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January, 1994Back to Top
Saying Kaddish
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “Saying Kaddish” by Jacob Sloan [December 1993], who now intones the memorial prayer for his Gentile relatives, reminded me of an episode in my early childhood when I became a steady attendant Friday nights and Saturdays at a Lower East Side shul on Rivington Street. I knew that Kaddish was what someone who had lost a parent or child said three times a day for a year, the assigned period of mourning.

Ethnicity
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The central point missing from Richard Pipes's review of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's new book, Pandaemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics [Books in Review, September 1993], is also missing from the book itself: recognition that the principal ingredient in the recipe for ethnic bloodshed and strife in the last half of the 20th century has been economic mismanagement by the world's power elite. Senator Moynihan would have us believe that the Yugoslav nightmare, for example, was the inevitable outcome of culture clash in the Balkans' ethnic stew.

Liberalism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: There can be agreement over William Kristol's description of what liberalism has wrought. But like many of the younger conservatives, he has not really faced up to liberalism's philosophical, ideological, and psychological involvements.

The Clinton Presidency
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joshua Muravchik was not the only one puzzled about how to vote in 1992 [“Lament of a Clinton Supporter,” August 1993].

Sex & the Feminists
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Without disagreeing at all with Carol Iannone's points [“Sex & the Feminists,” September 1993], I would urge upon her a stauncher defense against Catharine MacKinnon's assault on the Constitution. MacKinnon's argument is simple: because the Constitution protects speech to enhance the search for truth, the government should be able to suppress specific views that cannot be true, at least where there is a compelling state interest to be advanced by the suppression.

The Bosnian Problem
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Edward N. Luttwak's brilliant and refreshingly self-critical “If Bosnians Were Dolphins . . .” [October 1993], describing the disgraceful lack of help for Bosnian Muslims by the United States and Western Europe, confirms what Isaac Bashevis Singer once wrote: the world is a combination of a slaughterhouse, a bordello, and an insane asylum. Sheldon C.

On: Bosnia; feminism; Clinton; liberalism; ethnicity; etc.
by Our Readers
The Bosnian Problem TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Edward N. Luttwak's brilliant and refreshingly self-critical "If Bosnians Were Dolphins ...

On Abortion
by James Wilson
Abortion is a moral question. Most people, regardless of how they feel the question should be answered or who should do the answering, will agree with this.

Family Values & the Jews
by Jack Wertheimer
Ever since the release of the finding (from the 1990 Jewish Population Study) that rates of intermarriage have surged in recent decades, leaders of the major American Jewish organizations have agonized over a crisis of “Jewish continuity” in this country.

The NAACP Turns Left
by Arch Puddington
This past November, Bill Clinton delivered what may come to be regarded as one of the most important speeches of his presidency.

Religion, Politics & the Clintons
by Terry Eastland
From 1980 to 1992, any discussion of religion and politics necessarily focused on the rise of the religious Right and its support of the Republican Presidents who came to power during those years.

Jerusalem-What Next?
by Edward Norden
The midrehov is the jumping pedestrian mall in the Jewish—the secular-Jewish—part of Jerusalem. One Friday morning at the end of October 1993, the eighty-two-year-old Teddy Kollek, during whose terms of office as Jerusalem's mayor the midrehov and much else was built, sat outside the Cafe Atara gnawing his strudel and fielding more complaints than expressions of homage. “Teddy, the city's filthy,” the old gent heard one of the citizens and possible voters in the crowd jostling around his table yell.

China on our Minds
by Charles Horner
About 30 years ago, it seemed that the great tradition of China would prove no match for an all-conquering Westernism.

A New Masterpiece
by Samuel Lipman
The 1980 New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians described the American modernist Hugo Weisgall (born 1912) as “perhaps America's most important composer of operas.” In the 1986 New Grove Dictionary of American Music, a compilation drawn from the 1980 edition and revised, the article on Weisgall calls him merely “one of America's most important composers of operas.

The Downing Street Years, by Margaret Thatcher
by Paul Johnson
Leading Lady The Downing Street Years. by Margaret Thatcher. Harper Collins. 914 pp. $30.00. You cannot stop rulers from writing memoirs. Egyptian pharaohs and Persian kings published their doings on vainglorious stelae, notorious for exaggerations and plain inventions.

The Beginning of the Journey, by Diana Trilling
by Midge Decter
Inside Story The Beginning of the Journey: The Marriage of Diana and Lionel Trilling. by Diana Trilling. Harcourt Brace. 369 pp. $24.95. Of the many possible reasons for publishing a memoir, Diana Trilling's must surely rank among the oddest.

The Fatal Embrace, by Benjamin Ginsberg
by Jay Lefkowitz
Romancing the State The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State. by Benjamin Ginsberg. University of Chicago. 248 pp. $22.00. In The Fatal Embrace, Benjamin Ginsberg, who teaches political science at Johns Hopkins, chronicles the symbiotic relationship that has often developed between Jews and the rulers of the countries in which they have lived.

Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech, by Cass R. Sunstein
by Daniel Troy
Talking Points Democracy and the Problem of free speech. by Cass R. Sunstein. Free Press. 300 pp. $22.95. Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School, described by the New York Times as “the most coveted young academic in the country,” shares the widely held view that our media have become increasingly irrelevant and obnoxious, and are a disservice to American democracy.

Double Lives, by Stephen Koch
by Mark Falcoff
Münzenberg's Men Double Lives: Spies and Writers in the Secret Soviet War of Ideas against the West. by Stephen Koch. Free Press. 400 pp.

February, 1994Back to Top
Chi An
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Chi An, the heroine of Steven W. Mosher's A Mother's Ordeal: One Woman's Fight Against China's One-Child Policy, is not a monster, according to reviewer William McGurn [Books in Review, October 1993].

Culture and Capitalism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joseph Epstein mars an otherwise perceptive article, “Culture and Capitalism” [November 1993], by an astonishingly poor understanding of what he calls “capitalistic theorizing.” He writes: “A strict capitalist, the economic equivalent of a fundamentalist in religion, might argue that the inability of art forms to survive in the marketplace is the best indicator that they probably do not deserve to survive.” Of course, he offers no suggestion as to what is the best indicator of artistic survival.

Physics vs. Metaphysics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to respond to Jeffrey Marsh's “Physics vs. Metaphysics” [November 1993]. First, Mr. Marsh misdescribes Steven Weinberg's expectation that a final theory of physics will be developed by calling it “Platonism” or the result of a “desperate need.” It is, rather, merely an example of the optimism with which every successful scientist pursues his work.

The Future of Democracy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . Had Bruce D. Porter, in “Can American Democracy Survive?” [November 1993], looked longer at the evidence in pursuit of his question, he might have felt more alarm. Mr.

Holocaust Denial
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Edward Alexander's review of Deborah Lipstadt's Denying the Holocaust [Books in Review, November 1993] will be of no slight interest to future cultural historians.

On a Palestinian State
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Instead of attempting a learned dissertation on and critique of David Bar-Illan's “Why a Palestinian State Is Still a Mortal Threat” [November 1993], I will, for the sake of argument, agree that everything he says is on the mark, and ask him only one thing in return: exactly what should Israel do with the West Bank and Gaza and their almost two million rebellious Palestinians? It is very easy to fault the current agreement as a blueprint for disaster, so we are open to Mr.

A Palestinian state; Holocaust denial; American democracy; physics; etc.
by Our Readers
TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Instead of attempting a learned dissertation on and critique of David Bar-Illan's "Why a Pales- tinian State Is Still a Mortal Threat" [November 1993], I will, for the sake of argument, agree that everything he says is on the mark, and ask him only one thing in return: exactly what should Is- rael do with the West Bank and Gaza and their almost two million rebellious Palestinians? It is very easy to fault the current agreement as a blueprint for disaster, so we are open to Mr.

What Health-Care Crisis?
by Irwin Stelzer
The devil, we are often told, is in the details. When appraising public-policy proposals, look not at the broad caption—“gun control,” “reinventing government,” “deficit reduction”—but at the minutiae of the legislation aimed at achieving the unexceptionable goal.

