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January, 1958Back to Top
Morris Raphael Cohen
To the Editor: With a view to editing the correspondence of the late philosopher Morris Raphael Cohen, I am collecting letters by or concerning him, and other memorabilia. I should deeply appreciate hearing from anyone possessing materials or information pertaining thereto. Leonora Cohen Rosenfield 3749 Chesapeake St., N.W. Washington 16, D.

To the Editor: By an unforgivable blunder I have done an injury to a scholar whose work I hold in the highest regard.

“Judaism In Northrup”
To the Editor: The wise and perceptive commentary that one finds in Evelyn N. Rossman's “Judaism in Northrup” (November) leads this reader to wonder about the wisdom and perception of the “Jewish leaders” in these new suburban communities that are not “Jewish” in character and structure, yet boast of an over-active and multi-disciplined arena of Jewish organizations. To the author, and the many other anonymous and public critics of suburban Judaism, I pose several basic questions. Don't you expect too much in the way of understanding, participation, and dedication from these people who have either never known or fled the influences and moral ties of Jewish family and community life? Why should we assume that the completely restyled and reassessed Jewish institutions, ideas, and ceremonials of the Northrups—in the guise of sophistication, modernism, and superficiality—should satisfy the basic yearnings of man for purpose, direction, and meaning? Should we expect anything but confusion, apathy, and frustration from these people whose rabbis and synagogues have been too preoccupied with trivia to serve as beacons in the direction of basic Jewish truths and values? Is it not true that a major factor in the influencing of the Jews of another generation toward communal responsibility was their genuine desire to prepare for the next generation and perpetuate their own network of beliefs, customs, and values? What is it that Northrupians wish to perpetuate, their social insecurity, their hybrid Judaism, their frustrations? The history of our people has answers to these questions, and it has shown that Jewish community life per se, and indeed the very essence of Jewish family life, is bankrupt and meaningless when divorced from the basic “motifs” and fundaments of Judaism.

Art and Movies
To the Editor: Manny Farber in “Underground Films” (November) attempts to establish himself as a Mickey Spillane of movie criticism by exalting the action film with its “twelve-year-old's adventure story plot and endless palpitating movement” as the most significant contribution to cinematic art in modern times.

Must Desegregation Be Imposed by Force?
To the Editor: In Professor Woodward's article (“The Great Civil Rights Debate,” October) on the civil rights debate of last summer, there appeared the following: ‘It is time to march forward,’ announced Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, ‘toward the goal of social, economic, and political equality for all Americans, irrespective of the color of their skins.’ But the Senator hastily followed up this bugle call for advance with a roll of drums for retreat: ‘However, this forward movement must be orderly, constitutionally lawful, devoid of carpetbagging and strong-armed tactics.

Past and Present in America:
A Historian Visits Colonial Williamsburg

by Daniel Boorstin
Daniel J. Boorstin speculates in this present article on the meaning of the past for the American spirit, as contrasted with the European attitude to monuments, museums, and history. _____________   After having heard for many years about “Colonial Williamsburg” and having read the attractive advertisements in the New Yorker inviting families to come down for a vacation weekend at Williamsburg Inn and Lodge, I finally had an opportunity to visit the place myself.

The Need for Candles
by Florence Victor
“Will you light candles when you're     married?” One Is not allowed to hesitate at all; One must decide. At twelve one must     compose The candle-lighting schedule of one's life, Or else be placed into the drawer marked     “Hypocrite,” To join the tarnished knife and spoon (both     meat) Bewitched by milkiness, awaiting trial By fire, or left in solitude pending Parole.

Clash of Two Immigrant Generations:
Citizens and Exiles

by Bogdan Raditsa
The deep rift between the pre-and post-World War II immigrants from Eastern and Central Europe—one of the most important groups on the American ethnic scene—is here described by Bogdan Raditsa, himself from Yugoslavia (he was born in Split, Dalmatia) and a former Washington press chief for the Tito regime who chose freedom. _____________   The Hungarian revolt sent a new type of East European refugee to this country.

by Neil Weiss
Remember me? I stand alone in the unripe corn and see the twisting sheath wrap tight around the shuck, squeezing it, squeezing it until I tear it open and suck the silken under-mat. My tears are barren on this earth. As I clung to Naomi and felt her withering flesh, my husband dead, earth in earth, I come not to glean, but to kiss this corn, and wait for Boaz to burn my womb to fruit. _____________  

Western Illusions About the Middle East:
Stability as Far Off as Ever

by Elie Kedourie
American and British writers on the Middle East have traditionally assigned its troubles to causes which can be removed by economic progress, greater political liberty, and the satisfaction of national claims.

Israel's Arab Minority:
Safeguarding Their Rights

by Walter Schwarz
Israel's population of two million includes 200,000 Arabs who are represented in parliament by deputies of their own choice, and in general have the status of a national minority with rights equal to those of other citizens.

The Sephardim of New Lots:
Self-Containment and Expansion

by Leonard Plotnik
In the New Lots district, situated in the midst of the East New York, Brownsville, Crown Heights, and East Flatbush sections of Brooklyn, which together make up the most densely populated Jewish area in the world, lies an enclave with a peculiar character all its own.

By Cozzens Possessed:
A Review of Reviews

by Dwight Macdonald
According to Dwight MacDonald, the phenomenal success of James Gould Cozzens' By Love Possessed indicates a new trend in American middlebrow culture.  _____________   The most alarming literary news in years is the enormous success of James Gould Cozzens' By Love Possessed.1 It sold 170,000 copies in the first six weeks of publication—more than all eleven of the author's previous novels put together.

King Herod as Oriental Monarch:
Ancient History and the Modern British Mind

by Martin Braun
The disasters which befell Palestine under Roman rule at the time of Herod's kingship have recently furnished the subject of a historical biography, written by a former official of the British Mandatory government in Palestine.

From the American Scene: Second Wife
by David Boroff
We didn't want him to marry again. Why should he? Certainly not to satisfy the flesh. A gray-haired man with seven grown children!

Cedars of Lebanon: “God, the Torah, and Israel”
by Our Readers
The founder of Hasidism, Israel Baal Shem Tov (1700-1760), taught only by word of mouth, but his sayings have been preserved for us in the writings of his disciples, and in abstracts of these writings made by later followers.

On Carley Ridge
by Leonard Wolf
I went looking in the western foothills, In the country of the deer and the coyote, I, the Jew, examined manzanita And the crooning wood doves, wood doves, Lizards, rattlesnakes, and quarreling squirrels. I climbed alone into those hills, A Jew, into the oaks and pines, to see How Gentile nature was, by how much sweeter She, than all my Jewish loves, My Jewish quarrels. Naked on a western hill, I cried, “A Jew is but a man.” I was surprised In looking down, to see that I had lied, Or had forgotten, I was circumcised. _____________  

On the Horizon: Freud the Philosopher
by Hans Meyerhoff
To what extent have Freud's ideas actually influenced our culture? Hans Meyerhoff contends that they have had far less effect than appears on the surface.  _____________   A year after the world-wide celebrations of the hundredth anniversary of Freud's birth, Ernest Jones has completed the third and last volume of his biography of his friend and teacher.1 This is bad timing: so many words have recently poured forth from so many pens that the mind is surfeited.

People in Vogue
by Jascha Kessler
They have the right to smile, being patents of the good life. How did they find the way to casual health in exquisite tailoring, like measures of men proposed by sages? To the eye of discernment their repose is no mere pose: forests have been ruined to give them homes in our homes where they thrive daily enduring our wonder and scorn. Fumbling nature makes us hairy monsters, handmedowns of matter and circumstance, while those creatures conjure us with beauty not godlike but as gods would like to be. Possessing things they never use, they lounge in Plato's ideal chairs.

The Study of Man: Union Democracy and the Public Good
by Paul Jacobs
The sorry story of corruption and mismanagement in many unions has been unfolded in the nation's press in recent months, and the urgent need for union democracy has been emphasized anew.

Four Books about the German Concentration Camps
by Edouard Roditi
From The Lower Depths1 Narratives, novels, and poems about the world of the German concentration camps have proved far less popular in West Germany than exposures of the horrors of war on the Eastern front, or accounts of Soviet prisoners-of-war and forced-labor camps.

Common Sense and the Fifth Amendment, by Sidney Hook; Fundamental Liberties of a Free People, by Milton R. Konvitz
by Maurice Goldbloom
Civil Liberties Common Sense And The Fifth Amendment. by Sidney Hook. Criterion. 160 pp. $3.00. Fundamental Liberties Of A Free People. by Milton R. Konvitz. Cornell University Press.

Foon Mein Gantzer Mea (Of All My Labors), by Jacob Glatstein
by Irving Howe
“In Sich” Fun Mein Gantzer Mea (Of All My Labors). by Jacob Glatstein. CYCO Book Publishing Co. 393 pp. $7.50.   From the moment some forty-five years ago that a group of Yiddish writers known as Die Yunge began to proclaim the need for literary cosmopolitanism and aesthetic individuality, which for them meant primarily a break from traditional folksong rhythms and social didacticism, Yiddish poetry in America has been characterized by a high level of achievement.

Louis Marshall: Champion of Liberty, edited by Charles Reznikoff
by Milton Konvitz
A Great Jewish Leader Louis Marshall: Champion Of Liberty. Selected Papers and Addresses. by Charles Reznikoff. Jewish Publication Society. 2 Vols. 1196 pp.

Bureaucracy and Society in Modern Egypt, by Morroe Berger
by A. Sherman
The Egyptian Official Bureaucracy And Society In Modern Egypt. by Morroe Berger. Princeton University Press. 231 pp. $4.75.   Social and political studies by Western authors on the Middle East are as a rule handicapped by emotional involvement and romanticism.

Reader Letters January 1958
by Our Readers
Must Desegregation Be Imposed by Force? TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In Professor Woodward's article ("The Great Civil Rights Debate," October) on the civil rights debate of last summer, there ap- peared the following: "'It is time to march forward,' announced Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, 'toward the goal of social, economic, and political equality for all Americans, irrespective of the color of their skins.' But the Senator hastily followed up this bugle call for advance with a roll of drums for retreat: 'However, this forward movement must be orderly, constitutionally lawful, de- void of carpetbagging and strong-armed tactics. It must be based upon appeals to reason and the instinctive sense of all patriotic Americans to fair play and moral justice.'" Professor Woodward finds a paradox in those sentences which does not in fact exist.

February, 1958Back to Top
Khazars and Karaites
by Our Readers
To the Editor: According to the title of his article, “Origins of East European Jewry” (November 1957), Bernard D. Weinryb should have discussed the origins of East European Jewry, but apparently he intended only to disprove the contention that the bulk of East European Jewry is of Khazar descent.

