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January, 1996Back to Top
Race & Jazz
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Under the guise of shining light on an important issue, Terry Teachout [“The Color of Jazz,” September], has revealed a rather dim and cliché-filled vision of the jazz world.

Is Pat Robertson an Anti-Semite?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz [“In the Matter of Pat Robertson,” August 1995] is to be commended for his honesty in belatedly conceding that I have been correct all along in alleging that Pat Robertson, if not an anti-Semite, is an energetic retailer of anti-Semitic libels: “The conclusion is thus inescapable that Robertson, whether knowingly or unknowingly, has subscribed to and purveyed ideas that have an old and well-established anti-Semitic pedigree.” He is also commendably honest in admitting that his sole criterion for deciding whether to support or oppose Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, or Louis Farrakhan is support for Israel.

Is Pat Robertson an anti-Semite?; race and jazz
by Our Readers
Is Pat Robertson an Anti-Semite? TO THE EDITOR: Norman Podhoretz ["In the Matter of Pat Robert- son," August 1995] is to be commended for his hon- esty in belatedly conced- ing that I have been cor- rect all along in alleging that Pat Robertson, if not an anti-Semite, is an ener- getic retailer of anti- Semitic libels: "The con- clusion is thus inescapable that Robertson, whether knowingly or unknowing- ly, has subscribed to and purveyed ideas that have an old and well-estab- lished anti-Semitic pedi- gree." He is also com- mendably honest in admit- ting that his sole criterion for deciding whether to support or oppose Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, or Louis Farrakhan is sup- port for Israel.

Israel & the Assassination: A Reckoning
by Hillel Halkin
As a voter for the Labor party and Yitzhak Rabin in the 1992 elections and a politically angry man for the past two years, I found myself growing angrier and angrier the week after his assassination on November 4.

For a New Concert of Europe
by Mark Helprin
Though the litany of wars is at present neither longer nor more ferocious than usual, for the first time in half a century they are not confined to the periphery but have taken root in Europe.

The Soul of Man Under Physics
by David Berlinski
What is it? A sense of unease, perhaps, some persistent feeling, as the century slips into the darkness, that the larger structures of scientific thought and sentiment are disembodied, disorderly somehow.

How to Save American Jews
Over the past ten years, the American Jewish community has undergone a radical inner shift in mood, from buoyant optimism to deep anxiety about its future.

Colin Powell & the Conservatives
by David Frum
General Colin Powell ran his presidential campaign exactly as he would have liked to run the Gulf war: a massive build-up of force culminating in a strategic withdrawal.

Record Blues
by Terry Teachout
If a music lover of 1966 were to awake one morning and find himself transported, Rip Van Winkle-like, to the classical department of a present-day record store, what would surprise him most? The most striking change would of course be the near-complete replacement of vinyl long-playing records by compact discs, which 30 years ago did not exist even in the imaginations of engineers.

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
by Joseph Adelson
Up with Feelings Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman Bantam Books. 352 pp. $23.95 Daniel Goleman writes on behavioral science for the New York Times, reporting on research that has appeared in the psychological literature.

The Strange Death of the Soviet Empire by David Pryce-Jones
by Arch Puddington
Necropsy The Strange Death of the Soviet Empire by David Pryce-Jones Holt. 456 pp. $30.00 The Soviet empire did die a “strange death.” As challenges to Moscow's hegemony rolled across Eastern Europe in 1989, many observers anticipated that the Kremlin would unleash a terrible wave of repression.

Assimilation and Its Discontents by Barry Rubin
by Jay Harris
Wandering Jews Assimilation and its Discontents by Barry Rubin Times Books. 400 pp. $25.00 While other peoples and nations took only from the new and foreign flow what was good for their existence, thereby preserving their individuality and uniqueness, the Jews suffered with the curse of appropriating all that was new and foreign like no others did, while repudiating all that was holiest and most authentic. So wrote Pauline Wengeroff, a Russian Jewess, at the beginning of this century in her Memoirs of a Grandmother.

A Good Life by Ben Bradlee
by George Russell
The Way of the Brahmin A Good Life: Newspapering and other Adventures by Ben Bradlee Simon & Schuster. $14 pp. $21.50 Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee is without question one of the great American newspapermen of the century; the word Watergate alone would serve to place him in that not always admirable pantheon.

The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov edited by Dmitri Nabokov
by Robert Alter
Memory Man The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov edited by Dmitri Nabokov Knopf. 659 pp. $35.00 Vladimir Nabokov wrote his first short story in 1921, when he was a twenty-two-yearold Russian émigré student at Cambridge University.

Abraham Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
by Walter Berns
The Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln by David Herbert Donald Simon & Schuster. 714 pp. $35.00 David Herbert Donald, a distinguished historian of the South and a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for biography, is the Charles Warren Professor Emeritus of American History and American Civilization at Harvard.

February, 1996Back to Top
The Lost Transport
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I found “The Lost Transport” by Joseph A. Polak [September 1995] intellectually brilliant and unbearably moving. Its power comes from the fact the Rabbi Polak does not embellish his story but describes only what happened to him on the last train out of Bergen-Belsen in 1945—and his prayers are direct and simple and to the point.

Isaac Babel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Alter's thoughtful essay on Jewish writers, “The Jewish Voice” [October 1995], needs one correction, and, perhaps, an emendation. First, the correction.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Reading Terry Teach-out's article on Leopold Stokowski [“The Vulgar Virtuoso,” October 1995], I . . . wondered if he were of an age that would qualify him to undertake an analysis of one of America's greatest musicians.

Academic Advocates
by Our Readers
To the Editor: There can be no doubt. Gertrude Himmelfarb [“Academic Advocates,” September 1995] does not like postmodernists, de-constructionists, political advocates, or those who get personal in the college classroom.

China Policy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arthur Waldron [“Deterring China,” October 1995] is to be congratulated for being right on target in his evaluation of our China policies; they seem to be locked in place and our policy-makers are not sufficiently aware of the changes that have taken place sine the 1970's.

The National Prospect
by Our Readers
To the Editor: COMMENTARY arrives a little later than usual now that I am living in Siberia; but it is even more of a pleasure to open each issue.

The National Prospect; China; Stokowski; Isaac Babel; etc.
by Our Readers
The National Prospect TO THE EDITOR: COMMENTARY arrives a little later than usual now that I am living in Siberia; but it is even more of a pleasure to open each issue.

Doom, Gloom, and the Middle Class
by Amity Shlaes
The test of a good liberal is . . . that he never yields on issues favoring the wealthy. —John Kenneth Galbraith The Affluent Society Four Years ago, in the wake of a recession, Bill Clinton campaigned against George Bush by claiming that Republican policies were turning us into a society split between rich and poor, a society whose middle class, reeling from the depredations of the “greed decade,” was sinking into ever greater economic trouble.

Why Mothers Should Stay Home
by David Gelernter
American Children are doing badly. From drug use to suicide rates, from academic performance to the perpetration of violence, the numbers tell us that they are failing.

Leaving the Ghetto
by Jacob Katz
We know a great deal by now about how the history of European Jewry in the modern era came to its tragic end.

Down With Self-Esteem
by Joseph Adelson
Recently I dropped in at my local library to see what they had on a subject, self-esteem, that now commands enormous attention in our everyday discourse.

As Quebec Goes ...
by William Watson
In A poll taken last year, only 1 percent of American respondents knew that the Prime Minister of Canada was Jean Chrétien—a result that elicited dismay here, but not surprise.