Against the New Pessimism
by Francis Fukuyama
The end of the cold war has brought about a remarkable consensus between former hawks and doves—at least those professionally involved in some fashion with international affairs, whether they be journalists, academics, or politicians—to the effect that the world has become a much worse place since the demise of the Soviet Union.

Talking to the Enemy
by Avner Mandelman
Before the radio had even reported the news, Nitza called me from the kibbutz to say that there had been a disaster: three terrorists had sneaked in and barricaded themselves in the children's nursery.

The Great Polish Experiment
by George Weigel
Contrary to some of the more exuberant expectations bubbling in the wake of the Revolution of 1989, history has been going full blast in Central and Eastern Europe ever since the breaching of the Berlin Wall marked the demise of Stalin's external empire and opened the death watch for Marxism-Leninism in Europe.

How to Read Philip Roth
by Hillel Halkin
And what will COMMENTARY make of this confession? I can't imagine it's good for the Jews. —Peter Tarnopol, in My Life as a Man by Philip Roth Philip Roth's grievance against COMMENTARY, sardonically vented in several of his novels and especially in a lengthy scene in The Anatomy Lesson (1983) involving a literary critic named Milton Appel (based on the late Irving Howe), goes back at least as far as December 1972, when Howe wrote an essay in these pages titled “Philip Roth Reconsidered.” This essay followed the publication of Roth's novella, The Breast, which Howe called “boring” and “tasteless,” but his main target was the best-selling Portnoy's Complaint (1969). Howe—who had written a laudatory review of Roth's first book of stories about Jewish suburbia, Goodbye, Columbus (1959)—tore into Portnoy savagely.

A Dissent on “Schindler's List&rdquo
by Philip Gourevitch
Moviegoers are by now accustomed to the brief warnings attached to ratings in newspaper reviews: “nudity,” “violence,” “language,” or that titillating euphemism, “adult situations.” Each of these tags might fairly be applied to Steven Spielberg's latest mega-production, Schindler's List, which is based on a true story of one Nazi's humanitarian response to the annihilation of Polish Jewry during World War II. Now-familiar images—naked Jews being herded to their deaths by cursing SS men, heaps of corpses, mass graves—are punctuated by shots of summary, often arbitrary, executions of individual Jews at close range by pistol fire.

The Arabists, by Robert D. Kaplan
by Martin Kramer
Endangered Species The Arabists: The Romance of an American Elite. by Robert D. Kaplan. Free Press. 333 pp. $24.95. Ten years ago, on January 18, 1984, two men entered the campus of the American University of Beirut, known by generations of graduates simply and affectionately as AUB.

Beautiful Losers, by Samuel Francis
by Dan Himmelfarb
Neocon-bashing Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism. by Samuel Francis. University of Missouri Press. 256 pp. $37.50. Taxonomists of American conservatism typically divide their subject into four categories—Old Right, New Right, neoconservatives, and libertarians—and the tension among these groups has been a recurring theme in discussions of the American Right. In the 50's, 60's, and 70's, one could hardly open an issue of National Review without encountering an article or review that dealt in some way with the conflict between libertarianism and the Old Right (the latter usually referred to as “traditionalist” conservatism).

A Nation in Denial, by Alice S. Baum and Donald W. Burnes
by Susan Wiviott
Beyond Housing A Nation in Denial: The Truth About Homelessness. by Alice S. Baum and Donald W. Burnes. Westview. 247 pp. $52.50; $16.95 (paper). In January 1993, Doll Johnson, an eighty-year-old resident of the South Bronx, was bludgeoned to death by Christopher Battiste, a thirty-three-year-old homeless man staying at a nearby shelter.

There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, by Stanley Fish
by Daniel Silver
The Higher Gamesmanship There's No Such Thing as Free Speech: And It's a Good Thing Too. by Stanley Fish. Oxford. 332 pp. $25.00. Stanley Fish, a professor at Duke University, is a famous Milton scholar who has also written a great deal on the theory of literary criticism and the philosophy of law.

The Warburgs, by Ron Chernow
by Jonathan Sarna
Generations The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family. by Ron Chernow. Random House. 820 pp. $30.00. The history of the Warburg family begins modestly enough in the 16th century when one Simon von Cassel (d.

March, 1994Back to Top
Abortion: Round 1
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The editors kindly invited me to comment on James Q. Wilson's discussion of my recent book, Life's Dominion: An Argument About Abortion, Euthanasia, and Individual Freedom (Knopf, 1993), in his own article, “On Abortion” [January].

What Did the Clintons Know & When Did They Know It?
by Lynn Chu
After much delay, a special prosecutor, Robert B. Fiske, Jr., has finally been appointed for “Whitewatergate.” This means that it will be a long time, possibly even years, before the results are in.

The Story Behind the Handshake
by Yigal Carmon
The agreement reached last August in Oslo between Israel and the PLO, and then signed (with some modifications) on the White House lawn a month later, was negotiated in the deepest secrecy.

Are Parents Bad for Children?
by Dana Mack
Not so long ago, parents were generally looked upon as repositories of wisdom and rectitude, and they were the unchallenged custodians of their children's welfare.

Creeping Talbottism
by George Weigel
When it took office last year, the Clinton administration's conception of America's responsibilities in the world seemed to be an extension of the 1992 campaign's most memorable slogan—the bon mot attributed to Clinton's campaign manager, James Carville: “It's the economy, stupid.” Absent the disciplines imposed on all previous postwar Presidents by what John F.

Threats to U.S. Sovereignty
by Jeremy Rabkin
Even paranoids have real enemies, as the poet Delmore Schwartz once remarked. To this famous maxim one might add: even demagogues can invoke real principles.

American Jews & Their Judaism
by Robert Seltzer
In the 1940's, Louis Finkelstein, the president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, invited a group of scholars to contribute to a two-volume handbook entitled The Jews: Their History, Culture, and Religion.

Clint Eastwood Goes PC
by Richard Grenier
Almost exactly ten years ago, I published an article on Clint Eastwood in COMMENTARY entitled “The World's Favorite Movie Star.” Eastwood's huge success, I noted there, was based on a role he had played throughout his entire career: the enforcer of law and justice.

American Poetry, edited by John Hollander
by Carol Iannone
A Nation in Verse American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century. by John Hollander. Volume I: Freneau to Whitman. 1,097 pp. $35.00. Volume II: Melville to Stickney, American Indian Poetry, Folk Songs and Spirituals.

On Modern Jewish Politics, by Ezra Mendelsohn
by Ruth Wisse
The Art of the Possible On Modern Jewish Politics. by Ezra Mendelsohn. Oxford. 184 pp. $39.95; $14.95 (paper). Ezra Mendelsohn, who teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, approaches the study of modern Jewish history with sober intelligence.

Tension Between Opposites, by Paul H. Nitze
by Patrick Glynn
Public & Private Tension Between Opposites: Reflections on the Practice and Theory of Politics. by Paul H. Nitze. Scribner's. 212 pp. $22.00. Paul Nitze's latest book, Tension Between Opposites, provides a fascinating glimpse into the character, and inner growth, of one of our most extraordinary and distinguished public servants, a man whose life critically affected—indeed, almost embodied—the history of the cold-war era.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, by Edward White
by Daniel Silver
Doing His Duty Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: Law and the Inner Self. by G. Edward White. Oxford. 628 pp. $37.50. Oliver Wendell Holmes is customarily called America's greatest jurist, but outside of the legal profession few today can be aware of his influence.

How We Die, by Sherwin B. Nuland
by Joseph Adelson
A Messy Business How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter. by Sherwin B. Nuland. Knopf. 278 pp. $24.00. On beginning to read this book, I found myself thinking almost obsessively of not very funny doctor jokes, of the good news/bad news variety.

April, 1994Back to Top
The New Middle East, by Shimon Peres
by Rael Isaac
Faith & Fantasy The New Middle East. by Shimon Peres. Holt. 224 pp. $25.00. Elise Boulding, a mother-figure in the 1960's peace movement in the United States, used to urge her followers to “Imagine Peace.” The idea was that if you imagined hard enough, and in enough detail, the image would become reality.

Jews & the State
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his otherwise comprehensive review of Benjamin Ginsberg's The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State [January], Jay P.

