Commentary Magazine

Welcome to the Archive

More than a half-century of opinion and ideas. Still timeless.

View : All Months | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
January, 1991Back to Top
H. L. Mencken
by Our Readers
To the Editor: A letter from M. S. Abramsky in your October 1990 issue [Letters from Readers] contains a seriously mutilated quotation from H.

Affirmative Action
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I enjoyed reading the article by Frederick R. Lynch, “Surviving Affirmative Action (More or Less)” [August 1990]. I am one of those who has survived it less. Beginning in 1969 I heard comments like, “It doesn't matter what he knows, so long as he's black,” in hiring faculty in the field of political science.

Simon Wiesenthal
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jacob Heilbrunn's review of Justice Not Vengeance by Simon Wiesenthal [Books in Review, October 1990] refers to Wiesenthal's liberation from Mauthausen after which he “decided to devote his life to tracking down Nazis.” While the whole world is aware of Wiesenthal's accomplishments, it is not well known that shortly after his liberation, he also played a role in initiating the restitution process for survivors of the Holocaust. In October 1945, I was stationed in Austria by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to aid Jews in the displaced-persons camps.

The Model Minority
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In addition to those other standout “model minorities” described by Louis Winnick [“America's ‘Model Minority,’” August 1990], there should be mentioned a small but upwardly mobile minority that has already made its mark in the San Francisco Bay Area: the Palestinian Arabs.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: In selecting the best American songwriter, William G. Hyland [“The Best Songwriter of Them All,” October 1990] diplomatically does not name all of the ten or twelve candidates, so one cannot fault him for ignoring Hank Williams, Sr.

Mandela's Record
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Mandela in America” [October 1990] Joshua Muravchik raises important questions about the apparent discrepancy between Nelson Mandela's demand that the international community condemn the policies of South Africa and his refusal to condemn the policies of Arafat, Qaddafi, and Castro. Mr.

“Western Civ”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “Western Civ—and Me” [August 1990], Allan Bloom takes undisguised glee in sniping at various universities such as Harvard, Duke, and Stanford whose current curricula and general ideological direction he finds unacceptable.

Enter the Peace Party
by Norman Podhoretz
At first it looked as though everything really had changed. Here, after all, was a President of the United States sending many thousands of troops halfway around the world to Saudi Arabia, and yet for more than two months there was nary a peep out of the old antiwar movement.

The Question of Black Leadership
by Arch Puddington
The question of black leadership has been placed in sharp focus by a recent series of unsettling and sometimes ugly incidents. First, there were the highly publicized travails of Washington, D.C.

Patrick J. Buchanan and the Jews
by Joshua Muravchik
One definition of anti-Semitism, Patrick J. Buchanan observed in his syndicated column this past September, is “an embedded hatred of Jewish people, manifest in writing and conduct, .

The Wave of the Past
by Mark Falcoff
One of the more interesting side-effects of the crisis of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union has been the discredit into which the socialist idea has suddenly fallen in what used to be called the Third World.

For Paul Applebaum, Sincerely
by Jennifer Moses
A week after I moved from Boston to New York, I got a phone call from a friend of my mother's.

An Address to the Class of 1994
by Donald Kagan
Ladies and gentlemen of the Class of 1994, parents, and friends, greetings and welcome to Yale. To a greater degree than ever before this class is made up of a sampling, not of Connecticut, not of New England, not even of North America, but of all the continents of the world.

Quayle So Far
by David Brock
It all began following the nomination of Dan Quayle as George Bush's running mate at the 1988 GOP convention. In the initial rivulet of news stories it was clear that no one, least of all the national media, had much of a clue about Quayle, except that he was a young, good-looking, and inexperienced “Reagan conservative.” That he was unknown was itself the most newsworthy element in his selection.

The History and Sociology of Genocide, by Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn
by Steven Katz
Anatomy of Evil The History and Sociology of Genocide. by Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn. Yale University Press. 461 pp. $50.00. In 1944, in an effort to explain what was happening to the Jews of occupied Europe, a Polish refugee by the name of Raphael Lemkin invented the word “genocide.” He defined it as: The destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group.

The $36 Billion Bargain, by A.F.K. Organski
by Daniel Pipes
America & Israel The $36 Billion Bargain: Strategy and Politics in U.S. Assistance to Israel. by A.F.K. Organski. Columbia University Press. 315 pp.

The Imperial Middle, by Benjamin DeMott
by Richard Brookhiser
Class Struggle The Imperial Middle: Why Americans Can't Think Straight about Class. by Benjamin Demott. Morrow. 264 pp. $18.95. Metaphors of empire have turned pale since the Persian Gulf became a scene of struggle over the real thing.

Two States-One Nation?, by Giinter Grass
by Edward Norden
The German Question Two States—One Nation? by Günter Grass. Translated by Krishna Winston with A.S. Wensinger. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 95 pp. $18.95. His country's most famous writer, Günter Grass is nothing if not consistent.

Fragile Glory, by Richard Bernstein
by Roger Kaplan
Cherchez La France Fragile Glory: A Portrait of France and the French. by Richard Bernstein. Knopf. 349 pp. $24.95. Richard Bernstein, formerly the Paris bureau chief of the New York Times, where he is now national cultural correspondent, attempts in this book to get a fix on France.

The Cause That Failed, by Guenter Lewy
by Sam Tanenhaus
Anti-Anti-Communism The Cause that Failed: Communism in American Political Life. by Guenter Lewy. Oxford University Press. 359 pp. 24.95. The romance of Communism peaked in the 1930's, when there seemed legitimate reason to believe that democratic capitalism might not survive the Depression.

Reader Letters January 1991
by James Adams
"Western Civ" TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In his article, "Western Civ-and Me" [August 1990], Allan Bloom takes undisguised glee in sniping at various universities such as Har- vard, Duke, and Stanford whose current curricula and general ideo- logical direction he finds unaccep- table.

February, 1991Back to Top
Yiddish in the USSR
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Although I have already written one letter concerning David G. Roskies's article, “ ‘There Go Our Little Jews’ ” [April 1990], I feel it necessary to make some further remarks on the sinister exchange of attacks between Mr.

Funding for AIDS
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Are We Spending Too Much on AIDS?” [October 1990], Michael Fumento misses a crucial distinction. AIDS differs from cancer or TB inasmuch as it is a new disease; cancer and TB have been with us for centuries.

Bruno Bettelheim
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Thank you for publishing “Who, Really, Was Bruno Bettelheim?” by Ronald Angres [October 1990]. During my early training, Bruno Bettelheim's writings, particularly The Empty Fortress, filled the shelves of college bookstores.

Roe v. Wade
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I can see Margaret Liu McConnell [“Living With Roe v. Wade,” November 1990], wandering the halls as the Constitution was being written, suggesting to all who would hear that they should not elevate freedom of speech or religion, for example, to the status of a constitutional right because it would make it harder for her two daughters to grow gracefully into womanhood. The Constitution was not meant to provide comfort; it was meant to provide freedom. David Wachtfogel Manhattan Beach, California _____________   To the Editor: Roe v.