More on Northrup
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Evelyn N. Rossman's essay, “Judaism in Northrup,” in the November issue of COMMENTARY calls to mind the caution expressed by Bertrand Russell (in Authority and The Individual) against “the habit of looking upon a society as a systematic whole .

Nasser's Egypt
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “The Social Roots of Nasser's Egypt” (November) Mr. A. V. Sherman attempts to show that the present Egyptian leaders are interested in personal power rather than in the welfare of their country, and that “their only claim to eminence is their nationalism and their anti-Westernism.” Unfortunately many of his statements lack the support of evidence. Thus he asserts that the junta is supported by a new and greatly inflated bureaucracy, the expansion of which it has made no attempt to control; but he fails to give figures or to mention the source of his information.

“The Fabric of Society”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: We appreciate Dennis Wrong's good opinion of The Fabric of Society, as stated in his review in the December COMMENTARY, but we should like to correct some factual errors. Contrary to his impression, we share Mr.

Christian Teaching and Anti-Semitism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . James Brown (“Christian Teaching and Anti-Semitism,” December 1957) appears optimistic that modern Christian scholarship will do much toward removing the stigma attached to the word “Pharisee.” Since, however, the New Testament makes its attitude very clear, I question that great progress will be made.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: May I ask you to be good enough to explain in your next issue what possessed you to use twenty-four columns of valuable space only to show that a novel is absolutely inferior? Benjamin Abraham New York City _____________   To the Editor: This is to express my unqualified admiration for Dwight Macdonald's deadly accurate—and with all that, entirely fair and immensely funny—“By Cozzens Possessed” (January). Mr.

The United States and the Poorest Peoples:
A Look Forward from Washington

by Oscar Gass
Aid to backward countries, and the record of the present U. S. administration in this area, are now once more among the major topics of public debate.

Zionist Ideology and World Jewry:
Reflections on a Conference

by Oscar Handlin
The complications and confusions in present thinking about the relationship of Israel to world Jewry, as mirrored in last August's international gathering of Jewish scholars and spokesmen in Jerusalem, are commented on by a participant in the conference, Oscar Handlin, the well-known American historian and a regular contributor to these pages. _____________     I began to pull my thoughts together on the beach at Ascalon. After almost a week of debate, in a hall heavy with emotional oratory, the Sabbath had come as a relief.

Halting the Current Recession:
A Proposal for Dealing with “Sellers' Inflation”

by Abba Lerner
The United States is at present in the paradoxical situation of appearing to suffer from inflation and depression at the same time—prices are rising, while employment is declining.

The Lions of the Alhambra:
Jews in Moorish Spain

by Frederick Bargebuhr
Medieval Jewry in general resigned from the cultural and even more so the political ambitions entertained by the Moslems and Christians.

America's New Culture Hero:
Feelings Without Words

by Robert Brustein
In the last eight or ten years Americans have been charmed by a new culture hero, with far-reaching effects upon the quality of our spoken arts.

An Outsider Visits the Roman Ghetto:
The Past Lives On

by Stephen Dunn
The Ghetto community of Rome, which stretches back in time to dim antiquity, is described by a student of anthropology and freelance writer who lived for almost a year within its confines, studying its population.  _____________   The light of Rome is supposed by enthusiasts to be different from that of any other place on earth.

Roman Ghetto
by Harold Norse
Del Popolo D'Israele Sei Milioni Le Innocenti Vittime In Europa Del Bieco Odio Razziale. —Engraved on the Synagogue of Rome I We are not loud.

Celia in the Garden of Eden:
A Story

by Sylvia Rothchild
Celia Abrams stood in the middle of the room with her hand over her mouth. “God in heaven,” she said to herself, “what is a person? What is it that he is?” She shut her eyes against the disorder and pulled at her hair.

Cedars of Lebanon: Early Science and Jewish Belief
by David Nieto
David Nieto (1654-1728), minister to the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community of London in the early 18th century (see “An 18th-century Defender of the Faith” in COMMENTARY, July 1954), was trained in medicine and astronomy as well as in Rabbinics.

The Study of Man: A Debate on Race
by Melvin Richter
Both Arthur de Gobineau and Alexis de Tocqueville must be numbered among the most original thinkers of the 19th century.

Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, by Henry A. Kissinger; Limited War: The Challenge to American Strategy, by Robert Endicott O
by Gordon Craig
The Problem of Limited War1   Some unsung genius in the Pacific theater during the Second World War wrote a piece of advice for Americans in troubled times which ran: “When in danger,/when in doubt,/Run in circles!/Scream and shout!” As one listened, in the first days after the launching of the Sputniks, to the bellows of Congressional consternation, the muddled and contradictory mouthings of White House aides and Pentagon bureaucrats, and the inevitable frantic attempts of party politicians to find scapegoats among their opponents, that bit of doggerel seemed all too appropriate.

Conscience in Revolt, by Annedore Leber
by Gerald Reitlinger
White Rose, Black Hangman Conscience in Revolt. Sixty-Four Stories of Resistance in Germany 1933-45. by Annedore Leber. Associated Booksellers. 270 pp. $4.50.   This is an important book in spite of its thoroughly unliterary appearance—it is printed throughout on glossy paper in order to accommodate a collection of portrait-photographs.

The Opium of the Intellectuals, by Raymond Aron; German Sociology, by Raymond Aron
by George Lichtheim
French Neo-Liberalism The Opium of the Intellectuals. by Raymond Aron. Doubleday. 324 pp. $4.50. German Sociology. by Raymond Aron. Free Press. 135 pp. $3.50.   When L'Opium des Intellectuels was published in Paris three years ago, it evoked among other comments a characteristic remark by a British historian, Mr.

Lieutenant in Algeria, by Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber
by Hal Lehrman
Algeria Lieutenant in Algeria. by Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber. Knopf. 231 pp. $3.50.   In July 1956, a thirty-two-year-old French journalist and editor was called up as a reserve officer and ordered to embattled Algeria for six months.

Islam in Modern History, by Wilfred Cantwell Smith; Islam Inflamed, by James Morris
by Joel Carmichael
Moslems and Arabs Islam in Modern History. by Wilfred Cantwell Smith. Princeton University Press. 308 pp. $6.00. Islam Inflamed. by James Morris. Pantheon. 326 pp. $5.00.   One of the main difficulties in assessing phenomena in the Islamic world derives from the circumstance that the Arabic language, indispensable for an understanding of the intellectual background of Moslem and more particularly Arab affairs, is extraordinarily difficult to learn.

Reader Letters February 1958
by Our Readers
Cozzens TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: May I ask you to be good enough to explain in your next issue what possessed you to use twenty-four columns of valuable space only to show that a novel is absolutely inferior? BENJAMIN AsRAHAM New York City To THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: This is to express my unqualified admiration for Dwight Macdonald's deadly accurate-and with all that, entirely fair and immensely funny-"By Cozzens Possessed" (January). Mr.

March, 1958Back to Top
Poetic License
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his brief poem, “On Carley Ridge” (January) Mr. Leonard Wolf makes three baseless assumptions that are typical of a kind of Jewish self-consciousness I find mawkish.

Recession & Regulation
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read Professor Abba P. Lerner's article, “Halting the Current Recession” (February) with considerable interest. As usual he takes a forthright and original position on an important issue. Begging the precise “causes” of the current (mid-February 1958) lower level of economic activity, there is every reason to suggest that the “monopoly power” which permits administered price-making, be it on the product or labor side, is undesirable from a general or social point of view.

American Sephardim
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is seldom that articles on the life of Sephardic Jews in America appear in the Jewish press.

More “Cozzens”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Let me congratulate the editors of COMMENTARY for having the courage to “sing outside the chorus” (as the America reviewer of By Love Possessed expressed it).

“Angry Young Men”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I can hardly believe that Dan Jacobson's “America's ‘Angry Young Men’” could be the leading article in the December COMMENTARY for any reason other than the author's reputation.

“Northrup” Judaism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “Northrup's” version of Judaism (“Judaism in Northrup,” by Evelyn N. Rossman, November) is the result of five causes: criticism (philosophic and scientific criticism of Judaism, leading to rejection); conditions (conditions rendering Jewish living difficult, so that one becomes conditioned to regard it as unimportant); confusion (confusion about principles and practices, resulting from ignorance and misinformation about Judaism); conformism (the tendency of a minority group to conform directly to the ways of the majority, or to adopt a negative attitude to its own culture because of a conscious or subconscious feeling of inferiority); and complacency (the product of a materially sated society, the members of which tend to .

The Turn of the Tide:
Western Diplomacy in the Sputnik Era

by H. Hughes
During the past few months, public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic has been stirred by controversies over the best means to break the political deadlock between the Western world and the Soviet bloc.

Should We Negotiate Now?
Hazards of a Summit Meeting

by Hans Morgenthau
The decline of political intelligence in the Western world has been demonstrated with particular force by the public outcry in favor of negotiations with the Soviet Union, following the revelation of Russian superiority in most departments of warfare.

The Military Stalemate:
Strategic Thinking Lags Behind Technology

by Denis Healey
Since defeat in war is still regarded as the worst of all possible evils, the West's general posture in a period of coexistence is bound to be determined primarily by the prevailing assumptions on the nature of the military threat and the measures most appropriate to counter it.

Moscow's Aims Have Not Changed:
Khrushchev's “Peace Offensive” Imperils NATO

by G. Hudson
All but ten years have now passed since the commencement of the Soviet blockade of West Berlin. That was a crisis which involved the Soviet Union and the Western powers in a more direct and nearly belligerent conflict than anything that has happened since.

Israel's Intellectuals:
Young Writers and Middle-Aged Critics

by Meir Mindlin
Israel's intellectual life, ten years after the founding of the State, is marked by a cleavage between the older and younger generations which is here discussed by an American-born writer and critic who since 1946 has made his home in Israel.

Politics and the Puerto Ricans:
Getting Out the Vote in Spanish Harlem

by Dan Wakefield
Dan Wakefield, a new contributor to these pages, lived in Harlem for six months in preparation for writing his book In Spanish Harlem (to be published by Houghton Mifflin), in which our present article will appear as a chapter.

The Country of the Crazy Horse
A Story

by Wallace Markfield
As the train began the long crawl under the tunnel to Brooklyn I thought again of the crazy horse. It was Saturday morning, and all the mothers sat before the stoop on bridge chairs, opening tangerines and helping themselves from a big bag of polly seeds, budging not one inch as the super shot his dirty looks about and warned of summonses for each and every one who blocked his path to the cellar.

A Critique of the New Jewish Theology:
From a Secularist Viewpoint

by Judd Teller
Jewish religious thinking has been no exception in feeling the impact of modern existentialism—a fact to which COMMENTARY's own pages bear witness.

Cedars of Lebanon: Mordecai, Haman, and Ahasuerus
by Our Readers
The Purim story occupies a surprisingly prominent place in Talmudic and Midrashic literature. Not only does the Talmud supply a wealth of commentary and explication of the Book of Esther, but the number of midrashim based on the Megillah is far greater than on any other book of the Bible.

