Commentary Magazine


“Apostles of Discord”

To the Editor:

Jim Rorty, in his unqualified indorsement of Apostles of Discord, by Ralph Lord Roy (November 1953), apparently overlooked one aspect of the book which gives me concern. And that is Roy’s apparent use of the “guilt by association” technique which I assume he abhors when used in other connections. May I quote from Dr. Daniel A. Poling’s comments on the book, which appeared in the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader, October 28, 1953: “Definitely this author, who is of the Union Seminary school of social writers, looks upon those who, in the field of social Christianity, are right in the middle, as ‘hyper-conservatives.’ Certainly that is his privilege and freedom. But he is hardly to be excused for grouping, by inference at least, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Howard Pew, Dr. Howard Kershner, the ladies aforementioned, and many others, with Protestant fringe groups ‘promoting hate and disruption.’ ” Since the author does do these things I’m sorry Jim Rorty, usually perspicacious in such matters, did not roundly condemn this type of smearing of good Americans.

Victor Lasky
New York City

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