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January, 1998Back to Top
Wealth and Welfare
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Given the importance and timeliness of the topic, it is hardly remarkable that the theme of the short and insightful article by Christopher C.

School Choice
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “A Report Card on School Choice” [October 1997], Paul E. Peterson answers most of the arguments put forward by opponents of choice, but fails to address the crucial financial issue raised by critics like Education Secretary Richard Riley.

Religious Freedom
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “The Worst Decision Since ‘Dred Scott’?” [October 1997], his favorable analysis of the Supreme Court's ruling striking down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), Wilfred M.

Getting Out
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Walter Laqueur evidently had apoplexy when he reviewed my book, The Myth of Rescue [October 1997], and, like most splenetic reviews, his is full of nonsense and distortion about what I have actually said, the better to rebut what is not there. Mr.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Special plaudits to Daniel J. Silver for his excellent discussion of the movie Contact [“God and Carl Sagan in Hollywood,” September 1997].

Civic Culture
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Grateful though I am for Christopher Caldwell's generally insightful review of my book, Liberal Racism [October 1997], I am nonplussed by his characterization of my discussion of civic culture as a “nostalgic” hedge against the conservative wisdom “that economic progress—of the kind promised by capitalism—is the most trustworthy route to the color-blind citizenship for which he longs.” I write that conservatives “have important lessons to teach the Left about markets, which sometimes stimulate civic virtue by throwing people together across old lines of racial enmity, confounding ancient superstitions and feuds,” but that because market forces also “disrupt and erode traditional American networks of sharing and trust,” conservatives who champion them indiscriminately are not “our best guides to rejuvenating civic culture now, even when they're right about the absurdities of liberal racism.” Mr.

After Oslo
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “A Strategy for Israel” [September 1997], Douglas J. Feith provides an insightful analysis of the Oslo process and demonstrates the imperative to repudiate it.

Giving It Away: An Open Letter to Bill Gates
by Chester Finn,
Dear Mr. Gates, Many people, myself among them, are interested in what you will do with the $40 billion or so you have accumulated.

Forgotten Communism
by Alain Besançon
In my country, it is still possible to provoke a scandal by raising in public the issue of the crimes committed by Communism—and an even greater scandal by suggesting that not only in the enormity of its crimes but in its very nature, Soviet Communism can be compared with that other great evil of our century, Nazism.

High-Tech: The Future Face of War?-A Debate
by Alvin Bernstein
1. Alvin H. Bernstein & Martin Libicki Few Americans will have forgotten the remarkable video footage released by the Pentagon in the opening days of the Persian Gulf war in January 1991.

The Secret Life of Alfred Kinsey
by Joseph Epstein
Fame, like sex, is all too brief—a proposition I recently kitchen-tested by asking a classroom of 25 intelligent undergraduates if they had ever heard the name of Alfred C.

The Brawl
by David Gelernter
“What a pig, what a, I mean, what a pig, what a”—smack, Libbie claps down the phone and it gives off a jingly metallic recoil.

Does Bill Evans Swing?
by Terry Teachout
No jazz pianist of the postwar era is more widely admired than Bill Evans (1929-80). The cover of Everybody Digs Bill Evans, the 1958 album that first brought him to the attention of the general public, bore testimonials by Miles Davis (“He plays the piano the way it should be played”), George Shearing, Ahmad Jamal, and Cannonball Adderley.

America in Black and White by Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom
by James Wilson
America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible by Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom Simon & Schuster. 704 pp. $32.50Suppose you were on a trip to London, Jerusalem, or Nairobi, and were asked by a friend there to describe race relations back home in the United States.

Radio Free Europe and the Pursuit of Democracy by George R. Urban
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Radio Free Europe and the Pursuit of Democracy: My War Within the Cold War by George R. Urban Yak. 256 pp. $35.00 On a chilly December day in the last decade of the cold war, Emil Georgescu, a defector from Communist Romania and an employee of Radio Free Europe (RFE) in Munich, received a letter in his morning mail. “Oh, Deformed One,” the epistle began, We have heard that you have begun to bark at us, you mangy Judas.

Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose edited by Frank Kermode and Joan Richardson
by Algis Valiunas
Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose edited by Frank Kermode and Joan Richardson Library of America. 1032 pp. $35.00 Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) was a poet down to his fingertips.

Conspiracy by Daniel Pipes
by Mark Falcoff
Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where it Comes From by Daniel Pipes Free Press. 258 pp. $25.00 Shortly before sitting down to read this book, I had a lunch-table conversation with the sister of a friend of mine in Buenos Aires.

Money: Who Has How Much and Why by Andrew Hacker
by David Frum
Money: Who has how Much and why by Andrew Hacker Scribner. 288 pp. $25.00 For nearly twenty years, social critics stretching from Left to Right have been warning that the United States is sliding toward a future in which the rich will lock themselves in gated communities while the ever-more numerous poor have to compete for a living with workers in China earning 30 cents a day.

February, 1998Back to Top
To the Editor: I share with Ruth R. Wisse [“Yiddish: Past, Present, Imperfect,” November 1997] the concern of many Yiddish scholars and teachers in America today.

The "Washington Post" vs. Israel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Readers of Andrea Levin's “The ‘Washington Post’ vs. Israel” [November 1997] deserve to know more about the organization she represents, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, or CAMERA, than they were told by the editors of COMMENTARY.

The Role of Government
by Our Readers
To the Editor: “What Good Is Government?” by William J. Bennett and John J. DiIulio, Jr. [November 1997] starts off promisingly enough, with a presumably rhetorical title and a recap of the depressing slowdown of the conservative “revolution.” But more depressing still is their prescription: Big Government is here to stay, so, apparently in the interest of political viability, efforts to dismantle it should be abandoned. But to say that the public demands a titanic government and leave it at that is baffling.

The "New Republic"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Midge Decter's knowingness in her article written in terrorem of the New Republic [“In and Out at the ‘New Republic,’ ” November 1997] is amusing, except her knowingness about one episode in the magazine's recent history, which is not at all amusing. I refer to her repugnant discussion of Andrew Sullivan.