Are American Jews Still Liberal?
by Earl Raab
American Politics has been steadily taking a more conservative turn. Have American Jews been carried along, or have they remained largely fixed in their liberal cast? Certainly there is no shortage of evidence showing that Jews have retained all their traditional allegiances.

Reading Jurors' Minds
by James Wilson
The Public worries that criminal trials, especially those involving murderers, have been hamstrung by the introduction of a number of implausible new legal stratagems.

Whatever Happened to Arthur Rubinstein
by Terry Teachout
Arthur Rubinstein was born in 1887 and died in 1982, six years after making his last recordings for RCA and giving his farewell concert at London's Wigmore Hall.

Not Without Honor by Richard Gid Powers
by John Haynes
America at its Best Not Without Honor: The History of American Anti-Communism by Richard Gid Powers Free Press. 554pp. $30.00 Not Without Honor is a scholarly, start-to-finish account of American anti-Communism.

Aging and Old Age by Richard Posner
by Marc Arkin
Elder Economics Aging and Old Age by Richard Posner University of Chicago Press. 315 pp. $29.95 Richard Posner, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, has, through the prodigious application of intellect and energy, earned a reputation as one of the finest appellate judges in the country.

Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger by Elzbieta Ettinger
by Robert Wistrich
A Fine Romance Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger by Elzbieta Ettinger Yale University Press. 139 pp. $18.50 Hannah Arendt's love affair with Martin Heidegger began in 1925 at the University of Marburg, shortly after her eighteenth birthday.

The Death of Satan by Andrew Delbanco
by Christopher Caldwell
What the Devil The Death of Satan: How Americans have Lost the Sense of Evil by Andrew Delbanco Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 274 pp.

Neoconservatism by Irving Kristol
by Wilfred McClay
Godfather Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea by Irving Kristol Free Press. 493 pp. $25.00 Irving Kristol is still so visible and energetic a presence in American intellectual life that it is hard to believe he has been at the job for nearly 50 years.

March, 1996Back to Top
The Song of Songs
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hillel Halkin is concerned in his review with evaluating Ariel and Chana Bloch's new translation of the Song of Songs [Books in Review, November 1995] in terms of its literary quality, its scholarship, and its interpretation of the biblical poem.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of David Donald's Lincoln [Books in Review, January], Walter Berns writes: Lincoln and Douglas were contesting more than a Senate seat; they were engaged in a contest for public opinion, or, in Lincoln's words, for the public mind on slavery.

New York City & Health Care
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As Irwin M. Stelzer [“Can Giuliani Save New York?,” December 1995] notes, in the area of crime Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has done well.

Black Anti-Semitism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Facing Up to Black Anti-Semitism” [December 1995] Joshua Muravchik asks what accounts for the phenomenon cited in his title and analyzes some explanations that have been given for it—including one of my own (a psychological theory, derived from Vladimir Jankélévitch) that I present in the introduction to my anthology, Blacks and Jews. According to Mr.

Race in America
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Although I agree with many of Arch Puddington's arguments in “Speaking of Race” [December 1995], there are some things he either does not mention or does not stress sufficiently.

Race in America; black anti-Semitism; the Song of Songs; etc.
by Our Readers
Race in America TO THE EDITOR: Although I agree with many of Arch Pudding- ton's arguments in "Speak- ing of Race" [December 1995], there are some things he either does not mention or does not stress sufficiently.

Neoconservatism: A Eulogy
by Norman Podhoretz
In proposing to deliver a eulogy in honor of neoconservatism, I am obviously implying that it is dead. But is it? There are those who think that neoconservatism is still very much with us; if so, in rushing to eulogize it I could be fairly accused of staging a scene out of one of those buried-alive horror stories by Edgar Allan Poe.

Is the Republican Revolution Alive?
by Irwin Stelzer
“I read the newspapers avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction.” So said Labor's fiery Welsh postwar Minister of Health, Aneurin Bevan.

Against Homosexual Marriage
by James Wilson
Our courts, which have mishandled abortion, may be on the verge of mishandling homosexuality. As a consequence of two pending decisions, we may be about to accept homosexual marriage.In 1993 the supreme court of Hawaii ruled that, under the equal-protection clause of that state's constitution, any law based on distinctions of sex was suspect, and thus subject to strict judicial scrutiny.1 Accordingly, it reversed the denial of a marriage permit to a same-sex couple, unless the state could first demonstrate a “compelling state interest” that would justify limiting marriages to men and women.

The Lovemaking of I.B. Singer
by Norma Rosen
When I was young I was sent among the old, to teach them. The job paid a small stipend, in return for which I had only to hearten a few old people for a limited time by getting them to write something down. The first day, I arrived at the Center by bus, put my foot into a hole in the asphalt just below the curb, wrenched my ankle, and limped the rest of the way to the classroom.

Comes the Millennium
by George Weigel
In New York City, the Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center is already booked solid for the night of December 31, 1999.

Grantsmanship & the Killing Fields
by Peter Rodman
In 1979, a journalist named William Shawcross vaulted to fame with Sideshow,1 a book that accused Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon of responsibility for the genocide conducted in Cambodia in the mid 70's by the revolutionary Khmer Rouge regime.

The Americans
by Dorothea Straus
“Grandfathers—A Memoir,” by Christopher Clausen, appeared in COMMENTARY in April 1993. It is a thoughtful, personal essay on the costs of immigration—and specifically on Clausen's two immigrant grandfathers, each from a wholly different background and of a wholly different ethnicity.

Ms. Wonder-Child, For Example
by Terry Teachout
Robert Schumann's 1840 song cycle, Frauenliebe und Leben, is a first-person account of the courtship, marriage, and widowhood of a young woman (the text was written by a man, the poet Adelbert von Chamisso).

The First Man by Albert Camus
by Andre Aciman
Of Things Past The First Man by Albert Camus translated by David Hapgood. Knopf. 325 pp. $23.00 On October 16, 1957, Albert Camus was sitting in a restaurant in Paris.

The Road Ahead by Bill Gates with Nathan Myhrvold and Peter Rinearson
by David Gelernter
Dead End The Road Ahead by Bill Gates with Nathan Myhrvold and Peter Rinearson Viking. 286 pp. $29.95 The Road Ahead is Bill Gates's State of the Union address, delivered with the shambling, endearing, self-deprecating grandeur that is appropriate to the co-founder and CEO of Microsoft, the King of Technocrats.

It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us by Hillary Rodham Clinton
by Chester Finn,
Hillarytown It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us by Hillary Rodham Clinton Simon & Schuster. 319 pp. $20.00 In our assessment of this agreeably written and intermittently charming book, let us put aside the weighty and much-mulled matters of Hillary Clinton's personal integrity and veracity, her role in sundry White House malefactions, and her legal and commodities-trading career in Little Rock.

Why Should Jews Survive? by Michael Goldberg
by Elliott Abrams
Faith & the Holocaust Why Should Jews Survive? by Michael Goldberg Oxford. 191 pp. $23.00 When Nathan Glazer wrote his classic study, American Judaism, in 1957, he did not invoke the term “Holocaust” even once.

Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol
by Sol Stern
Ideological Tourist Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation by Jonathan Kozol Crown. 286 pp. $23.00 Jonathan Kozol is widely celebrated as a teller of cruel truths, a writer who—beginning with Death at an Early Age (1968)—has evoked the pain suffered by millions of children trapped in economically depressed communities and resource-starved ghetto schools.

