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January, 1990Back to Top
The Pollard Case
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Please let me respond to Bernard R. Henderson's slurs against me and my book on the Pollard spy case, Territory of Lies [Letters from Readers, November 1989]. My 336-page book was based on a very careful review of thousands of pages of documents made available by the U.S.

From Brandeis to Jerusalem
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Thomas Friedman's From Beirut to Jerusalem, Daniel Pipes properly chastises Friedman for his superficial, even misguided, illusions about Israel [Books in Review, September 1989].

The Final Solution
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Lucy S. Dawidowicz is to be commended for her systematic demolition of the spurious arguments made by Arno J.

Democratic Capitalism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Michael Novak's “Boredom, Virtue, and Democratic Capitalism” [September 1989] does a splendid job of explaining how liberal democracy (Novak's “democratic capitalism”), while not itself a source of transcendent, life-ordering, and unifying significance, nonetheless depends decisively on a vision—a noble vision—of the meaningfulness of human life as a search for goodness and truth: the proper objects, respectively, of human will and intellect.

The Middle East
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Eugene V. Rostow's critique of Secretary of State James Baker's May 22, 1989 speech to AIPAC [“A False Start in the Middle East,” October 1989] left some important and some not-so-important question marks in my mind.

On Campus
by Our Readers
To the Editor: There are many things that I agree with in Chester E. Finn, Jr.’s article [“The Campus: ‘An Island of Repression in a Sea of Freedom,’” September 1989], but I am puzzled by some others, especially concerning my own role in the debate and my essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education to which Mr.

A Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe?
by Irwin Stelzer
We here in the United States, and People in the West generally, are exhilarated by developments in Eastern Europe. The “evil empire” of the Soviets seems to be in dissolution, as East Germans vote with their feet, and as Poland, Hungary, and now also Czechoslovakia replace years of Communist rule with new democratic institutions and move toward replacing central direction of the economy with market mechanisms.

Power, Powerlessness & the Jews
by David Vital
One of the inescapable facts of modern Jewish life is that the destruction of European Jewry by the Germans in World War II led to no sea change in the ethos and mores of the Jewish people as a whole. Here and there, small and scattered groups, and some isolated individuals, did try to take the measure of events.

ABC and Me
by Jessica Gress-Wright
On November 19, 1987, the day the Act for Better Child Care Services (known as the ABC bill) was introduced in Congress, I was busy throwing up in the bathroom sink.

The Scandal of the Boat People
by William McGurn
Fifty years ago a group of more than 1900 Jewish refugees set sail from Nazi Germany to Cuba aboard the liner St.

What Heidegger Wrought
by Mark Lilla
In the early months of 1988 rumblings began to be heard in the United States about a new controversy over the immensely influential German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) that was setting Paris afire.

From “Lolita” to “Piss Christ”
by Carol Iannone
Recent uproars over Salman Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses, Martin Scorsese's film, The Last Temptation of Christ, and the work of Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano have raised again the vexed question of how society should treat offensive or shocking content in art. In one of his hard-punching, voice-of-the-common-man columns, Patrick J.

Gardens and Ghettos
by Andre Aciman
On A cold December night in 1926 a band of anti-fascists gathered in the small northern Italian sea town of Savona to help Filippo Turati flee the country aboard a motor boat.

Lost Victory, by William Colby
by Angelo Codevilla
The Bureaucrat & the War Lost Victory: A Firsthand Account of America's Sixteen Year Involvement in Vietnam. by William Colby with James Mccargar.

Abba Hillel Silver, by Marc Lee Raphael
by David Dalin
Zionist Rabbi Abba Hillel silver: a profile in American Judaism. by Marc Lee Raphael. Introduction by Alexander M. Schindler. Holmes & Meier. 328 pp.

Fear of Falling, by Barbara Ehrenreich
by Wilfred McClay
High Anxiety Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class. by Barbara Ehrenreich. Pantheon. 293 pp. $18.95. The debacle of the 1988 presidential election not only left the very word “liberalism” badly battered, but may have administered the coup de grâce to the only opposition movement with a shred of intellectual and political vitality: the so-called “neoliberals.” Hence, in 1992, the Democratic party will find that it once again has to face the relentless demands of its Left; and that Left, if it is feeling any vestigial desire to win elections, will have to come up with a plausible strategy for attracting middle-class voters, rather than continuing to invoke the deus ex machina of the unregistered and nonvoting masses—a strategy that might better be called “waiting for Godot.” Such is the very problem that Fear of Falling is designed to address.

Nowhere to Go, by E. Fuller Torrey
by Rael Isaac
The Grate Society Nowhere to Go: The Tragic Odyssey of the Homeless Mentally ill. by E. Fuller Torrey. Harper & Row. 256 pp.

Journey to the Stars, by Robert Jastrow
by Jeffrey Marsh
Outer Space Journey to the Stars: Space Exploration Tomorrow and Beyond. by Robert Jastrow. Bantam Books. 214 pp. $18.95. A good deal of intellectual energy has been expended lately in the debate over whether history is coming to an end now that there is, allegedly, an almost universal consensus on the ultimate goals of society.

Reader Letters January 1990
by Lucy Dawidowicz
On Campus TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: There are many things that I agree with in Chester E. Finn, Jr.'s article ["The Campus: 'An Island of Repression in a Sea of Free- dom,'" September 1989], but I am puzzled by some others, especially concerning my own role in the debate and my essay in the Chron- icle of Higher Education to which Mr.

February, 1990Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: John O'Sullivan's description of the Left's paranoia about Margaret Thatcher is keen [“Britain: Under the Iron (High) Heel?,” September 1989].

The U.N.
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his otherwise incisive review of my book, A Mandate for Terror: The UN and the PLO [Books in Review, October 1989], Allan Gerson errs in describing the chapter on Fidel Castro as the “main example” of “the international consequences of the UN-PLO ‘interaction.’” It is in fact one of three chapters dealing not with consequences but with the various reasons—most having little to do with the Middle East—that UN members give unconditional support to the PLO.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: George Szamuely presents a pessimistic and highly unbalanced picture in his article, “The Politics of 1992” [October 1989].

Jewish Mysticism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Alter's “Jewish Mysticism in Dispute” [September 1989] refers briefly to my much more positive review of Moshe Idel's Kabbalah: New Perspectives in the New York Times Book Review.

Mapplethorpe & the Flag
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I object to the message Walter Berns purports to find in my book, Constitutional Faith [“Flag-Burning & Other Modes of Expression,” October 1989].

The Founding of Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I wish to enter a plea of “not guilty” to all the charges leveled against me by Shabtai Teveth in his article, “Charging Israel With' Original Sin” [September 1989].

Against the Legalization of Drugs
by James Wilson
In 1972, the President appointed me chairman of the National Advisory Council for Drug Abuse Prevention. Created by Congress, the Council was charged with providing guidance on how best to coordinate the national war on drugs.

The Making of the Mayor 1989
by Scott McConnell
David Dinkins's election in 1989 as the first black mayor of New York City was treated by the media as a civil-rights story of the old sort—the story of a black candidate who won by overcoming lingering (if diminishing) pockets of white racism.