“60 Minutes” & the Temple Mount
by David Bar-Illan
The following represents a compilation of three pieces by David Bar-Illan which originally appeared (in slightly different form) in November and December of last year in the Jerusalem Post, together with a Postscript which appears here for the first time.

What Everyone “Knows” About Reaganomics
by Paul Roberts
What everyone “knows” about Reaganomics is that it failed. As the almost universally accepted story goes, the Reagan administration, influenced by supply-side theory, made a “Laffer-curve forecast” that its tax cuts would pay for themselves.

The 20th Century's Most Successful Ideology
by Ruth Wisse
As the 20th century nears its end, the realization dawns that anti-Semitism has proven to be its most durable and successful ideology.

Brennan's Revolution
by Wallace Mendelson
Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. led the Warren Court revolution and it for years thereafter. If a great man is one who leaves his mark upon the social order, Brennan, who retired from the Supreme Court last year, is a very great man indeed.

Break, Break, Break
by Felicia Ackerman
“No thanks, it's too early in the day for me,” Dean Nakamura told the waiter, raising her eyebrows a bit; so of course Stephen Ferris couldn't have a drink, either.

Sinology in Crisis
by Charles Horner
Fang Lizhi is an astrophysicist who is the closest thing there is to a Chinese Sakharov. After the Chinese government's murderous suppression of the democracy movement in July 1989, Fang spent about a year inside the American embassy until he was allowed to leave for Britain.

A Neglected Conservative Thinker
by Jerry Muller
If we had an Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, the level to which our public culture has dropped might be charted by the fact that in the summer and autumn quarters of 1990, our dominant cultural elites were unable or unwilling to explain why the exhibition of photographs of a man with the handle of a bull whip in his anus should not be subsidized by the national government.

KGB: The Inside Story, by Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky
by Angelo Codevilla
Conspiracy Itself KGB: The Inside Story. by Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky. HarperCollins. 776 pp. $29.95. Just as people in Palermo, Sicily, shy away from discussing the Mafia, most people who live under the Soviet system tiptoe around the subject of the KGB.1 Even Boris Yeltsin, the elected president of Russia, whose first official act was to refuse KGB “protection,” will not answer questions about whether the KGB stands in the way of his plans. But the KGB does stand in his and everybody else's way.

Charity Begins at Home, by Teresa Odendahl
by Samuel Lipman
Philanthropy Charity Begins at Home. by Teresa Odendahl. Basic Books. 299 pp. $22.95. Most people regard philanthropy—the giving away of one's own resources to worthy causes—as a virtue.

The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America, by Shelby Steele
by Diana Schaub
The Racial Self The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America. by Shelby Steele. St. Martin's. 175 pp. $15.95. That individuals define the race is the message of Shelby Steele's new book.

Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country, by William F. Buckley, Jr.
by Edward Norden
Serving America Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. by William F. Buckley, Jr. Random House. 192 pp. $16.95 William F. Buckley, Jr.

Beyond the Boom: New Voices on American Life, Culture, and Politics, edited by Terry Teachout
by D.G. Myers
The Younger Movement Beyond the Boom: New Voices on American Life, Culture, and Politics. by Terry Teachout. Poseidon Press. 237 pp. $18.95. According to the conventional understanding, baby boomers were hippies in the 60's and then, after tuning out, turning off, and dropping back in, they became yuppies in the 80's.

Reader Letters February 1991
by Robert Carlen
Roe v. Wade TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: I can see Margaret Liu McCon- nell ["Living With Roe v. Wade," November 1990], wandering the halls as the Constitution was being written, suggesting to all who would hear that they should not elevate freedom of speech or reli- gion, for example, to the status of a constitutional right because it would make it harder for her two daughters to grow gracefully into womanhood.

March, 1991Back to Top
Marie Syrkin Fellowship
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Marie Syrkin Fellowship in Letters in Jerusalem, in memory of the late Marie Syrkin, poet, essayist, teacher, and Zionist leader.

Ukranians and Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I wish to express my gratitude for the publication of Marco Carynnyk's “The Killing Fields of Kiev” [October 1990].

Depression as Disease
by Our Readers
To the Editor: After reading Carol Iannone's review of William Styron's Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness [Books in Review, November 1990], one is reminded of C.P.

Race Fever
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Academic “race fever,” a malady expertly diagnosed by Edward Alexander [“Race Fever,” November 1990], now claims its victims even in the best-intentioned institutions.

Teaching the Holocaust
by Our Readers
To the Editor: For fifteen years, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) worked closely with the late Lucy S. Dawidowicz. She was indispensable in giving advice and information to the ADL's Braun Center for Holocaust Studies.

Good News About American Education
by Barbara Lerner
In recent opinion polls, more than nine out of ten Americans said they were “disturbed” about indications that our students and workers are having trouble competing with their foreign counterparts.

Israel, America & Arab Delusions
by Daniel Pipes
In Mid-January, as the first bombs began to fall on Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his partisans continued to offer two strikingly contrary interpretations of their war with the U.S.-led alliance.

The Ideology of Homelessness
by Joseph Adelson
Every once in a while a deranged man appears across the street from my office, shouting loudly but incoherently about a conspiracy threatening him.

A Monument to Messianism
by Ruth Wisse
This happened exactly twenty years ago, during Passover 1925. I had just come to Warsaw for the first time in my life .

Ronald Reagan & the Culture War
by Midge Decter
There are now four living ex-Presidents of the United States, and four ex-Presidents' wives. Never before in the country's history have there been so many—as recently as the time of Richard Nixon's presidency there were none—and in truth we do not know what to make of or to do with them.

Indian Love Call
by Richard Grenier
“If you fly over this land now,” said the actor and director Kevin Costner while shooting Dances With Wolves in South Dakota, “nobody's here, not really.

Literature by Quota
by Carol Iannone
In Chinua Achebe's novel Anthills of the Savannah, set in contemporary Nigeria, a disaffected government official sounds off before a university audience about his nation's multifarious post-colonial corruptions.

The Way of the WASP, by Richard Brookhiser
by Michael Novak
The Old Virtues The Way of the Wasp: How It Made America, and How It Can Save It, So to Speak. by Richard Brookhiser. The Free Press.

The Myth of America's Decline, by Henry R. Nau
by Irwin Stelzer
To Market, To Market The Myth of Americas Decline: Leading the World Economy into the 1990's. by Henry R. Nau. Oxford University Press.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, by Ray Monk
by Steven Beller
A Wonderful Life Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius. by Ray Monk. The Free Press. 580 pp. $29.95. “Tell them I've had a wonderful life.” These were the last words of perhaps the greatest, certainly one of the most influential, philosophers of our century.

Under God, by Garry Wills
by Terry Eastland
Church and State Under God: Religion and American Politics. by Garry Wills. Simon & Schuster. 445 pp. $24.95. It Is impossible, Garry Wills contends, to understand American politics apart from religion; yet the media, and most political commentators, show a “willed ignorance” of the subject.

