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January, 1985Back to Top
Hillaire Belloc
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Edward Pearce's review of the biography of Hilaire Belloc by A.N. Wilson [Books in Review, November 1984] calls to mind the poet Humbert Wolfe's sardonic epitaph for Belloc's friend, G.K.

Isaac Leeser
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jonathan D. Sarna's fine review of the book I edited, Jewish Life in Philadelphia, 1830-1940 [Books in Review, October 1984], is deeply appreciated.

The Kennedys
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Paul Johnson's review of our book, The Kennedys: An American Drama [Books in Review, October 1984], illustrates how an ideological bias can be just as crippling on the Right as on the Left.

Comparable Worth
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am as much against the idea of comparable worth as Michael Levin is [“Comparable Worth: The Feminist Road to Socialism,” September 1984], but now I feel a little embarrassed to be in his camp.

The Middle East
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of my book, The New Diplomacy [Books in Review, August 1984], Martin Sieff, described as “a specialist in Middle Eastern affairs who is on the staff of the Belfast Telegraph,” argues against my theme that the ideological gain for Communism in the Arab world has been small.

Central America
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “How to Understand Central America” [September 1984], Mark Falcoff left the impression, no doubt inadvertently, that I was opposed to power-sharing in Nicaragua (“One dissenting voice in this group is that of Tom J.

Why the Democrats Lost
by Joshua Muravchik
In 1984 the McGovernization of the Democratic party was completed. “McGovernism” is a poor term, but the most enduring one, for a political temper or movement which began well before Senator George McGovern became its exemplar.

Conservatism After Reagan
by Gregory Fossedal
However one interprets the finer points of the 1984 election, it has left the Republican party in a kind of strange limbo—on the brink of, but not yet at, majority-party status.

Delusions of Soviet Weakness
by Edward Luttwak
In recent years, entire books have appeared which argue that the Soviet armed forces are much weaker than they seem.

Vistas of Annihilation
by Robert Alter
The murder of more than a third of the Jewish people in six years of unspeakable horror continues to impose a disturbing dilemma on the kinds of political, intellectual, or spiritual lives Jews try to make for themselves as Jews.

What Good Is Freedom of Speech?
by Irving Younger
A case. Assume that the town council or the state legislature or the United States Congress enacts a bill forbidding any person to advocate such-and-such a policy.

Reflections on a Memoir
by Jacob Sloan
We are lived by powers we pretend to understand. —W. H. Auden H was a short, erect, barrel-chested man with slightly bowed legs, close-cropped gray hair, and liquid, protruding eyes whom I got to know fairly well in Boston in the 40's and New York in the 50's.

Treason Chic
by Richard Grenier
Treason is in style. At least British treason. Or at least British treason when it is committed by Englishmen with posh accents wearing old Etonian ties.

Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980, by Charles Murray
by Brigitte Berger
Government & the Poor Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980. by Charles Murray. Basic Books. 323 pp. $23.95. Charles Murray's closely argued book is a bold and timely indictment of the past twenty years of American social policy.

Ilya Ehrenburg, by Anatol Goldberg
by Lionel Kochan
Odd Man Out? Ilya Ehrenburg: Writing, Politics, and the Art of Survival. by Anatol Goldberg. Introduction, postscript, and additional material by Erik de Mauny.

Not in Our Genes, by Richard C. Lewontin, Steven Rose, and Leon J. Kamin
by Bernard Davis
Science & Ideology Not in Our Genes. by Richard C. Lewontin, Steven Rose, and Leon J. Kamin. Pantheon. 368 pp. $21.95. For over a decade a group of scientists on the radical Left, Science for the People (SFP), has pursued a campaign against studies of human behavioral genetics.

Staying on Top: The Business Case for a National Industrial Strategy, by Kevin P. Phillips
by Melville Ulmer
The New Mercantilism Staying on Top: The Business Case for a National Industrial Strategy. by Kevin P. Phillips. Random House. 171 pp. $15.95. Kevin P.

In Love and War, by James and Sybil Stockdale
by Henrik Bering-Jensen
Prisoner In Love and War. by James and Sybil Stockdale. Harper & Row. 472 pp. $18.95. On the morning of Thursday, September 9, 1965, a squadron of 37 fighter-bombers took off from the USS Oriskany on station in the South China Sea.

The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America, by Richard John Neuhaus
by James Nuechterlein
A Sacred Canopy? The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America. by Richard John Neuhaus. Eerdmans. 280 pp. $16.95. Most Americans were taken by surprise when the 1984 presidential election threatened for a time to degenerate into a war of religion.

Reader Letters January 1985
by David Horowitz
To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In his article, "How to Under- stand Central America" [Septem- ber 1984], Mark Falcoff left the im- pression, no doubt inadvertently, that I was opposed to power-shar- ing in Nicaragua ("One dissenting voice in this group is that of Tom J. Farer, who favors power-sharing in El Salvador but not in Nicaragua"). Of course I favor power-sharing in Nicaragua.

February, 1985Back to Top
The Soviet Threat (Cont'd.)
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Richard Pipes has, as usual, stimulated a good deal of thought with his incisive analysis of the Soviet threat and how the West should strive to cope with it [“How to Cope With the Soviet Threat,” August 1984; Letters From Readers, December 1984]. Most observers of the Soviet scene would agree with Mr.

The Court & the Crèche
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his generally challenging and incisive article, “Has the Burger Court Gone Too Far?” [October 1984], Walter Berns opens his assessment of several key cases from the Court's 1983-84 term with the Pawtucket, Rhode Island crèche case.

Infanticide
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In her article, “Infanticide & Its Apologists” [November 1984], Mary Tedeschi commits many of the same errors of distortion and generalization of which she accuses the press.

Arms Control
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I found Seymour Weiss's article on arms control superb [“The Case Against Arms Control,” November 1984]. “Arms control” is probably the greatest misnomer of our time.

The Terrible Question of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
by Norman Podhoretz
To think seriously about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn—to immerse oneself in his work, to contemplate the story of his life—is such a hard thing to do, so unpleasant, so unsettling, that no one without a special reason is likely, once having started, to persist.

Politics, the Jews & the '84 Election
by Lucy Dawidowicz
Politics has been an avocation of the Jews for a mere two hundred years, and as Mark Twain once noted, despite their splendid capacities in other fields, they have not excelled at it.

Can the Bishops Help the Poor?
by Peter Berger
On November 11, 1984, a committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, headed by Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, issued the first draft of a “Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S.

From Clapham to Bloomsbury: A Genealogy of Morals
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
“For the Englishman,” Nietzsche wrote in 1889, “morality is not yet a problem.” The English thought that religion was no longer needed as a “guarantee of morality,” that morality could be known “intuitively.” But that illusion was itself a reflection of the persistent strength and depth among them of the Christian “ascendancy.” Forgetting the religious origin of their morality, they also forgot the “highly conditional nature of its right to exist.” If Christianity should ever lose that ascendancy, Nietzsche implied, morality would be deprived of even that tenuous hold on reality and would then truly become a “problem.” A generation later morality was very much a problem, and for precisely the reasons Nietzsche foresaw.

A Few Home Truths About Latin America
by Luis Burstin
American friend: We Americans seem to be growing very interested in Latin America these days. Burstin: I have to disagree with you.