The Study of Man: Max Lerner's America
by Richard Chase
It seems clear that the amassing of new knowledge about American civilization in recent years has been accompanied by a general loss of political and scientific intelligence, a new mediocrity of taste and opinion, and a new suspicion of radical ideas and nonconformist behavior.

The Portrait of Gertrude Stein
by Helen Neville
“It doesn't look like her now, but it will.”                          —Picasso, of his portrait. It doesn't look like her. It's much too new. She needs to die a little more, to be reclaimed by that which made her, which she made. So it may send her back, its paint still fresh upon her, to become the lady of the Portrait, rightly named. O Gertrude!

The Right of the People, by William O. Douglas
by Maurice Goldbloom
Civil Liberties The Right of the People. by William O. Douglas. Doubleday. 216 pp. $4.00.   This volume, based on three lectures which Justice Douglas delivered in the spring of 1957 at Franklin and Marshall College, ranges over a wide variety of subjects in the field of civil liberties.

Rabbi in America, by Israel Knox
by Nathan Glazer
Isaac Mayer Wise Rabbi in America. by Israel Knox. Little, Brown. 173 pp. $3.50.   Rabbi in America is one of the volumes in the Library of American Biography series, edited by Oscar Handlin; and if, as one assumes, it is the only volume to be devoted to an American Jew, Isaac Mayer Wise was a good choice.

Something About a Soldier, by Mark Harris
by Steven Marcus
Experimental Writing Something About a Soldier. by Mark Harris. Macmillan. 175 pp. $3.00.   Mark Harris's new novel, Something About a Soldier, is not a successful novel in the sense that it stands by itself as a new realization of experience—it is, among other things, too self-conscious, too coy, too vaguely abstract for that.

Yisrael Ba-amim, by Isaac F. Baer
by Milton Himmelfarb
Great Jewish Historian Yisrael ba-amim (Israel Among the Nations: an Essay on the History of the Second Temple and the Mishnah .

Europe and the Europeans, by Max Beloff
by George Lichtheim
European Unity Europe and the Europeans. A Report Prepared at the Request of the Council of Europe. by Max Beloff. With an Introduction by Denis de Rougemont.

Reader Letters March 1958
by Our Readers
"Northrup"Judaism TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: "Northrup's" version of Judaism ("Judaism in Northrup," by Evelyn N. Rossman, Novem- ber) is the result of five causes: criticism (philosophic and scientific criticism of Judaism, leading to rejection); conditions (conditions rendering Jewish living difficult, so that one becomes conditioned to regard it as unimpor- tant); confusion (confusion about principles and practices, resulting from ignorance and misinformation about Judaism); conformism (the tendency of a minority group to conform directly to the ways of the majority, or to adopt a negative attitude to its own culture because of a conscious or subconscious feeling of in- feriority); and complacency (the product of a materially sated society, the members of which tend to .

April, 1958Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The transliteration from the Hebrew in my review last month of Isaac F. Baer's book was the editors', not mine. Milton Himmelfarb New York City _____________ Correction Melvin Richter, whose article “A Debate on Race” appeared in the February issue, is a member of the Department of Political Science at Hunter College, New York City. _____________  

The Sephardic Community
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. Leonard Plotnik's article on the “Sephardim of New Lots,” in your January number, is disturbing reading—he places the Sephardim in a much too unfavorable light.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: In your February number Gordon A. Craig, in his review of Mr. Kissinger's and Mr. Osgood's books, credits “When in danger/When in doubt,/Run in circles,/Scream and shout,” to an unsung genius in the Pacific theater during World War II. The professor is wrong.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Melvin Richter's article on the Tocqueville-Gobineau correspondence (February) was first-class. . . . I should like to add that Gobineau was, in many ways, a superb French stylist, admired by Albert Sorel, Ernest Renan, Léon Bloy, Marcel Proust.

Arabs in Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I was intrigued by the editorial comment you published with Walter Schwarz's article, “Israel's Arab Minority,” in your January 1958 issue. You say, “Israel's population of two million includes 200,000 Arabs who are represented in parliament by deputies of their own choice, and in general have the status of a national minority with rights equal to those of other citizens.

Union Democracy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Paul Jacobs (“Union Democracy and the Public Good,” January 1958) raises the fundamental question of just how trade unions should be organized for the common good.

Pan-Arabism on the March?: Rival Blocs in the Middle East
by Ray Alan
With two rival Arab blocs confronting one another in the Middle East, genuine Arab union is further off than ever, in the opinion of an experienced British commentator whose writings are internationally known.

Pan-Arabism on the March?: Israel Weighs the New Challenge
by Nissim Rejwan
Responsible Israelis take a generally calm view of the recent Arab mergers, according to an Israeli commentator writing from Jerusalem.

How We Beat the Machine:
Challenging Tammany at the District Level

by Robert Lekachman
In the short history of the Riverside Democrats, an insurgent political club in the Columbia University area, September 10, 1957, was a night to remember.

Jewish Messianism and the Idea of Progress:
Exile and Redemption in the Cabbala

by Gershom Scholem
The idea that the exile of the Jewish people from their homeland was symbolic of the condition of the universe as a whole has lately been revived in Zionist thought (see Lucy S.

Reading Rousset's “L'univers Concentrationnaire”
by Irving Feldman
Who holds my book and turns the page? Thinking of my brother Jews I have crossed over the edge And as one dead walk among the dead. Who is it sits to read? Now that I wander like a shade Bitter and free.

Can Europe Be United?
A British View of the Continent

by Max Beloff
The prospects of European unity are here critically examined by a well-known British historian and expert on international affairs who has himself participated in European gatherings since the war.

In the Gray Light
by Eliezer Greenberg
(for my sister Esther) A thin layer of gray hair, broad forehead, Deeply grooved, eyes eternally in awe, Proud morbidity washed in a sheen of tears (The last an inheritance from my mother's    house, From my father the passion for verse), I stand and, straining, scrutinize my image. The more I look, the more it seems My father is come to me (From the other edge of the bloody sea), That he, not I, stand framed, the gray one,    in the mirror. The clouds are heavy on his deepened eyes. His mouth is locked, but his lips, like mine,    quiver, And like mine, his shoulders, too,    are stooped. There is something here of the meek    and the proud And he cannot, as I cannot, seek a way out. I stand fixed.

America's Syrian Community:
Pattern of a Minority

by Morroe Berger
The accidents of history have in our time produced another of those fateful confrontations of Jews and Arabs in the Middle East which have occurred at several junctures during the last millennium and a half.

The Uncanny
A Story

by Max Brod
Darkness fell in the hall of the beautiful country house. The suddenness with which twilight appeared in this part of the world bordering the tropics, and the speed with which it deepened into darkness, no longer had any power to surprise the three friends who had come from Europe.

From the American Scene: Home for Pesach
by Sylvia Rothchild
Home for Pesach! It has a good sound, like home for Christmas, or for Thanksgiving, or the Fourth of July.

Cedars of Lebanon:The Levels of Love
by Abraham Kuk
The book of the Song of Songs is read in the synagogue during the Passover and on Friday evenings. The absence of any overt religious references in it, together with its erotic imagery, has led many modern readers and scholars to regard the Song as a collection of secular love poems.

by Florence Victor
My wife was only fifty when she died, And all the family came to sit with me In sneakers and black dresses; we all tried To think how beautiful she used to be, And held the children closely when they       cried. It's twenty years since then; now, as I ride The subway I see people dressed in black Wool sweaters.

On the Horizon: American Usage Today
by Stanley Hyman
At times of upward social mobility, the etiquette books appear, to teach the rising groups how to behave almost indistinguishably from the groups they join or supplant.

The Study of Man: Freud and Scientific Truth
by Hans Meyerhoff
Lillian Blumberg Mccall, who here takes vigorous exception to Hans Meyerhoff's article “Freud the Philosopher” in the January COMMENTARY, has written often on psychoanalysis in these pages.

My Father Died in Alexandria
by Leo Haber
(Note: Some of the places associated here with Socrates, Feffer the Soviet Yiddish writer, and the poet's uncle—all killed by their respective states—are unhistorical.)   I My Father died in Alexandria Though born in Ashkelon. He lies in a cemetery within the city Larger than his natal town. If we must be born at all, and we Have no control thereon— Better to be born in wide sunlight Than in shadow of the crown. But if we must die some day, and who Would want to outlive his son— Better to die in a cultured city Than where desert sands shift and run. II My father died in Jerusalem Though born in Bethlehem. This is the way of the worldly wise— To give up milk for phlegm. So Socrates born in a sour suburb Drank hemlock in Athens, And my father's brother from Dobromil Drank gall in Bergen-Belsen, And Itzik Feffer born in Shpola Drank dust in Birobidjan; Shakespeare alone left London town To drink of the sweet Avon. III My father died in great New York Though born in Dobromil. He made the palsied pilgrimage From a wooden house to steel. He didn't become a glorious Greek, Or a god sprung from the soil, He didn't become a lampshade— His trip was still worthwhile. And when he died his home-town folk And family were on hand To lead him through New York to rest In running shifting sand. _____________  

The American Jew: A Zionist Analysis, by Ben Halpern
by Lucy Dawidowicz
Exile and Israel The American Jew: A Zionist Analysis. by Ben Halpern. Theodor Herzl Foundation. 174 pp. $2.00.   Ben Halpern's book is an exciting exception to the dreary journalistic output about American Jews and Israel.

Goodbye to All That, by Robert Graves
by Dan Jacobson
Graves on War Goodbye to All That. by Robert Graves. Anchor Books (paperback). 320 pp. $.95.   There are many reasons why one should read, or reread, Goodbye to All That.

Unheard Witness, by Ernst Hanfstaengl
by R. S.
“Putzi” Unheard Witness. by Ernst Hanfstaengl. Lippincott. 317 pp. $4.95.   “Putzi's” memories of life with Hitler—told to a dictaphone and then “orchestrated” by Brian Connell—is a jewel of a book: costume jewelry, of course, but, thanks to Mr.

Small Town in Mass Society, by Arthur J. Vidich and Joseph Bensman
by Harris Dienstfrey
Rural America Small Town in Mass Society. by Arthur J. Vidich and Joseph Bensman. Princeton University Press. 329 pp. $6.00.   The urban-rural dichotomy and all its variants and examples are the heritage of all of us.

Some Came Running, by James Jones
by Robert Brustein
Tardy Bildungsroman Some Came Running. by James Jones. Scribner's. 1266 pp. $7.50.   James Jones's second novel is located in a mythical town in Illinois called Parkman.

Reader Letters April 1958
by Our Readers
Union Democracy TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Paul Jacobs ("Union Democracy and the Public Good," January 1958) raises the funda- mental question of just how trade unions should be organized for the common good.