Being Red, by Howard Fast
by Ronald Radosh
About-Face Being Red: A Memoir. by Howard Fast. Houghton Mifflin. 370 pp. $22.95. Howard Fast is best known as the author of a score of historical novels which epitomized what the Old Left liked to call the true spirit of “progressive” America—Citizen Tom Paine, Freedom Road, The American, and Spartacus.

Reader Letters March 1991
by Edward Alexander
Teaching the Holocaust Lucy S. DAWIDOWICZ, one of COM- MENTARY'S most distinguished and valued contributors, died in De- cember 1990, shortly after the pub- lication of her article, "How They Teach the Holocaust." We print below a selection of the correspon- dence we received on the article.- ED. TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: For fifteen years, the Anti-Defa- mation League (ADL) worked closely with the late Lucy S.

April, 1991Back to Top
Murderers in the USSR
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his letter in the December 1990 issue responding to Marco Carynnyk's article, “The Killing Fields of Kiev” [October 1990], Zbigniew Brzezinski expresses anger at the way in which Stalinist murderers, ex-killers and ex-torturers, enjoy what passes for the good life in the Soviet Union.

“Pledging Allegiance”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Michael Novak's review of Sidney Blumenthal's book Pledging Allegiance [Books in Review, December 1990] reminds me of the “editorial reply” bit John Belushi used to do on Saturday Night Live—the one where he starts out calm, then gradually works himself up into such a paroxysm of rage that he pitches over backward.

College Sports
by Our Readers
To the Editor: D. G. Myers [“Why College Sports,” December 1990] is right that the ideal of the student-athlete in big time college sports has become a contradiction in terms.

The New Music
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I was greatly disturbed by Samuel Lipman's article, “Where the New Music Went Wrong” [December 1990], in part because the author never states where new music went wrong in the first place.

The Temple Mount
by Our Readers
To the Editor: On no occasion has David Bar-Illan bothered to contact us about the charges he has made in his various articles about our report on the Temple Mount killings [“60 Minutes & the Temple Mount,” February].

In Israel, With Scuds and Patriots
by Norman Podhoretz
I am awakened at 2 A.M.1 by the loud-speaker system of the King David Hotel which instructs all guests to proceed immediately to the fifth floor where gas masks will be issued.

Iraq's German Connection
by Michael Ledeen
On January 31, 1991 Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher of Germany addressed the Bundestag on the matter of the Gulf War.

The Right to Misquote
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
It is not often that the Supreme Court is presented with a case in which the evidence consists of such titillating remarks, allegedly made by the plaintiff, as his likening himself to “an intellectual gigolo,” desiring to convert Anna Freud's house, the repository of the Freud Archives, into “a place of sex, women, fun,” and anticipating being acclaimed “the greatest analyst who ever lived”—after Freud, to be sure. These are among the quotations attributed to Jeffrey Masson by Janet Malcolm in two articles in the New Yorker in December 1983 and in her book In the Freud Archives published by Knopf the following year.

The Ingathering
by Edward Norden
Ben-Gurion airport at the end of last year was comparable to Ellis Island in its glory. Every night, at least a thousand newcomers landed.

A Song From Catullus
by Flossie Lewis
Morris Melville Tipstein would gladly eat Oreanna Arrugar with a spoon, so delectable is she, velvet as the white chocolate the local yogurt palace dispenses on Sunday, silky as the mandarin orange they serve in honor of Halloween—they tried licorice once, but the college crowd prefers its licorice real, in strings or not at all.

Retirement Blues
by Morris Freedman
As I approach retirement as a professor, I keep remembering an afternoon I spent with Marjorie Nicolson, “Miss Nicky,” as she used to be called when she was head of graduate studies in English at Columbia.

Musical Competitions
by Samuel Lipman
There is only one criterion by which the stature of a music-performance competition can be judged: the ability to provide its first-place winners with major international careers.

The Prize, by Daniel Yergin
by George Russell
Is Oil Everything? The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. by Daniel Yergin. Simon & Schuster. 876 pp. $24.95. Daniel Yergin's timing could hardly have been better.

Modernity on Endless Trial, by Leszek Kolakowski
by Peter Berger
Postmodern Moderate Modernity on Endless Trial. by Leszek Kolakowski. University of Chicago Press. 304 pp. $24.95. Polish-born, in the West since the late 60's, Leszek Kolakowski now divides his time between the universities of Oxford and Chicago.

Rabbinic Fantasies, edited by David Stern and Mark Jay Mirsky
by David Roskies
Sacred and Profane Rabbinic Fantasies: Imaginative Narratives from Classical Hebrew Literature. by David Stern and Mark Jay Mirsky. Jewish Publication Society. 364 pp.

Stalin, by Walter Laqueur; Stalin's War Against the Jews, by Louis Rapoport
by Leon Aron
The New Stalinology Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations. by Walter Laqueur. Scribner's. 383 pp. $24.95. Stalin's War Against the Jews: The Doctors' Plot and the Soviet Solution. by Louis Rapoport. The Free Press.

Reader Letters April 1991
by Jacob Neusner
The Temple Mount TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: On no occasion has David Bar- Illan bothered to contact us about the charges he has made in his various articles about our report on the Temple Mount killings ["60 Minutes 8& the Temple Mount," February].

May, 1991Back to Top
Goodbye to All That
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Socialism: Guilty as Charged” [December 1990], David Horowitz fails to recognize what most socialists and social democrats have publicly charged ever since Lenin, Trotsky, and their small band of Bolshevik followers overthrew the “socialist” Kerensky government in 1917: that Communism, favored for a time by David Horowitz and his New Left fellow-travelers, is not only guilty of crimes against humanity, but is a failure by all standards of decency. Those few socialists who were mistaken and had Horowitz-type illusions were far outnumbered by those who always regarded democracy and pluralism as more synonymous with socialism and its goals.

Buchanan Pro & Con
by Our Readers
To the Editor: To make the case that Patrick J. Buchanan is anti-Semitic, it is necessary for Joshua Muravchik [“Patrick J.

The End of the Vietnam Paradigm?
by Joshua Muravchik
Since the triumphant end of the war against Iraq, the predictions of those who had opposed it have become the object of much merry ridicule.

TV News & the Neutrality Principle
by John Corry
Almost unremarked, we have passed a turning point in journalism, particularly as journalism is practiced on television. Exactly when this happened is unclear—although by the 1980's there were hints—but American broadcasts from Baghdad while American warplanes flew overhead finally made it certain.

Black Leaders vs. Desert Storm
by Arch Puddington
On the surface, the controversy over the role of black servicemen in the Gulf War revolved around complaints that black men and women were “disproportionately” represented among the troops assigned to Operation Desert Storm.

Israel After the Gulf War
by David Bar-Illan
Of the two major shocks Israelis suffered in the Gulf War, the “Scud trauma” may have dealt a heavier blow to their sense of themselves than anything since the state's inception.

Russian Politics in the Russian Classics
by Jacques Barzun
Recent literary news from the Soviet Union indicates that a number of interesting—and possibly important—writers are coming out of a long “internal emigration.” They were never believers in Communism, but they did not dissent or write for underground circulation.