Kosher Ecology
by Newtol Press
I Apologists for religion often draw on science to reinforce their views, but their elaborate arguments cut no ice with scientists.

Heller's Last Gag
by Roger Kaplan
Joseph Heller is a writer whose books are awaited and even long-awaited, which is a polite way of saying that after his fantastically successful first novel, Catch-22 (1961), he proceeded to turn out work very slowly.

Deadly Gambits, by Strobe Talbott
by David Blair
The Arms Controllers Deadly Gambits: The Reagan Administration and the Stalemate in Nuclear Arms Control. by Strobe Talbott. Knopf. 380 pp. $17.95. Deadly Gambits has all the trappings of an important book.

The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto 1941-1944, edited by Lucjan Dobroszycki
by Maurice Friedberg
The Doomed The Chronicle of the Lodz Ghetto 1941-1944. by Lucjan Dobroszycki. Yale. 550 pp. $35.00. Three literary works, written in as many languages, have attempted to evoke the outward atmosphere of near-normalcy that was the species of horror peculiar to the ghetto of Lodz, Poland's second largest city, where over 200,000 Jews were hermetically sealed off in May 1940.

Turing's Man, by J. David Bolter; The Second Self, by Sherry Turkle
by Jeffrey Marsh
Computers and Us Turing's Man. by J. David Bolter. University of North Carolina Press. 264 pp. $19.95. The Second Self. by Sherry Turkle. Simon & Schuster.

The Liberal Crack-Up, by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
by Joseph Bishop,
Rogues' Gallery The Liberal Crack-up. by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. Simon & Schuster. 265 pp. $16.95. The Liberal Crack-up merrily surveys the transformation during the 60's and 70's of traditional liberals, mostly one-time New and Fair Dealers, into what R.

The Minimal Self, by Christopher Lasch
by Larry Nachman
Social Change The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times. by Christopher Lasch. Norton. 317 pp. $16.95. There is much to admire in the work of Christopher Lasch.

Reader Letters February 1985
by Walter Berns
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I found Seymour Weiss's article on arms control superb ["The Case Against Arms Control," November 1984]. "Arms control" is probably the greatest misnomer of our time. Negotiations to limit the type and number of strategic nuclear weap- ons have no bearing upon whether or not the weapons are actually used for a strategic nuclear war. The dynamics of a strategic nuclear war would at most be peripherally and inconsequentially affected by so-called arms-control negotiations.

March, 1985Back to Top
“The Bostonians”
by Our Readers
To The Editor: It is not a matter of great moment, and in no way affects the argument of Richard Grenier's brilliant analysis of The Bostonians [“The Bostonians Inside Out,” October 1984], but I should like to point out that his reference to Elizabeth Peabody as Hawthorne's elderly sister is incorrect.

“Star Wars” & the Scientists
by Milton Birnbaum
To the Editor: I want to commend Robert Jastrow for his article, “The War Against ‘Star Wars’” [December 1984]. His arguments are painfully correct in their direction, and, as a result, Mr.

Famine, Development & Foreign Aid
by Nick Eberstadt
In recent years, American foreign-aid policies have been shaped increasingly by the argument that the many different problems facing the poor nations are inextricably interconnected, woven together into an all-encompassing “seamless fabric.” However pleasing this notion may seem to theoreticians, its practical implications are dangerously wrong.

The Hidden Holocaust
by Theodore Hamerow
The extermination of European Jewry during World War II, a carefully guarded secret while it was going on, has since become the most familiar event of that terrible conflict.

How to Support the Democratic Revolution
by Michael Ledeen
The streets and campuses of our cities once again resound with the voices of demonstrators calling for the United States to “get tough” with its allies.

F. Scott Fitzgerald at the End
by Jeffrey Hart
At the end of November 1940, F. Scott Fitzgerald felt dizzy while in Schwab's drugstore on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

Does Neoliberalism Have a Future?
by Leslie Lenkowsky
Few political ideas have received as much praise lately as those usually labeled “neoliberal.” They have been lauded in newspapers and magazines, commended by the academy, and cheered at political rallies.

Out of the Ghetto
by Samuel Lipman
Music has long seemed a Jewish interest, a Jewish art, and a Jewish business. In the United States, the generalization holds whether one looks at Lincoln Center or at Broadway, at New York or at Hollywood, at the piano or the violin—especially at the violin.

Eddie Murphy, American
by Richard Grenier
If the world of entertainment is any guide, something rather large is happening on the American racial scene. In recent months three events have occurred, each in a distinct entertainment medium.

The Good News Is the Bad News Is Wrong, by Ben J. Wattenberg
by Samuel McCracken
Confounding the Doomsayers The Good News is the Bad News is Wrong. by Ben J. Wattenberg. Simon & Schuster. 431 pp. $17.95. There may be no cliché more beloved of contemporary journalists than the one about not blaming the messenger for bad news.

Back to the Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts, edited by Barry W. Holtz
by Robert Alter
Apt Beginnings Back to the Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts. by Barry W. Holtz. Summit Books. 448 pp. $19.95. This cogently conceived, handsomely produced volume is a piece of good news about the state of Jewish culture in America.

Son of the Morning Star, by Evan S. Connell
by Wayne Sarf
The Custer of our Dreams Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn. by Evan S. Connell. North Point Press. 448 pp.

America's Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power, by Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley
by Kevin Barnhurst
Mormonism Today America's Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power. by Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley. Putnam. 278 pp. $16.95. Mormonism was founded in the 19th century by Joseph Smith, a visionary who, beginning in the 1820's, elaborated a body of teachings that departed radically from sectarian Christianity.

The 25-Year War: America's Military Role in Vietnam, by Bruce Palmer, Jr.
by Alvin Bernstein
The Lesson of Vietnam? The 25-year War: America's Military Role in Vietnam. by Bruce Palmer, Jr. University of Kentucky Press. 248 pp. $24.00. There are two good reasons for reading this book.

April, 1985Back to Top
Vargas Llosa
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Roger Kaplan's intelligent and insightful article, “Beyond Magic Realism” [December 1984], is praiseworthy for many reasons, among which I would mention his attempt to demystify Gabriel García Márquez's baroque empire of “committed” metaphors.

Life in the East
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arch Puddington's excellent article, “Totalitarianism Today” [December 1984], raised many important points which cannot be repeated often enough.

Words on Music
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I think that Jonathan D. Sarna [Letters from Readers, January] is a bit confused. Yes, the musical notation for Adon Olam was first published in the Occident in 1894.

Economics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I agree with much that Melville J. Ulmer left unsaid in his “Economics in Decline” [November 1984]. I wish, however, to solicit one fact: who are the notable authorities in economics who believe that “boosts in the minimum wage help to reduce poverty”? George J.

As You Like It
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Shakespeare in the Original” [December 1984] Fernanda Eberstadt says that in Henry V Shakespeare comes down clearly on the side of individual responsibility.