May, 1958Back to Top
Political Blueprint
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “How We Beat the Machine” by Robert Lekachman (April) was more than just an interesting article in our house—it was part handbook and part local history.

Anthropologists & the Oedipus
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have read with much interest the exchange between Lillian Blumberg McCall and Hans Meyerhoff (April). I am concerned in this note only to draw attention to the fact that not all anthropologists would accept Clyde Kluckhohn's statement that “the essential universality of the Oedipus complex .

German Anti-Nazis
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. Reitlinger's review of Annedore Leber's Conscience in Revolt (February) creates the impression that Mrs. Leber in her selection of anti-Nazi resistance fighters permitted herself to be guided by motives not wholly compatible with the noble task she has set for herself.

The Sephardic Community
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a member of the “generic Jewish Community of America”—Ashkenazi and Sephardi—may I take this opportunity to commend you on the excellent article “The Sephardim of New Lots” by Leonard Plotnik, which appeared in your January number.

The “New Theology”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. Judd L. Teller's “Critique of the New Jewish Theology” in the March issue of COMMENTARY, upon closer examination, turns out instead to be a critique of his own secularist position.

The Continuing American Ideal:
How Plural Is Our Culture?

by Robert Davis
This last fall I found myself reading, with a new kind of interest, an article which Randolph Bourne had published in the Atlantic Monthly in July 1916.

How Democratic Is Christian Democracy?
The Church in European Politics

by H. Hughes
The appearance of a full-scale, comparative study of Christian Democratic movements in Western Europe from the early 19th century to the present should be an occasion for joy, not only to students of modern European history, but also to that wider circle of readers concerned for the future of democracy in our time.

Bombing in Nashville:
A Jewish Center and the Desegregation Struggle

by Jackson Toby
The recent widely reported attack on the Jewish Community Center in Nashville, Tennessee, has spotlighted a complex situation which is here discussed by a sociologist on the staff of Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Faith as the Leap of Action:
The Theology of Abraham Joshua Heschel

by Jakob Petuchowski
Continuing the discussion of new trends in contemporary Jewish theology begun in these pages by Judd L. Teller in our March number, Jakob J.

For His Father
by William Poster
Someday, when I am alone in your office, maybe with my good friend, Carol Dombenek, reading over your books, those complicated cases, struggles of individuals, networks of events, busy intervals between masses of detail, relations of people to people, groups, arbitrations, all possibilities, the money tugging back and forth endlessly, converted into fuel, journeys to the moon, vacations, educations, the atmosphere and structure of your children; watching the gulls plough up the horizon, my mind sieved by the foghorns like a fog, adding and subtracting these perpetual human items, it will come to me, your identity, at once, and I shall take care of it forever afterwards. _____________  

Three Poems
by Delmore Schwartz
Jacob All was as it is, before the beginning began, before We were bared to the cold air, before Pride. Fullness of bread.

A Visit to S'de Boker:
On the Israeli Frontier

by Julius Horwitz
I was restless at S'de Boker. It was March, 1955. A sandstorm had blurred the sky. The sun shone like a smoky disc.

Bicker at Princeton:
The Eating Clubs Again

by Walter Goodman
The recent controversy over the Princeton eating clubs, which reflects the changes taking place in the attitude of America's most fashionable university toward social discrimination, is here described by Walter Goodman.  _____________     When the Social Register was introduced to America early in this century, it was distinguished not alone for its contents, but for the color of its binding—orange and black, which, as one reporter of the social scene remarked, “suggested the colors of America's most elegant university.” The institution whose colors did credit even to the Social Register was Princeton, which at the time specialized in presenting higher education and other divertissements to the sons of wealthy and established families of the East and the South. Even during that high-toned and socially homogeneous era at Princeton, its eating clubs were a source of great disappointment to some students and of concern to some observers.

Behold the Key
a Story

by Bernard Malamud
One beautiful late-autumn day in Rome, Carl Schneider, a graduate student in Italian studies at Columbia University, left a real estate agent's office after a depressing morning of apartment hunting and walked up Via Veneto, feeling a deepening sense of disappointment in finding himself so dissatisfied in this city of his dreams.

by James Dickey
         When car-lights turn         The inside corner of the room  I wake to come singing up.         I watch a woman burn         Who of myself is made  In the sun, and turned by her heart  Into the sea.

Cedars of Lebanon: An Interview with Moses Mendelssohn
by Our Readers
On the 22nd day of June, 1784, less than two years before his death, Moses Mendelssohn granted an interview to an unusual visitor named Litsken.

The Study of Man: Moral Freedom in a Determined World
by Sidney Hook
Sidney Hook requires no introduction. This article represents the slightly amended text of the Horace Kallen lecture, which he recently delivered at the New School for Social Research. _____________   In the last year of the Weimar Republic, when ordinary criminals were sometimes more philosophical than the judges of Hitler's Third Reich subsequently proved to be, a strange case was tried before the tribunal of Hannover.

The Dynamics of World History, by Christopher Dawson; Men and Events, by H. R. Trevor-Roper
by George Lichtheim
Philosophy of History The Dynamics of World History. by Christopher Dawson. Edited by John J. Mulloy. Sheed and Ward. 489 pp. $6.00. Men and Events. by H.

Patterns of Faith in America Today, edited by F. Ernest Johnson
by Robert Fitch
Religion, in Dewey's phrase, is more obviously an affair of having, being, and doing, than it is an affair of knowing.

The Iron Heel, by Jack London; It Happened to Didymus, by Upton Sinclair
by Maurice Goldbloom
The Social Novel The Iron Heel. by Jack London. Macmillan. 303 pp. $3.75. It Happened to Didymus. by Upton Sinclair. Sagamore Press. 151 pp. $2.95.   The Soviet Union is issuing a stamp in honor of Longfellow, and such writers as Poe, Whitman, James, Faulkner, and Hemingway have had a worldwide audience.

Patterns, by Rod Serling
by Raymond Rosenthal
TV Drama Patterns. by Rod Serling. Simon and Schuster. 246 pp. $3.95.   Collections of television plays such as Rod Serling's are published with a utilitarian object in view, somewhat in that same gruesome spirit which turns out books telling us how to make a million or become fabulously healthy and happy.

One Marriage Two Faiths: Guidance on Interfaith Marriage, by James H. S. Bossard and Eleanor Stoker Boll
by Hershel Shanks
Intermarriage One Marriage Two Faiths: Guidance on Interfaith Marriage. by James H. S. Bossard and Eleanor Stoker Boll. Ronald. 180 pp. $3.50.   There are few subjects which hold such fascination for American Jews—especially young American Jews—as intermarriage.

Any Number Can Play, by Clifton Fadiman
by Isa Kapp
From Cheese to Disaster Any Number Can Play. by Clifton Fadiman. World. 404 pp. $5.00.   In his recent book of essays, which ranges genially over many subjects from cheeses to social disaster, Clifton Fadiman once more uses the elastic, optimistic, civilized voice that has often disarmed our college-bred Americans.

Reader Letters May 1958
by Our Readers
The "New Theology" TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Mr. Judd L. Teller's "Critique of the New Jewish Theology" in the March issue of COM- MENTARY, upon closer examination, turns out instead to be a critique of his own secularist position.

June, 1958Back to Top
Parents & Children
To the Editor: I finished reading the story “Home for Pesach,” by Sylvia Rothchild, in the April edition of COMMENTARY with a mixture of sorrow, resentment, and anger. The picture of a daughter condescendingly and superciliously sitting in judgment of her parents is revolting to me.

Israeli Intellectuals
To the Editor: I am a regular reader and, very often, an admirer of COMMENTARY. I don't always agree with your contributors, but never did an article make me as angry as Meir Mindlin's superficial account of Israeli intellectual life in general and its youth in particular (“Israel's Intellectuals,” March). Even though I belong to the bygone generation over forty, I cannot find the slightest resemblance between our private library and the one described by Mr.

Mr. Berger's Accuracy
To the Editor: I gave Professor Morroe Berger's article (“America's Syrian Community,” April) to a “Syrian” (Lebanese) friend whom I respect as an intelligent, informed, and sensitive person.

The 7th Assembly District
To the Editor: As a resident of the 7th Assembly District on the West Side of Manhattan for about thirty years, I am impelled to call your attention to one of the most insidious political campaigns waged in recent years.

Freud & Freudianism
To the Editor: When Hans Meyerhoff replied to the frontal attack on Freud and psychoanalysis by Lillian Blumberg McCall (“Freud and Scientific Truth,” April 1958), he took unjustified refuge in modern physics.

Education and the Cold War: Have Our Schools Failed?
by Spencer Brown
It is a strong temptation these days to predict cynically that the chief effect of Sputnik on American schools will be the abolition of courses in driver training. Our first reaction to Sputnik was anger, not unlike but vastly greater than the anger when the first Soviet atomic bomb went off.

Education and the Cold War: How Free Is Soviet Science?
by Leopold Labedz
Three Sputniks have shaken Western complacency about Soviet science, but now there is danger of falling into the opposite extreme, according to a well-known student of Soviet affairs who here makes his debut in COMMENTARY.  _____________     Now that the initial reaction to the Sputniks has worn off, it may be worthwhile taking a glance at Soviet scientific and technological achievement in the longer perspective. Most of the discussion in the West has so far centered on the achievements of Soviet science and education, rather than on the prospects of space exploration.

Suburban Jewish Sunday School:
A Report

by Theodore Frankel
A first-hand report of one of the most important Reform religious schools in America. _____________     There are no exact figures on the number of Jews who have migrated from the city into upper-income, and once largely exclusive, suburban Westchester County in the last decade, but people who ought to know estimate that they now constitute between 20 and 30 per cent of the total population.

The Politics of Recession:
Liberals vs. Conservatives

by Robert Lekachman
Before the current recession began many economists were agreed that, although the science of economic forecasting was closer to meteorology than astronomy in precision, we knew in a rough way what to do to reverse the course of economic contraction once the contraction was identified.

Bombing in Miami:
Anti-Semitism and the Segregationists

by Nathan Perlmutter
The attempt to inject anti-Semitism into the struggle over desegregation presently convulsing the South has been signalized by a series of bombing attempts on Southern Jewish religious institutions.

Khrushchev in Command:
The Party Reasserts Its Supremacy

by Richard Lowenthal
When Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, had himself elected Minister President by the Supreme Soviet on March 27, 1958, he served notice on Russia and the world that the five years' crisis of succession which followed Stalin's death was over and done with.

The Cave at Machpelah
A Play

by Paul Goodman
The Cave at Machpelah is the final scene of a long play, The Family of Abraham, which the Living Theater will present in New York this coming fall.

