my office for review.

Why the Schools May Not Improve
by Joseph Adelson
The report of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, A Nation at Risk, has become so familiar since it was issued in 1983 that it is hard to remember how surprised we were when it appeared.

How to Rescue International Law
by Gidon Gottlieb
Recent events in Grenada and Nicaragua have reinforced a growing belief that the United States is losing faith in the system of collective security, international organizations, and treaties established after World War II; that it has abandoned the concept that international relations can and should be governed by a regime of international law.

Of Arms, Men & Monuments
by Tod Lindberg
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. was controversial from the moment it was put forward as an idea; the controversy increased when the sponsors unveiled the design, and abated slightly only when the completed memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day 1982.

Naming Day in Berkeley
by Louis Rapoport
Doreen1 was back in Berkeley now, remarried, another family. It had been ten years since I had seen her, fifteen since we had both lived in that renowned town. I called to say hello, and she invited me and Molly to come to some kind of ceremony for her newborn son.

“The Bostonians” Inside Out
by Richard Grenier
The whole generation is womanized; the masculine tone is passing out of the world; it's a feminine, a nervous, hysterical, chattering, canting age, an age of hollow phrases and false delicacy and exaggerated solicitudes and coddled sensibilities, which, if we don't soon look out, will usher in the reign of mediocrity, of the feeblest and flattest and the most pretentious that has ever been. Thus Basil Ransom, one of the three major protagonists—and certainly the conqueror—of Henry James's The Bostonians, which has just reached the screen in one of the most singularly perverse adaptations of a classic I have ever encountered. Ransom is a cousin of Olive Chancellor, the second of the novel's dominant triad and its most sharply delineated figure, and he has been invited to visit her on Charles Street in her native Boston.

The Kennedys, by Peter Collier and David Horowitz
by Paul Johnson
“Royal” Family The Kennedys: An American Drama. by Peter Collier and David Horowitz. Summit Books. 576 pp. $20.95. The United States, a republic, covers itself in shame when it is false to its republicanism.

Ethnic Dilemmas 1964-1982, by Nathan Glazer
by Charles Krauthammer
Rights in America Ethnic Dilemmas 1964-1982. by Nathan Glazer. Harvard University Press. 359 pp. $20.00. It is hard to imagine that a book of three hundred pages on affirmative action and associated subjects, pages written over eighteen years of fierce and emotional debate on the issue, could be a model of clarity, measured reasoning, and, to use a word of unnatural political appeal nowadays, fairness.

Exile: The Unquiet Oblivion of Richard Nixon, by Robert Sam Anson
by Steven Munson
The Comeback Trail Exile: The Unquiet Oblivion of Richard Nixon. by Robert Sam Anson. Simon & Schuster. 360 pp. $17.95. Exile is an account of Richard Nixon's life from his resignation of the Presidency on August 9, 1974 through his seventieth birthday on January 9, 1983.

Jewish Life in Philadelphia 1840-1940, edited by Murray Friedman
by Jonathan Sarna
Alternative to New York Jewish Life in Philadelphia 1830-1940. by Murray Friedman. ISHI Publications. 353 pp. $19.95. American Jewish communities of all sizes and in every region of the country now sport handsomely illustrated and often bulky tomes brimming with names and events from the past, all woven together into a rich narrative tapestry.

Powerplay: What Really Happened at Bendix, by Mary Cunningham
by Jules Cohn
Love and Work Powerplay: What Really Happened at Bendix. by Mary Cunningham. With Fran Schumer. Linden/Simon & Schuster. 286 pp. $15.95. In June 1979, Mary Cunningham, then twenty-seven years old, was graduated with high grades and first-rate recommendations from the Harvard Business School where she had been the beneficiary of the case-study approach to management-by-objectives, strategic planning, and human behavior in organizations.

Required Writing, by Philip Larkin
by Robert Richman
Critic vs. Poet Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces 1955-1982. by Philip Larkin. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 328 pp. $17.95. Since 1945, the English poet Philip Larkin has published a single volume of poetry nearly every ten years.

Reader Letters October 1984
by Irving Howe
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: ... As Melville J. Ulmer details in his pithy article, "Deficit Think- ing" [June], our government has been unable to resist the tempta- tion of going into debt so that it can spend beyond its means. Mr.

November, 1984Back to Top
Frederick Law Olmsted
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Alfred Kazin's book, An American Procession [Books in Review, July], Kenneth S. Lynn characterizes Frederick Law Olmsted as elitist and racist, claims which are inaccurate and defamatory.

Democracy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jean-François Revel's discussion of democracy [“Can the Democracies Survive?,” June] bears closely upon current experience in Britain. Here the “blame” industry (described years ago in slightly different terms by Joseph Schumpeter) is in flourishing condition.