The Religious Right
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read Terry Eastland's article, “Religion, Politics & the Clintons” [January], with great interest. Along with a discussion of President Clinton's support for the religious Left, Mr.

The “New York Review”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joseph Epstein [“Thirty Years of the ‘New York Review,’” December 1993] is wrong to charge that although the New York Review defended human rights, it did so “without feeling the need (until fairly late in the game), to take the offensive against Communism.” Probably the journal's most frequent reviewer of books on the Soviet Union from 1964 until his death in 1983 was my colleague at the London School of Economics, Leonard Schapiro, a strong and consistent anti-Communist, who was, moreover, quite conservative in his political views.

Using Force
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Any discussion of “When, Where & How to Use Force,” like the three articles published under this overall heading in the December 1993 issue [“Beyond Self-Defense,” by Joshua Muravchik; “The Core vs.

The Jewish Family
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jack Wertheimer's article, “Family Values & the Jews” [January], is an interesting exercise in nostalgia, but is otherwise totally disconnected from the realities of American Jewish life.

The Jewish Family; Using Force; Saying Kaddish; etc.
by Our Readers
The Jewish Family TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Jack Wertheimer's article, "Fam- ily Values & the Jews" [January], is an interesting exercise in nostal- gia, but is otherwise totally dis- connected from the realities of AmericanJewish life.

Black Anti-Semitism & How It Grows
by Arch Puddington
What has come to be known as the Kean College incident has focused renewed attention on the problem of black anti-Semitism on the American college campus.

Getting Away With Murder
by Walter Berns
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. —U.S.

Tales of Virtue
by James Wilson
The success of William J. Bennett's admirable anthology of moral tales, The Book of Virtues1—which has become a major best-seller—is both heartening and puzzling: heartening because we want to think that people hunger for literature that teaches virtue, puzzling because it is not obvious why literature might have that effect.Almost every account we have from psychologists of the moral development of the child emphasizes reinforcements and imitation.

Losing China Again
by Charles Horner
During 1993, visitors to China began to notice the widespread appearance of trinkets, souvenirs, and other memorabilia of this century's most prominent Chinese leader, Mao Zedong (1893-1976).

Mr. Larkin Gets a Life
by Joseph Epstein
“Get a life!” —Contemporary Saying “Really, one should burn everything.” —Philip Larkin, March 15, 1980 In a letter written in 1953, when he was thirty-one years old, Philip Larkin remarked that the three poets who had “altered the face” of English poetry in the 20th century were T.

Beethoven & the Pianists
by Samuel Lipman
The good news on the classical-music front is that the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas are still being played in concert and still being made available on CD recordings.

In the Name of the IRA
by Richard Grenier
In the midst of his highly publicized 48-hour American visit, Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), found time on Larry King Live—that podium of presidents—to issue a rousing endorsement of In the Name of the Father, soon to be honored by seven Academy Award nominations.

Who Is Addicted to What?
by Midge Decter
Barbara Ehrenreich, the Honorary Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, is a journalist of considerable verve whose “field” is nothing less than the sins and foibles of the entire society, and the culture, in which she finds herself.

Diplomacy, by Henry Kissinger
by Paul Johnson
The World Stage Diplomacy. by Henry Kissinger. Simon & Schuster. 912 pp. $35.00. Good diplomats rarely write well about diplomacy. Ambassadorial memoirs include some of the worst books ever published.

The Astonishing Hypothesis, by Francis Crick
by Jeffrey Marsh
The Path of Consciousness The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul. by Francis Crick. Scribner's. 317 pp. $25.00. Some 40 years ago, in a Nobel Prize-winning feat, Francis Crick and James Watson unraveled the structure of DNA, showing how the genetic information which controls the biological nature of all living creatures is stored in a molecule with the shape of a double helix.

In Europe's Name, by Timothy Garton Ash
by George Weigel
The Fifty-Five Years War In Europe's Name: Germany and the Divided Continent. by Timothy Garton Ash. Random House. 680 pp. $27.50. Timothy Garton Ash is best known to American readers as the British journalist whose front-line reports on the personalities and events that gave birth to the Revolution of 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe were the finest materials on the subject available in English.

On Looking Into the Abyss, by Gertrude Himmelfarb
by John Gross
Confronting the “Isms” On Looking Into the Abyss: Untimely Thoughts on Culture and Society. by Gertrude Himmelfarb. Knopf. 192 pp. $23.00. The historian Gertrude Himmelfarb's latest collection of essays displays all the virtues that readers have come to expect from her—lucid intelligence, wide-ranging scholarship, penetrating judgment.

May, 1994Back to Top
Benjamin Chavis & the NAACP
by
To the Editor: Arch Puddington's attack on Benjamin Chavis and the NAACP [“The NAACP Turns Left,” January] is, at best, puzzling. I have worked on periodic projects with Benjamin Chavis over the past decade and have never heard him, whether in private or in public, say anything about Jews or Israel that even approximates the statements Mr.

The Real World Order
by Our Readers
To the Editor: COMMENTARY is a forum for great debates, but Patrick Glynn's review of The Real World Order: Zones of Peace/Zones of Turmoil, which I wrote with the late Aaron Wildavsky [Books in Review, October 1993], leads away from debate about the new ideas our book presents concerning the long-term character of world politics, by conflating what we said with familiar positions in the current policy debate. For example, his review accuses us of recommending a policy of “general noninvolvement in the outside world.” In fact, our recommendation is “to participate with other democracies in efforts to limit violence and encourage democracy in the zones of turmoil.

Jewish Family Values
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jack Wertheimer's “Family Values & the Jews” [January] includes a frontal assault against the rabbinate and the religious movements of American Judaism.

Health-Care Reform
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his generally inaccurate and exaggerated article, “What Health Care Crisis?” [February], Irwin M. Stelzer takes a series of statements from an article of mine in Domestic Affairs and uses them to mislead your readers. My question was whether any possible differences in services justify the much higher costs of medical care in America than in other countries.

Abortion: Round 2
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a long-time friend and admiring reader of COMMENTARY, I have been distressed by a tendency I have sensed in recent articles to adopt a position similar to those who oppose abortion for (almost) any reason, a tendency confirmed in the long and tendentious article, “On Abortion,” by James Q.

Abortion; Health Care; Benjamin Chavis & the NAACP; etc.
by Our Readers
Abortion: Round 2 TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: As a long-time friend and ad- miring reader of COMMENTARY, I have been distressed by a tendency I have sensed in recent articles to adopt a position similar to those who oppose abortion for (almost) any reason, a tendency confirmed in the long and tendentious ar- ticle, "On Abortion," by James Q.

Israel: Guilt & Politics
by David Bar-Illan
On one of his condolence calls to Arab communities after the massacre by Dr. Baruch Goldstein of 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, the President of Israel, Ezer Weizman, visited the town of Nazareth.

Washington's Biggest Scandal
by Edward Luttwak
The biggest Washington scandal by far has nothing to do with Arkansas real estate, is not being investigated by either Congress or a special prosecutor, and has made no headlines at all.

The Degradation of the "New York Times"
by Joseph Epstein
At 6:30 one morning in 1965 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the doorbell rang, waking me. There on the porch stood an older man, who, after announcing he was from Western Union, handed me a telegram.

Who Won Vietnam?
by Charles Horner
If, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, then the study of statecraft will provide no end of confirming examples. On February 5, two days after President Clinton announced in a White House ceremony that he would lift certain American trade restrictions against Vietnam, the front page of the New York Times carried a story in the upper-left-hand corner reporting on the favorable reception this news had received in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (which some of us will persist in calling Saigon).

Henry Roth's Secret
by Hillel Halkin
The association may seem an odd one, but the figure most immediately called to my mind by the career of the American novelist Henry Roth is T.

Why the New Workfare Won't Work
by Neil Gilbert
Almost everyone agrees that work must replace welfare. Following President Clinton's lead, both Democrats and Republicans have embraced the idea of a two-year limit on welfare, during which recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) would be given education, training, child care, and job-placement services.

Enter the Chinese
by Richard Grenier
The word “Chinese” has recently acquired an odd dissonance in the movie world. Films of extraordinary quality, made in mainland China, have been nominated in America for Academy Awards and in Europe have carried off top prizes at the Cannes, Venice, and Berlin film festivals (the big three).