From the Journal of Emmanuel Ringelblum:
“Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto”

by Our Readers
Emmanuel Ringelblum, archivist of the Warsaw Ghetto and prototype of John Hersey's Noach Levinson in The Wall, buried the extensive notes he had been keeping just before the Ghetto Uprising of April-May 1943.

by Irving Feldman
Only light and shades of light It was, and Eve a meaning there Now water, now silver, now fire, now air. Our senses then a slender height That made sound silence, silence sight, And this was light; the crystal throat     of air. Drank the color from the flare. But here is touch stupid as night. Death has gathered in the twig And hisses through the piercing thorn The dappled leaf till now unseen, And pours the olive, almond, and fig From his swollen, blinding horn. All I know now is green. _____________  

Cedars of Lebanon: A Medieval Jewish Tale
by Our Readers
Mishle Sendebar (“The Parables of Sendebar”) is the Hebrew version of the “Seven Sages,” a popular medieval romance which had its origin in the East and was subsequently transmitted westward.

The Price of Diamonds, by Dan Jacobson
by Midge Decter
Novelist of South Africa1 The price of Diamonds is Dan Jacobson's third novel. In another time, perhaps, or in another country, the consistently lavish praise heaped on Mr.

Russia, the Atom and the West, by George F. Kennan; Power and Diplomacy, by Dean Acheson
by Gordon Craig
Acheson Vs. Kennan Russia, the Atom and the West. by George F. Kennan. Harper. 116 pp. $2.50. Power and Diplomacy. by Dean Acheson. Harvard University Press.

Alcohol and the Jews, by Charles R. Snyder
by Nathan Glazer
Jewish Drinking Alcohol and the Jews: A Cultural Study of Drinking and Sobriety. by Charles R. Snyder. Free Press and the Yale Center of Alcohol Studies.

The Bill of Rights, by Learned Hand
by Maurice Goldbloom
Judicial Review The Bill of Rights. by Learned Hand. Harvard. 82 pp. $2.50.   In these three lectures, delivered at Harvard College, Judge Learned Hand endeavors to define the proper limits of the judicial power to review legislative action.

Modigliani et Son Oeuvre, by Arthur Pfannstiehl; Modigliani, by Claude Roy; Ma Vie, by Marc Chagall
by Alfred Werner
Two Jewish Artists Modigliani Et Son Oeuvre. by Arthur Pfannstiehl. La Bibliotheque des Arts (Paris). 191 pp., ill. $2.50. Modigliani. by Claude Roy. Skira. 136 pp., ill.

Reader Letters June 1958
by Our Readers
Freud & Freudianism TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: When Hans Meyerhoff replied to the frontal attack on Freud and psychoanalysis by Lillian Blumberg McCall ("Freud and Scientific Truth," April 1958), he took unjustified refuge in modem physics....

July, 1958Back to Top
The Jewish Religious School
by Our Readers
To the Editor: To some of us who have been trying to discover how the enduring values of Judaism can be transmitted to young 20th-century American suburbanites, Theodore Frankel's article “Suburban Jewish Sunday School” (June) is a disappointment.

Again: The Oedipus
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mr. Meyerhoff, I think, is helping to clarify the issue (“Letters from Readers,” June). Of course, both the words “determined” and “cultural” are relational.

Nashville's Jewish Community
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . One can appreciate the difficulties encountered by Professor Jackson Toby in writing his article “Bombing in Nashville” (May).

After the Storm:
Can de Gaulle End the Algerian War?

by Raymond Aron
Raymond Aron here examines the constitutional crisis in France. _____________   Paris For weeks now the entire West has waited on the news from France.

The Fourth Republic Abdicates:
Anatomy of the Crisis

by Ray Alan
Since Ray Alan's last appearance in COMMENTARY (“Rival Blocs in the Middle East,” April) the storm center has shifted to North Africa, where the Algerian rebellion sparked a political upheaval in France and the return to power of General de Gaulle.

The Recession Hits Gary, Indiana:
Smiling Through?

by Warner Jr.
“I'm an ingot buggy operator in a billet department. I got bumped out on Christmas Day. Boy! That was some Christmas!” Harry, a tall, slim Negro, smiled wryly and shifted his position on the car fender against which he was leaning.

Four Books on Israel:
Some Reflections on Achievements and Problems

by Oscar Gass
No person associated with any government has any relation to the views expressed in the present article. _____________     Israel's achievement in its first decade has now been subjected to many assessments.

A 1st-Century Jewish Sage:
The Life and Teachings of Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah

by Joshua Podro
“Since Rabbi Joshua died, good counsel has ceased in Israel” (Sotah 49b). This was a contemporary opinion of the value of Rabbi Joshua been Hananiah's leadership and the effect of his death on the Jewish people. Born in Pontius Pilate's procuratorship, he lived under thirteen emperors, some crazier than others, but almost all of them gods in their own eyes: Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vittellius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Narva, Trajan, and Hadrian.

by Jerome Rothenberg
We are toothless hags; we cannot spit Properly; we cannot express hate or     terror But in weakness; a tremor takes us And we fail again.

America, a Partial View:
Travel Notes of a Displaced Native

by Norman Birnbaum
All travelers' reports ought to be taken with skepticism, those of returned native travelers even more so. Last summer, after an absence of five years, I spent some time in the United States.

After the Riot
A Story

by Dan Jacobson
The Monday morning after the riot there was a policeman on almost every other corner of the town; we saw them standing on the pavements as we drove down to work, with their rifles grounded and their helmets tilted low over their eyes.

From the American Scene: “A good Piece of Goods”
by Midge Decter
My mother, who lives in the Midwest, spends a good deal of time during her visits to New York in shopping around for bargains.

Cedars of Lebanon: From the “Diary of Justina”
by Our Readers
The so-called “Diary of Justina,” whose Hebrew version appeared in Israel in 1953, is an account, written down after the events, of episodes in the activities of the Zionist underground during the war days in occupied Poland.

On the Horizon: The Writing on the Wall
by Edouard Roditi
A couple of years ago, an American Jewish resident of Paris happened one evening to be a guest in a French home where she met a prominent French Jewish lawyer, one of the leading figures in the Paris branch of the Anti-Defamation League.

The Study of Man: Humanism Today: A British View
by Kathleen Nott
Kathleen Nott's present essay is devoted to the current debate over humanism in Britain, a subject previously discussed in her book The Emperor's Clothes which directed a critical searchlight at irrationalist tendencies in the work of T.

Four Books on Southeast Europe
by Ghita Ionescu
Communism in Southeast Europe Albania. by Stavro Skendi. Praeger. 389 pp. $7.50. Bulgaria. by L. A. D. Dellin. Praeger. 457 pp. $8.50. Rumania. by Stephen Fischer-Galati. Praeger. 399 pp.

Escape from Fear, by Martin A. Bursten
by Harry Rosenfield
Lessons of the Hungarian Immigration Escape from Fear. by Martin A. Bursten. Syracuse University Press. 224 pp. $3.50.   When the Hungarian Revolt erupted in October 1956, Martin A.

Al Smith and His America, by Oscar Handlin
by Dennis Wrong
Unforgotten Man Al Smith and His America. by Oscar Handlin. Little, Brown. 207 pp. $3.50.   Alfred E. Smith's career has long symbolized both the gains and the frustrations experienced by the sons of immigrants in this century, so it is fitting that he should find a biographer in Oscar Handlin, our leading contemporary historian of immigration and chronicler of ethnic groups in America.

Prophetic Faith in Isaiah, by Sheldon H. Blank
by Moses Hadas
Eloquent Scholarship Prophetic Faith in Isaiah. by Sheldon H. Blank. Harper. 241 pp. $3.75.   A prime ingredient disappeared from Jewish life when, following the example of philological study generally, concern for the Jewish literary tradition became professional.

Parktilden Village, by George P. Elliott
by Robert Brustein
Satire of Reproof Parktilden Village. by George P. Elliott. Beacon Press. 200 pp. $3.50.   Parktilden Village, George P. Elliott's first novel, is a satiric nose-thumbing at the age of the social sciences and embodies a plea for the restoration of certain values which the permissive disciplines have squeezed out of the human spirit. The central character, Peter Hazen, feels no need to look for any “connection between the state of his soul and the place in which he lives,” but one of the virtues of this well-written novel is the manner in which Elliott insists on the correspondence between houses and souls, things and people, language and character, acts and consequences.

A Whole Loaf: Stories from Israel, edited by Sholom J. Kahn
by Joel Blocker
Literary Export A Whole Loaf: Stories from Israel. by Sholom J. Kahn. Karni (Tel Aviv). 344 pp.   Hebrew literature in English has been, until recently, a kind of literary curiosity: artificial and quaint, remote and lifeless, it has concerned only those who, for one reason or another, have possessed a special interest either in the Hebrew language itself or in the results of its rejuvenation in Israel.

Reader Letters July 1958
by Our Readers
Nashville's Jewish Community TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: . . . One can appreciate the difficulties en- countered by Professor Jackson Toby in writing his article "Bombing in Nashville" (May).

August, 1958Back to Top
The Sunday School
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In September 1947 COMMENTARY printed an article of mine . . . on Jewish religious education, which came to some rather skeptical and critical conclusions.

The Politics of Al Smith
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I resent Dennis Wrong's review of my Al Smith and His America in your July issue, both for its misrepresentations of my book and for its insinuations as to the motives for which it was written. It is absolutely untrue to ascribe any influence upon the contents of the book to either its newspaper serialization or to Senator Kennedy's presumed Presidential aspirations.

Can the Middle East Be Held?
Why the West Cannot Work with Pan-Arabism

by G. Hudson
The political upheaval in the Middle East, touched off by the military coup in Iraq, has once more focused public attention on the danger of Russian and Pan-Arab interference with the West's oil supplies.

The Decline of the Republican Party:
Eisenhower Has Failed to Rebuild the Machine

by Harold Lavine
In July 1953 COMMENTARY published an article by Harold Lavine entitled “Can Eisenhower Form a Government?” which evoked a good deal of comment, and in January 1954 he followed it up with “Why the Democrats Are Confident.” Now he indicates grounds for expecting a major Democratic victory next November.  _____________     Eisenhower has succeeded where Roosevelt and Truman failed.

by Saul Touster
How does he fare The man I was Yesterday?—the lean lawyer Who stowed his heart In a bottom drawer. Does he grieve any more? Where is he stationed now? —The young ensign Of the last great war, his fleet Of memories in moth balls, His uniform and gold Green with the seas and old. And how's the naturalist Who fed the wild duck And shot the soaring seagull down? Unruly hair and sky-blue eyes, How goes the youth? Can he survive the truth? How does he fare, The world's intruder, His brother's seasick voyager? At the captain's table Does he still do that bit That made him the favorite? How does he manage Among strangers, Among their collections Of breakables? One would thin The days would lead him home From night's cold catacomb. And where is the babe I was? —The one at the breast The whimpering whelp Indistinguishable From a thousand others At their thousand mothers'. Survivors all! Guests of a gravid host Shipwrecked from the womb. Where are the islands Of my history? How is the sea? _____________  

Temple Emanu-El of San Francisco:
A Glory of the West

by Allan Temko
Within two years after the discovery at Sutter's Mill, the rush for California gold had achieved worldwide proportions. By 1850 upwards of 5,000 immigrants were arriving each month, some of them overland through the Nevada desert and the passes of the Sierras, but the majority by the less arduous sea routes.