Bork Revisited
by Terry Eastland
The battle over Robert H. Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 marked a momentous occasion in our politics.

Bilingual Miseducation
by Abigail Thernstrom
The New York State Board of Regents has recently voted a 74-percent increase in the number of children eligible for the state's bilingual program.

Hertzberg's Complaint
by Lucy Dawidowicz
The late Gershom Scholem, the magisterial historian of Jewish mysticism, once reproached Hannah Arendt for demonstrating a fundamental lack of ahavat yisrael, love of the Jewish people, in her controversial book Eichmann in Jerusalem.

Cutting Beethoven Down to Size
by Samuel Lipman
In the past decade or so, the whole question of musical performance has become a matter of contention in a way it has not been since the rise after World War I of the pianist Artur Schnabel, the violinist Joseph Szigeti, the harpsichordist Wanda Landowska, and, especially, the conductor Arturo Toscanini. Though each of these immensely successful performers had his own characteristic personal style, they all were perceived as in some sense “modern” rather than “romantic.” In this battle, “modern” came to stand for a literal and cool (if, for many, austere) approach to the music, with an emphasis on playing each note, and realizing each performance instruction, as written by the composer.

Agnon Without End
by Alan Mintz
The translation for the first time of a major work by S.Y. Agnon (1888-1970), the greatest writer in modern Hebrew, is sufficient cause for celebration; the fact that this work is a novel makes the event that much more interesting, but also more equivocal.1 Agnon, who was born and brought up in Eastern Europe and moved to Palestine for the first time in 1907, most naturally displayed his narrative genius—and gained his early fame—in short fictions which made ironic use of two traditional Hebrew forms, the midrashic vignette and the hasidic tale.

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, by Ralph David Abernathy
by Richard Neuhaus
Joshua's Tale And the Walls Came Tumbling Down. by Ralph David Abernathy. Harper & Row. 638 pp. $25.00. Ralph David Abernathy's autobiography has been subjected to a concerted and often uncivil attack by the civil-rights establishment, led by Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP.

The Labyrinth of Exile, by Ernst Pawel
by Steven Beller
The Dreamer & His Dream The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life of Theodor Herzl. by Ernst Pawel. Farrar Straus & Giroux. 554 pp.

From Kabul to Managua, by Fred Halliday
by Arch Puddington
Socialism in Retreat From Kabul to Managual Soviet-American Relations in the 1980's. by Fred Halliday. Pantheon. 198 pp. $22.95. Addressing the 26th Congress of the Soviet Communist party in 1981, Leonid Brezhnev spoke triumphantly of the USSR's gains in the Third World, taking special pride in listing the growing number of developing nations which had adopted some form of Soviet-style socialism.

Real Presences, by George Steiner
by D.G. Myers
The Era of Theory Real Presences. by George Steiner. University of Chicago Press. 256 pp. $19.95. We live in an era of theory, George Steiner declares in his new book.

How War Came, by Donald Cameron Watt
by David Gress
Hitler's War How War Came: The Immediate Origins of the Second World War. by Donald Cameron Watt. Pantheon. 736 pp. $29.95. Donald Cameron Watt's volume is the result, as the author tells us, of a lifetime's concerned reflection on and study of the causes of World War II, a process that began when, at age eleven, he helped his father fill sandbags in the English Midlands.

Reader Letters February 1990
by Robert Alter
The Founding of Israel TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I wish to enter a plea of "not guilty" to all the charges leveled against me by Shabtai Teveth in his article, "Charging Israel With' Original Sin" [September 1989].

March, 1990Back to Top
Harvard Law School
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “The Campus: ‘An Island of Repression in a Sea of Freedom’” [September 1989], Chester E.

Interfaith Dialogue
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his otherwise laudatory review of my recent book, Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Jewish Justification [Books in Review, November 1989], David Singer faults me for paying relatively little attention to Zionism and Israel in my philosophical and theological argument. My reason for that seeming inattention is my belief that in the context of Jewish-Christian dialogue, Zionism and Israel are issues calling for more attention from the Christian partners than from the Jewish partners.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: In her review of Arnie Hochschild's The Second Shift [Books in Review, November 1989], Charlotte Low Allen does men a great disservice by constraining them to a stereotype of slovenly imbeciles incapable of cooking a good meal or understanding what makes a home attractive.

The Piano
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The end of the novel, the end of history, the end of the world. Now Samuel Lipman gives us another apocalypse—the end of the piano [“Does the Piano Have a Future?,” December 1989].

Sidney Hook
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Sidney Hook's fascinating interview with Norman Podhoretz, “On Being a Jew” [October 1989], raises an important issue that deserves comment. Both in his autobiography, Out of Step (1987), and in his interview .

Israel's Options
by Our Readers
To the Editor: While I agree with its conclusions vis-à-vis American foreign policy, Daniel Pipes's excellent article [“Is the West Bank a Vital American Interest?,” November 1989] is in large measure an analysis of internal Israeli politics, and as such is—I believe—somewhat misleading. Mr.

Gorbachev's Russia: Breakdown or Crackdown?
by Richard Pipes
To say that we live in the midst of a Worldwide political earthquake is to state the obvious. Democracy and capitalism, which “progressive” Western opinion had relegated to the archives, are everywhere toppling Communist (as well as right-wing) dictatorships with astonishing ease.

Is Olof Palme the Wave of the Future?
by Angelo Codevilla
Does the rout of Communism in Eastern Europe, and its apparent loss of nerve in the Soviet Union, also presage the end of non-totalitarian forms of socialism throughout the world, or does it mean, as Mikhail Gorbachev's adviser on German affairs, Nikolai Portugalov, recently proclaimed, that “the tree of socialism is greener than before”? Two diametrically opposed judgments have filled the world's media.

Death With Dignity & the Sanctity of Life
by Leon Kass
Dedicated to the memory of my mother, Chana Kass (1903-1989), my first and best teacher regarding human dignity. “Call no man happy until he is dead.” With these deliberately paradoxical words, the ancient Athenian sage Solon reminds the self-satisfied Croesus of the perils of fortune and the need to see the end of a life before pronouncing on its happiness.

The Sad Story of the Boy Wonder
by Joseph Epstein
By the time I first met Robert Maynard Hutchins, in 1966, he was sixty-seven years old and, I now realize, intellectually quite dead.

Interpreting the Bible
by Robert Alter
It is a revealing symptom of our cultural malaise that for two decades our academic institutions have been shaken by spasms of radical reevaluation of what we do with texts, ranging from uneasy self-doubt to incipient panic to the exhilaration of an intellectual witches' sabbath.

Rap and Racism
by Terry Teachout
For the average middle-class listener, whether black or white, rap music is a landscape too alien for anything but discomfort.

T. S. Eliot and Prejudice, by Christopher Ricks'
by Hilton Kramer
This is a very curious book. Its obvious mission is to relieve T.S. Eliot's reputation of the charge of anti-Semitism, yet the intellectual strategy it adopts as a means of accomplishing this unachievable—and, in fact, unachieved—mission is one that so distends the concept of “prejudice” as to render it supererogatory.

Private Prisons, by Charles H. Logan
by John Dilulio,
During the first six months of 1989, the nation's prison population grew by 46,000, the largest such increase on record.