The “Little Woman” of Little Rock
by Midge Decter
Anna Quindlen is a woman with a very good job. Indeed, it used to be said of this job that it was one for which some people would be willing to kill: to wit, she is a regular columnist on the oped page of the New York Times.

The Confirmation Mess, by Stephen L. Carter
by Suzanne Garment
The Inquisitorial Spirit The Confirmation Mess: Cleaning Up the Federal Appointments Process. by Stephen L. Carter. Basic Books. 208 pp. $21.00. Stephen L. Carter, who teaches law at Yale, begins his new book with a benign trick.

The God I Believe In, by Joshua O. Haberman
by Jon Levenson
Multiple-Choice Judaism The God I Believe In. by Joshua O. Haberman. Free Press. 264 pp. $24.95. Recently retired from the rabbinate and various adjunct professorships in Jewish studies, Joshua O.

Red Hunting in the Promised Land, by Joel Kovel
by Harvey Klehr
After the Fall Red Hunting in the Promised Land: Anticommunism and the Making of America. by Joel Kovel. Basic Books. 331 pp. $25.00. In 1988, Joel Kovel, the Alger Hiss Professor of Social Studies at Bard College and a well-known practitioner of “psycho-history,” helped to orchestrate a conference at Harvard University that attracted 1,000 academics, community activists, and students.

Selling God, by R. Laurence Moore
by Peter Berger
Spiritual Goods Selling God: American Religion in the Marketplace of Culture. by R. Laurence Moore. Oxford. 288 pp. $25.00. In this book R. Laurence Moore, who teaches history at Cornell, takes the reader on a guided tour of the interaction between religion and commercialism in the United States from the early 19th century to the present time.

A World at Arms, by Gerhard L. Weinberg
by Williamson Murray
The Greatest Conflict A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II. by Gerhard L. Weinberg. Cambridge. 1,225 pp. $34.95. At a moment when the writing of history has been reduced to narrow and politically-correct accounts of victims, class struggle, gender issues, and repressive social conventions, all written in excruciatingly dull prose, Gerhard Weinberg of the University of North Carolina has provided us with a book that is huge in scope, generously inclusive in conception, and a pleasure to read.

June, 1994Back to Top
The Homeless
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Ronald Reagan's callousness toward the mentally ill is mainly responsible for the large numbers of them who live on the streets in California.

German Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am grateful to Ron Chernow for writing The Warburgs, and to Jonathan D. Sarna for reviewing it in your February issue.

China Today
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Cultures are always evolving, and it may be difficult or even impossible to determine to what extent developments are influenced by contact with other societies.

“Talking to the Enemy”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Thank you for publishing Avner Mandelman's story, “Talking to the Enemy” [February]. Besides being a superb “thriller,” it says a lot about the subtle connections between private and public morality. Joseph Shattan Silver Spring, Maryland

Parents & Children
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Are Parents Bad for Children?” [March], Dana Mack poses a question which is loaded with potential for misinterpretation.

The Clintons & Whitewater
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Lynn Chu's article [“What Did the Clintons Know & When Did They Know It?,” March] was a very good summary of the Whitewater scandal, but since its publication many more details have come out—enough to make it possible that Bill Clinton will not last out his term in office. The Clintons have always had a shallow core constituency.

Talbottism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: One can have thought the USSR an evil empire and Strobe Talbott naive concerning it and still not consider the current announcement of future NATO membership for Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic part of an optimum policy for East European security.

“Schindler's List”
by Our Readers
Having resided in Cracow in the immediate aftermath of the events depicted in Schindler's List (I was there during the trial of the sadistic Nazi murderer, Amon Goeth), I was greatly disappointed with Philip Gourevitch's article, “A Dissent on Schindler's List” [February].

"Schindler's List"; Talbottism; Whitewater; etc.
by Our Readers
"Schindler's List" TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Having resided in Cracow in the immediate aftermath of the events depicted in Schindler's List (I was there during the trial of the sadis- tic Nazi murderer, Amon Goeth), I was greatly disappointed with Phil- ip Gourevitch's article, "A Dissent on Schindler's List" [February]. That a contributing editor of the Forward (God help us!) cannot dis- tinguish between Yiddish and Pol- ish is difficult to believe: Oskar Schindler's Jewish "investors" speak Polish, not Yiddish.

Furtive Smokers-and What They Tell Us About America
by Peter Berger
There are scenes—sometimes dramatic, sometimes quite ordinary—which can disclose the inner essence of an entire society. Thousands of people holding their breath in a Spanish arena as the matador, sword drawn, advances toward the bull in the moment of truth.

It's Big Government, Stupid
by David Frum
Journalists who covered Patrick J. Buchanan's abortive 1992 presidential campaign heard some remarkably stinging invective from him about the crushing burden of Big Government.

Land for No Peace
by Douglas Feith
The Israel-PLO accord was supposed to bring on the new dawn of peace that optimists contended could be Israel's for the asking.

Saul Bellow, Our Contemporary
by Hilton Kramer
The authors whose books we read when they are new and we are young are bound to occupy a place in our lives that is different from that of other writers.

Why the Dietary Laws?
by Leon Kass
A core document of Western civilization, the Torah or Pentateuch has at its center a set of dietary regulations, presented in the eleventh chapter of Leviticus.

Home Truths
by Linda Lichter
Whenever preachers, politicians, or sitcom stars prattle on about “family values,” I think of my great-grandmother's embroidered linens. When I graduated from college in the late 1970's, an aunt bequeathed me a set of bed linens my great-grandmother had embroidered in the 1880's for her trousseau.

No White Males Need Apply
by Midge Decter
Filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court is, of course, among the most consequential of presidential acts—not quite so grave, perhaps, as taking the nation into war, but in the long run probably of more lasting effect.

The Tyranny of the Majority, by Lani Guinier
by Linda Chavez
Voting Rights & Wrongs The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy. by Lani Guinier. Martin Kessler Books/Free Press. 324 pp.

Disraeli, by Stanley Weintraub
by Edward Alexander
Paradox Disraeli: A Biography. by Stanley Weintraub. Truman Talley Books/Dutton. 717 pp. $30.00. In August 1867 England took a famous “leap in the dark” by passing the Second Reform Bill, which enfranchised the urban working classes (women excepted), nearly doubled the size of the electorate, and committed the country irrevocably to democracy.

Next, edited by Eric Liu
by Jeffrey Bloom
X-ers Speak Next: Young American Writers on the New Generation. by Eric Liu. Norton. 248 pp. $21.00. “Baby bust,” “Boomerang,” “New Lost Generation”—these are some of the more unflattering labels affixed to the 80 million Americans born between 1961 and 1981, otherwise known as “Generation X,” an epithet lifted from the title of a 1991 novel by one of their chroniclers, Douglas Coupland. Various cover stories in various magazines—among them Time, Fortune, and the Atlantic—have attempted to delve into the character of Generation X, and movies like Singles and this year's Reality Bites have been hailed for capturing its dating and mating habits, its career aspirations (such as they are), and its outlook on life.

Recovering American Literature, by Peter Shaw
by Evelyn Toynton
Battle of the Books Recovering American Literature. by Peter Shaw. Ivan R. Dee. 203 pp. $22.00. One of the peculiar luxuries that literature has always afforded us is the chance to experience to the full the kind of conflicted emotions we often have to suppress in our daily lives.

Higher Superstition, by Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt
by Jeffrey Salmon
Science in the Crosshairs Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science. by Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt. Johns Hopkins University Press.

July, 1994Back to Top
Reb Moishe Bear
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arnold Beichman's anecdote about Reb Moishe Bear [Letters from Readers, April, commenting on Jacob Sloan's December 1993 article, “Saying Kaddish”] is a beautiful story, beautifully told.

Jewish Activists
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I must extend Robert M. Seltzer's description of Marshall Sklare's typology of Jewish intellectuals [“American Jews & Their Judaism, March] to include at least one more category. Sklare had three categories—“assimilationists” like Louis Wirth; “critical intellectuals,” like Judith Kramer, Seymour Leventman, Mark Zborowski, and Elizabeth Herzog; and a third wave, “survivalists,” like Sklare himself.