Freddy and Me
by Ellen Sussman
I'm living at my brother's house for a few weeks, just till I decide where I'm going next, and Jeffrey and Reba have fixed me up with a blind date.

Patrimony, by Philip Roth
by Neal Kozodoy
There once was a well-known New York intellectual desperate to place his father in one of the old-age homes built and maintained by the city's Jewish community.

The First Universal Nation, by Ben J. Wattenberg
by Louis Winnick
An American Century? The first Universal Nation. By Ben J. Wattenberg. The Free Press. 418 pp. $22.95. Several years ago Irving Kristol promulgated the “Yes, but” principle of American journalism.

Iron John, by Robert Bly
by Charlotte Allen
The Little Prince Iron John: A Book About Men. by Robert Bly. Addison-Wesley. 268 pp. $18.95. Robert Bly, the award-winning poet who lives in Minnesota, is one of the leaders of the “men's movement,” the latest in self-help fashions.

Opening Arguments, by Jeffrey Toobin
by Terry Eastland
Above the Constitution? Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer's First Case. by Jeffrey Toobin. Viking. 374 pp. $22.95. In late 1986 a special court named Lawrence E.

Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy, by Donald Kagan
by Roger Kimball
First Citizen Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy. by Donald Kagan. The Free Press. 287 pp. $22.50. In part a biography of the famous Athenian statesman and general, Donald Kagan's masterly Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy is also a concise introduction to the political life of Athens in the 5th century B.C.E.—its moment of greatest glory and greatest peril—as well as a sober meditation on the meaning of the Athenian experiment in democracy for us at the end of the 20th century. As the author of a magisterial four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War,1 Kagan, a professor of classics at Yale and also dean of Yale College, is well prepared for the task of explicating the career of Pericles.

Reader Letters May 1991
by David Horowitz
Buchanan Pro & Con TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: To make the case that Patrick J. Buchanan is anti-Semitic, it is nec- essary for Joshua Muravchik ["Pa- trick J.

June, 1991Back to Top
The Temple Mount
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The large volume of letters in your April issue in response to David Bar-Illan's article, “60 Minutes and the Temple Mount” [February], shows how much the slanted reporting by 60 Minutes has outraged objective observers. In early October I obtained an amateur video made by a worshipper on that fateful day during Sukkot.

Ben Hecht
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article on Ben Hecht, “The Great Hack Genius” [December 1990], Joseph Epstein fails to mention Ben Hecht's A Guide for the Bedevilled.

To the Editor:In his broad-ranging review of Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn's The History and Sociology of Genocide: Analyses and Case Studies [Books in Review, January], Steven T.

Justice Brennan & the Court
by Our Readers
To the Editor: While I agree with nearly everything that Wallace Mendelson writes in “Brennan's Revolution” [February], I do not think he is altogether justified in his criticism of Baker v.

Black Leaders
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his very fine article, “The Question of Black Leadership” [January], Arch Puddington asks why black leaders like Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP and Mayor David Dinkins of New York City do not speak out against the absurdities of Marion Barry, Louis Farrakhan, and Sonny Carson.

Iraq: The Mystery of American Policy
by Elie Kedourie
World War II, many historians have argued, was an unnecessary war. It was the consequence, so the argument goes, of short-sighted and pusillanimous policies followed, for different reasons, by the leaders of the two Great Powers of Europe who alone had the power to stop Hitler in his tracks.

Of Heroes, Villains, and Valets
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
“No man is a hero to his valet.” The dictum is generally attributed to the Duke of Condé in the reign of Louis XIV.

The Last Communist
by Mark Falcoff
Consider for a moment the career of this Caribbean dictator: he takes office as a reformer, but quickly reveals a vast, indeed unlimited, appetite for power.

A Great 20th-Century Novelist
by Menahem Milson
Naguib Mahfouz, the Egyptian novelist who in 1988 won the Nobel Prize in Literature, is a man of contradictions. Well-versed in Western culture, he has never visited Western Europe or America.

Rabbinical Eyes
by Rebecca Goldstein
We moved around a lot when I was a kid. My father was a very unsuccessful rabbi. His contracts were never for more than three years, and, even though the positions were in cities considered very undesirable—way out in the hinterlands, far from any large Jewish community—the congregations rarely renewed him. My father had a very heavy European accent, which, together with the remote air of a scholar, made him a ludicrously unsuitable candidate for the American pulpit.

Accounting for Anti-Semitism
by Jacob Katz
The term anti-Semitism made its first appearance in Germany in the fall of 1879. It was introduced into public discourse by Wilhelm Marr, one of the leading figures in an anti-Jewry campaign which had been gaining strength for the better part of the decade and which emerged at this juncture into a full-fledged social-political movement.

Illiberal Education, by Dinesh D'Souza
by Joseph Adelson
Ceau?escu U. Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus. by Dinesh D'souza. The Free Press. 319 pp. $19.95. This book—the most complete study we have had of the capture and degradation of higher education by the Left—received so much deserved attention prior to publication that its themes do not need much exposition.

Fiedler on the Roof, by Leslie Fiedler
by Robert Alter
Dead End Fiedler on the Roof: Essays on Literature and Jewish Identity. by Leslie Fiedler. David R. Godine. 161 pp. $19.95. Many readers may be put off, as I was, by the grating pun of the title, but a certain cultivated vulgarity is both an essential part of Leslie Fiedler's design and a necessary consequence of the contradictory role as Jewish writer that he assumes.

Germany, by Amity Shlaes; War By Other Means, by Jeffrey Herf
by Michael Lind
Germany Lost & Found Germany: The Empire Within. by Amity Shlaes. Farrar, Straus, Giroux. 264 pp. $19.95. War by Other Means: Soviet Power, West German Resistance, and the Battle of the Euromissiles. by Jeffrey Herf. The free Press.

The Monument, by Samir al-Khalil; Culture, History, and Ideology in the Formation of Ba'thist Iraq, 1968-89, by Amatzia Baram
by Daniel Pipes
Baghdad Kitsch The Monument: Art, Vulgarity, and Responsibility in Iraq. by Samir Al-khalil. University of California Press. 168 pp. $35.00. $16.95 paper. Culture, History & Ideology in the Formation of Ba'thist Iraq, 1968-89. by Amatzia Baram. St.

The Spiritual Life of Children, by Robert Coles
by Chester Finn,
Children & God The Spiritual Life of Children. by Robert Coles. Houghton Mifflin. 358 pp. $22.95. Robert Coles has spent most of the past 30 years listening to children talk, gently prodding them to share with him and his tape recorder their hopes and fears, their beliefs and ideas, their anxieties and satisfactions.

Reader Letters June 1991
by Arch Puddington
Black Leaders TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In his very fine article, "The Question of Black Leadership" [January], Arch Puddington asks why black leaders like Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP and Mayor David Dinkins of New York City do not speak out against the absur- dities of Marion Barry, Louis Far- rakhan, and Sonny Carson.