April, 1996Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Readers of Dorothea Straus's lovely essay, “The Americans” [March], might be interested in knowing that Suzanne Ravage Clausen's memoirs of her strange upbringing in New York and France have been published posthumously as Growing Up Rootless (Fithian Press, 1995).

“Israel—With Grandchildren”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: There are many things in Norman Podhoretz's often touching article, “Israel—With Grandchildren” [December 1995] I might respond to.

Physics and the Soul
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Under physics, David Berlinski suggests, the soul of man has suffered a grievous exposure; but the wind-chill is moderating [“The Soul of Man Under Physics,” January].

Physics and the soul;
by Our Readers
Physics and the Soul TO THE EDITOR: Under physics, David Berlinski suggests, the soul of man has suffered a grievous exposure; but the wind-chill is moderating ["The Soul of Man Under Physics," January].

American Power-A Guide for the Perplexed
by Robert Kagan
In the six years following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war, the United States has dispatched troops to foreign soil five times—during the Bush years to Panama, the Persian Gulf, and Somalia; in the Clinton years to Haiti and Bosnia.

Shakespeare, Shylock, and the Jews
by William Meyers
I first met Dr. Roderigo Lopez in a footnote. There is a passage in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (Act IV, Scene 1) where Gratiano says to Shylock, Thy currish spirit Govern'd a wolf, who, hanged for human slaughter, Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, And .

Welfare Fixers
by Adam Wolfson
In 1982, the journalist Ken Auletta defined the question of the underclass: how do we explain why “violence, arson, hostility, and welfare dependency rose during a time when unemployment dropped, official racial barriers were lowered, and government assistance to the poor escalated”? Indeed, government spending on welfare increased from about $33 billion in 1964 to over $300 billion in 1992 (both figures in 1992 dollars).

The Four Questions
by Allegra Goodman
Ed is sitting in his mother-in-law Estelle's gleaming kitchen. “Is it coming in on time?” Estelle asks him. He is on the phone checking on Yehudit's flight from San Francisco. “It's still ringing,” Ed says.

What Use Is the UN?
by Joshua Muravchik
For a golden jubilee, the celebrations were strangely subdued. To commemorate 50 years since the founding of the United Nations, the General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution expressing satisfaction that the world body had “survived and played an important role,” gamely noting the UN's ongoing “determination” to prevent war and to “invigorate the dialogue and partnership between all countries.” In a manner utterly characteristic of the institution, it took 32 meetings for a committee to come up with this text, with its opaque bromides about “accelerating globalization and interdependence” and ensuring the “maximization of the benefits from and the minimization of the negative effects of” something or other. As for the United States, whose brainchild the UN was, its press and politicians were equally restrained on the occasion, coupling dogged incantations of faith in the organization with an unmistakable underlying disenchantment.

Samuel Barber's Revenge
by Terry Teachout
Samuel Barber (1910-81) was the most successful of the American composers who came to prominence between the world wars. At a time when American music was regarded as box-office poison, his works were performed and recorded by such illustrious artists as the conductors Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Serge Koussevitzky, and Eugene Ormandy; the pianists Vladimir Horowitz and Van Cliburn; the violinist Isaac Stern; and the sopranos Leontyne Price and Eleanor Steber.

Feminism Is Not the Story of My Life by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese
by Elizabeth Kristol
The Sexual Devolution Feminism is not the Story of My Life: How today's Feminist Elite has Lost Touch with the Real Concerns of Women. by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese. Doubleday.

Albert Speer by Gitta Sereny
by Robert Wistrich
A Guilty Conscience? Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth by Gitta Sereny Knopf. 757 pp. $35.00 Albert Speer was the epitome of the intelligent technocrat who loyally serves a totalitarian regime.

Values Matter Most by Ben J. Wattenberg
by Richard Brookhiser
Holding the Center Values Matter Most. by Ben J. Wattenberg Free Press. 426 pp. $25.00 As this book was going to press in October 1995, its author—a columnist, a pollster, and a some-time speechwriter for such national Democratic leaders as Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, and Henry “Scoop” Jackson—received a late-night phone call from still another Democrat, Bill Clinton.

In the Beauty of the Lilies by John Updike
by J. Bottum
Social Gospel In the Beauty of the Lilies. by John Updike. Knopf. 491 pp. $25.95 With each new and beautifully written book, the significance of John Updike seems to fade further.

Letters of Sidney Hook edited by Edward S. Shapiro
by Midge Decter
A Life in Battle Letters of Sidney Hook: Democracy, Communism, and the Cold War. by Edward S. Shapiro. M.E. Sharpe. 416 pp. $69.95 On February 18, 1937, the late Sidney Hook wrote a letter—the first of several—to one Jerome Davis.

The Ends of the Earth by Robert D. Kaplan
by Francis Fukuyama
Unsentimental Journey The Ends of the Earth: A Journey at the Dawn of the 21st Century. by Robert D. Kaplan. Random House. 476 pp.

May, 1996Back to Top
Jewish Continuity
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The prescription for saving American Jews reached by Jack Wertheimer, Charles S. Liebman, and Steven M. Cohen [“How to Save American Jews,” January] is as troubling as it is thought-provoking.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a former fellow-columnist of William Watson on the Toronto Financial Post, I have always admired his work.

Balance of Power
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mark Helprin, in “For a New Concert of Europe” [January], sets out at length the case I made against NATO expansion eastward in my response, published in your June 1994 letters section, to George Weigel's “Creeping Talbottism” [March 1994]: that expansion would insult and thus enrage Russia without slowing it down—indeed, without any likelihood of useful steps being taken to slow it down.

A Palestinian State?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hillel Halkin's comments [“Israel & the Assassination: A Reckoning,” January] elegantly skirt key points involving Yitzhak Rabin's image, the peace process, and Israel's political climate. Chiding Rabin's mourners for elevating him over other murder victims and fallen soldiers ignores the unique effects of political assassination on any society.

On Hillel Halkin's
by Our Readers
A Palestinian State? TO THE EDITOR: Hillel Halkin's com- ments ["Israel & the As- sassination: A Reckoning," January] elegantly skirt key points involving Yitz- hak Rabin's image, the peace process, and Israel's political climate.

The Wages of Oslo
by David Bar-Illan
Until 6:45 A.M. on February 25, 1996, supporters of the Oslo agreements between Israel and the PLO believed that history was on their side.

The Zionist Idea and Its Enemies
by Yoram Hazony
For years now, certain Jewish intellectuals have looked forward to the coming “cultural war” in Israel, wistfully envisioning the day when withdrawal from the West Bank would release the country from the business of war with the Arabs and finally permit them the more genial pastime of having it out with the Orthodox over the character of the state.

Life With Mark
by Arch Puddington
Back in the summer of 1980 my wife, Margaret, our then-eighteen-month-old son, Nicholas, and I spent several weeks in a dreary resort in the lower Catskills.

What “Operation Restore Democracy” Restored
by Mark Falcoff
The election of René Préval to the presidency of Haiti last December, followed by the staged departure of American troops after a year-long occupation, is being hailed as a major foreign-policy success for the United States, and for the Clinton administration in particular.