The Democratic Defeat
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joshua Muravchik's “Why the Democrats Lost” [January] was right on target. I would add only three observations. By extending to an absurd length the list of minorities entitled to “special advantages,” the McGovernites succeeded only in ridding the majority of the sense of guilt that fostered majority consent to the iniquities of affirmative action. By stressing “compassion” and pressing for more and more social services, the McGovernites succeeded only in reminding people of the egregious inefficiency of the federal bureaucracy and the extraordinary cost of that inefficiency. And by incessantly attacking the United States, the McGovernites succeeded only in arousing a defensive reaction so intense that the majority now refuses to accept or tolerate even legitimate criticism. In sum, the McGovernites have succeeded in transforming a minute Republican party into the party of the majority, something the Republicans probably could never have accomplished by themselves.

Israel's Economic Crisis: What Israel Must Do
by Stuart Eizenstat
This year a new chapter will be written in the history of the unique relationship between America and Israel, one of the world's largest democracies and one of its smallest—a chapter which will see the initiation of even closer and more intimate ties or the possible unleashing of a new round of bitterness and recrimination.

Israel's Economic Crisis: What the U.S. Can Do
by Steven Spiegel
Israel is in serious financial trouble, and the American press is filled with analyses and solutions. Most accounts treat the country as an almost hopeless basket case—at least as an endless sponge off the American taxpayer.

Terrorizing Children
by Joseph Adelson
For Sir Francis Bacon, the child was hostage to Fortune; today the child is far more often hostage to ideology, and to the fears it can induce: I think about the bomb just about every day now.

The “Real” Marx
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
It used to be said that the three great giants of modern times—indeed the creators of modernity—were Marx, Darwin, and Freud.

Paul Celan: The Strain of Jewishness
by John Felstiner
I When Paul Celan drowned in the Seine in 1970, a suicide at forty-nine, his loss hit hard the many Europeans, Israelis, and Americans who prized a voice that had suffered the Jewish catastrophe and resisted falling mute.

When the Pipes Froze A Story
by Linda Collins
On Friday, January 2nd, we went up to Ashford for a winter weekend, or so we thought, with new cross-country skis and long underwear, leaving the children at home to write term papers and stay out late with their friends.

Four Cheers for Capitalism
by Tod Lindberg
It is four years now since the publication of George Gilder's Wealth and Poverty, a book generally considered to be the most important and lucid explication of supply-side economics.

The Abandonment of the Jews, by David S. Wyman; The Jews Were Expendable, by Monty Noam Penkower; A Refuge From Darkness, by Nao
by Richard Levy
Abandoned The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust 1941-1945. by David S. Wyman. Pantheon. 444 pp. $19.95. The Jews were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and the Holocaust. by Monty Noam Penkower. University of Illinois Press.

Poisoned Ivy, by Benjamin Hart
by Peter Shaw
Graves of Academe Poisoned Ivy. by Benjamin Hart. Foreword By William F. Buckley, Jr. Stein & Day. 254 pp. $16.95. The rightward shift of the American political Center that can now be seen to have begun with the first election of Richard Nixon in 1968 was accompanied by a leftward shift among American university faculties and administrations.

The Tsar's Lieutenant, by Thomas G. Butson
by Henrik Bering-Jensen
The Red Marshal The Tsar's Lieutenant: The Soviet Marshal. by Thomas G. Butson. Praeger. 281 pp. $27.95. When Soviet chief of staff Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov stepped in front of the TV cameras to deliver the official explanation for the 1983 downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, editors all over the world were sent scurrying to their files for material on this newest and most unexpected of Soviet public-relations men.

Eisenhower: The Presidency, by Stephen E. Ambrose
by Spencer Warren
The Real Ike Eisenhower: The Presidency. by Stephen E. Ambrose. Simon & Schuster. 750 pp. $24.95. As early impressions have given way to historical judgments, the reputation of Dwight D.

Helmut Schmidt, by Jonathan Carr
by Edward Pearce
A First-Rate Leader Helmut Schmidt: Helmsman of Germany. by Jonathan Carr. St. Martin's. 208 pp. $25.00. Jonathan Carr, a staff writer for the (London) Financial Times, has given us a biography of Helmut Schmidt that is fluent, factual, and instructive, addressed (almost) to those without a background in contemporary German politics.

Reader Letters April 1985
by Leonard Sandweiss
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Joshua Muravchik's "Why the Democrats Lost" [January] was right on target. I would add only three observations. By extending to an absurd length the list of minorities entitled to "special advantages," the McGov- ernites succeeded only in ridding the majority of the sense of guilt that fostered majority consent to the iniquities of affirmative action.

May, 1985Back to Top
“The Greenhorn Cousin”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I recognize poetic license. I appreciate Jacob Sloan's various literary skills [“Reflections on a Memoir,” January]. However, I must express my wonder at his translation of “A khaleriya oyf Kolumbuses medina!” as “A pox on Columbia, the gem of the ocean!” I would translate it as “A plague [cholera] on Columbus's country!” As a staunch, long-time (forty years) reader of COMMENTARY, I refuse to consider the only reason that comes to mind for this deceptive transmutation of the extract from “The Greenhorn Cousin”: a resistance to entertain any severe criticism of the U.S.

The Bishops & the Poor
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Can the Bishops Help the Poor?” [February], Peter L. Berger listed pretty clearly most of the objections a great many people have expressed about the first draft of the Catholic bishops' “Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S.

The Election & the Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Lucy S. Dawidowicz [“Politics, the Jews & the '84 Election,” February] sees in the overwhelmingly Democratic Jewish vote in the 1984 presidential election not merely an aversion to a President who embraced the Moral Majority's vision of a “Christian America”1 (and also, perhaps, to a compassionless politics of greed), but an imbalance in the cosmic order of things—the “alienation of the Jews as a political group from their rightful place in the American consensus” (emphasis in the original). That is hardly surprising, for Mrs.

Helping the Poor: A Few Modest Proposals
by Charles Murray
Last fall I published a book entitled Losing Ground.1 It called attention to the fact that on several of the dimensions we ordinarily use to measure quality of life—unemployment, education, crime, family structure, economic dependence—things have gotten worse, not better, for the poor since the mid-1960's.

The New War Against the Jews
by Robert Wistrich
The memory of the Nazi genocide against the Jews continues to cast its long shadow over the present, affecting the way people think about the major political events of our time.

What the Fundamentalists Want
by Richard Neuhaus
Distinguished social analysts, surveying the complexities of our religious, cultural, and political situation, have offered their considered judgment that: “The Falwells are coming!

Onward Jerusalem
by Jonathan Penner
Jerry Alt kept track, more or less, of his adult patients—group one, single; group two, married; group three, divorced—and the shifting preponderance troubled him.

A Night With the FMLN
by Luis Burstin
“Well, Dr. Burstin, we are launching our final offensive and in two weeks we will be in power in El Salvador.

Rabbis & Their Discontents
by Howard Singer
At its 1984 annual convention, the Rabbinical Assembly, the professional association of Conservative rabbis, listened to a paper by Leslie R.

Leinsdorf at the Philharmonic
by Samuel Lipman
For the erstwhile—and would-be—fans of the New York Philharmonic, the issue of Zubin Mehta, the orchestra's present music director, now seems closed.