July, 1991Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a China-watcher since World War II, I agree on the whole with the thrust of Charles Horner's article, “Sinology in Crisis” [February].

“Indian Love Call”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Richard Grenier's article, “Indian Love Call” [March], rebuking Kevin Costner's highly stylized image of the Sioux is excellent, however much I suspect that at least some of the “politically correct” would love to see Mr.

Quotation & Misquotation
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “The Right to Misquote” [April], Gertrude Himmelfarb struggles with an intellectual problem that other commentators on Jeffrey Masson's lawsuit against the New Yorker, Alfred Knopf, and me have had to struggle with.

A Writer's Reality, by Mario Vargas Llosa.
by Mark Falcoff
The Novelist's Trade A Writer's Reality. by Mario Vargas Llosa. Edited, with an introduction, by Myron I. Lichtblau. Syracuse University Press. 184 pp.

How We Helped Saddam Survive
by Laurie Mylroie
In the aftermath of Desert Storm, one of the most brilliant military operations in U.S. history, Saddam Hussein, the figure responsible for the war, the devastation, and the misery, retains his seat of power.

Bad Advice for the Democrats
by Irwin Stelzer
“New Blueprints for the Left,” sighs a contented Newsweek headline over a story about Robert Kuttner's The End of Laissez-Faire: National Purpose and the Global Economy After the Cold War1 and Robert B.

George Eliot's Rabbi
by Edward Alexander
In 1848 a twenty-nine-year-old English-woman named Mary Ann Evans, infuriated by the idea of “race fellowship” among Jews, which she thought she detected in Benjamin Disraeli's novel Coningsby, told a friend that she was almost ready to echo Voltaire's vituperation.

The Threshold of This World
by Kelly Cherry
After my father had been dead for about nine months, he began to appear in the kitchen. I'm referring to the kitchen in England, where my parents had chosen to live in their retirement.

CNN vs. Israel
by Andrea Levin
Television viewers with any awareness of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict have become accustomed to seeing it misrepresented by inaccurate reporting and distorted images which convey the impression that Israel is at once the oppressor of blameless Arabs, the major obstacle to regional, if not indeed world, peace, and the insatiable and arrogant recipient of unprecedented American largesse.

PC & the Ellis Affair
by Carol Iannone
When word started getting around late last year that upper-echelon executives at Simon & Schuster and its parent company, Paramount Communications, were canceling the publication of Bret Easton Ellis's third novel, American Psycho1 after learning that it was filled with horrendously explicit scenes of sexual torture and dismemberment, it seemed for a moment that we were in for another series of lectures from our elites on the stern imperatives of artistic freedom.

America's Purpose, edited by Owen Harries
by Norman Podhoretz
After the Cold War America's Purpose: New Visions of U.S. Foreign Policy. Edited by Owen Harries. ICS Press.175 pp. $19.95. About two years ago, I was invited by Owen Harries, the editor of the National Interest, to contribute to a series of articles he was planning on the role of America in a post-cold-war world.

Race and Slavery in the Middle East, by Bernard Lewis
by David Pryce-Jones
Islamic Racism Race and Slavery in the Middle East. by Bernard Lewis. Oxford University Press. 184 pp. $24.95. Several features combine to make Bernard Lewis an exceptionally distinguished historian of the Middle Eastern world.

New People in Old Neighborhoods, by Louis Winnick
by Scott McConnell
People Renewal New People in Old Neighborhoods. by Louis Winnick. Russell Sage Foundation. 287 pp. $29.95. After the defeat of Edward I. Koch, New York no longer has a mayor who regularly asks the populace, “How'm I doing?” But the city's residents do a great deal of temperature-taking of their own.

The True and Only Heaven, by Christopher Lasch
by Mary Eberstadt
Up from Narcissism The True and Only Heaven: Progress and its Critics. by Christopher Lasch. Norton. 591 pp. $25.00. When Christopher Lasch observes, as he did recently in the New York Times, that “the labels that are commonly used to describe political positions are no longer valid,” he is at least speaking from experience.

Reader Letters July 1991
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
Quotation & Misquotation TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In "The Right to Misquote" [April], Gertrude Himmelfarb struggles with an intellectual prob- lem that other commentators on Jeffrey Masson's lawsuit against the New Yorker, Alfred Knopf, and me have had to struggle with.

Who Won Nicaragua?
by Elliott Abrams
When on February 25, 1990, Violeta Chamorro was elected president of Nicaragua, it seemed that an end had finally come to the travail which had beset her country for the previous ten years. It was in the late 1970's that a popular revolution against the Somoza dictatorship was hijacked at the last moment by the FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberation Nacional).

August, 1991Back to Top
Poles and Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In the course of Maurice Friedberg's article about his visit to Poland in the summer of last year [“In Poland Again,” November 1990], Mr.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Paul Craig Roberts is guilty of gross revisionism or amnesia in “What Everyone Knows About Reaganomics” [February]. He claims that no Reagan-adminstration official or supply-sider ever said tax cuts would generate sufficient revenue to finance themselves.

To Test or Not to Test
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Each week seems to bring a new proposal for a national test to improve education. Often these proposals, I have noticed, come from those willing and eager to provide the tests.

The Future of American Jewry
by Irving Kristol
For no other American ethnic group has the immigrant experience, including the experience of “Americanization,” remained so vivid as for the Jews.

Victory Through Air Power
by Edward Luttwak
When President Bush reversed his immediate reaction to Iraq's August 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait (he had originally ruled out any use of force), the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, was only the most senior of the military officers and defense officials who opposed sending U.S.

The Two Cultures (Continued)
by Michael Lind
One of the most remarkable non-events in recent intellectual history took place in the 1980's, when a particular debate failed to occur.

Paula, Dinky & the Shark
by Joseph Epstein
The morning Paula Melnick read in the Trib about the murder of Jimmy Kogan—his body, riddled with bullets, found in the trunk of his own white Jaguar, the car left in the parking lot of the Edgebrook Lutheran Church—she was neither shocked nor even surprised yet, somehow, sadder than she expected to be.

Suicide of an Elite?
by Edward Saveth
There is a tendency in books about the Vietnam war—notably David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest (1969) and now Patrick Lloyd Hatcher's The Suicide of an Elite (1990)1—to focus on the role of a not very precisely defined “elite” and/or “establishment.” Thus, Hatcher speaks of the miraculous growth of “a small internationalist elite, operating on both major American political parties” which converted a staunchly “unilateralist” state—the America of 1783 to 1939—to the assertive internationalism of the World War II era and beyond, and then allegedly committed suicide in Vietnam.

The Pollster & the Nazis
by Leo Bogart
How do we come to form our views, individually and collectively? This question bemused ancient philosophers, and continues to fascinate contemporary students of public opinion.

Spike Lee Fever
by Richard Grenier
In sharp contrast to the hyperventilated reception that has greeted Spike Lee's new movie Jungle Fever in the bien-pensant national press—Newsweek, which devoted a cover story to it, said that Jungle Fever raises “more crucial issues than any American film in a very long time”—the American blacks I have questioned confess privately that they hate it.