A Michelin Noir
by Barbara Lerner
Histories of France during World War II usually mention the “Vel d'Hiv” roundup of July 16, 1942. On that and the following day, 9,000 French policemen, acting on the orders of their national chief, René Bousquet, blanketed Paris in search of foreign-born Jews.

Countercultural Auden
by Christopher Caldwell
W.H. Auden was the last person to write in the English poetic tradition without irony or an overarching sense of archaism.

Mourning Nancy LaMott
by Terry Teachout
“What one reads in the newspaper,” said Bismarck, “can also be true.” I thought of that wry remark as I looked at the obituaries for the cabaret singer Nancy LaMott that ran in the New York papers last December.

The Quest for God by Paul Johnson
by Norman Podhoretz
First Things and Last The Quest for God: A Personal Pilgrimage by Paul Johnson HarperCollins. 288 pp. $24.00 About two years ago, Paul Johnson told me that he was thinking of interrupting work on his massive history of the United States to write a “little book” about God.

A Force Upon the Plain by Kenneth S. Stern
by Matthew Rees
The Fringe A Force Upon the Plain: The American Militia Movement and the Politics of Hate by Kenneth S. Stern Simon & Schuster.

Think a Second Time by Dennis Prager
by Jay Lefkowitz
Ultimate Answers Think a Second Time by Dennis Prager Regan Books. 255 pp. $24.00 Dennis Prager is the host of a leading radio talk show that originates in California.

Founding Father by Richard Brookhiser
by Gary Rosen
Moral Biography Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington by Richard Brookhiser Free Press. 230 pp. $25.00 For much of our country's history, George Washington was treated as something of a demigod.

Guilty by Harold J. Rothwax
by Walter Olson
Judge Not . . . Guilty: The Collapse of Criminal Justice by Harold J. Rothwax Random House. 238 pp. $23.00 In Detroit, a rapist held fourteen-year-old Angela Skinner captive in his apartment, threatening to shoot her if she tried to escape.

June, 1996Back to Top
The Economy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Amity Shlaes [“Doom, Gloom, and the Middle Class,” February] is entitled to her sarcasm in her discussion of my book, The End of Affluence.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: In Norman Podhoretz's eulogy and apologia [“Is Neoconservatism Dead?,” March], I came across a claim which I have now seen in print several times and which I either do not understand or else believe to be simply mythical.Mr.

Homosexual Marriage
by Our Readers
To the Editor: One is tempted to greet James Q. Wilson's article, “Against Homosexual Marriage” [March], with the same kind of bumper-sticker response often given by pro-choice advocates: “Opposed to gay marriage? Don't have one.” But his arguments—serious and full of thought (if not thoughtful) as they are—deserve much more. The title is itself an attempt to frame the debate falsely.

Mothers at Home
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a fan of David Gelernter and a working mother of small children, I read his article, “Why Mothers Should Stay Home” [February], with interest.

Mothers at home; homosexual marriage; etc.
by Our Readers
Mothers at Home To THE EDITOR: As a fan of David Gel- ernter and a working moth- er of small children, I read his article, "Why Mothers Should Stay Home" [Feb- ruary], with interest.

The Deniable Darwin
by David Berlinski
Charles Darwin presented On the Origin of Species to a disbelieving world in 1859—three years after Clerk Maxwell had published “On Faraday's Lines of Force,” the first of his papers on the electromagnetic field.

Russia's Past, Russia's Future
by Richard Pipes
Russia in the last few years has been a great disappointment to those of us who, after the collapse of the Soviet regime, had expected the country to embark on a slow, probably uneven, but still irreversible course of Westernization.

Race, Lies, and
by Carl Cohen
Over the past three decades, the once-honorable aim of affirmative action—combating racial discrimination—has been replaced by its inverse. For most Americans, affirmative action now means not the combating of discrimination but rather its enforcement through a system of preferences.

by George Konrad
Hanukkah 1995 We are waiting for the child to arrive and take its place among us. There is much preparation for the arrival.

Among the Ashkenazim
by Ralph Toledano
When I was a boy, my Aunt Zarita, a woman of wide experience and wider culture, said to me, “You will find as you grow older that you will get along much better with los cristianos than you will with the Ashkenazim.

Who Deserves Asylum?
by Mark Krikorian
In a year in which questions have been raised about virtually every aspect of our immigration policies, there still appears to be a high degree of consensus on one time-honored American idea: giving shelter to those fleeing persecution abroad.

A Tale of Two Mezzos
by Terry Teachout
There was a time when a New York debut could be the most important moment in a musician's life. Leonard Bernstein, Jascha Heifetz, Kirsten Flagstad, Yehudi Menuhin, and any number of other artists whose names are now bywords became famous overnight thanks to this one event.

At a Century's Ending by George F. Kennan
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
The X-Files At a Century's Ending: Reflections 1982-1995 by George F. Kennan Norton. 351 pp. $27.50 Twentieth-Century American intellectual life has witnessed more than a handful of extraordinary political Odysseys connected with the USSR.

They Only Look Dead by EJ. Dionne, Jr.
by Ronald Radosh
Middleman They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era by E.J. Dionne, Jr. Simon & Schuster. 352 pp. $24.00 In his last book, Why Americans Hate Politics (1991), E.J.

Memoirs: All Rivers Run to the Sea by Elie Wiesel
by Elliott Abrams
Out of the Past: 1 Memoirs: All Rivers Run to the Sea by Elie Wiesel Knopf. 432 pp. $30.00 Ever since the publication of Night in 1958 (English edition, 1960), Elie Wiesel has occupied an almost hallowed position in the moral imagination of our time, beyond the reach of most criticism.

Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew by John Felstiner
by Hillel Halkin
Out of the Past: 2 Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew by John Felstiner Yale. 344 pp. $30.00 There is a story about James Joyce and Finnegans Wake, at a glance the most incomprehensible work of fiction ever produced by a major author.

James Thurber: His Life and Times by Harrison Kinney
by Daniel Silver
Is Humor Necessary? James Thurber: His Life and Times by Harrison Kinney Holt. 1,238 pp. $40.00 The good news is that today, more than three decades after his death, at least a couple of James Thurber's books can be found in the humor sections of bookstores.

Not Out of Africa by Mary Lefkowitz
by Chester Finn,
Cleopatra's Nose Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became An Excuse to Teach Myth as History by Mary Lefkowitz Basic Books. 222 pp.

July, 1996Back to Top
Values and Politics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: What a strange review of my book, Values Matter Most, by Richard Brookhiser, a writer whose work I admire [Books in Review, April].

The Jewish Future
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Elliott Abrams is well within his rights to criticize Michael Goldberg's Why Should Jews Survive? [Books in Review, March].

The UN
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “What Use Is the UN?” [April], Joshua Muravchik misdiagnoses what ails the UN. By concentrating on the UN's well-documented post-1990 collective-security failures, Mr.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Contrary to the assertions contained in Peter W. Rodman's article, “Grantsmanship & the Killing Fields” [March], there can be no doubt about the accomplishments achieved by the Yale University Cambodia Genocide Project under its director, Ben Kiernan. The decision to proceed with the cooperative agreement with Yale was made by the Department of State, the responsible implementing authority under the terms of the Cambodian Genocide Justice Act of 1994.

Women Composers
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is sad to discover that gender politics has finally seeped into the hitherto seemingly apolitical preserves of university music departments, as Terry Teachout has done us the favor of pointing out [“Ms.