Vietnam Now, by John LeBoutillier
by Todd Newmark
A strange alliance of 60's activists, Vietnam veterans, and maverick conservatives is pushing to normalize relations with Hanoi. Among the conservatives, former New York Congressman John LeBoutillier, president for the last six years of a group called Account for POW/MIA's, may well be the most vocal spokesman. The conservative case for normalization runs back at least as far as February 1, 1973, when, only days after the signing of the Paris “peace” accords, then-President Nixon sent an important secret communiqué to then-Premier Pham Van Dong of North Vietnam.

Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation, by Marc H. Ellis
by Richard Rubenstein
No contemporary movement in Christianity has aroused as much interest as liberation theology, and it was almost inevitable that Jewish thinkers would explore its relevance as well.

Microcosm, by George Gilder
by George Russell
There is no negotiating with Prophets. With them, the future is all-or-nothing: revelations, accusations, salvation, damnation, finger-pointing, truth or consequences.

Reader Letters March 1990
by David Singer
Israel's Options TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: While I agree with its conclu- sions vis-a-vis American foreign policy, Daniel Pipes's excellent article ["Is the West Bank a Vital American Interest?," November 1989] is in large measure an analy- sis of internal Israeli politics, and as such is-I believe-somewhat misleading. Mr.

April, 1990Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jessica Gress-Wright's article, “ABC and Me” [January], is outstanding for its lack of interest in the content of child-care arrangements.

"Between Passovers"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read the article, “Between Passovers,” by Ruth R. Wisse [December 1989] and it moved me to tears .

The Jewish People
by Our Readers
To the Editor: David Vital wants the rest of us to avoid using the Holocaust as a primary reference point in relations between Jews and non-Jews [“Power, Powerlessness & the Jews,” January].

Gorbachev & Khrushchev
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “What Glasnost Has Destroyed” [November 1989], Leon Aron's quotations and the figures he cites are impressive, but I think his conclusions are a bit rushed.

Eastern Europe
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Irwin M. Stelzer is to be congratulated for his fine article, “A Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe?” [January].

The Congress for Cultural Freedom
by Our Readers
To the Editor: One may differ about whether the Congress for Cultural Freedom was a “success” or not, but in “The Intellectuals & the Cold War” [December 1989] George Szamuely rides a strong hobby-horse in claiming that “liberal anti-Communism” had given up the struggle against totalitarianism, as the Congress expanded its activities. Mr.

Affirmative Action
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Congratulations to Thomas Sowell for “ ‘Affirmative Action”: A Worldwide Disaster” [December 1989]. The United Kingdom presents an interesting case of his “indigenous” example of preference turned inside out.

The Case for More Immigration
by Ben Wattenberg
For the first time in a quarter-century, and only the fourth in our entire history, Congress is attempting a comprehensive update of our immigration laws.

Can the Palestinians Make Peace?
by Daniel Pipes
In November 1917, Britain's Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour made public the dramatic announcement that “His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” But he then added a major stipulation: “.

Mencken on Trial
by Joseph Epstein
Reading what is printed about myself, I am made to realize how little a man makes himself understood by his writings. —H.L.

My Two Weeks' Vacation With Norman Mailer
by Robert Riche
Day One Here we are, just arrived. Our annual two-week summer pilgrimage to Provincetown, Mass. We are renting again this year the small white cottage situated in the quiet East End of town and within sight of the crescent of beach and harbor and encircled waters of Cape Cod bay.

"There Go Our Little Jews"
by David Roskies
On January 7 of this year, Christmas day in the Eastern Orthodox calendar, a group of young Evangelicals dressed in native Ukrainian costume gave a spirited performance of religious folk songs right under Lenin's stony gaze in the Plaza of the October Revolution in Kiev.

Newspeak, Feminist-Style
by Stanley Rothman
In the spring of 1974, the local Board of Education in Kanawha County, West Virginia, began the process of selecting new readers for the following school year, as required by state law.

Why Whittaker Chambers Was Wrong
by Charles Horner
Whittaker Chambers (1901-61) was a Communist who left the party in 1938 to become one of its most determined enemies.

Pynchon's Progress
by Carol Iannone
For anyone who has suspected that in literature the postmodern really amounts to the posthuman, the work of Thomas Pynchon will supply abundant proof.

Intifada, by Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari
by Edward Norden
A word to start with concerning the credentials, resources, and politics of the authors of this book. Ze'ev Schiff for decades has been the military correspondent at Ha'aretz, the Israeli equivalent of the New York Times.

Goodnight!, by Abram Tertz (Andrei Sinyavsky)
by Fernanda Eberstadt
“I was born under the ‘Stalin-Kirov-Zhdanov-Hitler-Stalin’ constellation,” says Andrei Sinyavsky, one of Russia's greatest living writers, in his new autobiographical novel.

Justice, Gender, and the Family, by Suspn Moller Okin; Toward a Feminist Theory of the State, by Catherine A. MacKinnon
by Elizabeth Kristol
For career military, civilian life can sometimes appear aimless and drab. For career feminists, life outside the academy can appear similarly bleak, offering little in the way of glamor, reputation, or moral satisfaction. “Career feminism” is a relatively recent phenomenon.

The Examined Life, by Robert Nozick
by Craig Lerner
With his first two books, Robert Nozick, professor of philosophy at Harvard, set off metaphysical tremors in the American academy.

The Ambition and the Power, by John M. Barry
by Robert Kagan
In Washington every decision made, every word spoken, every scandal uncovered, occurs in the context of a perpetual political struggle among the parties, the ideologies, and the branches of government that together wield power in America.

Reader Letters April 1990
by Daniel Bell
Affirmative Action TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Congratulations to Thomas Sow- ell for "'Affirmative Action': A Worldwide Disaster" [December 1989]. The United Kingdom presents an interesting case of his "indi- genous" example of preference turned inside out.

May, 1990Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Totalitarianism, Dead and Alive” [August 1989], Stephen Miller gives a definition of totalitarianism which is not very accurate.

Stalin & the Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In Richard Pipes's review of Nora Levin's book, The Jews in the Soviet Union Since 1917 [Books in Review, December 1989], he writes: “On the eve of [Stalin's] death, which did not come a moment too soon, he began to kill off the Jewish intelligentsia and to set in motion measures that clearly pointed to mass deportations of Jews to Siberia and Central Asia.” In fact, there is good reason to believe that Stalin's diabolical plans for Soviet Jews actually precipitated his demise. Boris Smolar, the late Ukrainian- born editor-in-chief of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, claims in his book, In the Service of My People, that Stalin suffered a stroke during an angry discussion of his anti-Jewish plan at a meeting with top Soviet leaders in the Kremlin: [Stalin] anticipated that no one in the Kremlin would dare to oppose his plan and was shocked when Marshal Clement Voroshilov, the president of the USSR and a popular military figure in the country, said that he would tear up his Communist-party membership card if Stalin's plan against the Jews was carried out.