Catholicism and Democracy:
An Exchange

by H. Hughes
“How Democratic Is Christian Democracy?” asked H. Stuart Hughes in COMMENTARY'S May number, in an article discussing Michael Fogarty's book, Christian Democracy in Western Europe, 1820-1953.

Milovan Djilas: The Search for Justice:
Rebel Son of a Bloodstained Land

by Bogdan Raditsa
“In all parts of Montenegro,” writes Milovan Djilas in his autobiography Land without Justice, “there were killings. This land was never one to reward virtue, but it has always been strong on taking revenge and punishing evil.

Ben, Son of Margulies
A Story

by Ruth Miller
You wouldn't think that a man would come to a hospital because he had no other place to go. On the surface no one could have told that.

The Painter Jules Pascin:
A Jewish Bohemian

by Alfred Werner
Alfred Werner here adds to his series of portraits of Jewish artists, both European and American. Painters previously discussed by him have been Yankel Adler, Elie Nadelman, Modigliani, and Pissarro.

“Naming Day in Eden”:
When Man First Learned to Speak

by Noah Jacobs
The origins of human speech have long fascinated philologists and historians, but rarely has the subject been treated with such a wealth of literary reference as in the work Naming Day in Eden, by Noah J.

Cedars of Lebanon: From the “Diary of Justina” II
by Our Readers
The so-called “Diary of Justina,” an extract from which appeared in the July COMMENTARY, is the work of Gusta Davidson, one of the leaders of the Jewish underground in Cracow during the German occupation, who was executed with her husband in 1943.

The Study of Man: Social Prophetism in 19th-Century France
by J. Talmon
The early 19th century witnessed an outcrop of revolutionary movements in which religious motivations mingled with radical tendencies unleashed by the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.

Nationalism and History. Essays on Old and New Judaism, by Simon Dubnow
by Oscar Handlin
A Jewish Historian Nationalism and History. Essays on Old and New Judaism. by Simon Dubnow. Edited with an introductory essay by Koppel S.

The Affluent Society, by John Kenneth Galbraith
by Irving Kristol
Our Boondoggling Democracy The Affluent Society. by John Kenneth Galbraith. Houghton Mifflin. 356 pp. $5.00.   Despite all the polysyllabic rhetoric about “social science,” about exploratory hypotheses and scrupulous verification and laborious system-building, it is nevertheless the obvious case that important social theories convince us by their self-evidence.

The Bankrupts, by Brian Glanville
by Dan Jacobson
“Between Hampstead and Hendon” The Bankrupts. by Brian Glanville. Doubleday. 237 pp. $3.95.   Looked at in the way the author clearly does not want us to look at his book, The Bankrupts is a severely cautionary tale, a warning to young Jewish girls always to heed what their parents say—especially when it comes to such things as careers, marriage, and money.

Jewish Religious Polemic, by Oliver Shaw Rankin
by David Baumgardt
Religious Debate Jewish Religious Polemic. by Oliver Shaw Rankin. Edinburgh University Press. 256 pp. $4.50.   Disputatiousness has often been regarded as a singular characteristic of the Jewish mind: “Tell me something and I will refute it.” Yet Socrates in the Platonic dialogues is hardly a less fiery debater than the Rabbis of the Talmud and many other philosophers, including Fichte, Schelling, and even Kant—not to mention several Fathers of the Church—were the authors of extremely embittered and aggressive polemics.

Invitation to the Voyage, by Leslie Katz
by Dan Wakefield
The Vision of Europe Invitation to the Voyage. by Leslie Katz. Harcourt, Brace. 253 pp. $3.95.   This is the simple and shocking story of an American tourist who went to Europe and actually saw what he looked at. Leslie Katz, like the thousands or millions or whatever towering figure it is of innocents abroad each year from these shores, saved up his money and spent several months touring England, France, and Italy, and now has written a book about where he went and what he saw.

J.B. A Play in Verse, by Archibald MacLeish
by Irving Feldman
Job in Modern Dress J.B. A Play in Verse. by Archibald MacLeish. Houghton Mifflin. 153 pp. $3.50.   Archibald MacLeish has shown great daring in basing his new poetic drama, J.B., on the Book of Job.

Two Poems
by Robert Pack
The Creation I Space, vacant of wind and the sweep of        silence, The almost-heard voice and the listening Until intent becomes the pain of    consciousness, Vacant of glooms in owlish nights And moist resolving into dawn, Empty, with no anticipation, no retrospect, And void of desolation—the hermit crab Broken on a curve of beach, Curved waves and gray cliffs sloping away; And void of consummation— That peak of pleasure while it neither rises Nor has yet begun to fall away; Vacant of wind, no scramble of birds to take    the air, And silence void of expectation. II My hands, stretched at my side, without    surprise I saw them, for I remembered seeing them    before Not yet my own—tight skin and chiseled    fingers Stiff upon the bones—and now they were Becoming mine, and they glowed with a light Flying out of darkness.

Reader Letters August 1958
by Our Readers
The Politics of Al Smith TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I resent Dennis Wrong's review of my Al Smith and His America in your July issue, both for its misrepresentations of my book and for its insinuations as to the motives for which it was written. It is absolutely untrue to ascribe any influ- ence upon the contents of the book to either its newspaper serialization or to Senator Ken- nedy's presumed Presidential aspirations.

September, 1958Back to Top
The President & the Party
by Our Readers
To the Editor: To the extent that “The Decline of the Republican Party,” of which Harold Lavine wrote in your August issue, is actually the decline of its Old Guard, few outside its ranks will find need to mourn.

The Role of Rabbi Joshua
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I was gratified to read the article “A First-Century Jewish Sage” by Joshua Podro. There are, however, a few points with which I should like to take issue.

Western Policy & Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have read with great interest the excellent analysis of the Middle East situation in your lead article of the August issue (“Can the Middle East Be Held?” by G.

De Gaulle in Power:
The Fifth Republic in the Mirror of History

by H. Hughes
General De Gaulle's coming to power has revived the discussion around the French political tradition. Here, H. Stuart Hughes sketches the background of authoritarian rule in France, and appraises de Gaulle's political conception of France and of his own role in the light of history, as well as the attitudes of various leaders and groups in France and Algeria to de Gaulle and the solution of the present crisis.  _____________     Among the various anecdotes, authentic or bien trouvées, that circulated in Paris this summer, the one that best expressed the country's perplexities ran as follows: an old friend of de Gaulle's, not currently associated with the government, came to call on the new Prime Minister; on taking his leave he was amazed to find André Malraux, reputed to be de Gaulle's closest collaborator, literally throwing himself upon him with the anxious query, “You who know the General so well, tell me, what does he really think?” During the weeks between the installation of de Gaulle's government in late May and the announcement of the new constitution in early August, the whole of France was asking itself the same question.

Iraq After the Coup:
The Pan-Arabs Take Over in Baghdad

by Ray Alan
In the July COMMENTARY, the impact of the Algerian war on France was discussed by Ray Alan, a noted political observer with close personal experience of Arab affairs.

The Siren of the Kitchen
by David Galler
Not all her day foundered between sink and stove, As raves would have us think. To watch her hand Beguile us pigs at supper with sharp stews And a kind clout, one learned that such scenes derive From some tradition: her praise stung like a brand, Disgrace bred rage, and rage broke down as blues That made despair worth dredging.

Arlington--Another Little Rock?
School Integration Fight on Washington's Doorstep

by William Korey
With Arlington, Virginia, threatening to become another Little Rock, two experienced observers here analyze the background of the local struggle over school integration.

Problems of Israel's Economy:
Much Still to be Resolved

by Alex Rubner
Most previous summaries of Israel's economic position have focused largely on the political framework. In the present essay, Alex Rubner makes an attempt to deal with more specific problems of capital investment, expenditure, currency control, etc.

As You Make It
by Elizabeth Bartlett
Your bed They said So shall you lie on it But I found rocks Were kinder than clocks And did not cry on it They meant Content Without a sigh on it But I found stars Much clearer than bars And kept the sky on it No crown Or down Held me in tie to it But I found jewels In the deepest pools Where none could spy on it They thought I ought So I could die on it But I found ends More than made amends And did not try for it My head When dead Will know the why of it _____________  

The Horns of Moses:
Old Symbols and New Meanings

by Norman Cohn
There are Jews still alive who can remember being told that they could not possibly be Jews because they had no horns on their heads.

Life in the U.S. Army:
Fantasyland, Peacetime Variety

by Harris Dienstfrey
Harris Dienstfrey, a graduate of the University of Chicago, here describes his experiences while serving as an enlisted man in the Army.

The Other Cheek
A Story

by Jay Kaplan
Over twenty years have passed since all of this happened, and probably I do not really remember it accurately, yet I cannot be very far wrong.

Henry James and the Jews:
A Critical Study

by Leo Levy
As a writer who consciously sought to create an art in which the values of traditional society make a primary claim, Henry James was faced with the difficulty of judging social, religious, and ethnic groups existing outside the framework of such a society.

Cedars of Lebanon: “Love to thy Neighbor”
by Our Readers
Meir Loeb Ben Yehiel Meir, known as the “Malbim,” was an East European rabbi who in his lifetime (1809-1879) served a number of congregations, including those of Königsberg and even of Paris.

On the Horizon: Oxford's New Theological Dictionary
by Stanley Hyman
The imposing Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church,1 the first of its sort, offers itself “not only to those who through Holy Baptism have been admitted to membership in the Body of Christ, but to all who take an intelligent interest in contemporary culture.” The preface continues: It is addressed to the needs not merely of those whose primary vocation lies in the Christian ministry or in the professional study of theology or church history, nor even only to the general body of professing Christians who seek information about their faith and its growth, but to the educated public as a whole. The present reviewer, by the Dictionary's definition an “infidel” (“A person who has a positive disbelief in every form of the Christian faith”), raised in the Jewish faith but infidel there too, and without pretensions to the professional study of theology, has no justification for this review beyond the hope that he is a member of the educated public to which the book is addressed. The ODCC, as the Dictionary asks that we abbreviate it, is the work of the Reverend F.

Strategic Surrender: The Politics of Victory and Defeat, by Paul Kecskemeti
by Gordon Craig
Studies in Disaster Strategic Surrender: The Politics of Victory and Defeat. by Paul Kecskemeti. Stanford University Press. 289 pp. $5.00.   Few criticisms of Western leadership during World War II have been accepted more uncritically than the charge that the war was unnecessarily prolonged by insistence upon the unconditional surrender of Germany.