Dr. Lopez and Shylock
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Shakespeare, Shylock, and the Jews” [April], William Meyers, who has had plays produced Off Broadway and has written a new one entitled Dr.

Dr. Lopez and Shylock; women composers; Cambodia; the UN; etc.
by Our Readers
Dr. Lopez and Shylock To THE EDITOR: In "Shakespeare, Shylock, and the Jews" [April], William Meyers, who has had plays produced Off Broadway and has written a new one entitled Dr Lopez, denies Roderigo Lopez's guilt, and simultaneously has a go at historians like myself who have tried to set the record straight.

A Party of One: Clinton and the Democrats
by Daniel Casse
Later this summer, 20,000 members of the Democratic party will assemble in Chicago for their quadrennial political convention. Like all such gatherings, this will be a carefully stage-managed production.

Helping Hitler
by Robert Wistrich
In the bloodstained history of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust stands out for the comprehensive character of its goal and the systematic and organized nature of its execution.

What Johnny Still Won't Know About History
by Walter McDougall
To the accompaniment of a fair amount of ballyhoo, the National Standards Project released in April a revised version of its National History Standards, thus signaling the start of Round Two in a fight over whether and how our American and Western heritages ought to be taught in our schools. The original project, it may be recalled, had been mandated in the early 90's under President George Bush, in the hope of reversing our children's scandalous slide toward historical illiteracy.

The Executor
by Joseph Epstein
When Paul Bertram asked me in 1959 to stay on at Princeton as his graduate assistant, I felt as Walter Lippmann must have felt when, many decades earlier, he was asked a similar question by George Santayana at Harvard.

A Genealogy of Justice
by Leon Kass
All morally serious people care generally about justice. And when its apparent absence touches them directly, all people, serious or not, find themselves eager for justice.

Who Killed Dance?
by Terry Teachout
Dance in America is in a slump. At century's end, with the major choreographers of the modern era either dead (George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Antony Tudor) or nearing the close of their careers (Merce Cunningham, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor), the current lack of enthusiasm among serious dancegoers for new work is palpable, and so is the near-complete lack of interest among the public at large.

Salman Rushdie Surrenders
by Hillel Halkin
I have in mind a plot for a satirical tale on the subject of literary courage. It goes like this: A young and prominent Asian-born English writer with fashionably left-wing views, the son of a Muslim family and a consistent defender of third-world causes, publishes a novel containing passages that spoof the origins of Islam.

The Future of the Race by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West
by Eric Sundquist
The Talented Tenth The Future of the Race by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West Knopf. 196 pp. $21.00 “The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.” This observation by the black thinker W.E.B.

Lone Wolf: A Biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky by Shmuel Katz
by Midge Decter
Return and Exile Lone Wolf: A Biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky by Shmuel Katz Barricade Books. 2 volumes. 1,792pp. $100.00 Reading Shmuel Katz's two-volume biography of Vladimir Jabotinsky is a haunting experience.

Renewing American Compassion by Marvin Olasky
by Leslie Lenkowsky
Tough Love Renewing American Compassion by Marvin Olasky Free Press. 201 pp. $21.00 In a now-classic essay that appeared in these pages a quarter-century ago, Nathan Glazer observed that there were but two distinctive approaches to social policy: the liberal and the radical.1 In the liberal view, government was an engine for ameliorating social problems; in the radical view, nothing could be accomplished unless and until society itself were completely transformed.

A Twilight Struggle by Robert Kagan
by Mark Falcoff
Solidarity Not Forever A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua 1977-1990 by Robert Kagan Free Press. 90S pp. $31. 50 It all seems so remote today, but in the summer of 1979, with the cold war still very much on, a Marxist-led guerrilla movement, the Sandinistas, came to power by force of arms in the small Central American country of Nicaragua.

Active Faith by Ralph Reed
by Adam Wolfson
God and Country Active Faith: How Christians are Changing the Soul of American Politics by Ralph Reed Free Press. 311 pp. $25.00 There can be little doubt that Ralph Reed, the executive director of the Christian Coalition, is a brilliant tactician and strategist who has molded the inchoate sentiments of millions of religious Americans into a formidable political force.

August, 1996Back to Top
Singer and Friend
by Our Readers
To the Editor; I am not a regular reader of COMMENTARY, but I picked up the May issue because I wanted to read the articles on Israel.

Sidney Hook
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Sidney Hook was my closest friend and ally at Stanford for many years until his death. Midge Decter's portrait of him in her review of a volume of his letters edited by Edward S.

The Poet Celan
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hillel Halkin's review of my book, Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew [Books in Review, June] makes a searching and exact critique, for which I am grateful.

The Poet Auden
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Christopher Caldwell's reading of the career of W.H. Auden [“Countercultural Auden,” May] seemed to me entirely admirable and convincing, and I could hardly think otherwise, because I make a very similar argument in the manuscript of a book I have just finished on Auden's later years. Strictly as a point of personal honor, therefore, may I say that I certainly hope I never called “Spain” the “greatest poem of the 1930's,” as Mr.

Founding Father
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Kagan, in “American Power—A Guide for the Perplexed” [April], raises the question as to which principles should guide our foreign policy.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Gabriel Schoenfeld, in an otherwise unfortunate review of George F. Kennan's At a Century's Ending [Books in Review, June], at least recognizes the “considerable accomplishments”—as a diplomat, historian, and writer—of this historic figure. Nevertheless, the review does Kennan a considerable disservice on two counts: it recklessly accuses him of making pronouncements which are “preposterous” and of “historical revisionism of the most blatant and disreputable sort,” but scarcely addresses the substance supporting these allegations. Concerning the first count, we have Kennan's own words that “perhaps my greatest achievement is that I have created among a great many young people the impression that I am an honest person, that I say what I mean to them.” Even Mr.

The Deficit
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Is the Republican Revolution Alive?” [March], Irwin M. Stelzer writes: The notion that the [budget] deficit automatically places an unfair burden on future generations, thereby stunting the economic opportunities available to “our children and grandchildren,” is nonsense. Mr.

“Michelin Noir”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to comment on Barbara Lerner's article, “A Michelin Noir” [May]. I find it marvelous that American scholars not only study what happened in France during World War II, but that they do not hesitate to break taboos.

Foreign Policy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Kagan, in “American Power—A Guide for the Perplexed” [April], raises the question as to which principles should guide our foreign policy.

Foreign policy;
by Our Readers
Foreign Policy TO THE EDITOR: Robert Kagan, in "Amer- ican Power-A Guide for the Perplexed" [April], raises the question as to which principles should guide our foreign policy.

What Do American Jews Believe?
by Milton Himmelfarb
What Do American Jews Believe? A Symposium Introduction Whatever else American Jews may believe in, it is doubtful the majority of them believe in Judaism.

Democracy's Discontent by Michael J. Sandel
by Wilfred McClay
The Higher Liberalism Democracy's Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy by Michael J. Sandel Harvard. 417 pp. $24.95. One should not confuse the rapidly changing fortunes of the political battlefield with the slow, subterranean process by which ideas are formed and changed.

Franz Liszt by Alan Walker
by Terry Teachout
Performance Artist Franz Liszt: The Final Years, 1861-1886 by Alan Walker Knopf. 640 pp. $50.00 To say that Franz Liszt was the most famous pianist of the 19th century barely suggests the extent of his celebrity.