More on Sinatra
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It takes a while for COMMENTARY to reach me in Japan, but I hope it is not too late to express my sincere thanks to Terry Teachout for his excellent article on Frank Sinatra [“Taking Sinatra Seriously,” September 1997], which is objective, informative, and extremely well-balanced.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: One does not know whether to react to Arch Puddington's screed against the Cato Institute's foreign-policy program [“Libertarians Abroad,” December 1997] with amusement or disgust His “analysis” ranges from shopworn allegations (Cato embraces “isolationism”) to the bizarre notion that Cato scholars are closet leftists who exhibit reflexive anti-Americanism. Advocates of the status quo have a nasty habit of using the “isolationist” epithet to intimidate anyone who has the temerity to suggest that the United States can and should have a more cautious, selective security strategy.

Asian Values and the Asian Crisis
by Francis Fukuyama
A mere decade ago, Americans at every level of business and government were being chided for their failure to emulate the example of Asia.

Was There a Big Bang?
by David Berlinski
Science is a congeries of great quests, and cosmology is the grandest of the great quests. Taking as its province the universe as a whole, cosmology addresses the old, the ineradicable questions about space and time, nature and destiny.

Feminizing Jewish Studies
by Hillel Halkin
About 30 years have passed since the formal introduction of Jewish studies as an academic discipline on American campuses, and the change has been great.

"Amistad" and the Abuse of History
by Gary Rosen
“It'll make a helluva story,” Steven Spielberg reportedly said upon first learning of Thomas Keneally's novel, Schindler's List. And then, warily: “Is it true?” The story of Amistad, Spielberg's latest foray into what he calls “socially conscious” film-making, shares the improbable qualities of its predecessor.

Dollar Diplomacy Returns
by Lawrence Kaplan
It has long been a truism of international politics that the best guarantor of peace is democracy; whatever quarrels they may have with one another, democratic nations do not resort to war to resolve them.

Art for Politics' Sake
by Christopher Caldwell
This past October, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) issued a major report on the state of the arts in America.

Does Lincoln Center Still Matter?
by Terry Teachout
Thirty-five years after opening its doors, New York's Lincoln Center, America's first and largest arts complex, is still the most important organization of its kind.

Esau's Tears by Albert S. Lindemann
by Robert Wistrich
Esau's Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews by Albert S. Lindemann Cambridge. 568 pp. $34.95 What accounts for anti-Semitism—one of the most enduring and persistent hatreds in human history? Some historians have seen it as a product of dysfunctional societies in which chimerical fantasies about Jews have taken hold.

Friends in High Places by Webb Hubbell
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Friends in High Places: Our Journey From Little Rock to Washington, D.C. by Webb Hubbell Morrow. 342 pp. $27.50 For five years now, a ceaseless series of scandals has dogged the highest officials of the Clinton administration, from the President, First Lady, and Vice President to various cabinet secretaries, White House staffers, and Democratic-party bigwigs.

Frozen Desire by James Buchan
by David Brooks
Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money by James Buchan Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 320 pp. $25.00 Not many fledgling journalists dream of writing for the financial pages.

God and the American Writer by Alfred Kazin
by Carol Iannone
God and the American Writer by Alfred Kazin Knopf. 259 pp. $25.00 “We must simply live without religion,” the late Edmund Wilson used to admonish Alfred Kazin during their summer chats on Cape Cod.

The Character of Nations by Angelo M. Codevilla
by Daniel Casse
The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Family, and Civility by Angelo M. Codevilla Basic Books. 340 pp. $27.00 Angelo M.

The Ordeal of Integration by Orlando Patterson
by Arch Puddington
The Ordeal of Integration: Progress and Resentment in America's “Racial” Debate by Orlando Patterson Perseus Counterpoint. 240 pp. $24.50 Once touted as a centerpiece of the Clinton administration's second-term agenda, the President's race-relations initiative has come under heavy fire in the few short months of its existence.

March, 1998Back to Top
Virginia Woolf
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Virginia Woolf was one of the novelists I always included in a course on the 20th-century novel I taught for several decades.

The New Tonalists
by Our Readers
To the Editor:I found Terry Teachout's article, “The New Tonalists” [December 1997], perceptive and vivid, as always. Many readers share his relief and pleasure that a new generation of American composers has escaped both twelve-tone sterility and minimalist silliness.I think, however, that Mr.

The Efficiency Expert
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Christopher Caldwell's review of The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency by Robert Kanigel [November 1997] was refreshing and rewarding.

Teachers' Unions
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of my book, The Teacher Unions [November 1997], Chester E. Finn, Jr. does not mention the fact that his own views on unions are discussed unfavorably there.

Louis Armstrong
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In the midst of his otherwise appreciative review of my biography, Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life [November 1997], David Ostwald took the book to task for several “appalling” lapses.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joseph Epstein's “The Secret Life of Alfred Kinsey” [January] was masterful. Mr. Epstein has demonstrated that Kinsey was not an objective scientist, but rather a zealot who set out to prove his preconceived notions about sex.

Jewish Giving
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I respect Jack Wertheimer's writings on the Jewish community, but as a former executive of the Council of Jewish Federations, now retired, I feel I must point out some flaws in his article, “Politics and Jewish Giving” [December 1997]. To begin with, the decline in real dollars in annual United Jewish Appeal (UJA)-Federation fund-raising campaigns that he claims has occurred over the past five years is both of much longer duration and much less precipitous than he suggests.

Campaign Finance
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Bradley A. Smith's polemic against campaign-finance reform, “The Campaign-Finance Follies” [December 1997], misses the point by a mile.

Is Affirmative Action on the Way Out? Should It Be?
by Nathan Glazer
For the past several decades, public and private institutions in the United States have operated under a system according to which designated minority groups receive special advantages in employment and education.

Anne Frank, On and Off Broadway
by Molly Hoagland
“Everything that one says about the play, one says about Anne Frank,” wrote the New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson 40 years ago.

How Bad Is the Getty?
by Michael J. Lewis
After fourteen years of planning and construction, and at the cost of a cool billion dollars, America's most expensive art museum, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, formally opened on December 12 of last year.

How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker
by Arthur Cody
How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker Norton. 606 pp. $29.95 Nothing is more fascinating than how we think, why we think that way, and how our thinking affects our actions.

The Dream Palace of the Arabs by Fouad Ajami
by Daniel Pipes
The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation's Odyssey by Fouad Ajami Pantheon. 368 pp. $26.00 Fouad Ajami, who is a professor of Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University, occupies two niches that he has made his own.

Turnaround by William W. Bratton
by Sol Stern
Turnaround: How America's Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic by William W. Bratton with Peter Knobler Random House. 384 pp. $25.50 Though Democrats enjoy a five-to-one advantage among registered voters in New York City, the landslide reelection of Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani last November came as a surprise to no one.