Capitalism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Underdevelopment Revisited” [July], Peter L. Berger makes many interesting points about Pacific Asia's economic success. But one line struck me as false: “The question that should be of burning urgency .

Network News
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Anyone is entitled to pass subjective judgments on the quality of television (or print) journalism. But it seems to me that Paul H.

Education and Democracy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The problem with Sidney Hook's very thoughtful article, “Education in Defense of a Free Society” [July], is that if a large part of the American public believes that the foreign policy of the United States is the moral equivalent of that of the Soviet Union, then it is not likely that education can change its mind.

Christianity & Judaism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hyam Maccoby begins his article, “Christianity's Break With Judaism” [August], with a question: “Which is the true continuation of the ancient Israelite religion—the Christian Church or the Jewish synagogue?” From the Roman Catholic side, it can be said that there is an answer to this question, though the answer will no doubt not satisfy Mr.

The Case Against Arms Control
by Seymour Weiss
In one sense the case against arms control is not difficult to make. One might simply ask just what evidence exists that recent nuclear-arms-limitations agreements with the USSR have actually contributed to U.S.

“Peace for Galilee”: Success or Failure?
by Eliot Cohen
A complete and satisfying history of Israel's war in Lebanon, “Operation Peace for Galilee,” will not come into our hands for many years.

Infanticide & Its Apologists
by Mary Tedeschi
The killing of unwanted babies, commonly known as infanticide, is back in fashion. Few commentators have admitted as much, and few reporters have encouraged them to do so.

A Taste for Dostoevsky
by Lionel Abel
I am rather sure that I was not the only member of my generation (which came of age during the early 30's) to have felt especially rewarded in coming, suddenly, on the novels of Dostoevsky.

Economics in Decline
by Melville Ulmer
Though no Gallup polls or other surveys exist on the subject, there is considerable evidence that the last fifty years have witnessed a remarkable reversal in the professional prestige of economics.

What Hubert Humphrey Wrought
by Nelson Polsby
In my New York Times this morning there is a review of a televised documentary on the House Judiciary Committee impeachment proceedings of ten years ago.

The Stranger A Story
by Yehoshua Yosef
The year before your birth was a blessed year. The loving rains never ceased, roofs collapsed. Roads were washed out.

The Apocalyptics: Cancer and the Big Lie, by Edith Efron
by Samuel McCracken
Politics and Disease The Apocalyptics: Cancer and the Big Lie. by Edith Efron. Simon & Schuster. 589 pp. $19.95. Among the many remarkable qualities of this book about cancer science is the back of the dust jacket.

The Nightmare of Reason: A Life of Franz Kafka, by Ernst Pawel
by Ruth Wisse
The Jew from Prague The Nightmare of Reason: A Life of Franz Kafka. by Ernst Pawel. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 466 pp. $25.50. Franz Kafka is the Byron of our century: a writer who fixes for his audience its image of the writer, as well as of the age that both created and consumed him.

The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust, and Modern Conscience, by William Shawcross
by Guenter Lewy
Relief The Quality of Mercy: Cambodia, Holocaust, and Modern Conscience. by William Shaw-cross. Simon & Schuster. 464 pp. $19.95. In 1979 William Shawcross attracted widespread praise for his book, Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia.

The PLO, by Jillian Becker
by Daniel Pipes
Terrorism and Beyond The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization. by Jillian Becker. St. Martin's Press. 303 pp. $19.95. On one level, Jillian Becker successfully achieves her aim in The PLO.

Hilaire Belloc, by A.N. Wilson
by Edward Pearce
A Radical Reactionary Hilaire Belloc. by A.N. Wilson. Atheneum. 398 pp. $17.95. In his day, Hilaire Belloc was treated as a peer by Bernard Shaw and H.G.

Cities and the Wealth of Nations, by Jane Jacobs
by James Adams
Urban Idealism Cities and the Wealth of Nations. by Jane Jacobs. Random House. 257 pp. $17.95. Jane Jacobs, the well-known author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, migrated from New York in the late 60's when her quest for a humane scale of life took her to Toronto, Canada.

Reader Letters November 1984
by Sidney Hook
To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Hyam Maccoby begins his article, "Christianity's Break With Juda- ism" [August], with a question: "Which is the true continuation of the ancient Israelite religion- the Christian Church or the Jewish synagogue?" From the Roman Cath- olic side, it can be said that there is an answer to this question, though the answer will no doubt not sat- isfy Mr.

December, 1984Back to Top
“Science”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The process of politicization of supposedly scientific journals, noted by Jeffrey Marsh in his article “Politicizing Science” [May], and illuminated further by several letters in the September issue, can be traced back, in the case of Science, to at least as long ago as 1978.

Cotton Mather
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In her review of Kenneth Silverman's The Life and Times of Cotton Mather [Books in Review, August], Fernanda Eberstadt writes that Mather “prayed to God that he might not only be apprised in advance of the conversion of the Jews but might live to convert and baptize a Jew himself.” Neither Miss Eberstadt nor Silverman seems to know that later in life Mather changed his mind.