God Has Ninety-Nine Names by Judith Miller
by David Pryce-Jones
Haters and Hated God Has Ninety-Nine Names: Reporting From a Militant Middle East by Judith Miller Simon & Schuster. 574 pp. $30.00 Over half the Arab population in the Middle East is under the age of twenty; illiteracy and unemployment are rising; the proportion of food grown domestically by Arab and Muslim countries is rapidly dwindling, and these countries are already short of water; almost all export earnings derive from a single commodity—oil.

How Many People Can the Earth Support? by Joel E. Cohen
by Charles Rubin
Horn of Plenty? How Many People Can the Earth Support? by Joel E. Cohen Norton. 532 pp. $30.00 For decades, debate about overpopulation has been frozen at two poles.

Nietzsche by Peter Berkowitz
by Adam Schulman
Beyond Good and Evil Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist by Peter Berkowitz Harvard. 313 pp. $35.00 In The Closing of the American Mind, the late Allan Bloom told with incomparable clarity the story of how the deadly continental ideas of nihilism and relativism had crossed the Atlantic to find a home in American democracy under the mild guise of tolerance, pluralism, and openness.

Pop Internationalism by Paul Krugman
by Christopher Caldwell
Value Added Pop Internationalism by Paul Krugman MIT. 221 pp. $22.50 Paul Krugman—a self-described liberal, an adviser to the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign, and someone who was once thought to have the inside track to a job as head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers—ranks in the handful of top international economists in the world.

September, 1996Back to Top
Denying Darwin
by And Critics
H. Allen Orr: Having thoroughly enjoyed David Berlinski's recent book, A Tour of the Calculus, I am not eager to squabble publicly with him.

Can the Schools Be Saved?
by Chester Finn,
Public Education in the United States is a vast enterprise, involving some 45 million young people, or three-fifths of all Americans under the age of nineteen; 85,000 schools; 5 million employees; and a cost to taxpayers of more than a quarter-trillion dollars annually.

Of “Rats” and Women
by Wilfred McClay
By now, anyone not holed up in a cave for the past few months must be aware that, in a seven to one decision handed down on June 26, the U.S.

Defenseless America
by Angelo Codevilla
When, this past April, Hezbollah forces in Lebanon launched waves of short-range ballistic missiles (Katyushas) at northern Israel, President Clinton responded by unveiling Nautilus, a high-tech, ground-based laser device that TRW is cobbling together out of American space-laser technology and that will be made available to protect the Galilee region.

Beyond King James
by Robert Alter
The old cliché that to translate is to betray is sometimes unfair; but not in the case of modern English versions of the Hebrew Bible.

Splitting Up
by Joseph Adelson
During the whole of my childhood I knew only two youngsters whose families were not intact. One was a boy in my neighborhood, quiet and almost unbearably shy, whose father had died and who was being raised by his mother.

The Art Biz
by Allegra Goodman
In the cool dark California night, Henry Markowitz is closing up Michael Spivitz Fine Art Gallery. He has to stay open until ten on Thursday nights to take in the evening crowd.

(Over)praising Duke Ellington
by Terry Teachout
Writing shortly after Duke Ellington's death in 1974, the jazz scholar Gunther Schuller placed the composer of “It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)” in “the pantheon of musical greats—the Beethovens, the Monteverdis, the Schoenbergs, the prime movers, the inspired innovators.” Though few other critics have gone so far, it is certainly true that Ellington is widely considered to be the most important composer, and one of the most important bandleaders, in the history of jazz.

Migrations and Cultures by Thomas Sowell
by Christopher Caldwell
On the Move Migrations and Cultures: A World View by Thomas Sowell Basic Books. 516 pp. $30.00 It may soon become much harder to enter and stay in the United States than it is now.

Tangled Loyalties by Joshua Rubenstein; The Bones of Berdichev by John and Carol Garrard
by Gary Morson
In the Wolfhound Century Tangled Loyalties: The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg by Joshua Rubenstein Basic Books. 482 pp. $35.00 The Bones of Berdichev: The Life and Fate of Vasily Grossman by John and Carrol Garrard Free Press.

What Women Want by Patricia Ireland
by Elizabeth Kristol
Song of Myself What Women Want by Patricia Ireland Dutton. 323 pp $23.95 The notion that “I cannot love others until I love myself” is firmly ingrained in the popular psyche.

Why the Allies Won by Richard Overy
by Bret Stephens
Victory Why the Allies Won by Richard Overy Norton. 396 pp $29.95 Why the Allies Won is a rarity among history books: difficult to simplify and a pleasure to read, it says many interesting things about a familiar topic without lapsing into banality or sophistry.

Up From Conservatism by Michael Lind
by Joshua Muravchik
Conspiracy Up From Conservatism: Why the Right Is Wrong for America by Michael Lind Free Press. 295 pp. $23.00 In sports, Michael Lind might be called a phenom.

October, 1996Back to Top
Sephardim and Ashkenazim
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Ralph de Toledano [“Among the Ashkenazim,” June] managed to repeat all the usual myths and clichés about Sephardi Jews of Spanish ancestry and Sephardi-Ashkenazi enmity: that we Sephardis have been treated better by los cristianos than by our Ashkenazi brethren; that many of us descend from noble ancestry and that we still possess the sophistication and learning of our ancestors who wrote philosophical dissertations during the Golden Age in Spain; that the riches our ancestors acquired as confidants and advisers to Moorish and Catholic monarchs in Spain and to Turkish pashas and sultans make us better than those poor Ashkenazim.

Samuel Barber
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Thank you for Terry Teachout's vindication of Samuel Barber [“Samuel Barber's Revenge,” April]. Barber's music not only survived what amounted to PC attacks from the Left, but triumphed.

Division of Labor
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Daniel Casseœs view that federal court decisions in areas such as busing, affirmative action, prisons, abortion, and separation of church and state freed Congress in the late 70's to do mischief elsewhere [“A Party of One: Clinton and the Democrats,” July] is, to put it bluntly, off the wall. First, except for affirmative action, congressional authority in these areas is severely limited and largely directed to proposing amendments to the Constitution.

Affirmative Action
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In response to Carl Cohen's “Race, Lies, and Hopwood” [June], let me say that as a liberal African-American professional I am more than a little angered by the charge that affirmative-action programs are responsible for bad relations between the races on campus.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Who Deserves Asylum?” [June] Mark Krikorian expresses concern about public support for political asylum being undermined, and then proceeds to bash the institution itself.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: I was quite astonished to read Yoram Hazony's article, “The Zionist Idea and Its Enemies” [May]. This piece, in a scandalous fashion, completely misrepresents the facts behind the proposed amendment to Israel's State Education Law.

Including the Disabled
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As the director of the Office of Special Education Programs, which is charged with implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), I read with great interest Arch Puddington's “Life With Mark” [May].IDEA is the primary federal legislation that assists states and local school districts in the education of disabled students.

Ordinary Germans
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I think Robert S. Wistrich's article, “Helping Hitler” [July], suffers from the same faults as the book he discusses, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust.

Standards and Their Discontents
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Walter A. McDougall [“What Johnny Still Won't Know About History,” July] correctly notes that in the revised National History Standards “the original ‘agenda’ of the Standards is unchanged.” That “agenda” enshrines race, gender, and class at the heart of the history curriculum.