The Faith of the Mithnagdim by Allan Nadler
by Jay Harris
The Faith of the Mithnagdim: Rabbinic Responses to Hasidic Rapture by Allan Nadler Johns Hopkins. 254 pp. $35.00 Among the more curious developments in American Jewish life over the past several decades has been a growing fascination, especially among secularized Jews, with Hasidism.

The Magic Kingdom by Steven Watts
by Daniel Silver
The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life by Steven Watts Houghton Mifflin. 526 pp. $30.00 Walt Disney may have been immodest, but he was not exaggerating when in the early 1960's he offered an assessment of his place in American culture.

April, 1998Back to Top
Race and The Law Schools
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Stephan Thernstrom's arguments are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how law-school admissions decisions are made [“The Scandal of the Law Schools,” December 1997].

Bill Gates's Fortune
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hats off to Chester E. Finn, Jr. for his lucid and constructive article [“Giving It Away: An Open Letter to Bill Gates,” January].

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Since I disagree with Robert S. Wistrich's approach to anti-Semitism and make my disagreements known in the opening pages of my book, Esau's Tears, I hardly expected to get a favorable review from him [Books in Review, January].

What Do Murderers Deserve?
by David Gelernter
No civilized nation ever takes the death penalty for granted; two recent cases force us to consider it yet again.

Saving the Environment from the Environmentalists
by Peter Huber
As a political movement, environmentalism was invented by a conservative Republican. He loved wild animals. He particularly loved to shoot them. In the spring of 1908, with time running out on his second term, President Theodore Roosevelt held a hugely successful conference on conservation.

In Paul Johnson's America
by James Wilson
How can we explain the United States? How, that is, can we explain a nation that from its inception until today has remained unique in the world—a nation that is exceptional in its claims about individual freedom and in its restrictions on government power; that has committed profound injustices but has largely risen above them; and that gives ordinary people extraordinary influence over government while keeping government devoted to a cause greater than the summation of their personal preferences? How, in short, does a nation become a human cause, so much so that its very name can be invoked as a slogan: “Americanism?”“The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures,” writes the eminent British author Paul Johnson, and in his new book, A History of the American People1 he attempts to explain why.

What Julius Rosenwald Knew
by David Dalin
Around the turn of the present century, a handful of Jews, mostly of German origin, came to exercise a profound influence on American philanthropy, creating a multiplicity of charitable institutions that continue to shape our world.

Never Give a Sucker an Even Break
by Joseph Epstein
For a comic or a wit, the enviable thing is to be so celebrated that one is given credit for the humor, repartee, and amusing anecdotes of others.

Counting Noses at the
by Justin Danilewitz
In this, its 125th year, the Harvard Crimson has much to celebrate. The student-run daily is, after all, something of an institution even in the wider world of American journalism.

Modernism With a Smile
by Terry Teachout
For decades, Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) and Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), the best-known French composers of the period between the two world wars, occupied the same pigeonhole: they both produced music that was at once unmistakably modern and irresistibly likable.

Lift Every Voice by Lani Guinier
by Chester Finn,
Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice by Lani Guinier Simon & Schuster. 324 pp.

The Bible As It Was by James L. Kugel
by Hillel Halkin
The Bible as it was by James L. Kugel Harvard. 680 pp. $35.00 “How obvious,” one some times thinks of a new idea, thus bestowing high praise on its conceiver, since nothing is so well hidden as the obvious.

Wasted by Marya Hornbacher
by Wendy Shalit
Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher HarperCollins. 298 pp. $23.00 Marya Hornbacher is just twenty-three. She does not have a college degree, and “technically” she never graduated from high school, but in 1993 she wrote an essay about herself for the Minneapolis-St.

The Hitler of History by John Lukacs
by David Pryce-Jones
The Hitler of History by John Lukacs Knopf. 219 pp. $26.00 There are already over 100 biographies of Hitler, and the volume of supporting scholarly literature is immense.

The Commanding Heights by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw
by Gary Rosen
The Commanding Heights: The Battle Between Government and the Marketplace that is Remaking the Modern World by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw Simon & Schuster.

May, 1998Back to Top
The Big Bang
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a working cosmologist, I enjoyed David Berlinski's poetic description of the Big Bang [“Was There a Big Bang?,” February].

High-Tech War
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to comment on Alvin H. Bernstein's and Martin Libicki's contribution to the debate, “High-Tech: The Future Face of War?” [January].

"Forgotten Communism"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Alain Besançon's important essay, “Forgotten Communism” [January], led me to recall a public-school teacher my wife worked with who proudly placed a bust of Lenin on his desk, and who viewed himself as an unrepentant Marxist.

The Miracle
by Paul Johnson
The state of Israel is the product of more than 4,000 years of Jewish history. “If you want to understand our country, read this!” said David Ben-Gurion on the first occasion I met him, in 1957.

Israel and the United States: A Complex History
by Norman Podhoretz
As an accompaniment to the celebrations of Israel's 50th birthday, there has been much talk about the lifelong friendship it has enjoyed with the United States.

The Disaffections of American Jews
by Jack Wertheimer
In the months leading up to Israel's 50th anniversary, an impatient if not downright surly tone came to permeate public discussion about the Jewish state within the American Jewish community.

The Jewish State and the Jewish People(s)
by Hillel Halkin
Is the Jewish people, 50 years after the establishment of its state, about to become the Jewish peoples? History may be an inadequate basis for predicting the future, but, being the sum of our experience up to the future, it is all we have to go on.

Against an International Criminal Court
by David Rivkin,
Although one would not necessarily know it from the newspapers, a half-century of debate over the question of how to bring perpetrators of genocide and other grave crimes to justice is now coming to a head.

Table Manners and Morals
by Elizabeth Powers
My New York friends are taken aback when they hear of my childhood eating habits. My daily fare—this was in Kentucky in the 50's—consisted of such items as Campbell's soup, Dinty Moore beef stew, and Hostess Twinkies.

Swinging With Benny Goodman
by Terry Teachout
Sixty years ago this January, Benny Goodman and his band appeared at New York's Carnegie Hall—the first time a full evening of jazz had been presented at the most celebrated concert hall in America.

One Nation, After All by Alan Wolfe
by Wilfred McClay
One Nation, After All by Alan Wolfe Viking. 358 pp. $24.95 Even when they do not set out with that in mind, comprehensive portraits of American culture and society almost always end up turning into studies of the middle class.