Four Books on the Middle East
by J. Hurewitz
Israel and the Arabs Backdrop to Tragedy: The Struggle for Palestine. by William R. Polk, David M. Stamler, and Edmund Asfour. Beacon. 399 pp.

American Protestantism and Social Issues, 1919-1939, by Robert Moats Miller
by Robert Fitch
American Protestantism American Protestantism and Social Issues, 1919-1939. by Robert Moats Miller. University of North Carolina Press. 385 pp., $6.00.   It is the great convenience of the church (temple, synagogue) that it functions both as savior and as scapegoat.

Friend in Power, by Carlos Baker
by Richard Schickel
More Groves of Academe A Friend in Power. by Carlos Baker. Scribner's. 312 pp. $3.95.   It is almost too good a coincidence to be true.

Cinque Storie Ferraresi, by Giorgio Bassani
by Edouard Roditi
Italian Jews Under Fascism Cinque Storie Ferraresi (Five Ferrarese Stories). by Giorgio Bassani. Einaudi Publishers (Torino, Italy, 1956). 1200 Italian lire.   Jews have always been a very small minority in Italy, but in the past hundred years or so they have played an important part in the country's cultural, scientific, and political life.

Reader Letters September 1958
by Our Readers
Western Policy & Israel TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I have read with great interest the excellent analysis of the Middle East situation in your lead article of the August issue ("Can the Middle East Be Held?" by G.

October, 1958Back to Top
“The Good Samaritan”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have just finished reading, with great interest, Stanley Edgar Hyman's article in the September issue on “Oxford's New Theological Dictionary.” One very minor statement in the article, quite irrelevant to its major point, has made my hackles rise, and prompted this letter.

Anxiety & the Army
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “Life in the U.S. Army” (Harris Dienstfrey, September), in its beginnings, when first the recruit reports, and through basic training, is an experience marked by apprehension a great deal of which is caused by ignorance.

Dubnow's History
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Professor Oscar Handlin, in his review, in your August issue, of the essays by Simon Dubnow which I collected and edited under the title Nationalism and History, allows himself a number of critical observations that are more the product of his intuitive imagination and his own ideological preconceptions than a careful reading of the essays .

Israel Watches and Waits:
And Keeps Its Powder Dry

by A. Sherman
With the Arab world split into pro-Nasser and anti-Nasser camps, Israel's policy remains one of watchful waiting and reliance upon adequate defensive strength.

The Puritan Tradition:
Community above Ideology

by Daniel Boorstin
The Arbella, a ship of three hundred and fifty tons, twenty-eight guns, and a crew of fifty-two, during the spring of 1630 was carrying westward across the Atlantic the future leaders of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

A Goodly Tree:
Sacred and Profane History

by Erich
The fruit familiar to Jews as the etrog has a long and complex history which is here traced by Erich and Rael Isaac.

Friday Night Cantata
(While listening to Bach's Cantata No. 51.)

by Florence Victor
Unfit for worship, still I learned each     prayer, And hoping that the rabbi couldn't tell It was the music which I loved so well, And not his God, and not his patent stare Which broke the spell, I shook hands in     despair And fled the synagogue, an infidel Who craved only a song, who feared no hell But speech or silence, sanctity left bare. My heresy full-grown, I often now Stand waif-like while the congregation     prays; Idolater of sound, I must profane The joy in God each offering displays, And yet alone on Friday night I bow To something even Bach could not explain. _____________  

A Plaque on the Via Mazzini
A Story

by Giorgio Bassani
At first nobody recognized Geo Josz when he reappeared in Ferrara in August 1945, the sole survivor of the one hundred and eighty-three members of the Jewish community whom the Germans had deported in the autumn of 1943 and whom most people in the city, not unreasonably, believed to have been long ago exterminated in the gas chambers. To tell the truth, nobody even remembered who he was.

Moses in the Thought of Freud:
An Ambivalent Interpretation

by David Bakan
This essay represents a condensation from several chapters of a book to be issued this month by D. Van Nostrand Company, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition, by David Bakan.

Sputnik and Segregation:
Should the Gifted Be Educated Separately?

by Bruno Bettelheim
The fight over segregation has coincided with a drive to reform American education so as to give better opportunities to gifted children of all races.

Cedars of Lebanon: Justice
by Hermann Cohen
Hermann Cohen's great posthumous work, Die Religion der Vernunft aus den Quellen des Judentums (The Religion of Reason from the Sources of Judaism), has never been published in English translation, but here we give a second, condensed excerpt from it; the first appeared in our December 1956 “Cedars,” both selections having been translated by William Wolf.

The Study of Man: Prejudice in American Society
by William Petersen
During the past ten years or so the study of prejudice, which has figured importantly in American sociology virtually since it established itself as a separate discipline, has developed several new emphases.

Eisenhower: Captive Hero, by Marquis Childs
by William Shannon
The Eisenhower Story Eisenhower: Captive Hero. by Marquis Childs. Harcourt, Brace. 300 pp. $4.75.   Cyclical shifts in power have been a permanent feature of political life in the English-speaking democracies throughout their history.

Four Books by Martin Buber; Martin Buber, by Arthur A. Cohen
by Walter Kaufmann
The Stature of Martin Buber Hasidism and Modern Man. by Martin Buber. Edited and translated by Maurice Friedman. Horizon Press. 256 pp. $4.00. Pointing the Way: Collected Essays. by Martin Buber. Translated and edited by Maurice Friedman.

The Magic Barrel, by Bernard Malamud
by Dan Jacobson
Magic and Morality The Magic Barrel. by Bernard Malamud. Farrar, Straus and Cudahy. 214 pp. $3.75.   In this new volume by Mr. Malamud, there are thirteen stories, most of them set in the dingiest streets of a city which—whether it is named or not—one can assume always to be New York; in addition there are three longish stories set in Italy.

Protestant and Catholic, by Kenneth W. Underwood
by Marshall Sklare
Religious Tensions in “Paper City” Protestant and Catholic. by Kenneth W. Underwood. Beacon Press. 484 pp. $7.50.   Protestant and Catholic is a community study which breaks new ground.

Best American Plays, Fourth Series, 1951-1957, edited by John Gassner
by Gerald Weales
Drama in the 50's Best American Plays, Fourth Series, 1951-1957. by John Gassner. Crown. 648 pp. $5.75.   The seventeen plays that John Gassner has chosen for his latest collection of American plays may not be the “best” for the years 1951-1957, but they are at least typical.

Reader Letters October 1958
by Our Readers
Dubnow's History TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Professor Oscar Handlin, in his review, in your August issue, of the essays by Simon Dubnow which I collected and edited under the title Nationalism and History, allows him- self a number of critical observations that are more the product of his intuitive imagination and his own ideological preconceptions than a careful reading of the essays .

November, 1958Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Congratulations on your article “Life in the U.S. Army,” which I read in a recent copy of COMMENTARY (September).

Moses, Freud, Bakan
by Our Readers
To the Editor: David Bakan's assertion (“Moses in the Thought of Freud,” October) that “Freud's assertion that ‘Moses . . .

The Problem of the Gifted
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Dr. Bruno Bettelheim, in his “Sputnik and Segregation” (October), deftly ridicules Life magazine for vulgarizing and reducing to offensive stereotypes a serious plan for education.

The South and the Law of the Land:
The Present Resistance and Its Prospects

by C. Woodward
The historian C. Vann Woodward contributes his third article to COMMENTARY analyzing the desegregation crisis, following “The ‘New Reconstruction’ in the South” in our June 1956 issue and “The Great Civil Rights Debate” in October 1957.  _____________     The annual fall maneuvers have left the school desegregation front very little altered in the Border States and the Upper South.

The New United Nations:
What It Can't and Can Do

by Hans Morgenthau
In trying to assess the contribution the United Nations makes today, and might be able to make tomorrow, to the settlement of international conflicts, it is indispensable to keep in mind that what we call the United Nations today is not what the United Nations started out to be.

The Child
by Emil Boyson
On my way through the park I saw you playing one second. Watching you, your father Reads “Family Times of Zion.” (Berlin, 1933; it's still allowed      for Jews To sit on a bench in a park; We're humane; Der Führer wishes it. But it won't be much longer.) You get up from the sandpile, And tear over to him, The black curls jumping on your head, Calling out, Father!

I Sell My House:
One Man's Experience with Suburban Segregation
by Alan Wood
The problem of segregation in modern America is, also, sometimes a problem of self-segregation, the theme of the present article. _____________     Unlike most of the families who bought a “resale” in North Shore Community Homes, we had no relatives living there.

Eisenhower as President:
A Critical Appraisal of the Record

by William Shannon
In this election month the New York Post's Washington columnist essays an over-all assessment of the Eisenhower era, in the rather longer perspective of a historian-journalist.  _____________     Across a divided and militarily defenseless Europe, the shadow of Stalin's armies fell; in Korea, Communist Chinese forces pushed American armies back toward the sea; in the United States, Joseph McCarthy scored his first major political triumph, and the Fulbright Committee investigation began to uncover a vein of corruption in the national administration.

T. S. Eliot's Stature as Critic:
A Revaluation

by F. Leavis
F. R. Leavis here examines the accomplishment of T. S. Eliot as a literary critic, on the occasion of the publication of the latter's most recent collection of essays, On Poets and Poetry (Farrar, Straus and Cudahy).  _____________     How can a book of criticism be at once so distinguished and so unimportant? The question is the more worth asking because the author of this volume was at one time so unquestionably a major critical influence.

Two Poems About Ezra Pound
by Dannie Abse
By Paul Potts I have waited to ask you this. I could not ask you in prison. I waited until you were free. But why, why did you let them use Your name and your greatness As so many pennies to put Into the meters of their gas machines. You know what they did with their gas, Your gas, Ezra Pound. The crime was too big. There are no extenuating circumstances. You should have known better. In Jerusalem I asked The ancient Hebrew poets to forgive you, And what would Walt Whitman have said And Thomas Jefferson? _____________   By Dannie Abse (For Paul Potts) In Soho, you repeated the question. In the square mile of unoriginal sin, where the fraudulent neon lights haunt, but cannot hide, the dinginess of vice, the jeans and sweater boys spoke of Pound. The chee-chee bums in Torino's laughed and the virgins of St.

Is There An “Arab Civilization”?
Islam and Arabism

by A. Horon
In a time when Arab nationalism represents an important international issue, and the Arab nationalists evoke the Arab past, it becomes a question of some moment as to who the Arabs really were, and what they actually accomplished on the world historical scene.

An American Fairy Tale
A Story

by Delmore Schwartz
This is a fairy tale. And it is a success story. It is a story which is not only full of goodness and beauty, but it is also a true story.