Exporting Democracy, by Joshua Muravchik
by Robert Kagan
Global Mission Exporting Democracy: Fulfilling America's Destiny. by Joshua Muravchik. American Enterprise Institute. 259 pp. $22.95. Five years ago, a book like Joshua Muravchik's powerful and well-argued call for an ambitious American foreign policy based on democratic internationalism would have aroused little controversy.

Living Together Separately, by Michael Romann and Alex Weingrod
by Daniel Pipes
Bridges and Gates Living Together Separately: Arabs and Jews in Contemporary Jerusalem. by Michael Romann and Alex Weingrod. Princeton University Press. 258 pp.

The Long Pretense, by Arnold Beichman
by Midge Decter
For the Record The Long Pretense: Soviet Treaty Diplomacy From Lenin To Gorbachev. by Arnold Beichman. Transaction. 271 pp. $32.95. Winston Churchill famously pronounced World War II an unnecessary war.

The Commanders, by Bob Woodward; Hazardous Duty, by John K. Singlaub
by Angelo Codevilla
War and Warriors The Commanders. by Bob Woodward. Simon & Schuster. 398 pp. $24.95. Hazardous Duty: An American Soldier In The Twentieth Century. by John K.

The Promised Land, by Nicholas Lemann
by Arch Puddington
The Racial Dilemma The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How it Changed America. by Nicholas Lemann. Knopf. 410 pp. $24.95. The seeming intractability of black poverty has vexed our political life for nearly 30 years, ever since inner-city riots jolted Americans out of the assumption that the country's race problems had been put to rest by the adoption of federal laws outlawing legal segregation.

Reader Letters August 1991
by Sheldon Seller
To Test or Not to Test TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Each week seems to bring a new proposal for a national test to im- prove education.

September, 1991Back to Top
Stalin & Stalinism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Walter Laqueur's Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations [Books in Review, April], Leon Aron overlooks an important statement Laqueur makes: “Stalin and Stalinism were apparently genuinely popular.” In the course of his book, however, Laqueur submits no evidence to support this opinion. The German biographer Emil Ludwig once said to Stalin: “It seems to me that .

Anti-Psychiatry & John Locke
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “The Ideology of Homelessness” [March], Joseph Adelson launches an attack on what he calls “anti-psychiatry.” The attack is rife with imprecision, inaccuracies, and straw-man arguments. Mr.

The Russian Classics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As the author of Russian Classics in Soviet Jackets (Columbia University Press, 1962), I was understandably interested in Jacques Barzun's “Russian Politics in the Russian Classics” [May].

Germany & Iraq
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As an avid COMMENTARY reader for many years, I feel compelled to respond to the article by Michael Ledeen [“Iraq's German Connection,” April], which alleges that the government of the Federal Republic of Germany played a substantial and deliberate part in helping Iraq build up its potential of weapons of mass destruction and conventional arms; charges the German Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, with hypocrisy in connection with this matter; and concludes with a suggestion of “moral corruption” on the German side. First, let me clarify a few things so that readers of COMMENTARY may draw their own conclusions: It was no later than 1961 that the German government stopped authorizing weapons exports to Iraq.

The Gulf War and...
by Our Readers
The Gulf War and . . . 1. The Vietnam Paradigm To the Editor: . . . I beg to differ with Joshua Muravchik [“The End of the Vietnam Paradigm?,” May].

What to Do About the Soviet Collapse
by Vladimir Bukovsky
After faithfully following the Gulf War for 44 days and nights, fascinated by the human drama, the “smart” weapons, and the intense debates about the “new world order,” I must have fallen asleep in front of my television set at a crucial moment.

E Pluribus Nihil: Multiculturalism and Black Children
by Midge Decter
There are few things more futile than the effort to second-guess history. Yet it is difficult not to wonder, especially at this moment in our national affairs, what might have happened had the civil-rights movement not made the schools a key focus of its attentions.

A Woman for All Seasons
by Leon Kass
One often hears it said, and not only by outsiders, that Judaism is a male-dominated religion that does not properly appreciate its women.

Saving Europe from Itself
by Giuseppe Sacco
“While a unified Europe may some time in the next century act as a single power, its initial disarray and disjointed national responses to the crisis in the Persian Gulf again illustrate that ‘Europe’ does not qualify even as a player on the world stage.” This sharp judgment, rendered in the authoritative pages of Foreign Affairs, gives a fair idea of how Europe's position in the world after the Gulf crisis is perceived by outsiders, and even by some Europeans themselves.

Soldier, Salesman, Swindler, Spy
by Andre Aciman
“So, Are we or aren't we?” boasted my great-uncle Vili. “Siamo o non siamo?” It was never entirely clear what one was or was not, but to everyone in my family, including those who today no longer speak a word of Italian, this elliptical phrase still captures the strutting, daredevil, cocksure, soldier-braggart who had pulled himself out of a trench during the Great War and then, hidden between rows of trees with his rifle strapped tightly to his back, would have mowed down the entire Austro-Hungarian empire had he not run out of bullets.

Killer Bimbos
by Richard Grenier
A hollywood joke of only a few years back ran, “She played the female lead in the The Sands of Iwo Jima.” The joke is no longer current; in today's Hollywood, there might well be pressure to have a robust female playing John Wayne's sidekick on Iwo Jima, and it can be assumed that in future Hollywood epics about the recent war in the Persian Gulf women will play a prominent role in combat.

Chutzpah, by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Ruth Wisse
Advertisements for Himself Chutzpah. by Alan M. Dershowitz. Little, Brown. 378 pp. $22.95. Alan Dershowitz has raised, or lowered, the practice of law to a Hollywood art.

A History of the Arab Peoples, by Albert Hourani; The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times, by Norman A. Stillman
by Martin Kramer
Giving Order to Despair A History of the Arab Peoples. by Albert Hourani. Belknap Press/Harvard University Press. 551 pp. $24.95. The Jews of Arab Lands in Modern Times. by Norman A.

Red Love, by David Evanier
by Arch Puddington
Black (& Red) Comedy Red Love. A Novel. by David Evanier. Scribners. 340 pp. $19.95. The case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg has been the subject of novels, plays, movies, and docudramas, not to mention numerous scholarly studies and an even greater body of polemical works.

The Litigation Explosion, by Walter K. Olson
by Terry Eastland
Suing for Profit The Litigation Explosion: What Happened when America Unleashed the Lawsuit. by Walter K. Olson. Truman Talley Books/Dutton. 388 pp. $24.95. “Nothing could be more understandable,” writes Walter K.

Feminism Without Illusions, by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese
by Charlotte Allen
Retailoring Women's Lib Feminism without Illusions: A Critique of Individualism. by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. University of North Carolina Press. 347 pp. $24.95. Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, founder and director of the women's-studies program at Emory University and author of an award-winning study of women in the antebellum South, Within the Plantation Household, may seem the very model of a politically-correct scholar.