Art & Criticism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: According to Carol Iannone in “From Lolita to Piss Christ” [January], “One of the wonders of modern criticism has been its ability to see art in its own terms, as a ‘sacred wood,' a separate universe, a self-contained sovereignty; this approach has yielded some superb criticism, and is certainly an excellent way to teach literature in the classroom.” But is it not precisely this approach that is responsible for perpetuating what she rightly refers to as “the delusion of.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: I agree with Mark Lilla, in “What Heidegger Wrought” [January], that although Victor Farias's evidence in Heidegger and Nazism is partly unoriginal and partly out of focus, the book offers essential information on Heidegger's affiliation with Nazism.

Boat People & Refugees
by Our Readers
To The Editor: In “The Scandal of the Boat People” [January], William McGurn makes a serious logical error. He seeks to generate sympathy for today's Vietnamese boat people, and for all people fleeing Communist regimes, by invoking the memory of doomed Jewish refugees aboard the St.

On the Legalization of Drugs
by Our Readers
To the Editor: James Q. Wilson's article, “Against the Legalization of Drugs” [February], perpetuates several myths about drug use and drug legalization.

Backward & Downward With the Arts
by Samuel Lipman
This spring and summer will witness a bitter fight in Congress, and perhaps even across the country, over the quinquennial statutory reauthorization of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Toward a Real
by Alan Keyes
Talks between the U.S. and the PLO began in 1988, after Yasir Arafat declared—in language that the State Department accepted as satisfying the conditions for such talks specified by a 1984 act of Congress—that the PLO recognized the existence of Israel and renounced the use of terrorism.

Who Won Nicaragua?
by Mark Falcoff
On Sunday, February 25, 1990, Nicaraguans went to the ballot boxes and quietly voted out of office Marxist President Daniel Ortega, running for reelection against Mrs.

America the Victorious
by Charles Horner
Victory. Triumph. Even mere Success. These words have not often been associated with American foreign policy. In recent years especially, the tale of American foreign policy has been told as one of folly, error, hubris, scandal, impeachable offenses.

Out of Egypt: A Memoir
by Andre Aciman
It happened that my great aunt Elsa had had strange forebodings the week before we lost everything in Egypt. Une étrange angoisse, a strange anxiety, right here, she kept repeating, pointing to her chest.

Two Views of New York
by Edward Norden
The ex-American arrived in the city having just done thirty-five days of reserve duty in the Israeli army. He needed rest and recreation.   He required, in fact he deserved, a complete change from playing nursemaid to the mainly teenaged Palestinian rioters awaiting trial in one of the army's many holding pens on the West Bank.

The Andy Rooney Affair
by Eric Breindel
Andy Rooney is now back at work as a regular commentator on CBS's 60 Minutes, his three-month suspension having been abbreviated by the network in response to widespread protest and a drop in the ratings.

What I Saw at the Revolution, by Peggy Noonan
by Terry Eastland
Peggy Noonan, who wrote speeches for Presidents Reagan and Bush from 1984 to 1989, is hardly the first of her breed to publish a memoir, or a best-selling one at that.

C. S. Lewis, by A. N. Wilson
by Richard Brookhiser
C. S. Lewis became in his lifetime and remains after his death the most popular and effective Christian apologist of the 20th century.

Productivity and American Leadership, by William J. Baumol, Sue Anne Batey Blackman, Edward N. Wolff; Made in America, by Michae
by Melville Ulmer
The perennial debate over the position of the American economy in world affairs has lately intensified. The dominant contention these days is that the U.S.

Near the Magician, by Rosalind Baker Wilson
by Donna Rifkind
The title of Rosalind Baker Wilson's memoir refers not to her father's intellectual powers but to the fact that he loved to perform magic tricks.

Kife, by Nancy Traver
by Jacob Heilbrunn
With the crumbling of the Soviet bloc, an ideological scramble has begun over the facts responsible for its undoing. The Left in particular has rushed into print with face-saving interpretations intended somehow to lighten the political shock.

Politics By Other Means, by Benjamin Ginsberg and Martin Shefter
by Kevin McNamara
In Politics by other Means, Benjamin Ginsberg and Martin Shefter argue that the plague of accusations, scandals, investigations, and prosecutions which have crippled Washington represents only one side of a new political coin; on the other side are a shrinking electorate, the decline of the parties, and the appearance of elected officials who cannot be unseated.

Reader Letters May 1990
by James Wilson
On the Legalization of Drugs TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: James Q. Wilson's article, "Against the Legalization of Drugs" [February], perpetuates sev- eral myths about drug use and drug legalization.

June, 1990Back to Top
The Holocaust
by Our Readers
To the Editor:In his instructive and penetrating article, “Power, Powerlessness & the Jews” [January], . . . David Vital points out that almost forty-five years have elapsed since the Holocaust, yet there has been no “sea-change in the ethos and mores of the Jewish people as a whole.” Many Jews “think of the Holocaust as an archetype,” he writes, but the Holocaust is not an expression of the Jewish exilic condition.

Abba Hillel Silver
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have recently come upon David G. Dalin's review of Abba Hillel Silver by Marc Lee Raphael [Books in Review, January] and I am appalled by the description of Rabbi Silver. For five years—from 1945 to 1953—I served as Abba Hillel Silver's secretary.

Bilingual Education
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Bilingual Miseducation” [February], Abigail Thernstrom conducts a rat her misleading discussion of both the aims and end results of bilingual education.

The Dual Torah
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Alter's truly splendid article, “Interpreting the Bible” [March], contains a somewhat puzzling, though offhand, statement: “Jews always conceived this corpus as a textual object complete in itself.

On the Legalization of Drugs, Round 2
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . After many columns of rambling argumentation, James Q. Wilson in “Against the Legalization of Drugs” [February], states his premise in the next to last paragraph of his article: “Human character is formed by society; indeed, human character is inconceivable without society.” Every argument in the article depends on this premise, which is unprovable because it is undefinable.

"Bork Revisited"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In response to Terry Eastland's article, “Bork Revisited” [February], I would first like to point out that The People Rising: The Campaign Against the Bork Nomination does indeed include an index.

The Boat People
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I should like to respond to William McGurn's article, “The Scandal of the Boat People” [January], attacking the decision by the governments of the United Kingdom and Hong Kong to repatriate Vietnamese people from Hong Kong to Vietnam. Among a number of inaccuracies, Mr.

The Shape of Things to Come
by Edward Luttwak
For more than forty years, the affairs of the world have been greatly troubled but also structured by the Soviet-Western antagonism.

One-and-a-half Cheers for German Unification
by Josef Joffe
Writing in the International Herald Tribune, a German Jewish journalist poured it all out. A “unified Germany,” this son of Holocaust survivors warned, “may grow into everything the world abhorred in the Germany of the early part of the century: a powerful country never content to accept limits on its political or economic strength, a self-centered society .

The Hebrew Imperative
by Ruth Wisse
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to     land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall     stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.

Narcissus Goes to School
by Chester Finn,
Seven years ago, Americans were warned that a “rising tide of mediocrity” threatened to drown their schools, their children, and their nation.

No Jewish Split on Israel
by Earl Raab
In the last half-dozen years alone, there have been about a dozen reputable studies of American Jewish opinion on Israel.

Feminist Pilgrims
by Paul Mankowski
In one of the finest specimens of biblical narrative, we are told how David, fleeing from Saul, finds himself at the court of Achish, king of Gath, and how the servants of Achish blow David's cover by spreading the word of his military success: And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath.