Virtue
by Our Readers
To the Editor: James Q. Wilson's perceptive essay, “Tales of Virtue” [April], is marred by a minor error and a major historical untruth.

Free Will
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jeffrey Marsh's critique of Francis Crick's The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul [Books in Review, April], illustrates once again the seeming incapacity of certain gifted scientists like Crick and other members of the “touch-and-count” school to apprehend those intuitive aspects of behavior which cannot be quantified and which will not register on an MRI, on a CAT scan, or be calculated in grams or drams. Harry Stack Sullivan in The Interpersonal Theory of Psychoanalysis expressed this difficulty with humorous frustration while trying to convey to interns the concept of empathy: I have had a good deal of trouble at times with people of a certain type of educational history; since they cannot refer empathy to vision, hearing, or some other special sense receptor, and since they do not know whether it is transmitted by the ether waves or what not, they find it hard to accept the idea of empathy.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
by
To the Editor: Having recently completed G. Edward White's biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: Law and the Inner-self, I was drawn to Daniel J.

About Judaism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I appreciate Jon D. Levenson's many positive and perceptive comments about my book, The God I Believe In (conversations about Judaism with fourteen eminent Jews) [Books in Review, May] and wish to correct not matters of opinion but several misleading statements, such as the comment that the book exhibits a “tendency to read like a questionnaire rather than a set of sustained theological inquiries accessible to laymen.” The fact is that to keep the conversations focused on the issues of faith dealt with in the book, it was of course necessary to raise many questions which prompted the interviewees to clarify their beliefs, but the text has no resemblance whatever to a questionnaire.

U.S. Sovereignty
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In the ideological warfare of our time, there has emerged the interesting phenomenon of the “phony Center,” whereby liberals try to seize exclusive possession of the “responsible” middle ground located between the “extremes” of both Left and Right; thus—to mention just one well-known instance—Robert Hughes of Time adopted conservative arguments against multiculturalism while energetically vilifying the very conservatives from whom he derived those arguments.

Trial by Jury
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Walter Berns's discussion of the defects of the criminal-jury system [“Getting Away With Murder,” April] is right as far as it goes, but, alas, it does not go far enough.

Black Anti-Semitism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As Arch Puddington so eloquently describes it in “Black Anti-Semitism & How It Grows” [April], the seeds of black discontent were planted long ago in the halls of ivy.

Black anti-Semitism; trial by jury; U.S. sovereignty; etc.
by Our Readers
Black Anti-Semitism TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: As Arch Puddington so elo- quently describes it in "Black Anti- Semitism & How It Grows" [April], the seeds of black discontent were planted long ago in the halls of ivy.

A World Without Leaders
by Paul Johnson
The late Lord Beaverbrook, owner of the London Daily Express and other successful newspapers, had a habit of calling the office late in the evening and, if not immediately able to track down the editor-in-chief, bellowing: “Who's in charge of the clattering train?” Beaverbrook had a fearful image of his entire organization charging at full speed through the night, lights ablaze in every car, but with no engineer at the controls.

Do the Jews Have a Future?
by Robert Wistrich
Over the past 50 years, the Jewish world has experienced a number of unprecedented and momentous changes which have transformed its structure, its internal composition, and its future prospects. First and foremost, of course, has been the creation of an independent sovereign state in the ancient Jewish homeland, reconstituted for the first time in nearly 2,000 years.

Under the Rising Sun
by Charles Horner
What is the meaning for us of the “Pacific Century” and the “Asian Resurgence”? It may be that we are on the verge of a mutually reinforcing golden age of economic prosperity and intercultural efflorescence.

The Politics of Dissent
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
In Culture and Anarchy, written more than a century ago, Matthew Arnold described a phenomenon that we tend to think is unique to our times rather than his.

Matthew Arnold and Us
by John Gross
A hundred twenty-five years after it was first published, a new edition of Matthew Arnold's Culture and Anarchy—the classic defense of high culture against the depredations of modernity—is still an event1 This is a work that speaks to us directly, even intimately; a work that still sets a challenge.

Genet Among the Palestinians
by Martin Kramer
On the morning of September 19, 1982, the French writer Jean Genet visited the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila near Beirut.

Welfare Feminism
by Midge Decter
It is fair to say that the Nation, having come out every week for almost 130 years now, is the country's longest-lived and most consistent voice of the Left.

Hypocrisy on Haiti
by Joshua Muravchik
Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, is worried that America's “credibility as a world leader” is in jeopardy. Why? Because “Haiti's military rulers continue to thumb their noses at the United States.” Washington has tried by peaceful means to make them release their illegitimate grip on power, “but nothing has worked—not diplomacy, not tougher sanctions, not a potential naval embargo.” This search for a negotiated solution has failed, says Senator Kerry, “because there was no believable threat of force” on our part.

Standing Firm, by Dan Quayle
by Andrew Ferguson
Campaign Bound Standing Firm. by Dan Quayle. HarperCollins-Zondervan. 402 pp. $25.00. Ever since the basketball star Charles Barkley admitted in a press conference that he had not read his own just-published autobiography, reviewers have been well-advised to approach celebrity memoirs with care.

Jewish Cooking in America, by Joan Nathan
by Naomi Munson
When I was in college, living on my own and cooking for myself for the first time, I asked my maternal grandmother to give me her recipe for chicken soup.

The Promise of Pragmatism, by John Patrick Diggins
by Daniel Silver
An American Philosophy The Promise of Pragmatism: Modernism and the Crisis of Knowledge and Authority. by John Patrick Diggins. University of Chicago Press.

The Green Crusade, by Charles T. Rubin
by Jeffrey Marsh
Doomsayers The Green Crusade: Rethinking the Roots of Environmentalism. by Charles T. Rubin. Free Press. 312 pp. $22.95. Charles T. Rubin grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where in the early 1960's chimneys belched black smoke into the air, waste pipes discharged raw sewage into a “dying” Lake Erie, and the murky Cuyahoga River actually caught fire.

Rebellions, Perversities, and Main Events, by Murray Kempton
by Terry Teachout
Man of the 30's Rebellions, Perversities, and Main Events. by Murray Kempton. Times Books. 570 pp. $27.50. Murray Kempton, the dean of American newspaper columnists, is mostly unknown to readers—younger ones, at any rate—outside New York.

Family Reunion
by Walter Laqueur
On March 19, 1994, a Jewish family reunion took place in Givat Haim, a kibbutz situated midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

August, 1994Back to Top
Russia & Europe
by Our Readers
To the Editor: George Weigel's brilliant article, “Creeping Talbottism” [March], should have included a clear statement that pessimism about Russia does not mean rejection of a grand optimistic vision of the future.

Addiction
by
To the Editor: In “Who Is Addicted to What?,” Midge Decter's critique of an article by Barbara Ehrenreich [Contentions, April], I found the dismissal of Ehrenreich's main point, that society is hypocritical in its enforcement of drug laws, rather flippant.

The “New York Times”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I appreciate the attention that Joseph Epstein gave my book, Behind the Times: Inside the New New York Times, in his provocative article, “The Degradation of the New York Times” [May].

Conservatism & Big Government
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It's hard not to like David Frum [“It's Big Government, Stupid,” June]. At a time when American conservatives are endlessly hectored to be tolerant, inclusive, and caring, Mr.

Conservatism & Big Government; the
by Our Readers
Conservatism & Big Government TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: It's hard not to like David Frum ["It's Big Government, Stupid," June].

Why Religion Is Good for the Jews
by Irving Kristol
If a religious community experiences a very low birth rate and a very high rate of intermarriage—50 percent—what kind of future will it have? Obviously, not much of one. Yet the American Jewish community, which is experiencing both of these phenomena, seems to feel no anguish, only a growing anxiety.

Partial Justice
by Mary Glendon
As late as the early 1960's, Justice William O. Douglas was widely regarded as a disgrace to the bench even by many lawyers who shared his social and economic views.

Naipaul's World
by Philip Gourevitch
The distinguished writer V.S. Naipaul opens his new book, A Way in the World1—it is his 22nd—with a brief “Prelude” (subtitled “An Inheritance”) in which he describes the constant “shifting about of reality” he experiences whenever he returns home to the island of Trinidad.