Spin Cycle by Howard Kurtz
by Terry Eastland
Spin Cycle: Inside the Clinton Propaganda Machine by Howard Kurtz Free Press. 324 pp. $25.00 Howard Kurtz is a reporter who covers the doings of other reporters for the Washington Post.

Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes
by Marc Berley
Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 198 pp. $20.00 The latest book of poems by Ted Hughes arrives with a high degree of trans-Atlantic fanfare, but not on account of its author's stature as England's poet laureate.

The World According to Peter Drucker by Jack Beatty
by Leslie Lenkowsky
The World According to Peter Drucker by Jack Beatty Free Press. 204 pp. $25.00 For all its astonishing economic success, the modern corporation remains an institution more often criticized than celebrated.

The Great Betrayal by Patrick J. Buchanan
by Arch Puddington
Since his first campaign for the presidency in 1992, Patrick J. Buchanan has emerged as this country's most forceful and unapologetic advocate of isolationism.

June, 1998Back to Top
Women in Japan
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Women are, indeed, treated differently from men in Asia, as noted by Francis Fukuyama in his excellent article, “Asian Values and the Asian Crisis” [February].

by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “ ‘Amistad’ and the Abuse of History” [February] Gary Rosen goes too far. It is easy to dismiss historical films as bad history, and reviewers invariably condemn them for distorting and oversimplifying the past.

Albert Shanker
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I want to comment on Chester E. Finn, Jr.'s indecent use of the late Albert Shanker to malign the teacher-union movement that he virtually created and loved [Letters from Readers, March, on Mr.

Affirmative Action
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Debates over affirmative action in college and university admissions often overlook several important facts, and COMMENTARY's symposium, “Is Affirmative Action on the Way Out? Should It Be?” [March], is no exception. First, few who discuss Hopwood v.

"Amistad," affirmitive action, etc.
by Our Readers
"Amistad" To THE EDITOR: In "'Amistad' and the Abuse of History" [Febru- ary] Gary Rosen goes too far. It is easy to dismiss his- torical films as bad histo- ry, and reviewers invariably condemn them for distort- ing and oversimplifying the past.

"Sexgate," the Sisterhood. and Mr. Bumble
by Norman Podhoretz
“Confusion worse confounded” is the phrase I would choose to summarize what has been generated by the story of the Clinton sex scandals and how various sectors of American society have responded to them.

What to Do About Saddam Hussein
by Joshua Muravchik
For most of the past fall and winter, the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein held both the United Nations and the United States at bay, finally agreeing to end the latest confrontation over his weapons of mass destruction only when UN Secretary General Kofi Annan traveled to Baghdad and accepted cumbersome new procedures for UN inspections.

Auschwitz and the Professors
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Harvard's Holocaust chair has been in the news again. It was bad enough that, as of this past winter, the university had kept the slot unfilled for more than three years, prompting the New York financier Kenneth Lipper, who had underwritten the professorship, to shift much of his $3-million grant elsewhere.

Our Hispanic Predicament
by Linda Chavez
In Los Angeles this past February, a crowd of over 91,000 fans, made up predominantly of Latinos who live and work in southern California, gathered for the Gold Cup soccer match between the Mexican and U.S.

The Lost Airman-A Memoir
by Merrill Gerber
On February 6,1943, my cousin Henry Sherman, the most beautiful soldier I had ever seen, disappeared into thin air over a place called New Guinea.

Art, Politics & Clement Greenberg
by Michael J. Lewis
For three decades, art criticism in America was the domain of a rule-giving prophet, and woe to those who drew his wrath.

E.O. Wilson's Theory of Everything
by Jeremy Bernstein
It is not uncommon for people approaching the outer shores of middle age to go slightly dotty. Lawyers and accountants who have led exemplary lives marry trophy wives and buy houses in Aspen.

Many Are the Crimes by Ellen Schrecker
by James Nuechterlein
Many are the Crimes: McCarthyism in America by Ellen Schrecker Little, Brown. 592 pp. $26.95 Treatments of the McCarthy era by radical writers are nothing new.

The Norton Anthology of African American Literature edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay
by Phillip Richards
The Norton Anthology of African American Literature edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay Norton. 2,665 pp. $49.95 Organized like similar collections, The Norton Anthology of African American Literature will impress many college students and their teachers as a conventional survey.

Pleasure Wars by Peter Gay
by Diana Schaub
Pleasure Wars by Peter Gay Norton. 324 pp. $29.95 “Victorian” and “bourgeois” have become distinctly less acceptable as synonyms for hypocritical and philistine in the wake of the Yale historian Peter Gay's monumental reexamination of 19th-century European and American culture.

Shadows on the Hudson by Isaac Bashevis Singer
by Hillel Halkin
Shadows on the Hudson by Isaac Bashevis Singer translated by Joseph Sherman Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 548 pp. $28.00 Two men have won the Nobel Prize in this century for writing in Jewish languages, S.Y.

Achieving Our Country by Richard Rorty
by Peter Berkowitz
Achieving our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America by Richard Rorty Harvard. 144 pp. $18.95 Richard Rorty, a professor of humanities at the University of Virginia, is among the best-known academic proponents of postmodernism, a movement whose credo declares all knowledge to be man-made, corresponding to no ultimate reality.

Out of Order by Max Boot
by Andrew McCarthy
Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench by Max Boot Basic Books. 288 pp. $25.00 By its author's own admission, Out of Order is a polemic—to be precise, an impassioned attack on the wayward members of the American judiciary.

July, 1998Back to Top
The Death Penalty
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “What Do Murderers Deserve?” [April], David Gelernter conveniently ignores the inconvenient question: what if we are wrong? What if we kill an innocent man or woman? And what if at least some of us do so knowingly? While most conservative proponents of the death penalty would not trust the government to fill a hole in a road that passes in front of their homes, and while they decry the power of the Internal Revenue Service to ruin the poor independent businessman, they nevertheless feel somehow that our system of justice, the very system that freed O.J.

Jewish Studies
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a Jewish historian of the European Middle Ages, with a specialty in women's history, I read Hillel Halkin's article, “Feminizing Jewish Studies” [February], with great interest.

Evolution and the Mind
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arthur B. Cody's argument in his review of Steven Pinker's How the Mind Works [Books in Review, March] is a parody of sloppy New Age thinking.