Reader Letters September 1991
by Maurice Friedberg
The Gulf War and ... 1. The Vietnam Paradigm TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: ... I beg to differ with Joshua Muravchik ["The End of the Viet- nam Paradigm?," May].

October, 1991Back to Top
Iraq Post-Mortem
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I found Laurie Mylroie's “How We Helped Saddam Survive” [July] quite useful in helping to understand how Desert Storm—that enterprise of “such great pitch and moment”—could have gone so awry after February 28, 1991, when prior to that date President Bush and his war cabinet had shown such finesse and subtlety.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jacob Katz, in “Accounting for Anti-Semitism” [June], observes that The term anti-Semitism made its first appearance in Germany in the fall of 1879.

De Gustibus...
by Our Readers
To the Editor: COMMENTARY, one of the finest publications in the United States, has descended to the gutter by publishing Ellen Sussman's story “Freddy and Me” [May], which rightfully belongs in Playboy.

Cherishing Our Elders
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a former academic now nearing the end of my legal career, I can empathize with Morris Freedman [“Retirement Blues,” April].

Coleridge Defended
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Edward Alexander's search for anti-Semites among early 19th-century humanist writers [“George Eliot's Rabbi,” July] unearthed the wrong man in Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was a philo-Semite, devoting many pages of The Friend to his belief that the early Hebrews were far more cultivated, literary, and individualistic than the early Greeks (Friend 1, 501-24, ed.

Arguing About Economics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Bad Advice for the Democrats” [July], Irwin M. Stelzer is so intent on championing his conservative economic orthodoxy (“the only map that has proved reliable—the low-tax .

The Cold War & the Intellectuals
by Owen Harries
Americans are a future-oriented people, disinclined to dwell on the past. Since the cold war reached its abrupt and unanticipated end, their inclination has been to focus on what is to come next, whether it be a new world order, a democratic crusade, or simply a return to pre-totalitarian power politics.

The Hunt for the True October
by Martin Malia
The October Revolution of 1917 was not simply an event in Russian history; it was also, if vicariously, an event in the history of every modern nation.

Rape in Feminist Eyes
by Norman Podhoretz
1. If prostitution is the world's oldest profession, rape may well be the second oldest crime. But this ancient crime received, so to speak, a new lease on life about thirty-five years ago, when (as we learn from a scholarly paper written jointly by the “sexuality educator” Laurie Bechhofer and Professor Andrea Parrot of Cornell1) a sociologist at Purdue named Eugene Kanin “documented the existence of sexual aggression within courtship relationships.

Counting the Jews
by Edward Norden
How many Jews are there on the planet today, and how many will there be in another generation? Where are they, and where will they, their children, or their children's children, probably be in the year 2021 CE.? What difference does it make? The quest for answers to these questions is for the adventurous only.

“PC” So Far
by Dinesh D'Souza
The term “political correctness” seems to have originated in the early part of the century, when it was employed by various species of Marxists to describe and enforce conformity to their preferred ideological positions.

Hispanics vs. Their Leaders
by Linda Chavez
Assimilation has become a dirty word in American politics, invoking images of people, cultures, traditions forged into a colorless alloy in an indifferent melting pot.

Homage to Jacob Katz
by David Singer
The fox, Isaiah Berlin reminds us, knows many things, while the hedgehog knows one big thing. As a historian, Jacob Katz, the distinguished Jerusalem scholar now in his 86th year, is both a fox and a hedgehog.

Counsel to the President, by Clark Clifford
by Mark Falcoff
Power Broker Counsel to the President: A Memoir. by Clark Clifford with Richard Holbrooke. Random House. 709 pp. $25.00. The cover of this handsome volume is graced by a somewhat flattering oil painting of the author, and the title is highlighted by a row of five-pointed stars apparently purloined from the Presidential Seal.

The Search for God at Harvard, by Ari L. Goldman
by Jon Levenson
New Age Theology The Search for God at Harvard. by Ari L. Goldman. Times Books. 283 pp. $20.00. A religion reporter for the New York Times and an Orthodox Jew, Ari L.

Parliament of Whores, by P.J. O'Rourke
by David Brock
Missing the Joke Parliament of Whores. by P.J. O'Rourke. Atlantic Monthly Press. 320 pp. $19.95. P.J. O'Rourke's bestseller, Parliament of Whores, carries the ambitious subtitle, “A Lone Humorist's Attempt to Explain the Entire U.S.

The Southern Connection, by Robert B. Heilman
by Edward Alexander
Paradox of Place The Southern Connection. by Robert B. Heilman. Louisiana State University Press. 279 pp. $29.95. By millions of customers of the manufacturers of labor-saving devices it is regarded as lazy.

Why Americans Hate Politics, by E.J. Dionne, Jr.
by Joshua Muravchik
Left, Right & Center Why Americans Hate Politics. by E.J. Dionne, Jr. Simon & Schuster. 430 pp. $22.95. A great improvement befell American journalism in the late 1980's with the departure of Sidney Blumenthal and the arrival of E.J.

Reader Letters October 1991
by Robert Reich
Arguing About Economics TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: In "Bad Advice for the Demo- crats" [July], Irwin M. Stelzer is so intent on championing his conser- vative economic orthodoxy ("the only map that has proved reli- able-the low-tax ...

November, 1991Back to Top
The U.S. & Cuba
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In connection with Mark Falcoff's article, “The Last Communist” [June], I would like to say that from 1959 to 1961, I was a young Senate aide with a portfolio that included watching the evolution of U.S.

Realism in Foreign Policy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In reviewing America's Purpose: New Visions of U.S. Foreign Policy, edited by Owen Harries [Books in Review, July], Norman Podhoretz distinguishes succinctly among the political perceptions of interventionists (who wish to advance democracy in the world), neoisolationists (who focus on internal concerns and interests), and realists (who give primacy to questions of national interest). Credit is due Mr.

The Media & Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Andrea Levin's indictment of CNN and most of our press [“CNN vs. Israel,” July] for their kangaroo-court reporting on Israel was devastating in its accuracy.

Defending the Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I realized when I wrote critically in Chutzpah of Norman Podhoretz's particularistic vision of the role of Jews in America that my book would receive a negative review [by Ruth R.

Heroes, Villains, Valets
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Two cheers for Gertrude Himmelfarb's article, “Of Heroes, Villains, and Valets” [June], and for her continued exploration of penultimate truths.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Few would take issue with Elliott Abrams [“Who Won Nicaragua?,” July] that it would be better if President Violeta Chamorro and her year-old government were making more dramatic progress in reforming Nicaragua's economy, asserting civilian control over the Sandinista army and police, and recovering the huge state properties the Sandinistas stole for themselves after their electoral defeat.

Quotas and the Bush Administration
by Chester Finn,
In spite of its admirable statements against quotas, the Bush administration still displays no consistent philosophy or clear voice on issues of race and civil rights.

How Not to Aid Eastern Europe
by Nicholas Eberstadt
As the West's long battle with Soviet Communism draws to a close, practical men in America and elsewhere ponder a novel question: how to bring forth a lawful, prosperous, and secure order from the rubble of the former Soviet Union.