One Down
by Allegra Goodman
On a background of blue velvet stand two baby pictures in silver frames. Then silver script letters scroll up the screen: Miriam Elizabeth and Jonathan Daniel produced by Edward and Sarah Markowitz Zaev and Marjorie Schwartz supported by Avi, Ben, and Yehudit Markowitz and Dina Schwartz and also starring Ilse Schwartz Estelle and Sol Kirshenbaum and Rose Markowitz as themselves This is the opening Miriam and Jon have chosen for their wedding video.

Is Nationalism the Wave of the Future?
by Patrick Glynn
We might as well be honest at the outset: foreign-policy problems have a kind of intractable and uninteresting quality about them today, sharply contrasting with the nature of foreign-policy debate during the cold-war era.

No, Italy Is Not Going Fascist
by Angelo Codevilla
On March 27-28, 1994, Italians went to the polls. When the ballots were counted, all the parties that had formed all the governments since World War II had disappeared.

The Fuehrer's Filmmaker
by Richard Grenier
“I think the Germans have been too tough on her,” I heard a woman behind me say as we left a remarkable three-hour German documentary film entitled (in English) The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl.

“Newsweek” Discovers Virtue
by Midge Decter
Consider the travails of the newsweekly. Each Monday, year in and year out, it must appear on the stands trumpeting some event or personality that will stir the juices of the magazine-buying public.

A Fish in the Water, by Mario Vargas Llosa
by Arturo Cruz,
Against the Tide A Fish in the Water: A Memoir. by Mario Vargas Llosa. Translated by Helen Lane. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 532 pp.

Summing Up, by Yitzhak Shamir
by Joseph Shattan
The Road from Rujenoy Summing Up. by Yitzhak Shamir. Little, Brown. 288 pp. $24.95. Toward the close of the 1991 Madrid peace conference, the Syrian Foreign Minister, Farouk al-Sharaa, startled his fellow delegates by supplementing his denunciation of Israel's Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir, with an illustration.

Hole in Our Soul, by Martha Bayles
by Daniel Silver
All That Jazz Hole in Our Soul: The Loss or Beauty and Meaning in American Popular Music. by Martha Bayles. Free Press. 453 pp.

Before the Shooting Begins, by James Davison Hunter
by Daniel Casse
Culture War Before the Shooting Begins. by James Davison Hunter. Free Press. 310 pp. $22.95. James Davison Hunter has written a temperate book about the volatile subject of abortion—more precisely, about the debate that has swirled around our abortion laws for more than two decades. No one could be unfamiliar with this debate.

The New York Idea, by Mario Cuomo
by Richard Brookhiser
The Liberal The New York Idea: An Experiment in Democracy. by Mario Cuomo. Crown. 286 pp. $25.00. For most of this century, New York State has been an incubator of nationally prominent liberal politicians.

September, 1994Back to Top
Music & Recording
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Beethoven & the Pianists” [April], Samuel Lipman reminds us that today's recordings make musicians sound better than they are.

Marx & Mao
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Losing China Again” [April], Charles Horner cites a New York Times Magazine article reporting that Chinese people have said they “are nostalgic for the Cultural Revolution because it was so Chinese.

Financing Farrakhan
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arch Puddington's article, “Black Anti-Semitism & How It Grows” [April], offers perceptive insights into the susceptibility of certain black audiences to the recent outpouring of anti-Semitic propaganda.

Saul Bellow
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Reading Saul Bellow with a generational sensibility, as Hilton Kramer does in “Saul Bellow, Our Contemporary” [June], gets at the essence of Bellow's greatness as an American writer, but also reveals one of his limitations as a specifically Jewish writer. Saul Bellow's generation of American Jews will remain unique.

Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Israel: Guilt & Politics” [May], David Bar-Illan characterizes the irrational, anti-Jewish, anti-Israel sentiments of those who call themselves the Left in Israel as those of self-hatred.

The Joint Staff
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Edward N. Luttwak's article, “Washington's Biggest Scandal” [May], is confusing. He sets up his thesis by claiming that the biggest scandal in town is “nothing less than the collapse of civilian control over the military policies and military strategies of the United States.” The culprit in his piece is the multiservice Joint Staff, accountable to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) for developing policy positions on military matters.

Furtive Smokers
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am forced to disagree with one of the finest thinkers in our modern world. In “Furtive Smokers—and What They Tell Us About America” [June], the brilliant Peter L.

Furtive Smokers; the Joint Staff; Israel; Saul Bellow; etc.
by Our Readers
Furtive Smokers TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I am forced to disagree with one of the finest thinkers in our mod- ern world.

What To Do About Crime
by James Wilson
Few of the major problems facing American society today are entirely new, but in recent years most of them have either taken new forms or reached new levels of urgency.

Next Year in (a Divided?) Jerusalem
by David Bar-Illan
What irritated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin most about the demonstrations against him this past July was not the epithets “murderer” and “traitor” shouted by a few hotheads.

The Case for Global Activism
by Robert Kagan
Future historians will record—perhaps in astonishment—that the demise of the Soviet Union ushered in an era of American worldwide engagement and armed intervention unprecedented in scope and frequency.

The ADL vs. the “Religious Right”
by Midge Decter
In June of this year, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an established and highly respected organization dedicated to the protection and security of the American Jewish community, published a 193-page study entitled The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance & Pluralism in America.

Lessons from the Soviet Collapse
by Charles Fairbanks
Last year, a special issue of the National Interest attempted the beginnings of an autopsy on the Soviet system. Now, with the appearance of Martin Malia's The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia, 1917-19911 and Richard Pipes's Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime2 the great reappraisal—not only of the Soviet system itself, but of the implications of its rise, consolidation, and eventual collapse for the political culture of the West—is fully under way. For all their similarities, the books by Pipes and Malia are very different.

Clement Greenberg: An Appreciation
by Roger Kimball
The art critic Clement Greenberg died this past May at the age of eighty-five. Although he had written little for more than two decades, Greenberg remained a contentious and widely discussed, almost a legendary, figure in the art world and the world of academic art criticism. Even in death Greenberg managed to stir controversy.

Flop at the OK Corral
by Richard Grenier
Once again Hollywood is stupefied. As with A Perfect World, last year's Clint Eastwood-Kevin Costner megaflop, so now Wyatt Earp, a $60-million Kevin Costner spectacular, carefully released at the start of the peak summer season and replete with gunslingers, gunfights, and the legendary shoot-out at the OK Corral, has come to grief at American box offices.

Who Stole Feminism? by Christina Hoff Sommers
by Cathy Young
Untainted by Testosterone Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women. by Christina Hoff Sommers. Simon & Schuster. 320 pp. $23.00. One cannot open a newspaper or turn on the television these days without seeing another story about the horrors visited upon American women in a man's world.

Anti-Semitism in America, by Leonard Dinnerstein; A Scapegoat in the New Wilderness, by Frederic Cople Jaher
by Jack Wertheimer
Is Christianity Responsible? Anti-Semitism in America. by Leonard Dinnerstein. Oxford University Press. 369 pp. $25.00. A Scapegoat in the New Wilderness: The Origins and Rise of Anti-Semitism in America. by Frederic Cople Jaher. Harvard University Press.

News and the Culture of Lying, by Paul H. Weaver
by John Corry
Newspeak News and the Culture of Lying. by Paul H. Weaver. Free Press. 243 pp. $22.95. Hardly anyone speaks any more of “the press.” Instead, there is something called the “media”—an assemblage of voices and technologies gathered without regard to professional discipline, and amorphous enough to include Oprah Winfrey, George Will, and young geniuses who make videos for MTV.

The Homeless, by Christopher Jencks
by Ben Wildavsky
Gimme Shelter The Homeless. by Christopher Jencks. Harvard University Press. 161 pp. $17.95. An odd paradox marks America's recent experience with homelessness during the 1980's: even as the nation's unemployment rate was cut in half, the number of homeless people on our streets continued to rise.

The Shadow of the Panther, by Hugh Pearson
by Arch Puddington
Offing the Pigs, and Others The Shadow of the Panther: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in America. by Hugh Pearson. Addison-Wesley.