Counting Noses
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Counting Noses at the Harvard Crimson” [April], Justin C. Danilewitz launches an attack on our newspaper, claiming that he was not selected to be editorial chair because he was not the kind of Jew the Crimson was looking for—namely, one willing to turn his back on other Jews.

Now May We Please Defend Ourselves?
by Robert Kagan
It was major news when India and Pakistan conducted underground nuclear tests in early May; it should not have been.

Southern Comforts
by Midge Decter
Back in the late 1960's, before any of us really understood how decisively our literary and intellectual world would soon be breaking apart, Willie Morris came to be both my boss and my playmate. Willie was a boy out of Mississippi by way of the University of Texas and Oxford University in England, where, like our current President, he had been a Rhodes scholar.

The Contradictions of A.J. Heschel
by Jon Levenson
If there were a category among serious religious thinkers akin to what is known in the classical-music world as a crossover artist, pride of place in it would surely go to Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-72).

Is Labor Back?
by Arch Puddington
This past March, the federal government published statistics that could hardly have come as welcome news to organized labor. Despite seven years of economic expansion and a drop in unemployment to the lowest level in decades, union membership in the United States has continued to decline in both relative and absolute terms.

Saturday Afternoon at the Zoo With Dad
by Joseph Epstein
Levine's heart sank when he heard the honking siren—just like the Gestapo in that old Anne Frank movie—and then saw the red lights twirling atop the police car behind him.

The Gingrich Manifesto
by John O'Sullivan
“Experience is the name we give to our mistakes,” said Oscar Wilde, who in his later imprisonment and exile would have the experience to prove it.

Beijing 1947
by Michael Loewe
One day in March 1947, two young Englishmen, who had been ordered to describe themselves as members of the Foreign Office, arrived at His Britannic Majesty's consulate in Peip'ing, as Beijing was then called.1 They had in fact been serving for some five years in the British Government Code and Cipher School at Bletchley Park, the predecessor intelligence agency to the organization later known as Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

Two Fallen Stars
by Terry Teachout
In 1961, the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould canceled a scheduled appearance with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, claiming that he had developed a phobic reaction—in his words, “something approaching terror”—to the mere thought of playing in Philadelphia.

A Tangled Web by William P. Bundy
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
A Tangled Web: The Making of Foreign Policy in the Nixon Presidency by William Bundy Hill and Wang. 647 pp. $35.00 Richard Nixon's presidency ended in the self-immolation of Watergate.

Jews by Arthur Hertzberg and Aron Hirt-Manheimer
by David Singer
Jews: The Essence and Character of a People by Arthur Hertzberg and Aron Hirt-Manheimer Harper San Francisco. 304 pp. $25.00 While building his career as a pulpit rabbi and a figure in the Jewish establishment—he has served at various times as president of the American Jewish Congress and as a high official of various Zionist bodies—Arthur Hertzberg has always aspired to the role of intellectual gadfly and critic.

Someone Else's House by Tamar Jacoby
by Daniel Casse
Someone Else's House: America's Unfinished Struggle for Integration by Tamar Jacoby Free Press. 614 pp. $30.00 From its inception in the early postwar era, the American civil-rights movement took as its goal a fully integrated, color-blind society: a society in which race would no longer be either a barrier or a preference.

We the People: Transformations by Bruce Ackerman
by Adam Wolfson
We the People: Transformations by Bruce Ackerman Harvard. 515 pp. $29.95 One great divide in our politics pits conservatives who believe a judge should be guided by the views of those who designed and ratified the Constitution against liberals who believe a judge should construe the clauses of the “living” Constitution in response to the needs of our own day.

Bitch by Elizabeth Wurtzel
by Margaret Schulman
Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel Doubleday. 288 pp. $23.95 Elizabeth Wurtzel's first book, Prozac Nation, published in 1994, generated considerable interest and earned for its author a certain notoriety.

August, 1998Back to Top
The Death Penalty
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Many thanks to David Gelernter for his cogent and eloquent essay on the death penalty, “What Do Murderers Deserve?” [April], and his reply to his critics [Letters from Readers, July].

Patrick J. Buchanan
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arch Puddington's review of Patrick J. Buchanan's The Great Betrayal [Books in Review, May] was a breath of fresh air, a welcome respite from the muddled responses of the media and the GOP that, just as they did in 1992 and 1996, refuse to take Buchanan seriously until he disrupts the GOP primaries and makes it that much easier for the Democrats to retain control of the White House. Of course Buchanan is going to run again in 2000; he said as much recently to the Associated Press, claiming that, by cobbling together a mélange of right-to-lifers, gun fanciers, economic nationalists, disgruntled Perotistas, and disaffected blue-collar Democrats, he can win the GOP nomination and the presidency.

Israel and the United States
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I enjoyed reading Norman Podhoretz's “Israel and the United States: A Complex History” [May], as I have enjoyed reading just about all his COMMENTARY articles over the years.

Holocaust Studies
by And Critics
Joan Ringelheim:In “Auschwitz and the Professors” [June], Gabriel Schoenfeld distorts my words, takes quotations out of context, and puts them into interpretations that bear no relationship to my ideas.

Defining the Democrats Down
by Daniel Casse
In Behind the Oval Office, his memoir recounting his days as President Clinton's chief political strategist, Dick Morris writes that during the 1996 presidential campaign, everything the Democratic candidate said was read regularly over the phone to a cross-section of voters; their responses would determine the shape of the next day's message.

IQ Since "The Bell Curve"
by Christopher Chabris
This past January, Governor Zell Miller of Georgia asked his legislature for enough money to give a cassette or CD of classical music to every newborn child in the state.

The Old People's Socialist League
by Joseph Epstein
A wonderful man, Irving Howe. He's done so much for Yiddish literature and for me. But he's not a youngster any more, and still, still with this socialist meshugas. —Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1981 All things considered, the literary critic and political intellectual Irving Howe is having a good afterlife.

Learning from the Greeks
by Algis Valiunas
A Greek revival—of sorts—is under way these days, as books by the ancients seem to be enjoying a boomlet in new translations.

Equilibrium, Mental and Mathematical
by Jeremy Bernstein
Among mathematicians and theoretical physicists there can sometimes be a continuum of weird behavior that ranges from the profoundly eccentric to the truly mentally disturbed.

My Days With Frieda Lawrence
by Walter Berns
Wind whispers through the pinon trees dotting the 160-acre mountaintop ranch that inspired writer D.H. Lawrence. . . . The scene is peaceful, yet melancholy: the property .