The Adventures of Mordecai Richler
by Carol Iannone
When Irving Howe wrote in World of Our Fathers that the immigrant Jewish experience in the New World had encompassed its share of outlaws, rebels, criminals, prostitutes, and reprobates, he was not saying anything most Jewish writers needed to be told.

My Enemy, My Self, by Yoram Binur; Children of Bethany, by Said K. Aburish; Palestine and Israel, by David McDowall
by Edward Norden
For a while this past winter it must have seemed that all over the world, liberation, self-determination, and reconciliation were the order of the day, and that only in China and Israel were the old men continuing to hang on, fearfully and violently resisting the wave of the future.

Right Places, Right Times, by Hedley Donovan
by Sam Tanenhaus
In the opening sentence of his memoir, Hedley Donovan, editor-in-chief of Time Inc. from 1964 to 1979, tells us his life's work has been “trying to manage the almost unmanageable: intellectuals.” This sounds rather hard-boiled; but then intellectuals have always been a touchy point for Time and its various spinoffs.

The Emperor's New Mind, by Roger Penrose
by Jeffrey Marsh
For the past two years, Stephen Hawking's A Short History of Time has been ensconced on the best-seller list, a rather unusual place for a serious work that deals with a scientific topic.

Tenured Radicals, by Roger Kimball
by Anita Grossman
Anyone familiar with the ongoing debate on humanistic education sparked by Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, E.D.

Our Man in Panama, by John Dinges; Divorcing the Dictator, by Frederick Kempe
by David Brock
Dictator, drug dealer, double agent, sexual deviant, devil worshiper, Manuel Antonio Noriega was one of the most unlovable characters on the international scene in recent years.

Reader Letters June 1990
by Jacob Neusner
The Boat People TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I should like to respond to Wil- liam McGurn's article, "The Scan- dal of the Boat People" [January], attacking the decision by the governments of the United King- dom and Hong Kong to repatriate Vietnamese people from Hong Kong to Vietnam. Among a number of inaccura- cies, Mr.

July, 1990Back to Top
The Founding of Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Shabtai Teveth's reply to my letter [Letters from Readers, February] offers your readers another dose of distortions and misrepresentations but no evidence to substantiate the original charge he made in his article, “Charging Israel With Original Sin” [September 1989], that my larger aim in writing Collusion Across the Jordan was to provide “fresh sources of political sympathy for the Arabs, and fresh sources of antipathy to the Jews.” Having failed to discover any incriminating evidence in my own book, Mr.

T.S. Eliot
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Christopher Ricks's book, T.S. Eliot and Prejudice [Books in Review, March], Hilton Kramer points out that the question of Eliot's prejudice is disproportionately made to turn on whether he showed prejudice against women in the recurring lines from “The Love Song of J.

Private Prisons
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Charles Logan's book, Private Prisons: Cons and Pros [Books in Review, March], John J.

Ukranians and Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “‘There Go Our Little Jews’” [April], David G. Roskies mentions the Ukrainian, nationalists who came to Moscow in order to provide extra security for the All-Russian Conference of Jewish Organizations.

Affirmative Action
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Thomas Sowell's provocative article, “‘Affirmative Action’: A Worldwide Disaster” [December 1989], points to many weaknesses in the theory and practice of affirmative action.

Gorbachev's Russia
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is easy to agree with Richard Pipes in “Gorbachev's Russia: Breakdown or Crackdown?” [March] that the collapse of the Soviet empire is due to force of circumstance rather than a sudden conversion of Gorbachev to democratic liberalism, a miracle only to be rivaled in history by Constantine's embrace of Christianity.

How to Save Free Trade-and Still Trade With Japan
by Irwin Stelzer
It is almost half a century since the great and the good of the postwar Western world forged a new economic order, based on the belief that a regime of liberalized trade would increase human welfare.

On the Scarcity of Black Professors
by Abigail Thernstrom
Derrick A. Bell of the Harvard Law School has announced that he will be teaching classes next fall but refusing any pay.

A Talmud for Americans
by Edward Alexander
What is a Shas? Readers of the daily press who have followed accounts in recent months of the sordid bargaining of Israel's small political parties may reply: an ultra-Orthodox Sephardi political party whose six Knesset members brought down the government of Yitzhak Shamir in March by abstaining in a vote of confidence.

What the Anti-Communists Knew
by Sam Tanenhaus
What you now see as a change for the worse (“Stalinism”) is really a change for the better in knowledge on your part. —Vladimir Nabokov to Edmund Wilson, 1948 The events of the past year in Central and Eastern Europe have unfolded so swiftly and with such cinematic surrealism as to have left, amid the celebration, a good deal of intellectual confusion.

Marshall Wexler's Brilliant Career
by Joseph Epstein
In 1963 I was twenty-eight years old, a newly-minted Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Chicago, and spending the year as a visiting assistant professor at Harvard.

Trashing Wall Street
by George Russell
To a visitor from, say, Mars, it might come as a surprise to learn that the 1980's—a decade of stable prices, unprecedentedly low unemployment, and the longest sustained economic expansion in history—were also one of the lowest, greediest, most venal periods in modern American economic history, comparable with the dark era of Reconstruction and the Gilded Age.

From Judaism to Jewishness
by David Singer
A debate has raged of late over the spiritual condition of American Jewry, and in particular over the forces that make for continuity in that condition as opposed to the forces that make for change.

Bound to Lead, by Joseph S. Nye
by Elliott Abrams
Intellectual fads differ from commercial fads in that most often they come from the top down, not from the bottom up.

Franz Werfel, by Peter Stephan Jungk
by Steven Beller
Posterity has not been kind to Franz Werfel, born in 1890 and on his death in 1945 perhaps one of the most famous and successful German writers of the 20th century.

Continental Divide, by S. M. Lipset
by Stanley Rothman
In Continental Divide Seymour Martin Lipset returns to a topic which has fascinated him since early in his long and distinguished career as a political scientist: the similarities and the differences between the United States and Canada.

Military Misfortunes, by Eliot A. Cohen and John Gooch
by Williamson Murray
This is a timely and an important book. It is also an extraordinarily good book, by one of our leading young political scientists in national-security affairs and a leading British military historian.

The University: An Owner's Manual, by Henry Rosovsky
by Thomas Short
This a cozy book and is meant to be. The former dean and now once again acting dean of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopts a humorous, relentlessly self-deprecating manner, tells us many anecdotes from his own career in higher education, and gives us the benefit of his experience and wisdom about such diverse topics as “deaning,” tenure, faculty life, what graduate students should watch out for, and how prospective undergraduates should select a college.

Reader Letters July 1990
by Maurice Friedberg
Gorbachev's Russia TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: It is easy to agree with Richard Pipes in "Gorbachev's Russia: Breakdown or Crackdown?" [March] that the collapse of the Soviet empire is due to force of circumstance rather than a sudden conversion of Gorbachev to demo- cratic liberalism, a miracle only to be rivaled in history by Constan- tine's embrace of Christianity.