Glitz, by Elmore Leonard; Briarpatch, by Ross Thomas
by Roger Kaplan
Hard Guys & Heroes Glitz. by Elmore Leonard. Arbor House. 251 pp. $14.95. Briarpatch. by Ross Thomas. Simon & Schuster. 332 pp. $15.95. After eighteen novels written over the course of three decades, Elmore Leonard, who lives and writes in a suburb north of Detroit, has made it big with Glitz, a novel about a policeman, a psychopathic criminal, two beautiful women, and Atlantic City gangsters.

Begin, by Eric Silver
by Edward Alexander
Biography as Polemic Begin: The Haunted Prophet. by Eric Silver. Random House. 278 pp. $17.95. An Irresistible polemical itch is not ordinarily a motive for biography.

Rise and Fall, by Milovan Djilas
by Scott McConnell
The Challenger Rise and Fall. by Milovan Djilas. Translated by John Fiske Loud. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 432 pp. $24.95. There may be no man now alive who possesses more intimate knowledge of this century's Communist movement than Milovan Djilas.

Iacocca, by Lee Iacocca with William Novak
by Martin Krossel
Life of a Salesman Iacocca: An Autobiography. by Lee Iacocca. With William Novak. Bantam. 352 pp. $19.95. Since the escape of the Chrysler Corporation from what seemed almost certain bankruptcy, Lee Iacocca, who speaks unapologetically about such values as the importance of family ties, thrift, and patriotism, has emerged as a genuine folk hero and a potential political leader.

Breaking With Moscow, by Arkady N. Shevchenko
by Ilya Levkov
Diplomat and Defector Breaking With Moscow. by Arkady N. Shevchenko. Knopf. 378 pp. $18.95. Breaking With Moscow has all the ingredients of an outstanding book on Soviet foreign policy.

Reader Letters May 1985
by Marie Syrkin
To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Lucy S. Dawidowicz ["Politics, the Jews 8c the '84 Election," Feb- ruary] sees in the overwhelmingly Democratic Jewish vote in the 1984 presidential election not merely an aversion to a President who em- braced the Moral Majority's vision of a "Christian America"* (and al- so, perhaps, to a compassionless politics of greed), but an imbal- ance in the cosmic order of things -the "alienation of the Jews as a political group from their rightful place in the American consensus" (emphasis in the original). That is hardly surprising, for Mrs.

June, 1985Back to Top
Lesser Evils
by
To the Editor: Michael Ledeen's “How To Support the Democratic Revolution” [March] is a brilliant piece of work, beautifully written and carefully analyzed.

Ecological Compassion
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “Kosher Ecology” [February] Newtol Press states that “children who are taught to be kind to animals are often surprised to find that kindness to animals is not listed among the Ten Commandments.” Yet in the fourth commandment, we are told that beasts of burden must share in resting on the Sabbath Day.

The Solzhenitsyn Question
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am delighted I stimulated Norman Podhoretz to write such an excellent article [“The Terrible Question of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,” February], but I don't differ from him on the nature of Solzhenitsyn's talent quite as much as he seems to think.

The Perversion of Foreign Aid
by Nick Eberstadt
The attitude of the American people toward the world's poor, and toward our government's effort to attend to their distress, is seldom examined by those who frame our policies toward the international economy and the less developed regions of the earth.

Orthodox Jews-From Passivity to Activism
by Jacob Katz
Historically, Orthodoxy in Judaism is a product of the late 18th century, when Jewish society, on the threshold of modernity, underwent a loosening of the bonds of tradition.

Vietnam & the 60's Generation: A Memoir
by Scott McConnell
Generational conflict, scholars have remarked, is what Americans have in place of class struggle. The triumph of new men riding into power with new ideas has long been part of the script of American politics, responsible for many a reformist surge.

Crisis in the Pacific
by Owen Harries
Some years ago, members of the staff of the London Times held a competition to see who could produce the most boring headline.

Is Caravaggio Our Contemporary?
by James Gardner
To a degree unparalleled in the artists of the Old Master tradition, Caravaggio would appear to have preserved through four centuries the power to awaken in us the kind of interest that we can ordinarily summon only in respect to our contemporaries.

The Secret of Mary Gordon's Success
by Carol Iannone
Mary Gordon's first novel, Final Payments (1978), about the embattled coming of age of an Irish Catholic woman, was both a best-seller and the object of an astonishingly enthusiastic critical response, in which Miss Gordon was compared to Jane Austen and her novel was called a contemporary version of Joyce's Portrait of the Artist.

The Pentagon and the Art of War, by Edward N. Luttwak
by Angelo Codevilla
Of Arms & Men The Pentagon and the Art of War. by Edward N. Luttwak. Simon & Schuster. 333 pp. $17.95. Edward Luttwak shows what can happen to a great nation's military when its leaders cease to behave as if war were a real possibility.

The Jews of Hope, by Martin Gilbert
by Arch Puddington
Resistance The Jews of Hope. by Martin Gilbert. Viking: Elizabeth Sifton Books. 237 pp. $15.95. Try as they might, Soviet authorities have been notably unsuccessful in their efforts to crush the movement for Jewish emigration and the associated struggle for Jewish religious and cultural rights.

Literary Criticism. French Writers. Other European Writers. The Prefaces to the New York Edition, by Henry James
by Kenneth Lynn
The Critic as Moralist Literary Criticism. French Writers. Other European Writers. The Prefaces to the New York Edition. by Henry James. Edited by Leon Edel and Mark Wilson.

Grave New World, by Michael Ledeen
by Henrik Bering-Jensen
Power & Policy Grave New World. by Michael Ledeen. Oxford. 256 pp. $17.95. “The U.S. is short of breath. You can always wait them out.” This comment was made by Syrian foreign minister Abdul-Halim Khaddam in February 1984, and it proved painfully prophetic.

The Blood of Abraham, by Jimmy Carter
by Daniel Pipes
Camp David, Cont'd. The Blood of Abraham. by Jimmy Carter. Houghton Mifflin. 257 pp. $15.95. Since leaving the Presidency, Jimmy Carter has devoted much of his time to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Reader Letters June 1985
by Norman Podhoretz
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I am delighted I stimulated Norman Podhoretz to write such an excellent article ["The Terrible Question of Aleksandr Solzhenit- syn," February], but I don't differ from him on the nature of Solzhe- nitsyn's talent quite as much as he seems to think.

July, 1985Back to Top
Samuel Chotzinoff
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I want to thank Samuel Lipman for his extensive remarks about my father, Samuel Chotzinoff [“Out of the Ghetto,” March].

The Purges
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of The Tsar's Lieutenant, by Thomas G. Buston [Books in Review, April], Henrik Bering-Jensen describes Stalin's purges as being the “response to the assassination of Leningrad boss Sergei Kirov” in 1934.

The Military
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of The Tsar's Lieutenant, by Thomas G. Buston [Books in Review, April], Henrik Bering-Jensen describes Stalin's purges as being the “response to the assassination of Leningrad boss Sergei Kirov” in 1934.

Paul Celan
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I was fascinated and deeply touched by John Felstiner's account of the haunted and haunting life and writings of Paul Celan [“Paul Celan: The Strain of Jewishness,” April].

Solzhenitsyn, Cont'd.
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz's attempt to deal comprehensively with the entire phenomenon of Solzhenitsyn [“The Terrible Question of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,” February] is as ambitious as it is thought-provoking.