To End a War by Richard Holbrooke
by Aleksa Djilas
To End a War by Richard Holbrooke Random Home. 408 pp. $21.95 “You have a friend in Pennsylvania,” license plates in the former Quaker colony used to proclaim.

Impressionism by Meyer Schapiro
by Steven Munson
Impressionism: Reflections and Perceptions by Meyer Schapiro Braziller. 359 pp. $50.00 “If Cézanne is right, then I must be right,” said Henri Matisse, succinctly alluding to what united and to what differentiated the two men in their respective struggles to create new forms of painting.

The Dissent of the Governed by Stephen L. Carter
by Gary Rosen
The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty by Stephen L. Carter Harvard. 167 pp. $19.95 In many ways, Stephen L.

Tough Jews by Rich Cohen
by Adam Levitin
Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons, and Gangster Dreams by Rich Cohen Simon & Schuster. 288 pp. $25.00 When Hollywood movie-makers conjure up the gangster demimonde, they almost always reserve a bit part for a Jewish character—the mousy lawyer or accountant who nervously shuffles in to do the paperwork.

The Right Women by Elinor Burkett
by Richard Brookhiser
The Right Women: A Journey Through the Heart of Conservative America by Elinor Burkett Scribner. 288 pp. $23.00 The elections of 1994 swept into office a class of Republican freshmen that included seven women, among them such conservative fire-eaters as Idaho's Helen Chenoweth, one of whose campaign events was an “endangered-salmon” bake.

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes
by David Gress
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are So Rich and Some So Poor by David S. Landes Norton. 650 pp.

September, 1998Back to Top
The International Criminal Court
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Against an International Criminal Court” [May], Lee A. Casey and David B. Rivkin, Jr. present thoughtful grounds for doubting whether the United States should adhere to a proposed treaty to establish such a court.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: I hesitate to disagree with Norman Podhoretz [“ ‘Sexgate,’ the Sisterhood, and Mr. Bumble,” June]. On so many issues, and on so many previous occasions, he has been right.

Operation Scorpion
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his hard-nosed call for the overthrow of Saddam [“What to Do About Saddam Hussein,” June], Joshua Muravchik recounts with sparkling lucidity the history of a catastrophic failure of American foreign and military policy, a failure for which the U.S., Israel, and perhaps other Middle Eastern countries like Kuwait will one day pay dearly. Mr.

Immigration and Multiculturalism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Linda Chavez's assertion that “both recent immigrants and America itself would have much to gain if fewer Latinos were admitted” would seem to represent a welcome and long overdue shift in her thinking on the subject of immigration [“Our Hispanic Predicament,” June].

"Sexgate," International Court, etc.
by Our Readers
"Sexgate" TO THE EDITOR: I hesitate to disagree with Norman Podhoretz ["'Sex- gate,' the Sisterhood, and Mr. Bumble," June]. On so many issues, and on so many previous occasions, he has been right.

Bowing to Beijing
by Arthur Waldron
“I hate our China policy!” Bill Clinton is reported to have shouted during a White House meeting in 1994, just after he had bowed to threats from Beijing and broken the linkage between China's progress on human rights and its winning of trade status as a Most Favored Nation (MFN).

Nerve Gas, Lies, and Videotape
by Joshua Muravchik
On the first Sunday in June, amid much fanfare, the Cable News Network (CNN) launched a new prime-time, magazine-format program called Newsstand.

Does Conservative Judaism Have a Future?
by Clifford Librach
In any religion, the middle position is the hardest to define and the toughest to defend. For American Jews, this position has been occupied for close to a century by Conservative Judaism.

The War Against Testing
by David Murray
It is safe to say that Thomas Jefferson never took a standardized test, and would probably consider them hopelessly inadequate as measures of what an educated person should know.

Girl Trouble
by David Gelernter
Charged up with high-voltage anger, Rabbi Steven Eskanazzi covers twenty-odd Manhattan blocks in nine minutes. He wants the anger full-strength, doesn't want to lose any piece of it by putting it into words.

A Patriotic Left?
by John Fonte
It was not so very long ago that the standard view of America on the Left was of a racist, sexist, and imperialist society with an essentially evil past: in short, to use a favored term of opprobrium from the 1960's, “Amerika.” Today, America-bashing has not altogether disappeared on the Left, but it has come to be supplemented, and in some quarters even replaced, by something new, and something very surprising.

Gershwin at 100
by Terry Teachout
One hundred years after his birth, George Gershwin is the most widely remembered of the songwriters who dominated American popular music between the end of World War I and the rise of rock-and-roll.

Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum Random House. 448 pp. $30.00 Why did Hitler murder six million of Europe's Jews? A half-century later, we still live under the shadow of this satanic creature who reduced a civilization to ruin.

Walking in the Shade by Doris Lessing
by Elizabeth Powers
Walking in the Shade: Volume Two of My Autobiography by Doris Lessing HarperCollins. 404 pp. $27.50 It would be interesting to know how many of those who purchase Doris Lessing's turgid novels actually get all the way through them, but there is no doubting that she herself is a cultural icon.

A Brutal Friendship by Said K. Aburish
by Daniel Pipes
A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite by Saïd K. Aburish St. Martin's. 414 pp. $25.95 “There are no legitimate regimes in the Arab Middle East.” With this eye-opening first line, Saïd Aburish, an independent-minded Palestinian writer long resident in London, promises something fresh: an insider's exposé of the tyrannical governments that dominate his region.

Closed Chambers by Edward Lazarus
by Dan Himmelfarb
Closed Chambers: The First Eyewitness Account of the Epic Struggles Inside the Supreme Court by Edward Lazarus Times Books. 516 pp. $21.50 Nearly twenty years ago, the Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong published The Brethren, “an account,” according to the book's introduction, “of the inner workings of the Supreme Court from 1969 to 1976.” That account was based on interviews with more than 200 anonymous sources, including Justices and law clerks, and upon unpublished documents, including internal Court memoranda and draft opinions that had likewise been made available to the authors by confidential sources. Closed Chambers, which is about the inner workings of the Supreme Court in the 1980's and 1990's, is essentially a sequel to The Brethren.

Acheson by James Chace
by Patrick Glynn
Acheson: The Secretary of State Who Created the American World by James Chace Simon if Schuster. 512 pp. $30.00 “History will deal severely with the Prime Minister,” Winston Churchill once warned then-Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin on the floor of the House of Commons.