October, 1994Back to Top
White Males & the “Times”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The editorial writers of the New York Times and Midge Decter [“No White Males Need Apply,” June] may have their differences, but the owners of the newspaper evidently agree with her. Commenting on the same Times editorial cited by Miss Decter, the April 15 issue of the Forward noted that the Times's proprietors rejected their editorial's reasoning and announced that they were plucking from the Times's own herd of white-male editors the ever-able Joseph Lelyveld and boosting him to the position of executive editor, which is the top position at the Times.

Maximilian Kolbe
by Our Readers
To the Editor: George E. Ehrlich [Letters from Readers, July] is quite correct to point out that the man for whom Maximilian Kolbe sacrificed his life was a father who survived Auschwitz to raise his family, but was not a Jew.

Big Government, Round 2
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “It's Big Government, Stupid” [June], David Frum blames most, if not all, of America's economic and social problems on the welfare state.

The Dietary Laws
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read with concern Leon R. Kass's article, “Why the Dietary Laws?” [June]. The observation that vegetarians refrain from meat indiscriminately and thus “violate the Jewish dietary laws” fails to consider that vegetarians refrain from bloodshed and violence.

Dwight Macdonald
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In her article on Michael Wreszin's biography of Dwight Macdonald [“The Politics of Dissent,” July], Gertrude Himmelfarb writes: “Mary McCarthy's ‘Portrait of the Intellectual as a Yale Man,’ written in 1942, gives us a barely fictionalized young Macdonald who presages the Macdonald of later years.” As a marginal and very junior member of the intellectual circles around Macdonald's Politics and Partisan Review in the late 1940's, I recall that it was common knowledge that McCarthy's model was John Chamberlain.

“Land for No Peace”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I agree with everything Douglas J. Feith says in his “Land for No Peace” [June], and reading it is enough to chill the heart of any sane person, .

Israel; Dwight Macdonald; dietary laws; etc.
by Our Readers
"Land for No Peace" TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I agree with everything Douglas J. Feith says in his "Land for No Peace" [June], and reading it is enough to chill the heart of any sane person, ....

What To Do About Education: The Universities
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
Continuing the series we inaugurated last month with James Q. Wilson's article on crime, we here move on to the issue of education. It is now widely recognized that this country is failing at every level to educate its young people properly.

What To Do About Education: The Schools
by Chester Finn,
The Clinton administration crowed this past spring about its success in getting Congress to enact an education-reform bill called Goals 2000.

The Jihad Against the Jews
by Martin Kramer
On July 18, a ferocious bomb explosion ripped through the seven-story building at 633 Pasteur Street, in the traditionally Jewish quarter of Buenos Aires.

Naked Unto Our Enemies
by Angelo Codevilla
The crisis over North Korea's development of a nuclear arsenal has—or should have—brought us face to face with two hard truths.

How Good Was Leonard Bernstein?
by Terry Teachout
YOUNGER readers accustomed to hear- ing the name of the late Leonard Bernstein uttered only in reverential tones may find it hard to believe that America's best-known classical musician was for a long time treated as something perilously close to a figure of fun.

The Secret of Jewish Continuity
by Jonathan Sarna
“It's continuity, stupid.” So reads a sign prominently displayed in the office of a Jewish community agency in a major American city.

The Left vs. Free Speech
by John McGinnis
An extraordinary political realignment is occurring today: liberals and left-wing thinkers are now urging wide-ranging government regulation of speech. This shift away from what was once a virtually absolutist position favoring the unfettered exchange of information and ideas is already visible in the proliferation of campus speech codes and in the strong support that feminists have given to anti-pornography legislation.

Megan's Law & the
by Midge Decter
Probably there are by now few people who have not heard the story of Megan Kanka of Hamilton Township, New Jersey—or at least some story similar to it.

Lenin, by Dimitri Volkogonov
by Adam Ulam
From the Finland Station Lenin: A New Biography. by Dimitri Volkogonov. Translated and edited by Harold Shukman. Free Press. 599 pp. $30.00. Though his has been an unusual career, the life story of Dmitri Volkogonov epitomizes and explains much that has happened to the Soviet Union and Communism. As he told us in his biography of Stalin (1989), Volkogonov's father was executed when he was a child, and his family was banished to Siberia.

Elusive Prophet, by Steven J. Zipperstein
by Alan Mintz
“One of the People” Elusive Prophet: Ahad Ha'am and the Origins of Zionism. by Steven J. Zipperstein. University of California Press. 411 pp.

Demosclerosis, by Jonathan Rauch
by Tod Lindberg
The High-Cholesterol State Demosclerosis: The Silent Killer of American Government. by Jonathan Rauch. Times Books. 250 pp. $22.00. “Demosclerosis,” in Jonathan Rauch's diagnosis, is “government's progressive loss of the ability to adapt.” Ever since World War II, he maintains, powerful underlying social forces have intersected with a structural weakness in modern democratic politics to allow entrenched interests to dominate government.

Overcoming Math Anxiety, by Sheila Tobias
by David Guaspari
False Equations Overcoming Math Anxiety. by Sheila Tobias. Revised edition. Norton. 260 pp. $23.00. The reasons for our widespread and embarrassing ignorance of mathematics were aptly described by Jacques Barzun in Teacher in America some 50 years ago: Early in life, people come to think of themselves as having or not having that mysterious [mathematical] “mind,” and until recently I do not believe that anyone dared to dispute its existence.

The Plum in the Golden Vase, translated by David Tod Roy
by Charles Horner
The Bad Earth The Plum in the Golden Vase, or Chin P'ing Mei. Vol. I: The Gathering. by David Tod Roy. Princeton University Press.

November, 1994Back to Top
Pragmatism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Daniel J. Silver is to be commended for recognizing that Richard Rorty is a dubious heir to the philosophy of John Dewey, yet his review of The Promise of Pragmatism by John Patrick Diggins [Books in Review, July] contains significant misunderstandings of Dewey and pragmatism.

Political Leadership
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Only the most devoted party member, Democrat or Republican, is likely to challenge Paul Johnson's observations [“A World Without Leaders,” July] on the mediocre quality of our political leadership.

Welfare Feminism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to applaud Midge Decter [“Welfare Feminism,” July] for her recognition of the nihilism in Katha Pollitt's writing.

Matthew Arnold
by Our Readers
To the Editor: John Gross [Matthew Arnold and Us,” July] is right to object to Samuel Lipman's description of the author of Culture and Anarchy as “a lonely spokesman for an inward culture,” but he forgets that Arnold's practical instrument for making “sweetness and light” prevail was not “arguments fairly loose and .

Dictators & Art
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Richard Grenier [“The Fuehrer's Filmmaker,” Movies, August] raises a very interesting question: can artists loyal to cannibalistic regimes like Nazi Germany or Communist Russia produce great work? His primary example is Leni Riefenstahl, but Mr.

The Jewish Future II: Israel & the Diaspora
by Our Readers
The Jewish Future II. Israel & the Diaspora To the Editor: Robert S. Wistrich [“Do the Jews Have a Future?,” July] is concerned about the disappearance of the Jewish people, but he ignores the mathematics apparent in his own article. If he is right and the Hasidim number 350,000 in Israel, with a similar number in the Diaspora, we have a total of 700,000.

The Jewish Future I: Judaism & Liberalism
by Our Readers
The Jewish Future I. Judaism & Liberalism To the Editor: Irving Kristol's article, “Why Religion Is Good for the Jews” [August], impressively takes on Jewish organizations for fighting the wrong battles, and correctly urges them to rethink their priorities.

The Jewish future; dictators and art; Matthew Arnold; pragmatism; etc.
by Our Readers
The Jewish Future I. Judaism & Liberalism TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Irving Kristol's article, "Why Re- ligion Is Good for the Jews" [Au- gust], impressively takes on Jewish organizations for fighting the wrong battles, and correctly urges them to rethink their priorities.

What To Do About National Defense
by Eliot Cohen
Great struggles leave their marks on the institutions that wage them.   The ambience of the cold war saturated every element of our defense establishment, including the intellectual establishment that grew up around it.