The Jews of Rhodes:
A Centuries-Old Community in Retrospect

by Richard Galan
The Colossus of Rhodes was probably not very appealing as a work of art—no more than the Statue of Liberty, to compare it with a monster of the same class.

Cedars of Lebanon: “A Faith That Is Whole”
by Menahem Boraisha
When Menahem Boraisha died in 1949, he had finally achieved the artistic statement of “a faith that is whole” for which he struggled his entire life.

The Study of Man: Bible and Babel
by Jacob Finkelstein
Jacob J. Finkelstein, an Orientalist who has published in the professional journals, makes his debut in COMMENTARY with an article which assesses the relative contribution, religious and moral, of Babylonia as against that of ancient Israel.

Poems of a Jew, by Karl Shapiro
by Irving Feldman
Abstract Jewishness Poems of a Jew. by Karl Shapiro. Random House. 71 pp. $3.50.   It is disappointing to find the rather dramatic title of this collection of poems and its short introductory essay, in which incoherence tempers hysteria, followed by the tame and all-too-familiar sheep which are the poems themselves.

Critique of Religion and Philosophy, by Walter Kaufmann
by William Bartley
Intellectual Treat Critique of Religion and Philosophy. by Walter Kaufmann. Harper. 325 pp. $5.00.   Some future cultural historian may write a monumental study of the pervasive image of the “doctor” in present-day intellectual expression.

Algeria: The Realities, by Germaine Tillion
by Joel Carmichael
Algeria and France Algeria: The Realities. by Germaine Tillion. Knopf. 115 pp. $3.00.   One of the subtler successes of Leninism has been the gradual permeation of the left intelligentsia by the slogan, “The main enemy is in your own country.” The widespread though unconscious acceptance of this attitude is responsible for the quasi-automatic way in which all problems are understood by the left to be best formulated in a way hostile to the traditional interests of one's own country.

Toward the Automatic Factory, by Charles R. Walker
by Arnold Rose
Journalist's Report Toward the Automatic Factory: A Case Study of Men and Machines. by Charles R. Walker. Yale University Press. 232 pp. $5.00.   The automatic factory was already known in the 18th century, but it was only with its extension into many lines of production in the 1950's that it attracted great scientific and public attention.

Generation of Decision, by Sol Liptzin
by Israel Knox
Jewish Crisis of Fulfillment Generation of Decision. by Sol Liptzin. Bloch Publishing Co. 307 pp. $3.95.   Professor Liptzin's book is part history, part literary summation, but it is above all a political tract.

Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories, by Isaac Bashevis Singer
by Kenneth Rexroth
Alienated: Indomitable Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories. by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Noonday Press. 205 pp. Paperback edition $1.25.   Recently I was working in a night club below Cooper Union.

Reader Letters November 1958
by Our Readers
The Problem of the Gifted TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Dr. Bruno Bettelheim, in his "Sputnik and Segregation" (October), deftly ridicules Life magazine for vulgarizing and reducing to of- fensive stereotypes a serious plan for educa- tion.

December, 1958Back to Top
Education in a Democracy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Professor Bettelheim, in his article on “Sputnik and Segregation” (October), states that “all too often the same people who insist that all men are equal (and hence fight against segregation according to race) claim just as heatedly that some are more equal—and hence demand a different type of schooling for the gifted.” If the fight against segregation is based on the belief that “all men are equal,” it surely is lost.

The Puritan Consensus & Ours
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Were John Cotton still alive, he would prepare an answer to Professor Boorstin's “The Puritan Tradition” (October) which your readers would long remember.

Triumph of the Smooth Deal:
The Electorate Plumps for the “Civilized Moderate”

by Karl Meyer
Washington There are many obvious things that can be said about the elections of November 4, 1958, and in Washington, where there is little bashfulness about stating the obvious, certain results have been noted with relish. To begin with, it was clearly a setback for the troglodyte wing of the Republican party, that band of earnest zealots who could have laid fair claim to being the only Utopian purists left in American politics.

Child's Game, on a Journey
by Spencer Brown
Two children in the bus seat opposite me,       Tired of the rolling earth, Begin to play the simple and old game     Of paper-stone-and-scissors. The winner each time gets to give         a slap     On the loser's tendered wrist. After a mile of scores, when both are         smarting, They agree to tally without punishment.     The game goes on and on. Chant one-two-three: on three, shoot out a         hand     As a fist, for a stone; Or fore- and second fingers, for a forfex;     Or palm open, for paper. Stone breaks the scissors; scissors cut the         paper;     Paper wraps up the stone. Impelled by fascination or inertia, As now intellect wins, now crude hunch, so     The game goes, on and on Into the drugged journey.

New York's Puerto Ricans:
Formation and Future of a New Community

by Nathan Glazer
New York's Puerto Rican immigrants, who have already established a community in the city larger than the population of Seattle or New Orleans, are a historical accident.

Two “Saviors” Who Failed:
Moses Merin of Sosnowiec and Jacob Gens of Vilna

by Philip Friedman
A particularly bitter aspect of the catastrophe which befell the Jews at Hitler's hands was the manner in which a number of them, in various towns and ghettos, were tricked into collaborating in their own destruction.

The Peking-Moscow Axis:
Who Is Top Dog?

by G. Hudson
On December 16, 1949, two and a half months after the inauguration in Peking of the “Central People's Government of the Chinese People's Republic,” Mao Tse-tung arrived in Moscow.

Roses for My Grandmother
by Laurence Josephs
The gardens of her mind where she most     often lived Amidst all useful fruits and grains, Were fair pavilions raised beneath sweet        glass: Like breads, like cookies shaped to lily for a        holiday. She, planter, gardener to a palace—Solomon's        perhaps— Endowed such monuments as in me echoed        strength: My hunger satisfied, my eyes in brimming        million leaves With spring through all the year my single        childhood season. But useful, useful: that one blade Of grass, that only leaf, that carven apple        never went astray. Always and by magic turned to worshipful        design. Such tribute made one child a prince; made        me that prince. Thus at the finish when a winter grew Like death into the orchards of her time, I brought her useless roses of a luxury She never understood but lay in reckless        awe. We wept for love of beauty, she and I, And in her thanks there was no bread or        food. A perfume filled the kitchens of her soul Where even thorns were beautiful to her. _____________  

Five Million American Jews:
Progress in Demography

by Erich Rosenthal
During the past decade our knowledge of the demographic structure of the Jewish population in America has considerably expanded. First, and most important of all, we now know as a fact that there are at the present time five million Jews in the United States.

The Patriarch
by Sarah Singer
They pay him court, the weekly clan, Solemn with Sunday thought and deed, The filial and duteous breed Grown alien, an immeasured span Between them and his need. Asunder now, they would rephrase Their lost affinities, the blurred And ancient ties with gift and word. The old man nods, his earthless gaze Ancestral and unstirred. Abstracted, spelled beyond their reach, Beyond solicitude or sting, He hears finality as fling And rasp of leaf portend for each The climate of unbeing. _____________  

Algeria After the Referendum:
Prospects for Peace

by Maurice Carr
Maurice Carr here analyzes the troubled situation in Algeria with its deep implications for Middle Eastern and world politics. _____________     Algiers How much longer can the civil war go on, and how will it end? This is an indelicate question to ask in Algeria.

Games a la Mode, 1938
A Story

by Lore Groszmann
On Saturday, when I had been with them a week, Mrs. Levine decided it was time for me to cheer up.

From the American Scene: Cats and Christmas Trees
by Sylvia Rothchild
Selma Applebaum, and I are neighbors but not friends. We're not a pair. When my father saw her he said, “A pretty little woman!

Cedars of Lebanon: Testament of a Jewish Intellectual: II
by Menahem Boraisha
Menahem Boraisha's autobiographical essay on his career as a poet falls into two parts, the first of which we presented last month.

On the Horizon: Men and History
by William Phillips
“Dr. Zhivago” as a work of literature rather than a topic of the cold war is here discussed by William Phillips.

Premonition at Twilight
by Philip Levine
The magpie in the Joshua tree Has come to rest. Darkness collects And what I cannot hear or see, Broken limbs, the curious bird, Become in darkness darkness too. I had been going when I heard The sound of something called the night, I had been going but I stopped To see the bird restrain his flight; The bird in place, the shadows dropped As if they waited in the light Before I came, for centuries, For something I could never see, And what it was became itself, And then the bird, and then the tree; And then the force behind the breeze Became at last the whole of me. _____________  

The Study of Man: Aristocracy in America
by Seymour Lipset
American sociology has become the most omnivorous of all the social sciences. It has set itself the task of systematically investigating the operations of contemporary society, in much the same fashion, and with similar theoretical conceptions, as the biological sciences seek to investigate the structure and function of living organisms.

Tradition and Change, edited by Mordecai Waxman
by Milton Himmelfarb
The Thought of Conservative Judaism Tradition and Change: The Development of Conservative Judaism. by Mordecai Waxman. Burning Bush Press. 477 pp. $4.50.   A certain husband decides the major questions: whether Red China should be admitted to the UN and whether the testing of nuclear weapons should be suspended; his wife decides the minor questions: where they will live and how many children they will have.

Refugees in Europe, 1957-1958, Report of the Zellerbach Commission
by Oscar Handlin
Western Inertia Refugees in Europe, 1957-1958. Report of the Zellerbach Commission on the European Refugee Situation. Published by the Commission. 164 pp.

The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac
by Irving Feldman
Stuffed Dharma The Dharma Bums. by Jack Kerouac. Viking. 244 pp. $3.95.   Not, to my recollection, since the good ship “Lollipop” let fall its praline anchor into the fondant waters of Peppermint Bay has such a cargo of sentimentality been delivered to the waiting world.

Prosperity Without Inflation, by Arthur F. Burns
by Maurice Goldbloom
The Road to Prosperity Prosperity without Inflation. by Arthur F. Burns. Fordham University Press. 88 pp. $2.00.   At a time when rising prices and recession appear to be going hand in hand, there is a certain wistful ring to the title of Professor Burns's Fordham lectures.

He Spoke in Parables, by Herman A. Glatt
by Maurice Shudofsky
Prince of Preachers He Spoke in Parables. The Life and Works of the Dubno Maggid. by Herman A. Glatt. Jay Bithmar. 290 pp.

Four Books on Foreign Policy
by Gordon Craig
Foreign Policy & National Defense Our Nuclear Future: Facts, Dangers and Opportunities. by Edward Teller and Albert L. Latter. Criterion. 184 pp. $3.50. Choice for Survival. by Louis J.

Reader Letters December 1958
by Our Readers
The Puritan Consensus & Ours TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Were John Cotton still alive, he would pre- pare an answer to Professor Boorstin's "The Puritan Tradition" (October) which your read- ers would long remember.

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