October, 1998Back to Top
The South
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Has someone declared open season on the South and neglected to inform us? First, Jane Fonda tells the United Nations that my native Georgia is comparable to a third-world country.

The Labor Movement
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arch Puddington's article, “Is Labor Back?” [July], inevitably leads one to ask a more fundamental question: “Do we want labor back?” If one accepts Mr.

Missle Defense
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In their article, “Now May We Please Defend Ourselves?” [July], Robert Kagan and Gary Schmitt deal at length with the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, but they do not respond, except tangentially, to two difficult questions that must be answered before a defensive missile system can be built. First, will a space-based defensive system work? Some scientists say it will, but others say it will not.

Beijing 1948
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Beijing 1947” [July], Michael Loewe mentions the raging inflation under the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek in the years following World War II.

A.J. Heschel
by Our Readers
To the Editor: There is something inappropriately snide in Jon D. Levenson's characterization of Abraham Joshua Heschel as a “crossover artist” [“The Contradictions of A.J.

Making the World Safe for VX
by Frank Gaffney
On August 20, the Clinton administration launched cruise missiles at the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The purpose of the attack was to destroy an industrial facility believed to be involved in the production of Empta, a chemical compound whose only known use is as a precursor for the deadly VX nerve agent. The attack, which has generated its share of controversy, has had at least one welcome effect.

The Adventures of Philip Roth
by Norman Podhoretz
I have always had trouble with the work of Philip Roth. Unless my memory is playing tricks on me—and if so, I have no doubt that someone, though not, if I know anything about him, Roth himself, will correct me—it was I who “discovered” him as a writer of fiction.

Mexico: The Crisis Next Door
by Robert Leiken
A year ago this past July, in their first free and fair elections, Mexicans ended the 70-year rule of the Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI).

Sushi and Other Jewish Foods
by Alan Mintz
Several Years ago my wife and I attended a hasidic wedding in New York in which the son of a leading figure in the Lubavitch movement was married to the daughter of a wealthy merchant family.

Spielberg at War
by Christopher Caldwell
There is little disagreement that Steven Spielberg's smash hit, Saving Private Ryan, which opened July 24, is a powerful and richly textured account of war.

Days of Our Years
by Jacob Sloan
Six months after my eightieth birthday, the classic verses from the book of Psalms keep running through my head: We bring our years to an end as a tale that is told. The days of our years are three score years and ten Or even by reason of strength fourscore years. I should like to congratulate myself on the mental and emotional strength that has allowed me to reach eighty.

Brahms the Radical
by Terry Teachout
In music, the past begins with Johannes Brahms. Hailed in his lifetime as “the third B,” a peer of Bach and Beethoven, he was the last figure to enter the canon of indisputably major 19th-century composers; today, he is the most frequently played classical composer after Beethoven, and his popularity is rooted in what is now seen as a conservative musical style.

Knives, Tanks, and Missiles by Eliot A. Cohen, Michael J. Eisenstadt, and Andrew J. Bacevich; The Sword and the Olive by Martin
by Hillel Halkin
Knives, Tanks, and Missiles: Israel's Security Revolution by Eliot A. Cohen, Michael J. Eisenstadt, and Andrew J. Bacevich Washington Institute. 154 pp.

Titan by Ron Chernow
by Leslie Lenkowsky
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow Random House. 778 pp. $30.00 In March 1905, Reverend Washington Gladden, a Congregational minister in Columbus, Ohio, denounced from the pulpit a $100,000 gift his denomination had recently received from John D.

Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder by John E. Miller
by J. Bottum
Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman Behind the Legend by John E. Miller Missouri. 306 pp. $29.95 Perhaps it is impossible to assess children's authors with any precision.

Cardozo by Andrew L. Kaufman
by Daniel Silver
Cardozo by Andrew L. Kaufman Harvard. 731 pp. $55.00 On any list of outstanding American jurists, Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (1870-1938) must certainly rank near the top.

Two Lucky People by Milton and Rose Friedman
by David Frum
Two Lucky People by Milton and Rose Friedman Chicago. 660 pp. $35.00 On the evidence of this joint autobiography, it is little wonder that Milton and Rose Friedman are advocates of a free society.

November, 1998Back to Top
The Greeks
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Learning from the Greeks” [August], Algis Valiunas revisits a subject that has been important in my intellectual life since I decided, in the spring of 1973, to major in archeology.

Meyer Schapiro
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In my estimation, Steven C. Munson's review of Meyer Schapiro's posthumous work, Impressionism: Reflections and Perception [Books in Review, August], is in accord with the unfolding aura of Meyer Schapiro.

Irving Howe
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Irving Howe deserves better from both COMMENTARY and Joseph Epstein than he receives in “The Old People's Socialist League” [August].

Hitler and the Germans
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum [Books in Review, September], Gabriel Schoenfeld writes that the “centrality of large social forces” discussed in Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners grants “indirect absolution” to Hitler and the Germans “for the crime of genocide.” This is quite a leap of interpretation.

George Gershwin
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I was amazed to find that an article about George Gershwin and the influences on his work [“Gershwin at 100” by Terry Teachout,” September] could have left out the fact that Gershwin was also taught by Joseph Schillinger. Joel Waldman Palo Alto, California _____________   To the Editor: I usually find COMMENTARY reliable and Terry Teachout's insights into the musical scene informative, but I was dismayed by an obvious error in his September article.

African-American Literature
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his review of The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Nellie McKay [June], Phillip M.

The Real "New Middle East"
by Daniel Pipes
After the fall of the Soviet Union, and still more so after the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, many confident predictions were made that we were on the brink of a “new Middle East,” one in which age-old animosities were inexorably yielding to political reconciliation, the forces of reaction and disorder were being beaten back, and a new dawn of economic, social, and cultural friendship was at hand.

Reverend Malthus, Meet Doctor Faustus
by Peter Huber
In a hastily written pamphlet published anonymously exactly two centuries ago, the Reverend Thomas Malthus supplied the original script. Population increases geometrically, food supplies increase only arithmetically.

The Road to Naybikhov
by Hillel Halkin
After a while, it went away. For a day or two, though, driving the long, straight roads on which we were often the only car for miles, it kept coming back, far down the road, like a mirage or a defect in my retina: a wagon with a Jew in it. Horse-drawn wagons are plentiful; Jews are rare.