Israel Against Itself
by Hillel Halkin
A few days after the recent death at the age of ninety-one of Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz, biochemist, theologian, and indefatigable public gadfly, I spied the following notice on the Jerusalem street where he lived:             Blessed Be the True Judge With Much Sorrow We Announce the Death Of the Great Thinker Yeshayahu Leibowitz Who Was Among the Regular Worshipers In the Central Yeshurun Synagogue Of Jerusalem. In the outpouring of encomia that followed Leibowitz's death, such praise for him was not at all extravagant.

How the Cold War Really Ended
by Joshua Muravchik
Up until 1990, the great divide of American politics for at least 25 years, and perhaps 45, was between hawks and doves.

Politically-Correct Baseball
by George Weigel
Innocent of the game's history, sociology, or metaphysics, I learned my baseball in the late 1950's the old-fashioned way: sitting beside my grandfather Weigel in the lower deck of Baltimore's cavernous old Memorial Stadium, in the days when the Orioles seemed to have taken out a 99-year lease on sixth place in the American League. You did not have to buy tickets six months in advance, or cadge them from a friendly corporate public-affairs officer, in that simpler age.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's Third Act
by Joseph Epstein
. . . how I would hate the reputation of being clever at writing but stupid at everything else. —Montaigne Michel de Montaigne's dread has been F.

The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel
by Jeremy Rabkin
Supreme Court rulings on issues of church and state are a tangle of conflicting impulses. On the one hand, the Court has struggled over the past quarter-century to avoid even the slightest hint that it is “endorsing” or “advancing” religion.

Bob Woodward Meets Bill Clinton
by Tod Lindberg
Is there a more celebrated journalist, or for that matter a more reviled one, than Bob Woodward, the Pulitzer prize-winning assistant managing editor for investigations at the Washington Post? No one can deny that, for better or worse, his daily reporting with Carl Bernstein on Watergate contributed mightily to the downfall of the Nixon administration twenty years ago.

The State Department vs. America
by Midge Decter
As the diplomatic arm of the world's greatest power, the U.S. Department of State has many, and widely varied, responsibilities.

Dictatorship of Virtue, by Richard Bernstein
by Chester Finn,
The “M” Word Dictatorship of Virtue: Multiculturalism and the Battle for America's Future. by Richard Bernstein. Knopf. 367 pp. $25.00. Sometimes—mercifully—the kids are hard to fool.

A Talent for Genius, by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger
by Daniel Silver
Piano Man A Talent for Genius: The Life and Times of Oscar Levant. by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger. Villard Books. 512 pp.

The Hubble Wars, by Eric J. Chaisson
by Kenneth Silber
The NASA Follies The Hubble Wars: Astrophysics Meets Astropolitics in the Two-Billion-Dollar Struggle Over the Hubble Space Telescope. by Eric J. Chaisson. HarperCollins.

Motherhood Deferred, by Anne Taylor Fleming
by Rachel Abrams
Barren Motherhood Deferred: A Woman's Journey. by Anne Taylor Fleming. Putnam. 256 pp. $23.95. Anne Taylor Fleming is a free- lance writer who reports regularly about women and their “issues” for the New York Times Magazine, among other journals.

City on a Hill, by James Traub
by Barry Gross
What Happened to CCNY City on a Hill: Testing the American Dream at City College. by James Traub. Addison-Wesley. 371 pp. $25.00. In its glory years, 1920 to 1970, New York's City College (CCNY) provided free education to a student body composed largely of the children of poor and working-class immigrants, many of them Jews.

December, 1994Back to Top
“One Down”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: For the past several years COMMENTARY has been publishing stories by Allegra Goodman, thereby allowing its readers to observe the development of a young writer.

Prejudice
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mary Ann Glendon, in her otherwise excellent article [“Partial Justice,” August], states flatly that racial prejudice has “no respectability at aft in contemporary American society.” That flattering opinion is odd, considering academic complaisance toward racist attitudes in a professor like Leonard Jeffries—to name only one example.

Leni Riefenstahl
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Richard Grenier's article on Leni Riefenstahl [“The Fuehrer's Filmmaker,” Movies, August] surprised me. I recall an incident that occurred in 1937-38 when the Nazis had not yet denied Jews the privilege of visiting Berlin's zoo.

The Nature of Art
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Roger Kimball's “Clement Green-berg: An Appreciation” [September] came as a disappointment. Green-berg's vaunted high seriousness and admirable powers of analysis notwithstanding, his work merits a greater disavowal than Mr.

Global Activism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Kagan's excellent survey of 20th-century American foreign policy [“The Case for Global Activism,” September] presents an accurate picture of the dangers the country will face if it now attempts to withdraw from world politics.

Global activism; the nature of art; Leni Riefenstahl; etc.
by Our Readers
Global Activism TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Robert Kagan's excellent survey of 20th-century American foreign policy ["The Case for Global Activ- ism," September] presents an ac- curate picture of the dangers the country will face if it now attempts to withdraw from world politics.

The Peace Process So Far
by Norman Podhoretz
People keep asking me if I have changed my mind about the peace process. Do I, they want to know, still hold to the gloomy view I first expressed even before the Rabin-Arafat handshake on the White House lawn—the view that the process subsequently ratified and accelerated by that handshake would lead not to peace but to another major war?1 After all, these people tell me, look how much has already been achieved in little more than a year.

What To Do About Welfare
by Charles Murray
In the 1992 campaign, Bill Clinton's television ad promising to “end welfare as we know it” was one of his best vote-getters, so effective that it was the first choice for a heavy media buy in closely contested states at the end of the campaign.

Countercultures
by Irving Kristol
The counterculture that emerged in the United States in the 1960's—and pretty much simultaneously in all the Western democracies—is certainly one of the most significant events in the last half-century of Western civilization.

Redford's Van Doren & Mine
by Joseph Epstein
When I read that Robert Redford was about to release a movie about the 1950's quiz-show scandals, my first thought was: poor Charlie, poor damned—possibly genuinely damned—Charlie.

Eurocentrism Revisited
by Bernard Lewis
Europe, Asia, and Africa are the three continents into which, by ancient tradition, the world was divided. A clear and simple description is provided by the Roman writer Pliny in his Natural History: The whole circuit of the earth is divided into three parts, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Buddies
by Felicia Ackerman
“No, I didn't say a friend of mine has AIDS.” Mona looked up from the climatic-data summary. “At least not a friend I've already got.

The Western Canon, by Harold Bloom
by Daniel Silver
The Battle of the Books The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. by Harold Bloom. Harcourt Brace. 578 pp. $29.95. As has been recorded in dispiriting detail by numerous observers, the wholesale embrace of multiculturalism in our universities has mainly led not to an opening-up of the curriculum to other cultures, but to a denigration of the products of our own Western tradition.

And They Shall Be My People, by Paul Wilkes
by Elliott Abrams
Tradition? And They shall Be My People: An American Rabbi and His Congregation. by Paul Wilkes. Atlantic Monthly Press. 348 pp. $23.00. Paul Wilkes, a Catholic, has written several books about his own religion.

Stalin and the Bomb, by David Holloway
by Adam Ulam
Ground Zero Stalin and the Bomb: The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy 1939-1956. By David Holloway. Yale. 464 pp. $30.00. Few Americans, it is safe to say, lose sleep these days over the fact that Russia's arsenal of nuclear missiles is still sufficient to destroy us many times over, or because we do not know how tightly and by whom these weapons are guarded and controlled.

Reinventing the Family, by Laura Benkov
by Miriam Wolf
Brave New Family Reinventing the Family: The Emerging Story of Lesbian and Gay Parents. by Laura Benkov. Crown. 304 pp. $22.00. There is a baby boom now under way among homosexuals.

Arrogant Capital, by Kevin Phillips
by Daniel Casse
The Radical Center Arrogant Capital: Washington, Wall Street, and the Frustration of American Politics. by Kevin Phillips. Little, Brown. 231 pp. $22.95. The voters are angry—and so is Kevin Phillips.

U.S. Forces on the Golan Heights?
by Our Readers
U.S. Forces on the Golan Heights? A Special Report On October 25, the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., released an in-depth study, conducted by eleven eminent experts, on the idea of stationing U.S.




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