Our Debt to I. B. Singer
by Joseph Epstein
I met the late Isaac Bashevis Singer only once, briefly but unforgettably, in 1963. It was in Manhattan, at the apartment of one of his early translators.

by Nancy Yos
The Speakers: Classroom, Graduate, Textbook, Undergraduates, Voices, the West, and Notes. Classroom: The theme or title of our little symposium is “Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.” Graduate: Rather intense, that. Classroom: Well, yes, but we'll overlook it for the moment, shall we? I should point out that the line comes from a poem called “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” by Dylan Thomas. Notes: Welsh poet, 1914-53. Textbook: I believe it was about his father dying, wasn't it? Classroom: I believe so.

The Second Death of Leon Klinghoffer
by Samuel Lipman
On October 7, 1985, the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, while on its way from Alexandria to Port Said, was hijacked by four Palestinian terrorists.

Hollywood's Holy Grail
by Richard Grenier
Hollywood has not only made a movie about the legendary medieval Fisher King, ruler of T.S. Eliot's bleak, desolate Waste Land, it has brazenly entitled it The Fisher King, thus inviting comparison with one of the major literary works of the 20th century and by inference with some of the greatest achievements of the religious spirit.

The Kirkpatrick Mission, by Allan Gerson
by Arch Puddington
Trial and Triumph The Kirkpatrick Mission: Diplomacy Without Apology. America at the United Nations, 1981-1985. by Allan Gerson. The free press. 317 pp.

The Development Frontier, by Peter Bauer
by Irwin Stelzer
Against Foreign Aid The Development Frontier: Essays in Applied Economics. by Peter Bauer. Harvard University Press. 241 pp. $24.95. To anyone already familiar with Peter Bauer's influential books and essays (including in COMMENTARY), there will not be much that is startlingly new in this volume.

Holocaust Testimonies, by Lawrence L. Langer
by David Roskies
Through a Lens, Darkly Holocaust Testimonies: The Ruins of Memory. by Lawrence L. Langer. Yale University Press. 216 pp. $25.00. Someone comes with a story to tell—how, alone of all his family, friends, and townspeople, he survived the Nazi Holocaust.

Trying Conclusions: New and Selected Poems, 1961-1991, by Howard Nemerov; A Howard Nemerov Reader
by D.G. Myers
A Career in Literature Trying Conclusions: New and Selected Poems, 1961-1991. by Howard Nemerov. University of Chicago Press. 152 pp. $16.95. A Howard Nemerov Reader. University of Missouri Press.

Dangerous Liaison, by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn
by Angelo Codevilla
Inside Dopes Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship. by Andrew And Leslie Cockburn. HarperCollins. 416 pp. $25.00. This book is no less than a history of the world since 1948, with the United States of America cast as the chief evildoer, and Israel as the evil genie.

Reader Letters November 1991
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
Nicaragua TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Few would take issue with Elliott Abrams ["Who Won Nicaragua?," July] that it would be better if President Violeta Chamorro and her year-old government were mak- ing more dramatic progress in re- forming Nicaragua's economy, as- serting civilian control over the Sandinista army and police, and recovering the huge state properties the Sandinistas stole for themselves after their electoral defeat.

December, 1991Back to Top
The Litigation Explosion
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Regarding Terry Eastland's review of The Litigation Explosion, by Walter K. Olson [Books in Review, September], does Mr.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Midge Decter has done it again. Her article on multiculturalism [“E Pluribus Nihil: Multiculturalism and Black Children,” September] is by far the best piece of writing on that topic yet to see the light of day.

Spike Lee
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Congratulations to Richard Grenier for his incisive debunking of the Don King of film-makers, Spike Lee [“Spike Lee Fever,” August].

Is Secular Humanism Good for the Jews?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Irving Kristol, in “The Future of American Jewry” [August], maintains that “the death of socialism” and “the collapse of secular humanism” represent a turning point in the 20th century, all of which he welcomes.

Is Secular Humanism Good for the Jews?
by Irving Kristol
Is Secular Humanism Good for the Jews? TO THE EDITOR OF COMMENTARY: Irving Kristol, in "The Future of American Jewry" [August], main- tains that "the death of socialism" and "the collapse of secular hu- manism" represent a turning point in the 20th century, all of which he welcomes.

Suicide Made Easy
by Leon Kass
Americans have always been a handy people. If know-how were virtue, we would be a nation of saints. Unfortunately, certain old-fashioned taboos—brought to you by the people who know the difference between virtue and dexterity—have prevented Americans from gaining the ultimate know-how, the know-how to die.

The Politics of Public Television
by David Horowitz
Created by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, the present system of public television is by now one of the last El Dorados of the Great Society.

Race, Lies & Democrats
by Noemie Emery
A sex crime—a black man, a white victim—and Willie Horton, the convict furloughed by Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, who on a weekend outing brutalized a couple in Maryland, entered the culture as a cause célèbre, as a key in the switch that in the 1988 presidential campaign turned a 19-point Dukakis lead in May into an 8-point lead for George Bush in November, and as an enduring symbol: of what, no one agrees.

A Gallery of Former Jews
by Judith Elkin
Latin American societies, which embrace individual Jews with open arms, are freighted with hostility toward the Jewish people. While flesh-and-blood Jews are welcomed into Christian bosoms with enthusiasm, Judaism in the abstract is anathema, an outdated creed discredited by the message of Christ.

by Michael Fumento
One of the last books published on AIDS in 1990 bore the ominous title, The AIDS Disaster. It called for massive spending, at a level the authors admitted would guarantee a great deal of waste, to contain an epidemic growing by leaps and bounds.

The Rise & Fall of Deconstruction
by Peter Shaw
The intellectual and moral disaster that overtook the academic world in the 1970's and 1980's is hardly a secret. Yet so complete, and so unforeseen, has been the transformation of the universities from places of learning to arenas of political confrontation that a satisfactory explanation of what happened is still not available.

Scandal, by Suzanne Garment
by Paul Johnson
Potomac Fever Scandal: The Culture of Mistrust in American Politics. by Suzanne Garment. Times Books/Random House. 352 pp. $23.00. Suzanne Garment has written a racy and illuminating book which asks important questions.

We Must Take Charge: Our Schools and Our Future, by Chester E. Finn, Jr.
by James Wilson
Reforming the SchoolsWe Must Take Charge: Our Schools and Our Future. by Chester E. Finn, Jr. The Free Press. 365 pp.

Poverty and Compassion, by Gertrude Himmelfarb
by Peter Berger
Revising the Victorians Poverty and Compassion: The Moral Imagination of the Late Victorians. by Gertrude Himmelfarb. Knopf. 466 pp. $30.00. Ever since Lytton Strachey's 1918 hatchet job, Eminent Victorians, the Victorian age has had a bad press among bien-pen-sant intellectuals: the very adjective has come to be synonymous with all that is repressed, hypocritical, moralistically meddlesome.

Pin It on Pinterest

Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
for full access to
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
Don't have a log in?
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.