Are Americans Becoming Isolationist?
by Aaron Friedberg
Not long after Bill Clinton's inauguration in January 1993, his Under Secretary of State, Peter Tarnoff, articulated a new direction for American foreign policy.

What the Dead Sea Scrolls Do Not Tell
by James Kugel
What is responsible for the enduring interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls? Ever since news of their discovery began to circulate a half-century ago, an eager public has snapped up any new bit of information about this cache of ancient manuscripts uncovered at Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea.

The Professor's Lament
by Carol Iannone
It is hardly news that these are unhappy times for the American professor. Thanks to a combination of factors—tighter university budgets, deferred retirements, the demands of affirmative action—good jobs have all but dried up in many academic fields.

Brand-Name Opera
by Terry Teachout
André Previn's operatic version of the Tennessee Williams play, A Streetcar Named Desire, received its premiere in September by the San Francisco Opera in one of the most widely noticed classical-music events of recent years.

The Noblest Triumph by Tom Bethell
by Richard Pipes
The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity Through the Ages by Tom Bethell St. Martin's. 378 pp. $29.95 Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent retreat of both Communism and socialism, scholars have shown an increased interest in identifying the factors responsible for the dynamism of Western economies.

The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill
by Yossi Prager
The Gifts of the Jews by Thomas Cahill Doubleday. 256 pp. $23.50 That religious belief is no longer a taboo subject even in enlightened circles has already been much noticed; indeed, to judge by the number of books and television programs devoted to the subject recently, religion—and particularly the Hebrew Bible—would seem to be enjoying something of a renascence.

An Empire Wilderness by Robert D. Kaplan
by David Brooks
An Empire Wilderness: Travels into America's Future by Robert D. Kaplan Random House. 393 pp. $27.50 In the 19th century, Henry Adams, sitting astride his breeding and his erudition, elegantly noted the decline of civilization.

The Fix by Michael Massing
by Daniel Casse
The Fix by Michael Massing Simon & Schuster. 320 pp. $25.00 Since the end of the 1960's, when drug abuse first surfaced as a widespread social problem in the United States, successive national initiatives have been launched to bring it under control.

Reporting Vietnam
by Algis Valiunas
Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism 1959-1975 Library of America. Two vols. 1,715 pp. $70.00 On a July evening in 1959, a Viet Cong raiding party killed two American military advisers and two South Vietnamese soldiers who were watching a movie in the mess hall of an army base outside Saigon.

Does IQ Matter?
by Christopher Chabris
HowARD GARDNER: Contrary to the implications of Christopher F. Chabris's "IQ Since The Bell Curve" [August], sciences- including psychology-operate and progress in more than one way.

December, 1998Back to Top
Operation Tailwind
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joshua Muravchik's article, “Nerve Gas, Lies, and Videotape” [September], professes to analyze the accuracy and impact of CNN's “Valley of Death,” the report that I co-produced on Operation Tailwind during the Vietnam war.

What Are Parents For?
by Mary Eberstadt
That parents are the premier influence in a child's life is one of those pieces of conventional wisdom that seem to have behind them both the incontrovertible weight of experience and the accumulated evidence of a vast literature.

What Are Little Boys Made Of?
by Midge Decter
In certain neighborhoods of Brooklyn during the 1930's and 40's, an adolescent boy could never achieve truly high respect among his male friends unless he could hit a ball out of whatever was serving as a playing field and onto the next block.

Thinking About the Unthinkable in the Middle East
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
By the eve of the Six-Day war of 1967, after over a decade of intensive effort, Israel had succeeded in building a small number of nuclear weapons.

Science, Fraud & the Baltimore Case
by Jeremy Bernstein
Early in 1985 I was invited to attend a symposium for journalists who write about science. Its purpose was to acquaint us with the then newly-identified virus that causes AIDS.

Dubinsky on the Loose
by Joseph Epstein
Manny Dubinsky had been 50 years in the scrap-metal business, a buyer, before he retired at the age of seventy-five.

Salman Rushdie's Delusions, and Ours
by Daniel Pipes
On September 24, just two days shy of a decade since the publication of The Satanic Verses by the British novelist Salman Rushdie, the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran met with his British counterpart and declared that the Iranian government has no intention, nor is it going to take any action whatsoever, to threaten the life of the author of The Satanic Verses or anybody associated with his work, nor will it encourage or assist anybody to do so.

Why We Love Van Gogh
by Steven Munson
In his book on 19th-century post-Impressionism, the art historian John Rewald described Vincent van Gogh as “the painter of the period who most powerfully captivates today's public.” Those words were written in 1956.

The Death of the Concert
by Terry Teachout
In 1965, the pianist Glenn Gould made a casual remark that attracted worldwide attention. As he later recalled: In an unguarded moment .

A World Transformed by George Bush and Brent Scowcroft
by Robert Kagan
A World Transformed by George Bush and Brent Scowcroft Knopf. 568 pp. $30.00 A smart President chooses his successors wisely. As the Clinton administration flails amid the unraveling of the international economic and political order, George Bush looks more and more like a giant.

Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman
by Ruth Wisse
Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman Dial. 324 pp. $23.95 I never thought I would live to see a Jewish novel of manners. By the time modern Jews began to write novels, they no longer had manners—if by manners we mean those restraining, thoroughly integrated customs of a coherent society, the merest breach of which forces a crisis.

From Plato to Nato by David Gress
by Wilfred McClay
From Plato to NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents by David Gress Free Press. 610 pages. $25.00 For years now, we have been told by fashionable professors that ours is a postmodern age, an era in which every timeless “truth” has been proved relative and there is no longer any overarching meaning to be found in the record of human experience.

Saying Kaddish by Anita Diamant; Kaddish by Leon Wieseltier
by Jon Levenson
Saying Kaddish: How to Comfort the Dying, Bury the Dead, and Mourn as a Jew by Anita Diamant Schocken. 265 pp. $23.00 Kaddish by Leon Wieseltier Knopf.

Secrecy by Daniel Patrick Moynihan
by Richard Perle
Secrecy: The American Experience by Daniel Patrick Moynihan Yak. 320 pp. $22.50 Between campus and caucus, Daniel Patrick Moynihan has combined a long career in politics and diplomacy with impressive intellectual accomplishments—eighteen books, countless articles, and truly original work in social science and public policy. Secrecy in government, its use and abuse, is one subject about which Moynihan has thought deeply and has much to say.

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