History Standards; the disabled; ordinary Germans; post-Zionism; etc.
by Our Readers
Standards and Their Discontents TO THE EDITOR: Walter A. McDougall ["What Johnny Still Won't Know About History," July] correctly notes that in the revised National History Standards "the original 'agenda' of the Standards is unchanged." That "agenda" enshrines race, gender, and class at the heart of the his- tory curriculum This is pre- cisely the problem with the revised Standards.

Liberalism and the Culture: A Turning of the Tide?
by Norman Podhoretz
Lately a few youngish journalists like E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post, Mickey Kaus of the New Republic, and Jacob Weisberg of New York magazine have been trying to persuade themselves and the rest of us that liberalism is once again in the ascendant.

Secrets of the Central Committee
by Vladimir Bukovsky
Before me on my desk is an enormous pile of papers, some 3,000 pages marked “top secret,” “special file,” “exceptional importance,” and “personal.” At first glance, they all look the same.

In Arafat's Kingdom
by Nadav Haetzni
On Sunday, July 28, a young man, diagnosed as brain-dead, was hospitalized in Nablus, a city on the West Bank under the rule of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA).

Labor's Return
by Amity Shlaes
There are a number of earnest Republicans in . . . the AF of L, who would not take kindly to the notion if we, who are elected as officers by their votes as well as the votes of others, were to publicly and practically officially use the offices, or the influence which these offices [give], to secure the defeat of their party, and the success of the party to which they are opposed. —Samuel Gompers (1850-1924) One of the most significant features of this year's election season may turn out to be neither the rightward tilt of Bill Clinton nor Bob Dole's conversion to supply-side economics but the political ascent of organized labor.

Reading the Israeli Electorate
by Rael Isaac
Israel's elections last May held two surprises: Benjamin Netanyahu's upset victory over Shimon Peres in the contest for Prime Minister, and the dramatic gains made by smaller parties in the contest for the Knesset, Israel's parliament.

Politics and Church Burnings
by Michael Fumento
“Flames of Hate: Racism Blamed in Shock Wave of Church Burnings,” read the screaming headline in the New York Daily News this past spring.

Battle of the Brows
by Terry Teachout
Item one: earlier this summer, New York City hosted its first large-scale, single-site, multidisciplinary arts festival. Sixty-four performances were staged in the three-week-long Lincoln Center Festival '96, under the slogan, “Classic, Contemporary, and Beyond.” In an unusual move for Lincoln Center, which tends to keep to the middle of the cultural road, many of them had the unmistakable flavor of the avant-garde—or at least of yesterday's avant-garde. Thus, the single playwright featured at the festival was Samuel Beckett, all nineteen of whose plays, including Waiting for Godot (1952) and Krapp's Last Tape (1959), were performed by the Gate Theater of Dublin; the featured composer was the late Morton Feldman, an American precursor of minimalism who, though unknown to the public at large, continues to be treated as a cult figure by a tiny band of admirers.

Miles to Go by Daniel Patrick Moynihan
by John Dilulio,
“I was there” Miles to go: A Personal History of Social Policy by Daniel Patrick Moynihan Harvard. 288 pp. $22.95 The subtitle is accurate: this is easily the most personal (as well as the most passionate) of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's books, and it is written very much in the author's characteristic style: learned, witty, combative, sometimes pedantic, not always highly organized or easy to follow.

The Statement by Brian Moore
by Roger Kaplan
Bygones? The Statement by Brian Moore Dutton. 256 pp. $21.95 A voluminous literature has accumulated on Vichy France and on the story of French collaboration with the Nazis during World War II; but there have been remarkably few attempts, either scholarly or artistic, to get into the mind of the ordinary foot soldier of evil.

Ending Affirmative Action by Terry Eastland
by Lauren Weiner
End it, Don't Mend it Ending Affirmative Action: The Case for Colorblind Justice by Terry Eastland Basic Books. 229 pp. $23.00 In this book, Terry Eastland, a former official in the Justice Department and now the editor of Forbes MediaCritic, offers a compelling explanation of how we arrived at our pervasive system of racial preferences, and an equally compelling case for why and how it should be abolished. Eastland traces the roots of affirmative action to a postwar shift in American law from colorblindness to color-consciousness.

A Requiem for Karl Marx by Frank E. Manuel
by Edward Alexander
Shame & Loathing A Requiem for Karl Marx by Frank E. Manuel Harvard. 255 pp. $24.95 At the very outset of his learned and lively book about the life, theories, and influence of Karl Marx, the intellectual historian Frank Manuel grants that his initial presumption may be false: the subject of his autopsy “may not be dead.” Nevertheless, it seems clear that, in the wake of the collapse of Communist regimes in Eastern and Central Europe, Marxism has lost much of its appeal either as substitute religion or as utopian romance.

The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion
by Elizabeth Powers
Into the Sunset The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion Knopf, 227 pp. $23.00 Joan Didion is a Californian who traces her ancestry to the 1840's wave of pioneers heading West that also included survivors of the Donner Party: people, in other words, who had endured awful struggle and unspeakable privation and gone on to transform raw nature into a civilized culture.

November, 1996Back to Top
Rushdie's Mafia
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Salman Rushdie Surrenders” [July], Hillel Hal-kin's reference to Cochin as “the traditional home of India's native community of Jews, the Bene Israel” is factually incorrect.

Doing Justice
by Our Readers
To the Editor: How disappointing that an interesting dissertation on the biblical genesis of justice, “A Genealogy of Justice” by Leon R.

Dance in America
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Terry Teachout's article, “Who Killed Dance?” [July], is rife with misconceptions and exaggerations that I can neither ignore nor dismiss as ignorance. Let me first ask where Mr.

The Beliefs of American Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: COMMENTARY deserves high praise for the symposium, “What Do American Jews Believe?” [August] It is both an anthology of stimulating, sometimes stirring statements of personal religious credos and an exposition, in lucid terms, of the most critical points in the debate over whether American Jews constitute one people, or two, or more, and whether unity is something they can, or should, seek.

The beliefs of American Jews; dance; etc.
by Our Readers
The Beliefs of American Jews To THE EDITOR: COMMENTARY deserves high praise for the sympo- sium, "What Do American Jews Believe?" [August] It is both an anthology of stim- ulating, sometimes stirring statements of personal reli- gious credos and an exposi- tion, in lucid terms, of the most critical points in the debate over whether Amer- ican Jews constitute one peo- ple, or two, or more, and whether unity is something they can, or should, seek. The nonpartisan format de- mands close attention and encourages reasoned evalu- ation rather than emotion- al reaction.

The Last Freedom
by Joseph Viteritti
The debate over the proper relationship between church and state, a debate as old as the Republic, has in our time taken on fresh intensity.

Was T.S. Eliot a Scoundrel?
by John Gross
T.S. Eliot's anti-Semitism is back in the news. Over recent months there has been a spate of articles, first in Britain and then in the United States, prompted by the appearance of a new book, Anthony Julius's T.S.

How the Gay-Rights Movement Won
by Norman Podhoretz
A few years ago I listened in amazement as a friend of mine, a prominent social critic, told a group of his fellow conservatives who had gathered to talk about the gay-rights movement that “we're turning this thing around.” Normally my friend was so astute an observer of the twists and turns in public opinion on the major issues of the day that I found it hard to understand how he could have gone so far wrong in judging the way this one was moving.