Journalists in Beirut
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Ze'ev Chafets has reopened a two-year-old argument in “Beirut & the Great Media Cover-Up” [September], with a series of ad-hominem attacks on various American journalists.

Neoconservatism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: James Nuechterlein paints a fair and accurate picture of Irving Kristol's thinking in his “Neoconservatism and Irving Kristol” [August].

The Soviet Threat
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is a striking coincidence that Richard Pipes's article, “How to Cope With the Soviet Threat” [August], appeared almost simultaneously with the publication of two articles, a letter to the editor, and an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association and another one in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The War Against “Star Wars”
by Robert Jastrow
President Reagan offered a new strategic vision to the American people in his “Star Wars” speech of March 23, 1983.

Islam vs. Israel
by Ronald Nettler
The series of bombings and other acts of violence directed at American installations in Lebanon over the last months has focused public attention on the fanatic groups, acting in the name of fundamentalist Islam, that have proudly accepted responsibility for these terrible deeds.

Totalitarianism Today
by Arch Puddington
There is an understandable tendency for many in the democratic world to identify the totalitarian phenomenon exclusively with its most dramatic and brutal manifestations: Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union under Stalin, China during the Cultural Revolution, the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, martial law in Poland.

Shakespeare in the Original
by Fernanda Eberstadt
This year two radically new British editions of Shakespeare have begun to appear in print, one from Oxford University Press and the second from Cambridge University Press.

From Maoism to the Talmud (With Sartre Along the Way): An Interview with Benny Levy
by Stuart Charme
In 1970, Jean-Paul Sartre, who throughout his life had been preoccupied with finding a balance between intellectual activity and political involvement, met Pierre Victor, a young radical Maoist and follower of the brand of Marxism-Leninism preached by the Communist philosopher Louis Althusser.

Artist in a Cause
by Samuel Lipman
The just-published autobiography of the sometime Soviet soprano Galina Vishnevskaya1 is in many important ways a prime example of the tale of a prima donna's triumphs.

Dutch Treats
by Richard Grenier
If you are a neurotic, alcoholic, Mariolatrous, Catholic homosexual on the verge of going over the edge, have I got the film for you!

Beyond Magic Realism
by Roger Kaplan
The Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa is known both for his interest in politics and for his realistic narratives, as contrasted with the experimental forms favored by a number of his Latin American contemporaries.

Margaret Mead, by Jane Howard
by Roger Sandall
American Promethean Margaret Mead. by Jane Howard. Simon & Schuster. 527 pp. $19.95. The Episcopal Church certainly knew what it was doing when it invited Margaret Mead to help revise the Book of Common Prayer in 1967.

Dubious Alliance: The Making of Minnesota's DFL Party, by John Haynes
by Harvey Klehr
Liberal Anti-Communism Dubious Alliance: The Making of Minnesota's DFL Party. by John Haynes. University of Minnesota Press. 264 pp. $35.00. Thirty-Six years ago, the Democratic party and then the American electorate decisively rejected a candidate for President, Henry Wallace, who blamed the United States for the cold war, apologized for Communist dictatorships abroad, and accepted domestic Communists as legitimate partners in his political coalition.

Musical Variations on Jewish Thought, by Olivier Revault d'Allonnes
by Edward Rothstein
Hearing a Different Tune Musical Variations on Jewish Thought. by Olivier Revault D'Allonnes. Translated by Judith L. Greenberg. Braziller. 113 pp. $10.95. Olivier Revault D'Allonnes, a professor of aesthetics at the Sorbonne, was quite serious when he called this unusual little book Musique: Variations sur la pensée juive.

Dezinformatsia: Active Measures in Soviet Strategy, by Richard H. Shultz and Roy Godson
by Henrik Bering-Jensen
Lying for Lenin Dezinformatsia: Active Measures in Soviet Strategy. by Richard H. Shultz and Roy Godson. Pergamon-Brassey's. 210 pp. $19.95. Last spring a rumor spread in the Islamic world that on his moon walk, astronaut Neil Armstrong had heard strange voices; returning to earth, he had discovered these to be an Islamic call to prayer.

Secrets of the Tax Revolt, by James Ring Adams
by Roger Starr
Public Prudence Secrets of the Tax Revolt. by James Ring Adams. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 348 pp. $16.95. Despite its title, this book is not about the tax revolt, since there are no real secrets about the mobilization of tax-weary citizens to cut back the spending of state and local governments.

Reader Letters December 1984
by James Nuechterlein
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: It is a striking coincidence that Richard Pipes's article, "How to Cope With the Soviet Threat" [Au- gust], appeared almost simultane- ously with the publication of two articles, a letter to the editor, and an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association and another one in the New England Journal of Medicine.




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