August, 1990Back to Top
Was Chambers Right?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “Why Whittaker Chambers Was Wrong” [April], Charles Horner concludes that the apparent demise of Communism proves that Whittaker Chambers was wrong when he asserted his belief that in breaking with Communism, he was leaving the winning side for the losing side. Chambers considered Communism a symptom of the crisis of civilization, not the crisis itself.

Middle East Options
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Can the Palestinians Make Peace?” [April], Daniel Pipes comes to the unavoidable conclusion that there can be only one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Russia's New Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read with interest your recent article, “‘There Go Our Little Jews’” by David G. Roskies [April]. .

Hutchins of Chicago
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joseph Epstein's insightful article on the career of Robert Maynard Hutchins [“The Sad Story of the Boy Wonder,” March] misses the larger meaning and achievement of Hutchins's career, apparently because Mr.

Life and Death Questions
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Death With Dignity and the Sanctity of Life” [March], Leon R. Kass addresses the serious and growing problem of when and how a human life should end in these times.

Western Civ-and Me
by Allan Bloom
Fellow Elitists: If I were E.D. Hirsch, of “cultural literacy” fame—people do tend to mix us up—I might ask, “What is the literary influence on my salutation?” The answer is Franklin D.

by Louis Winnick
The flood in recent decades of Asian immigrants to the U.S. was planned by no one, and would likely have been forestalled had a lingeringly racist Congress foreseen it.

The Anti-Cold War Brigade
by Arch Puddington
The virtual collapse of East European Communism and the apparently irreversible decay of Communism everywhere else would seem to offer powerful vindication to those who advocated anti-Communism as the cornerstone of U.S.

Was Spinoza a Heretic?
by Andre Aciman
Benedict De Spinoza (1632-77), the frail, frugal, reclusive lens-grinder, may have been the most passionately dispassionate thinker in the history of the Western mind.

Surviving Affirmative Action (More or Less)
by Frederick Lynch
In the mid-1970's, I became increasingly interested in what I assumed were two sociologically compelling questions: (1) how did white males (and their families, coworkers, and friends) respond to reverse discrimination?; and (2) how were the media portraying affirmative action? I conducted the research and later published the results while teaching in temporary faculty positions on the Los Angeles and San Bernardino campuses of the California State University (CSU) system. Throughout this period, the nineteen-campus CSU empire became caught up in an intensifying affirmative-action crusade involving blatant race, ethnic, and gender preferences in recruiting faculty, staff, and students.

Incident at Carpentras
by Roger Kaplan
Is France in the midst of an anti-Semitic wave? Jean Kahn, the president of CRIF (Conseil représentatif des institutions juives de France, i.e., the French equivalent of the American Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations), thinks that the answer is yes, that “there is an escalation of anti-Semitism in France.” And he cites “graffiti, threats, gasoline bombs thrown at synagogues, attacks on cemeteries, particularly in Alsace.

Israel's Dilemma, by Ezra Sohar
by Irwin Stelzer
Start with government owner-ship or effective control of the bulk of the manufacturing, agricultural, and financial sectors, themselves saturated with monopoly enterprises.

The End of Nature, by Bill McKibben
by Joel Schwartz
The huge amount of media attention lavished upon this year's celebration of Earth Day was foreshadowed in the earlier enthusiastic reception accorded Bill McKibben's environmentalist tract, The End of Nature.

Dream Song: The Life of John Berryman
by Robert Richman
The American poet John Berryman (1914-72) liked to excuse his excessive drinking and argumentative, sometimes violent nature by reminding himself that he was a genius and a poet.

Small Victories, by Samuel G. Freedman
by Jackson Toby
Small Victories is an account of a year spent by a former New York Times reporter observing Seward Park High School on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

One, by One, by One: Facing the Holocaust, by Judith Miller
by Edward Norden
Judith Miller, an editor at the New York Times, here looks five countries where the Germans waged their war against the Jews, and at one, her own, where it was just a well-established rumor, in order to report how that episode is being dealt with today.

Reader Letters August 1990
by Ruth King
Life and Death Questions TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In "Death With Dignity and the Sanctity of Life" [March], Leon R. Kass addresses the serious and growing problem of when and how a human life should end in these times.

September, 1990Back to Top
Interpreting the Bible
by Our Readers
To the Editor:When Robert Alter wrote “Interpreting the Bible” [March], on the Jewish Publication Society's Torah commentaries, I was at a loss to respond to his discussion of my COMMENTARY on Numbers.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Newspeak, Feminist-Style”[April], Robert Lerner and Stanley Rothman confuse censorship of curriculum by small groups on religious grounds with broad-based educational-reform movements which advocate a more inclusive curriculum.

Immigration Policy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . In their effort to minimize the scale and impact of immigration, Ben J. Wattenberg and Karl Zinsmeister [“The Case for More Immigration,” April] employ a barrage of debater's tricks that I am surprised to find in the pages of COMMENTARY.

Government and the Arts
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read with interest Samuel Lipman's “Backward & Downward With the Arts” [May]; in fact, I read and reread it several times. I did this because while I do not agree with all the examples Mr.

The American 80's: Disaster or Triumph?
by William Phillips
A Symposium COMMENTARY recently sent the following inquiry to a number of American intellectuals of varying political views: The 80's are more and more coming to be characterized by journalists, historians, and intellectuals as a costly if not a disastrous decade for America.

Fighting for Peace, by Caspar Weinberger
by Angelo Codevilla
The New York Times's reviewer called this book a work of fantasy. The New Republic's criticized it for neglecting its proper subject, namely, defense policy.

Men at Work, by George Will
by Edward Norden
Intellectuals and would-be intellectuals cannot seem to leave baseball alone. They try to play it in their childhood and youth, then they give up and chronically think, talk, dream, and write about it for the rest of their lives.

The Encyclopaedia of Judaism, edited by Geoffrey Wigoder
by Chaim Raphael
What is a Jew? Yet another chance to tackle this thorny old question beckons with the publication of the massive one-volume Encyclopaedia of Judaism.

Willa Cather, by Hermione Lee
by Rachel Flick
Willa Cather's subject was America. The country “works on my mind,” she said in 1925, “like light on a photographic plate.” But even in one of her most beautiful “photos” of our young country, her novel of the Nebraska pioneers, My Antonia (1918), the subject induced grief as well as fascination.

The Civil Rights Era, by Hugh Davis Graham
by Murray Friedman
In his new book, Hugh Davis Graham, a historian at the University of Maryland, has made a significant contribution to our understanding of one of the critical social-policy issues of our time.

Reader Letters September 1990
by Jacob Neusner
Government & the Arts TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I read with interest Samuel Lip- man's "Backward & Downward With the Arts" [May]; in fact, I read and reread it several times.

October, 1990Back to Top
Andy Rooney
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “The Andy Rooney Affair” [May], Eric M. Breindel laments that as a probable result of the controversy, public persons with “views” on the sexual practices of others will keep their opinions to themselves.

H. L. Mencken
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Mencken on Trial” [April], Joseph Epstein has, as usual, written a thoughtful and entertaining article. But his conclusions are seriously flawed, it seems to me, by his insistence that the question of Mencken's anti-Semitism can be resolved by a simple yes or no verdict. A criminal trial is convened in order to pass judgment on a narrowly stated issue: did the defendant, or did he not, violate a particular provision of the criminal law? The trial deals with a very specific instance; it cannot concern itself with the whole life of the defendant, let alone his personal opinions or attitudes. Like Karl Marx and many others before and after, Mencken was no doubt anti-Semitic in some of his actions and pronouncements but not in others.