The Anti-Defense League
by Lawrence Kaplan
How much should America spend on defense? According to the editorial pages of our most respected newspapers, well-known columnists and opinion-makers, and numerous other sources in the American media, the answer to that question appears to be: much less than whatever we are spending, or thinking of spending. This reflexive attitude may be one of the most perduring effects of the Vietnam syndrome.

Why Solzhenitsyn Will Not Go Away
by Joseph Epstein
For the least fair, but most penetrating, analysis of Russian character, one can do no better than to consult Joseph Conrad.

Jewish Liberalism Revisited
by Charles Liebman
It is a truism embraced by countless spokesmen for American Jews, and by no small number of observers: Jews are more liberal than their fellow Americans, and their liberalism derives from loyalty to Jewish “values” or, more specifically, to the Jewish religious tradition.

I Heard It at the Movies
by Terry Teachout
Film composers, long treated as second-class figures by the musical establishment, have lately come into their own. Schwann Opus, the quarterly catalogue of recorded classical music, recently featured two of them on its cover: Miklós Rózsa, who wrote the scores for such big-budget Hollywood epics as Ben-Hur and El Cid, and Bernard Herrmann, best known for his collaborations with Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) and Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho).

When Work Disappears by William Julius Wilson
by Leslie Lenkowsky
Race, Class & Culture When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson Knopf. 352pp. $26.00 In 1978, William Julius Wilson, then a little-known sociologist at the University of Chicago, stirred an intellectual furor with The Declining Significance of Race, a book arguing that social class was becoming more important than racial discrimination in determining the prospects of blacks in American society. Using the ghettos of Chicago as his laboratory, Wilson showed in The Declining Significance of Race that for blacks who succeeded in acquiring basic skills, there were fewer and fewer barriers to higher education, upwardly mobile careers, and integration into American society.

Selected Poems of Shmuel HaNagid translated by Peter Cole
by Raymond Scheindlin
Golden Oldies Selected Poems of Shmuel HaNagid translated by Peter Cole Princeton. 233 pp. $39.95 As the Jewish confidant, adviser, and henchman of the Muslim prince who headed a small but powerful state in 1lth-century Spain, Ismail ibn Naghrella, known in Hebrew as Shmuel HaNagid, might well be thought of as a medieval Henry Kissinger, except that he outdid Kissinger in versatility.

Dossier by Edward Jay Epstein
by Daniel Silver
Reprobate Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer by Edward Jay Epstein Random House. 418 pp. $30.00 During the 1970's and 80's there were frequent reports in the press on the activities of an American businessman with the improbable name of Armand Hammer.

A Lifetime Burning in Every Moment by Alfred Kazin
by David Brooks
Roots A Lifetime Burning in Every Moment by Alfred Kazin HarperCollins. 341 pages. $26.00 “In Stockholm to lecture. . . . France: Fulbright professor in American literature.

Max Weber by John Patrick Diggins
by Wilfred McClay
Antiprogressivism Max Weber: Politics and the Spirit of Tragedy by John Patrick Diggins Basic Books. 334 pp. $28.00 John Patrick Diggins is a congenital dissenter.

December, 1996Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I very much enjoyed Allegra Goodman's story, “The Art Biz” [September]. As a dermatologist, I especially appreciated the artful way Miss Goodman strewed cutaneous images through the story.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Midge Decter's fine review of Lone Wolf: A Biography of Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky by Shmuel Katz [Books in Review, July] raises an interesting question, one which has been the subject of heated debate for decades: to what extent did Jabotinsky foresee the tragedy looming over East European Jewry? “Jabotinsky,” claims Miss Decter, “glimpsed” the Holocaust.

Duke Ellington
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am responding to Terry Teachout's “(Over)praising Duke Ellington” [September] as one who has known Albert Murray, Stanley Crouch, and Wynton Marsalis both privately and professionally.

The Schools
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Nowhere in “Can the Schools Be Saved?” [September] does Chester E. Finn, Jr. set forth his own schoolhouse experiences.

The schools; Duke Ellington; Jabotinsky; etc.
by Our Readers
The Schools TO THE EDITOR: Nowhere in "Can the Schools Be Saved?" [Sep- tember] does Chester E. Finn, Jr. set forth his own schoolhouse experiences.

Courting Death: Assisted Suicide, Doctors, and the Law
by Leon Kass
That we die is certain. When and how we die is not. Because we want to live and not to die, we resort to medicine to delay the inevitable.

The Tragic Predicament of Benjamin Netanyahu
by Norman Podhoretz
On the face of it, I had every reason to rejoice wholeheartedly when Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud party, was elected Prime Minister of Israel last May.

Bury My Heart at PBS
by Walter McDougall
According to the writers and producers of The West, a nine-part documentary history recently aired on PBS, two “equally misleading” myths hold sway in the American mind.

Federalism (Cont'd.)
by David Rivkin,
Ever Since the New Deal, when it rubber-stamped bill after bill augmenting the authority of the President and Congress to regulate the states (as well as private activities once controlled only by the states), the Supreme Court has established itself as a champion of the federal government, granting it vast powers over all areas of our national life.

What Saddam Hussein Learned from Bill Clinton
by Harvey Sicherman
In early September, shortly after Saddam Hussein moved Iraqi forces across the 37th parallel to attack his domestic enemies, many of whom looked to American and international protection, President Clinton went before the American people to declare “victory.” A perplexed and alarmed public was told that the United States had whipped Iraq once again: a barrage of American cruise missiles had humiliated the dictator in front of his troops; a no-fly zone had been extended to the suburbs south of Baghdad, thereby helping to deter future attacks by Iraq on neighboring Kuwait; and the international coalition that five years earlier had fought to contain Iraq in the Gulf war of 1991 remained healthy and fit as ever. This was the White House version of events, free of defects in every respect but one: it was false.

Who Was Langston Hughes?
by Eric Sundquist
At the height of his feme, Langston Hughes (1902-67) was esteemed as “Shakespeare in Harlem,” a sobriquet he borrowed for the title of a 1942 volume of poems.

Not the Metropolitan Opera
by Terry Teachout
Christopher Keene, the general director of the New York City Opera, died of AIDS a little over a year ago, not long after conducting the opening-night performance of Paul Hindemith's Mathis der Maler.

Body Count by William J. Bennett, John J. Dilulio, Jr., and John P. Walters; Fixing Broken Windows by George L. Kelling and Cath
by Gary Rosen
911 Body Count: Moral Poverty . . . and How to Win America's War Against Crime and Drugs by William J. Bennett, John J.

Small Worlds by Allen Hoffman
by David Roskies
Beyond the Pale Small Worlds by Allen Hoffman Abbeville Press. 219 pp. $24.95 Back in the early 1950's, when the late Irving Howe set out to compile A Treasury of Yiddish Stories, he eliminated from contention almost everything written in Yiddish about the New World.

Forbidden Knowledge by Roger Shattuck
by J. Bottum
Pandora & Co. Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography by Roger Shattuck St. Martin's. 369pp. $26.95 Roger Shattuck has led a distinguished career as a critic of literature and French culture, winning a National Book Award in 1975 with his biography, Marcel Proust, and receiving wide notice in 1980 for The Forbidden Experiment, an account of a feral child discovered in France in 1800.

The Open Sore of a Continent by Wole Soyinka
by Peter Berger
Out of Africa The Open Sore of a Continent: A Personal Narrative of the Nigerian Crisis by Wole Soyinka Oxford. 110 pp. $19.9S This book, by the Nigerian playwright who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, is a cry of the heart.

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