Virginia Woolf
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I regard Gertrude Himmelfarb's “From Clapham to Bloomsbury: A Genealogy of Morals” [February] as one of the most significant essays in the history of ideas and mores that I have read in many years.

The Holocaust
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Theodore S. Hamerow [“The Hidden Holocaust,” March] must be applauded for his excellent article exposing the almost total neglect by Holocaust historians of the widespread and enthusiastic collaboration with the Nazis by the governments and populations in Nazi-occupied Europe.

Israel's Economy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: To resolve “Israel's Economic Crisis,” Stuart E. Eizenstat tells us “What Israel Must Do” and Steven L. Spiegel “What the U.S.

Nicaraguan Harvest
by Mark Falcoff
Exactly six years ago Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza fled his country before the victorious onslaught of a popular revolution. This was no ordinary episode in the history of Central America, a region where governments have often disappeared abruptly and under violent circumstances.

The Politics of Yiddish
by Ruth Wisse
Like the kibbutz children in the Israeli joke who think that they will begin to speak Yiddish once they become grandparents, most people consider Yiddish a harmless property of Jewish old age and of a toothless past.

Out of the Drawer & Into the West
by Fernanda Eberstadt
In the last few years, the recent works of such contemporary Soviet writers as Vassily Aksyonov, Vladimir Maximov, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Vladimir Kornilov, and Yuri Trifonov have begun to appear in the West, often ably translated and handsomely produced by prestigious publishing houses.

Operation Moses
by Edward Alexander
“I rejoice: there are white Jews too!” A This exclamation came from the mouth of one of the newly arrived Jews from Ethiopia in his first day at Israel's national absorption center for his people in the seaside town of Ashkelon.

Allen Ginsberg Then and Now
by Robert Richman
If it accomplishes nothing else, the appearance of Allen Ginsberg's Collected Poems,1 an enormous volume published under the terms of a six-figure contract, should once and for all puncture the widespread notion of Ginsberg as the pariah of the American literary establishment.

Gifted and Talented A Story
by Tova Reich
Jeremy was right-brained, luckily for us, which is why he was accepted into the Academy for the Gifted and Talented.

Yesterday's America of Tomorrow
by Jeffrey Hart
Beginning with the late 18th century, there have been many international expositions, and they have always been expressions of progress and enlightenment.

The Rise and Fall of New York City, by Roger Starr
by Leslie Lenkowsky
Letting the City Down The Rise and Fall of New York City. by Roger Starr. Basic Books. 272 pp. $17.95. A decade after it began, New York City's fiscal crisis appears to have eased.

The Liberal Mind in a Conservative Age, by Richard H. Pells
by James Nuechterlein
Neorevisionism The Liberal Mind in a Conservative Age: American Intellectuals in the 1940's and 1950's. by Richard H. Pells. Harper ir Row. 468 pp.

The Transformation of the Jews, by Calvin Goldscheider and Alan Zuckerman
by David Singer
Modernity & the Jews The Transformation of the Jews. by Calvin Goldscheider and Alan Zuckerman. University of Chicago Press. 279 pp. $24.95. The Bible characterizes the Jews as “a people that dwells apart,” but Calvin Goldscheider and Alan Zuckerman will have none of that.

Counsels of War, by Gregg Herken
by David Blair
Nuclear Strategy Counsels of War. by Gregg Herken. Knopf. 409 pp. $18.95. What should a reader look for in a popular history of U.S.

Habits of the Heart, by Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M. Tipton
by William Kristol
Beyond Individualism? Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life. by Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M.

Reader Letters July 1985
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: To resolve "srael's Economic Crisis," Stuart E. Eizenstat tells us "What Israel Must Do" and Steven L.

August, 1985Back to Top
Celan's “Death Fugue”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: No doubt an access of editorial modesty accounts for the curious omission of a pertinent fact from John Felstiner's finely conceived and beautifully written article, “Paul Celan: The Strain of Jewishness” [April].

Solzhenitsyn
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Only time will tell whether I have been fair or unfair to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and his first wife, Natalia Reshetovskaya, in my biography, and Veronika Stein is entitled to her opinion on the matter [Letters from Readers, June, on “The Terrible Question of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,” by Norman Podhoretz, February].

Marx
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In her discussion of my book, The Meaning of Karl Marx, Gertrude Himmelfarb claims that I misstate the date of one of Marx's letters [“The ‘Real’ Marx,” April].

Neoliberalism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article on neoliberalism [“Does Neoliberalism Have a Future?,” March], Leslie Lenkowsky managed to spell my name wrong in citing one of the books he stensibly was discussing (A New Road for America: The Neoliberal Movement, edited by Charles Peters and myself).

Fundamentalism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his brilliantly written and basically sympathetic article, “What the Fundamentalists Want” [May], Richard John Neuhaus has indeed told us much about what most fundamentalists, as well as people on the religious Right, actually want.

Nuclear Education
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joseph Adelson and Chester E. Finn, Jr., in their attack on “nuclear education” [“Terrorizing Children,” April], miss the boat on two major issues; on several others they either contradict themselves or confuse the facts. First of all, the primary purpose of “peace education” (a preferable and more inclusive term than the syntactically misleading “nuclear education”) is not to “terrorize” students but rather to prepare them for responsible political participation in a world in which all-out war can no longer be considered a viable alternative for settling international disputes. The form peace education takes depends on the ages of the children involved, a crucial factor of which Messrs.

Aid & AID
by Our Readers
To The Editor: We in the Agency for International Development (AID) agree entirely with the philosophical underpinnings of Nick Eberstadt's “The Perversion of Foreign Aid” [June], and we respect the thoughtfulness of his previous work.

Bitburg: Who Forgot What
by Midge Decter
It hardly seems possible that in the year 1985, with a number of grave decisions and responsibilities facing him, the President of the United States would permit himself to get embroiled in a debate about so unquestionably settled an issue as the nature of Nazism.

Fighting Back
by Michael Ledeen
In the 1970's the Soviet Union embarked upon an ambitious program of using proxy forces to expand its international power.

On Jewish Forebodings
by Nathan Glazer
Students of American Jewry confront an interesting paradox: a sociological literature filled with forebodings about a group whose history, by all relevant measures, has gone very well indeed.

The Newest Political Pilgrims
by Paul Hollander
Marxist-leninist Nicaragua has in the last few years emerged as the new destination of political tourists from the United States who have revived a grotesque and embarrassing tradition in Western intellectual-political history: the reverential pilgrimage to highly repressive Communist countries by educated people, beneficiaries of considerable political freedom and material well-being. By 1979 this tradition had temporarily fallen into discredit.

Scripture and Culture
by Robert Alter
A great deal has changed in this country since that distant era of origins when the Pilgrim founders habitually thought of America as the New Israel.

Graffiti & Other Art Forms
by James Gardner
Since 1932, the Whitney Museum in New York has regularly staged exhibitions of the work of those American artists whom the curators have considered the best and the most representative of the moment.

A Dissent on Grace Paley
by Carol Iannone
Grace Paley believes that art has a practical function—to make “justice in the world.” And for that reason, she adds, “it almost always has to be on the side of the underdog.” Like certain other writers who started out in the 50's, Mrs.