Self Esteem & the Schools
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . Chester E. Finn, Jr. begins his article, “Narcissus Goes to School” [June], by citing the conclusion of a California “Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility” that “the lack of self-esteem is central to most personal and social ills plaguing our state and nation as we approach the end of the 20th century.” Mr.

Germany United
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Josef Joffe, in “One-and-a-Half Cheers for German Unification” [June], analyzes the social, economic, and political ingredients that poisoned the Second Reich and the Weimar Republic.

Mandela in America
by Joshua Muravchik
Neither Vaclav Havel nor Lech Walesa nor Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn nor any other foreign visitor in memory was received by America with as much celebration, as much adulation, as much ecstasy as Nelson Mandela, the deputy president of the African National Congress (ANC), during his triumphal eight-day tour this past June.

The Killing Fields of Kiev
by Marco Carynnyk
Half an hour's drive east of Kiev—from the gold-domed cliffs that survey the Eurasian expanses, across the Paton Bridge over the Dnieper, through the snarled streets of the new residential districts, the stucco on the apartment houses crumbling, the balconies cluttered with canned food and drying clothes, along the Avenue of the Sixtieth Anniversary of October toward the town of Brovary, where the road bends north to Byelorussia, past a traffic-control tower manned by militiamen with submachine guns, to a weedy shoulder almost opposite a garrison on a prerevolutionary artillery range—a sign the size of a folded map points into a pine forest.

Who, Really, Was Bruno Bettelheim?
by Ronald Angres
When a famous man dies and is eulogized, those who knew him often feel a shock of non-recognition. Such was the case for me last March in reading the notices on the death by suicide, at age eighty-six, of the renowned psychoanalyst, author, and educator Bruno Bettelheim.

Germany's Worst Enemy
by Emil Fackenheim
1. “Those Who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I have always doubted this much-quoted dictum by the philosopher George Santayana.

The Best Songwriter of Them All
by William Hyland
When Irving Berlin died last year, almost all his obituaries included some version of Jerome Kern's famous praise: “Irving Berlin has no place in American music.

Another Rare Visit With Noah Danzig
by Joseph Epstein
I am writing this with a five-for-a-dollar Bic ballpoint on lined notebook paper, both purchased for me in the hospital gift shop by a black orderly named Andre with a bebop walk and the hairdo known, I believe, as the Drippy.

Are We Spending Too Much on AIDS?
by Michael Fumento
If there is one thing Americans seem to agree upon about AIDS, it is that we are not spending enough on the disease.

The Politics of Rich and Poor, by Kevin Phillips
by James Wilson
Just when you thought it safe to go into the water again . . . the malaise is back. Ronald Reagan was supposed to have driven a stake through the heart of Jimmy Carter's infamous speech about how bleak was America's future.

The Future of the Jews, by David Vital
by Robert Alter
David Vital brings to this extended essay on Jewish national identity the virtues of clarity and cogent analysis that have made him a distinguished historian of Zionism and a highly regarded authority on international relations.

Justice, Not Vengeance, by Simon Wiesenthal
by Jacob Heilbrunn
Justice Not Vengeance. by Simon Wiesenthal. Grove Weidenfeld. 372 pp. $22.50. Simon Wiesenthal, who has devoted his life to hunting down Nazis, believes that “guilt cannot be forgiven but only paid for by expiation.” In his memoirs, which created a furor when they were published in Austria (where he now lives) in 1988, Wiesenthal explores the lack of remorse among former Austrian Nazis in the larger context of that country's approach to its past.

American Cassandra, by Peter Kurth
by Kenneth Lynn
The German playwright Carl Zuckmayer's word for Dorothy Thompson was “double-portion,” and it seems right. Everything that was important about her was characterized by an uncommon magnitude, from her multifaceted career as a foreign correspondent, syndicated newspaper columnist, radio broadcaster, and lecturer to her big-bodied, snow-goddess sexiness, her highly emotional argumentative style, her agonizing inner conflicts, and her astonishing energy, which she augmented with Dexedrine and a variety of “uppers.” It was, then, entirely in keeping with her life that at the time of her death in 1961 she should have willed to her alma mater, Syracuse University, an archive of correspondence, family scrapbooks, manuscripts, diaries, notes, and miscellaneous papers that fills 150 research boxes and measures 70 linear feet.

Reader Letters October 1990
by Werner Cohn
Germany United TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Josef Joffe, in "One-and-a-Half Cheers for German Unification" [June], analyzes the social, eco- nomic, and political ingredients that poisoned the Second Reich and the Weimar Republic.

November, 1990Back to Top
Ukranians, Jews, Russians
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have just read David G. Roskies's “‘There Go Our Little Jews’” [April] and the letters that followed it [Letters from Readers, July and August].

Affirmative Action
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his reply in the July issue to my letter commenting on his article, “‘Affirmative Action’: A Worldwide Disaster” [December 1989], Thomas Sowell begins with a misleading definition.

The Talmud in English
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Edward Alexander's article, “A Talmud for Americans” [July], omitted mention of another remarkable publishing event related to the one he discusses. Some months ago ArtScroll/Mesorah Press initiated a momentous undertaking paralleling that of the Steinsaltz English Talmud—the publication of a new English translation/commentary of the entire Babylonian Talmud.

To the Editor: I agree with Ruth R. Wisse [“The Hebrew Imperative,” June] that Hebrew and English are necessary for Jewish survival, but I would urge a course in remedial English for the countless Jews who out of ignorance use or accept .

The Anti-Communists
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In Sam Tanenhaus's refresher course on anti-Communists [“What the Anti-Communists Knew,” July], he offers Friedrich A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom—a classic, no doubt about it.

Japan and Free Trade
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Irwin M. Stelzer's “How to Save Free Trade—and Still Trade With Japan” [July] is . . . sensible, but I would like to raise a minor though possibly important point.

A Statement on the Persian Gulf Crisis
by Norman Podhoretz
On September 11, just after returning to Washington from his one-day summit meeting in Helsinki with Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush addressed a joint session of Congress.

How to Fight Iraq
by Eliot Cohen
As I write in early October, war may well lie before us in the Persian Gulf. Even the most sanguine administration officials concede that Iraq can probably withstand an embargo for six or twelve months.

Harold Bloom's
by Robert Alter
The well-known literary critic Harold Bloom will no doubt provoke, as he clearly intends, a storm of excitement, consternation, and ire by proposing that the so-called J writer, usually thought to be responsible for the earliest strand of the Pentateuch, was a woman.

Living With Roe v. Wade
by Margaret McConnell
There Is something decidedly unappealing to me about the pro-life activists seen on the evening news as they are dragged away from the entrances to abortion clinics across the country.

The Nuclear Bubble
by Joseph Adelson
In June 1989 the press carried accounts of a project which had encouraged adolescents to write to Congress about the issues of most concern to them.

Race Fever
by Edward Alexander
American universities are aflame with race fever. Official committees on “racism and cultural diversity,” departmental commissioners of moral sanitation, and freelance vigilantes are in a state of high alert for signs (real or alleged) of “racism.” Their Argus-eyes maintain unrelaxing surveillance of statistical charts documenting failure to meet racial quotas in hiring and enrollment, of verbal insults by “white” students against “people of color,” and of classroom remarks by professors imprudent enough either to risk generalization about a group or to declare that generalizations about groups tell us nothing about individuals. Such diligence rarely goes unrewarded.

In Poland Again
by Maurice Friedberg
I had long hesitated to return for a visit to Poland, though it is the land of my birth and that of my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.

Darkness Visible, by William Styron
by Carol Iannone
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. by William Styron. When an individual suffers the horrors of Auschwitz, survives to write inspiringly about man's ability to endure in extreme circumstances, but years later takes his own life over what many would deem no more than the ordinary unhappiness of the human condition, the event seems bound to become at the very least a source of sorrowful wonder.

Blood, Class, and Nostalgia, by Christopher Hitchens
by George Russell
Blood, Class, and Nostalgia: Anglo-American Ironies. by Christopher Hitchens. Farrar Straus Grioux. 398 pp. $22.95. Christopher Hitchens, British-born, Oxford-educated, a columnist for the Nation and Washington editor of Harper's, a widely published book reviewer, and a doer of countless other odd jobs, is a highly visible piece of leftist bric-a-brac in East Coast literary salons.

Vienna and the Jews, 1867-1938, by Steven Beller; The Jews of Vienna in the Age of Franz Joseph, by Robert S. Wistrich
by Dana Mack
The Jews of Vienna in the Age of Franz Joseph. By Robert S. Wistrich. Oxford University Press. 696 pp. $79.00. by Dana Mack   It was in turn-of-the-century Vienna, seed-plot of the modern intellect, that Sigmund Freud developed his psychoanalytic theories; that the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein first posited a formal relationship between language and the real world; that the composer Arnold Schoenberg abandoned tonality and embarked on the restructuring of music; that the architect Adolf Loos first realized an aesthetic of unimpassioned functionalism.

Our Country, by Michael Barone
by Austin Ranney
Our Country: The Shaping of America from Roosevelt to Reagan. by Michael Barone. Free Press. 805 pp. $29.95. This book is mislabeled. The title promises that it will do for 1932-88 what Mark Sullivan's Our Times did for 1900-25 and Frederick Lewis Allen's Only Yesterday did for 1920-30.

Reader Letters November 1990
by Thomas Sowell
Japan and Free Trade TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Irwin M. Stelzer's "How to Save Free Trade-and Still Trade With Japan" [July] is ...

December, 1990Back to Top
Israel's Economy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Ezra Sohar's Israel's Dilemma [Books in Review, August], Irwin M. Stelzer writes: “Other than calling .

Pilgrims & Palestinians
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I enjoyed reading “Feminist Pilgrims” by Paul V. Mankowski, S.J. [June] on some of the recent absurdities in Nicaragua and the predictable reaction by some North American observers from the loony Left. I am a product of Jesuit education and I had despaired of finding any diversity recently among Jesuits.

The Holocaust Museum
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I commend Edward Norden's thoughtful review of Judith Miller's One, by One, by One: Facing the Holocaust [Books in Review, August].

French Anti-Semitism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Roger Kaplan's thoughtful analysis of the extent of anti-Semitism in today's France, “Incident at Carpentras” [August], misses one key point.

The 80's
by Our Readers
To the Editor: . . . COMMENTARY's symposium, “The American 80's: Disaster or Triumph?” [September], provided a veritable orgy of food for thought on the 80's and the Reagan administration.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Of course I fully agree with Arch Puddington when he says in his splendid article, “The Anti-Cold War Brigade” [August], that Reagan's policies greatly contributed to the favorable evolution of the Soviet Union—and pretty well every Soviet I've met, both official and unofficial, supports that view. But it is absurd of Mr.

Black Professors
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In her article, “On the Scarcity of Black Professors” [July], Abigail M. Thernstrom seriously misstates Wellesley College's policy on increasing the representation of faculty of color.

Crime But No Punishment
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read with great admiration and also growing anger Marco Carynnyk's “The Killing Fields of Kiev” [October]. My anger was not directed at the author of the article.

Socialism: Guilty As Charged
by David Horowitz
Dear C., It has been over a decade since this silence as durable as an iron curtain descended between us. In these circumstances, I have had to depend on others to learn how you regard me these days: how, at a recent social gathering, you referred to me as “one of the two tragedies of the New Left” (the other being a former Brecht scholar who now publishes guides to the nude beaches of America); how my apostasy has inflicted an emotional wound, as though in changing my political views and leaving the Left I had personally betrayed you. I understand this.

How They Teach the Holocaust
by Lucy Dawidowicz
A scandal erupted in 1988 when the United States Department of Education rejected an application for a $70,000 grant to disseminate Facing History and Ourselves, a privately-produced curriculum to teach junior-high-school students about the Holocaust.

Who Lost Hong Kong?
by Ross Munro
It is better to keep Hong Kong the way it is. —Chairman Mao Zedong, 1959 The early months of 1979 may have been Hong Kong's most glorious season.

The Great Hack Genius
by Joseph Epstein
Nowadays, as the media boys down at the ad agency are likely to tell you, the name Ben Hecht doesn't have much carry.

Why College Sports
Collegiate athletics, it is generally agreed, are a mess. And not merely from an educational point of view. By almost any measure, college sports are becoming increasingly difficult to justify.

Where the New Music Went Wrong
by Samuel Lipman
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. —Shakespeare, Sonnet 73 By now, musicians and music lovers alike are aware that few compositions of enduring value have been produced in the last forty years or so.

The Closest of Strangers, by Jim Sleeper; Devil's Night, by Ze'ev Chafets
by Scott McConnell
Devil's Night: And Other True Tales of Detroit. by Ze'ev Chafets. Random House. 241 pp. $19.95. There is an almost old-fashioned tone to Jim Sleeper's impassioned dirge for New York's lost civic culture.

By Way of Deception, by Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy
by Angelo Codevilla
By Way of Deception. by Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy. St. Martin's. 371 pp. $22.95. When the government of Israel asked a Canadian court to prevent the publication of By Way of Deception it guaranteed a succès de scandale.

Final Analysis, by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
by Joseph Adelson
Final Analysis: The Making and Unmaking of a Psychoanalyst. by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. Addison-Wesley. 256 pp. $19.95 Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson has lived much of his adult life in the spotlight, enmeshed in controversy.

Pledging Allegiance, by Sidney Blumenthal
by Michael Novak
Pledging Allegiance: The Last Campaign of the Cold War. by Sidney Blumenthal. Harper & Row. 374 pp. $22.50. When Sidney Blumenthal first came to notice as a writer he was at the further edges of the Left, the co-editor of a conspiracy book about, among other things, Kennedy and King assassination plots (Government by Gunplay, 1976), and a contributor to an “alternative paper” in Boston.

Reader Letters December 1990
by Robert Conquest
Crime But No Punishment TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I read with great admiration and also growing anger Marco Caryn- nyk's "The Killing Fields of Kiev" [October].

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