Vietcong Memoir, by Truong Nhu Tang, with David Chanoff and Doan Van Toai
by Arch Puddington
“Well and Truly Sold” Vietcong Memoir. by Truong Nhu Tang with David Chanoff and Doan Van Toai. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 350 pp. $17.95. Of the many millions whose lives have been transformed by encounters with Communism, there is a special class of people whose experiences have been uniquely tragic.

Toward a More Natural Science, by Leon Kass Richard
by John Neuhaus
The Sense of Awe Toward a More Natural Science: Biology and Human Affairs. by Leon R. Kass. Free Press. 370 pp. $23.50. Leon Kass of the University of Chicago knows that he is thinking against the mainstream.

Canarsie: The Jews and Italians of Brooklyn Against Liberalism, by Jonathan Rieder
by Paul Appelbaum
The Politics of Place Canarsie: The Jews and Italians of Brooklyn Against Liberalism. by Jonathan Rieder. Harvard. 290 pp. $22.50. Canarsie sits along Brooklyn's southern edge, a narrow haven for the white middle classes, between the ghettos of Brownsville and East New York to the north and the marshes of Jamaica Bay.

A Passion for Excellence, by Tom Peters and Nancy Austin; Innovation and Entrepreneurship, by Peter F. Drucker
by Jules Cohn
Managing Managers A Passion for Excellence: The Leadership Difference. by Tom Peters and Nancy Austin. Random House. 437 pp. $19.95. Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles. by Peter F.

Living With Koestler: Mamaine Koestler's Letters 1945-51, edited by Celia Goodman
by Edward Pearce
With K Living With Koestler: Mamaine Koestler's Letters 1945-51. by Celia Goodman. St. Martin's. 204 pp. $12.95. In 1984, faced with an incurable and painful disease, and being a dogmatic supporter of voluntary euthanasia, Arthur Koestler took his own life.

Germany Today, by Walter Laqueur
by David Gress
Beyond Fear Germany Today: A Personal Report. by Walter Laqueur. Little, Brown. 240 pp. $16.95. In 1979-80, with the explosion of the “peace” movement, the question of the political health and future role of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Atlantic alliance returned to the Western agenda with a vengeance.

Reader Letters August 1985
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: We in the Agency for Interna- tional Development (AID) agree entirely with the philosophical un- derpinnings of Nick Eberstadt's "The Perversion of Foreign Aid" [June], and we respect the thought- fulness of his previous work.

September, 1985Back to Top
Kudos
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a Roman Catholic and constant reader of COMMENTARY, I want to tell you how much I enjoyed and appreciated Carol Iannone's “The Secret of Mary Gordon's Success” [June].

Carter & Iran
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I should like to add the following to my review of Michael Ledeen's Grave New World [Books in Review, June].

Bloomsbury
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have been reluctant to comment critically on “From Clapham to Bloomsbury: A Genealogy of Morals” by Gertrude Himmelfarb [February] because of my indebtedness to the author's brilliant scholarship in the past.

Rabbis
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Howard Singer's devastating account of the state of the rabbinate [“Rabbis & Their Discontents,” May] raises this question: what can the education of rabbis in the seminaries do to prepare young women and men for careers of worth and of service? My sense is that the problems at hand derive not only from structural but also from intellectual sources.

Nuclear Education, Cont'd.
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Across the United States, a rapidly growing number of schools are developing new course materials to prepare young people for life in a nuclear age.

Ethiopian Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Edward Alexander's instructive article, “Operation Moses” [July], cogent and sensitive as it is, must be regarded as a mid-term progress report.

The 60's Generation
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Scott McConnell's “Vietnam & the 60's Generation: A Memoir” [June] is one of the most thoughtful reflections of that era I have read.

The Race for South Africa
by Paul Johnson
The campaign of economic attrition now being waged within the United States against the Republic of South Africa, which is summed up in the word disinvestment, is an outstanding example of the power of political propaganda.

Israel, the Hostages, and the Networks
by David Bar-Illan
The deterioration in U.S.-Israel relations in the year following the June 1982 invasion of Lebanon was among the steepest ever.

Foreign Aid: Rewarding Impoverishment?
by P.T. Bauer
1. Relief of acute need and misery in poor countries has been the declared purpose of foreign aid—that is, official transfers from richer to poorer countries, as distinct from military assistance, commercial investment, or the efforts of voluntary agencies—since President Harry Truman launched the Point Four program in January 1949, well over a generation and hundreds of billions of dollars ago.

How the West Lost the Peace in 1945
by John Colville
p>Fortieth anniversaries are in vogue, none more so than those celebrating the end of World War II. That war was won, against the unsurpassed valor and organizing skill of the Germans and the suicidal courage of the Japanese, by the collective strength of the British empire, which fought the longest, of the Soviet Union, which suffered the most, and of the United States, which fought doggedly on two fronts while at the same time supplying the essential needs of its allies.

One Cheer for E.M. Forster
by Joseph Epstein
It is devilish difficult to criticize society & also create human beings. Unless one has a big mind, one aim or the other fails before the book is finished.

The New Freedom Fighters
by Maggie Gallagher
1. Eight countries succumbed to Marxist rule during the 1970's: Vietnam, Angola, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Mozambique, South Yemen, Nicaragua, and Afghanistan. Today, all but two of these countries—South Yemen and Vietnam—have active resistance movements.

Roy's Jewish Problem A Story
by Lev Raphael
We lived in a Jewish Students' Co-op upstate, in a gray fussy house that shifted every night like an old dog trying to be comfortable.

The American House of Saud, by Steven Emerson
by Samuel McCracken
The Saudi Lobby The American House of Saud. by Steven Emerson. Franklin Watts. 450 pp. $18.95. When the British tidied up the map of the Middle East after the collapse of the Ottoman empire they probably thought they had done a good day's work in keeping a colony for themselves at Aden and entrusting nearly a million square miles of the Arabian desert to the Saudi dynasty, which had been disputing it with the Ottomans and others.

One Earth, Four or Five Worlds, by Octavio Paz
by Larry Nachman
Democrat One Earth, Four or Five Worlds: Reflections on Contemporary History. by Octavio Paz. Translated by Helen R. Lane. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 224 pp.

Encounter with Emancipation, by Naomi W. Cohen
by Jonathan Sarna
The German Period Encounter with Emancipation: The German Jews in the United States 1830-1914. by Naomi W. Cohen. Jewish Publication Society. 407 pp.

The 2025 Report, by Norman Macrae
by Jeffrey Marsh
Brave New World The 2025 Report: A Concise History of the Future 1975-2025. by Norman Macrae. Macmillan. 258 pp. $15.95. Regular readers of the London Economist have long been familiar with the independent thinking and biting wit of Norman Macrae, who as Deputy Editor for the past twenty years has put his inimitable stamp on the whole publication.

The Post-Modern Aura, by Charles Newman
by Bruce Bawer
Criticism in Extremis The Post-Modern Aura: The Act of Fiction in an Age of Inflation. by Charles Newman. Northwestern University Press. 205 pp.

Reader Letters September 1985
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Scott McConnell's "Vietnam & the 60's Generation: A Memoir" [June] is one of the most thought- ful reflections of that era I have read.

October, 1985Back to Top
Kirov, Cont'd.
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Henrik Bering-Jensen's thesis that there is a real doubt about Stalin's responsibility for the Kirov murder cannot be allowed to stand [Letters from Readers, July].

Foreign Aid
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his provocative article, “The Perversion of Foreign Aid” [June], Nick Eberstadt tends to place the blame for the perceived failure of foreign aid on changing policies of the U.S.

Soviet-Jewish Emigration
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Martin Gilbert's The Jews of Hope [Books in Review, June], Arch Puddington analyzes Soviet restrictions on Jewish emigration.

Esau and Jacob
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I particularly enjoyed Robert Alter's article, “Scripture and Culture” [August], but was confused by his biblical references on page 48, which seem to be wrong, and by his use of the word “deceit,” which I find translated as “subtilty” in my copy of the Bible. The Esau-Jacob story is really one of the most harrowing episodes in the Bible for me.

Allen Ginsburg
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article “Allen Ginsberg Then and Now” [July], Robert Richman mistakenly—and repeatedly—refers to James Breslin, the author of a book called From Modern to Contemporary: American Poetry, 1945-1965 (University of Chicago Press, 1984), as Paul Breslin.

Yiddish
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Ruth R. Wisse's article, “The Politics of Yiddish” [July], is absolutely perfect. I have never read anything more just, wise, and balanced about Yiddish.

Nicaragua
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Nicaraguan Harvest” [July] Mark Falcoff points out that “in some ways what has happened in Nicaragua is not much different from what occurred in Cuba some twenty years earlier.” But he fails to mention one of the more important similarities.

Is There Now, or Has There Ever Been, Such a Thing as Totalitarianism?
by Walter Laqueur
No idea in our time has provoked more impassioned debate than the idea of totalitarianism. Used indiscriminately by some as a synonym for fascism, or Communism, or both, it is abhorred and denounced by others as a source of deliberate confusion and a propaganda weapon.

The Cult of Hiroshima
by Andre Ryerson
Even as the formal days of atonement in the Jewish and Christian calendar weaken, lose some of their traditional power, and attract fewer of the young to their rites, the age-old human impulse to critical self-scrutiny, with resulting acts of contrition to amend for past sins, takes on a new and secularized form.

Reading Primo Levi
by Fernanda Eberstadt
After almost forty years of growing literary renown in his native Italy and in Western Europe, Primo Levi, a chemist by profession and a survivor af Auschwitz, is at last making a name for himself in the United States.

What Nairobi Wrought
by Michael Levin
Between July 10 and July 26 of this year, several thousand delegates from 159 countries convened in Nairobi, Kenya, for what was widely hailed as a meeting of the world's women.

Who Killed the CIA?
by Edward Epstein
Admiral Stansfield Turner commanded a destroyer, a guided-missile cruiser, a carrier task force, a fleet, and the prestigious Naval War College before he was shunted away to a NATO post in Italy in 1975.

Israel's Standing in American Public Opinion
by Mitchell Bard
In June of this year, Arab terrorists hijacked a TWA jet on a flight from Athens and held its American passengers hostage for more than two weeks, demanding that Israel release over 700 Lebanese imprisoned in a detention camp.

“Our Genius”: Norman Mailer & the Intellectuals
by Carol Iannone
If there is one thing the case of Norman Mailer teaches us, it is that ideas matter, that they shape the common life both of the individual and of the culture.

The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict: Making America's Middle East Policy, from Truman to Reagan, by Steven L. Spiegel
by Daniel Pipes
The Policy-makers The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict: Making America's Middle East Policy, from Truman to Reagan. by Steven L. Spiegel. University of Chicago Press.

The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist, by Breyten Breytenbach
by Stephen Schwartz
Betrayal The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist. by Breyten Breytenbach. Farrar Straus & Giroux. 396 pp. $18.95. Breyten Breytenbach, considered the best modern poet in the Afrikaans language, first received substantial publicity in the English-speaking world in 1977.

The Schools We Deserve: Reflections on the Educational Crises of Our Time, by Diane Ravitch
by Brigitte Berger
Back to School (s) The Schools We Deserve: Reflections on the Educational Crises of our Time. by Diane Ravitch. Basic Books. 337 pp.

In Defense of Animals, edited by Peter Singer
by Ronald Bailey
Non-Human Rights In Defense of Animals. by Peter Singer. Basil Blackwell. 224 pp. $16.95. To the numerous “liberation” movements of our times—including the black, chicano, women's, and gay-liberation movements—another must be added that is active not on behalf of any purportedly disadvantaged class or group of people but on behalf of animals.

A Matter of Principle, by Ronald Dworkin
by Mary Tedeschi
Beyond the Law A Matter of Principle. by Ronald Dworkin. Harvard University Press. 425 pp. $25.00. Alexander Hamilton once defended the federal judiciary with the observation that “the possibility of particular mischiefs can never be viewed, by a well-informed mind, as a solid objection to a general principle which is calculated to avoid general mischiefs and to obtain general advantage.” Two centuries later, those “particular mischiefs” have come to claim victims as unlikely as a policeman sued, in the words of Judge Richard Posner, “in federal court under a federal civil-rights statute for alienating a dog's affections.” Posner is himself an outspoken member of the growing coalition of critics of the federal judiciary—critics who include, among others, parents who object to forced busing; members of any race or sex who object to the use of quotas; religious organizations and their followers who object to being told that they taint the public square; some untold millions who have yet to be persuaded that the Constitution includes a right to abortion; and law-abiding citizens from all quarters who feel threatened by the proliferation of criminal rights. Indeed, as the breadth of these issues suggests, if the “populist” or “neopopulist” turn in national politics has a single source at all, it is discontent with the scope and prerogatives of the judicial branch at large and of its nine most conspicuous members in particular.

Reader Letters October 1985
by Robert Alter
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In "Nicaraguan Harvest" [July] Mark Falcoff points out that "in some ways what has happened in Nicaragua is not much different from what occurred in Cuba some twenty years earlier." But he fails to mention one of the more im- portant similarities.

November, 1985Back to Top
Who is a Psychoanalyst?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The August issue contains a letter I wrote discussing an article by Joseph Adelson and Chester E. Finn, Jr., “Terrorizing Children” [April].

Russian Writers
by
To the Editor: In the July issue you published an article by Fernanda Eberstadt, “Out of the Drawer and Into the West,” that dealt with the works of several contemporary Russian authors: Vassily Aksyonov, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Vladimir Kornilov, Yuri Trifonov, and also myself. I am of course very grateful to Miss Eberstadt for her high and flattering appraisal of my literary work.

Political Pilgrims
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his excellent article, “The Newest Political Pilgrims” [August], Paul Hollander chronicles the long tradition of pilgrimages by American liberals to Marxist states, from the Soviet Union in the 1920's to Nicaragua in the 1980's.

How Has the United States Met Its Major Challenges Since 1945?
by Nathan Glazer
Exactly forty years ago, in the first issue of COMMENTARY (November 1945), its founding editor, the late Elliot E. Cohen, wrote an introductory statement outlining the problems with which the new magazine would necessarily be concerned.

A Certain People, by Charles E. Silberman
by Ruth Wisse
At Ease A Certain People: American Jews and their Lives Today. by Charles E. Silberman. Summit Books. 458 pp. $19.95. I am told that my grandfather, who during World War II was killed in the Bialystok ghetto at the age of eighty-two, was in the habit of taking his pulse three times a day.

The Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America, edited by Donald Hall
by Robert Alter
The Three W's The Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America. Edited by Donald Hall. Oxford University Press. 319 pp. $18.95. Donald Hall has done an exemplary job in assembling from the pages of long defunct children's magazines and antique anthologies this panorama of poems for American children from The Bay Psalm Book (1640) to Richard Wilbur, John Updike, and Shel Silverstein.

Sparks Fly, by Frank Chapple
by Henrik Bering-Jensen
Scourge of the Left Sparks Fly: A Trade Union Life. by Frank Chapple. Michael Joseph. 239 pp. £10.95. In Britain, the costs of the yearlong coal-miners' strike are still being sorted out.

New and Selected Poems 1923-1985, by Robert Penn Warren
by James Gardner
Post-Valedictory New and Selected Poems 1923-1985. by Robert Penn Warren. Random House. 322 pp. $19.95. Rumor Verified, the volume of Robert Penn Warren's poetry that preceded the present one, constituted a human document of no small interest.

Chaim Weizmann, by Jehuda Reinharz
by Theodore Hamerow
A Public & Private Life Chaim Weizmann: The Making of a Zionist Leader. by Jehuda Reinharz. Oxford University Press. 576 pp. $29.95. The promise implicit in the subtitle of this solid first volume on the life and times of Chaim Weizmann is largely though not entirely fulfilled.

Reader Letters November 1985
by Joseph Adelson
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In his excellent article, "The Newest Political Pilgrims" [Au- gust], Paul Hollander chronicles the long tradition of pilgrimages by American liberals to Marxist states, from the Soviet Union in the 1920's to Nicaragua in the 1980's.

December, 1985Back to Top
Addendum
by Our Readers
A footnote on page 41 in Fernanda Eberstadt's “Reading Primo Levi” (October) mentioned a forthcoming collection of Primo Levi's stories.

Jewish Forebodings
by Our Readers
To the Editor: While the current generation of younger sociologists looks for and stresses factors that encourage group cohesion and survival, Nathan Glazer in his article, “On Jewish Forebodings” [August], suggests that the process of assimilation still remains the basic force in the life of the American Jewish community. Mr.

Ethiopian Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In July, COMMENTARY published an article by Edward Alexander, “Operation Moses,” which questions the actions of the Alliance Israélite Universelle [AIU] on behalf of the Ethiopian Falashas. Mr.

Bitburg
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It may well be a commonplace for letter writers to express the hope that one COMMENTARY article or another will become required reading for politicians, pollsters, and other molders of public opinion.

The New Khmer Rouge
by Ross Munro
April 13, 1974. Three U.S. Navy officers are riding in a jeep along a new road hugging the boundary of the Subic Bay naval base in the Philippines.

Another Look at the Jewish Vote
by Milton Himmelfarb
. . . seeing a man standing opposite him with drawn sword in hand, Joshua went up to him and asked him, “Are you friend or foe?” —Joshua, 5:13 While the Shiites were holding those TWA passengers hostage in Beirut, ABC News-Washington Post polled more than a thousand Americans.

Scuttling an Empire
by Elie Kedourie
When Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten of Burma was murdered by Irish terrorists in the summer of 1979, he was an old man full of honors, who could look back with satisfaction on a long life filled with achievement.

Religion and the Conservatives
by Werner Dannhauser
I Many decry the need for labels in political discourse, but the labels themselves remain useful, helping us to describe reality.

“Yours Sincerely, Sinclair Levy”
by Barry Gross
My best friend from high school is now a writer, famous enough to be the subject of a forthcoming study.

Confessions of an Ex-Translator
by Jacob Sloan
I mean “confessions” here in none of the word's more odious senses, criminal or spiritual. Translation is no guilty act to be forgiven at the confessional box.

Gaddis Recognized
by Carol Iannone
To millions it may have seemed the promised land, but to certain of its native sons, post-World War II America had gained the whole world only to lose its soul.

Soviet Dissent, by Ludmilla Alexeyeva; Soviet Psychiatric Abuse, by Sidney Bloch and Peter Reddaway
by Arch Puddington
Dissidents in Decline Soviet Dissent: Contemporary Movements for National, Religious, and Human Rights. by Ludmilla Alexeyeva. Wesleyan University Press. 521 pp. $35.00. Soviet Psychiatric Abuse: The Shadow Over World Psychiatry. by Sidney Bloch and Peter Reddaway. Westview.

Diaspora, by Howard M. Sachar
by Edward Alexander
In Exile Diaspora: An Inquiry into the Contemporary Jewish World. by Howard M. Sachar. Harper & Row. 539 pp. $27.50. Howard Sachar's survey of the condition of what he calls the “third world” of contemporary Jewry—that is, the 4.5 million Jews who live outside of Israel and North America—belongs unmistakably to what Thomas De Quincey called the literature of knowledge as distinct from the literature of power.

Clamor at the Gates, edited by Nathan Glazer
by Michael Novak
The Newcomers Clamor at the Gates: The New American Immigration. by Nathan Glazer. Institute for Contemporary Studies Press. 337 pp. $29.95. Liberty on this planet being in shorter supply than oil, refugees and immigrants by the millions still seek haven elsewhere than in the land of their birth—above all, and in increasing numbers, in the United States, which FDR aptly called “the land of immigrants.” Although our nation once, in the Immigration Act of 1924, took draconian measures to deal with this “clamor at the gates,” in recent decades we have responded to it more by drift and evasion than by conscious principle. Whom shall we welcome? According to which principles of morality, law, and administrative policy? And with what consequences? These are the questions that Nathan Glazer and his colleagues set out not so much to answer as to expose in their full complexity in the fourteen essays collected in this timely volume.

Observations, by Henry Kissinger
by Larry Nachman
On Foreign Policy Observations: Selected Speeches and Essays, 1982-1984. by Henry Kissinger. Little, Brown. 246 pp. $17.95. One senses that Henry Kissinger's reputation, at least among the intellectuals, has grown since the publication of the two volumes of his memoirs, White House Years and Years of Upheaval.

The Price of the Ticket, by James Baldwin
by Terry Teachout
Tragic Decline The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction 1948-1985. by James Baldwin. St. Martin's. 704 pp. $29.95. “The failure of the protest novel,” James Baldwin wrote in 1949, “lies in its rejection of life, the human being, the denial of his beauty, dread, power, in its insistence that it is his categorization alone which is real and which cannot be transcended.” It was around this time that American critics first began to speak of Baldwin as a writer with the sensibility and detachment of a potentially first-rate artist; with the 1953 publication of Go Tell It on the Mountain, a beautifully written first novel about Harlem life, he proved them correct. That book, together with the best of his early essays for COMMENTARY and Partisan Review, quickly gave James Baldwin a well-deserved reputation as an outstandingly gifted writer—and the only black writer in America capable of staying out of what Lionel Trilling called in another connection “the bloody crossroads” between literary art and politics.

Reader Letters December 1985
by Nathan Glazer
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: It may well be a commonplace for letter writers to express the hope that one COMMENTARY article or another will become required reading for politicians, pollsters, and other molders of public opin- ion.




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