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January, 2000Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Thank you for Donald Kagan's powerful and valuable article on the causes of World War I and how it might have been prevented [“Lessons of the Great War,” October 1999]. I would like to call attention to his quotation from the 1914 “September program” of Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, Germany's “moderate” chancellor, to make a point that was not part of Mr.

The Republicans
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Daniel Casse's “What the Republicans Have Forgotten” [October 1999] is essentially a hymn to Nelson Rockefeller. There is, of course, the obligatory bow to Ronald Reagan, a conservative, but clearly the proper sort—a big-government conservative. Let me pose the following questions to Mr.

Edward Said's Fabrications
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Justus Reid Weiner's “ ‘My Beautiful Old House’ and Other Fabrications by Edward Said” [September 1999], largely a collage of petty and irrelevant calumny, has a clearly political and ideological motive, namely, the neutralization of one of the most important and credible advocates of Palestinian rights at a most critical time in the unfolding peace process.

Edward Said's fabrications; the Republicans; World War I.
by Our Readers
Edward Said's Fabrications TO THE EDITOR: Justus Reid Weiner's "'My Beautiful Old House' and Other Fabrications by Edward Said" [September 1999], largely a collage of petty and irrelevant calum- ny, has a clearly political and ideological motive, name- ly, the neutralization of one of the most important and credible advocates of Pales- tinian rights at a most crit- ical time in the unfolding peace process.

American Power-For What?
by Elliott Abrams
A Symposium Foreign policy has once again become a matter of consequential dispute in American political life. But as Norman Podhoretz observed last month in “Strange Bedfellows: A Guide to the New Foreign-Policy Debates,” any number of well-known figures at different points on the political and ideological spectrum seem to have altered their accustomed views of the U.S.

The Birthday Party
by Avner Holtzman
It was taken on Saturday, March 20, 1937, in the town of Swienciany, which lies on the Polish border with Lithuania approximately 50 miles northeast of Vilna.

Jazz Masterpieces: A Finale
by Terry Teachout
In 1919, the Swiss musician Ernest Ansermet, who was in London to conduct for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, took a night off to attend a concert by an American ensemble called the Southern Syncopated Orchestra.

The Monotony of "Sensation"
by Steven Munson
The scandal over Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection,1 on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, has now run its course.

One Nation, Two Cultures by Gertrude Himmelfarb
by Paul Johnson
One Nation, Two Cultures: A Moral Divide by Gertrude Himmelfarb Knopf. 192 pp. $23.00 Of all those who write about the moral condition of America, Gertrude Himmelfarb is the best—partly because she is a historian, able to dip into deep reserves of knowledge to bring up parallels and precedents; partly because she has a strong taste for hard evidence and makes impressive use of statistics; partly because she is cool-headed and refuses to become hysterical about the awfulness of things; and finally because she writes well and succinctly. In this 190-page essay, Himmelfarb covers a lot of ground: the moral consequences of capitalism, the diseases of democracy, civil society, the family and its enemies, the problems of legislating morality, religion as a political institution, and, especially, America's two cultures—the one hedonistic, the other puritanical—and the “ethics gap” between them.

The Great Poems of the Bible by James L. Kugel
by Algis Valiunas
The Great Poems of the Bible: A Reader's Companion with New Translations by James L. Kugel Free Press. 350 pp. $23.00 A book like James L.

The Schools Our Children Deserve by Alfie Cohen
by Mark Goldblatt
The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and “Tougher Standards” by Alfie Kohn Houghton Mifflin. 344 pp. $24.00 That American schools are currently being swept by a “back-to-basics” movement is hardly news.

Empires of the Sand by Efraim Karsh and Inari Karsh
by Daniel Pipes
Empires of the Sand: The Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East, 1789-1923 by Efraim Karsh & Inari Karsh Harvard. 409 pp.

The Quest for Cosmic Justice by Thomas Sowell
by Arch Puddington
The Quest for Cosmic Justice by Thomas Sowell Free Press. 214 pp. $25.00 Thomas Sowell has long been recognized as one of America's leading conservative thinkers.

February, 2000Back to Top
Up from Elitism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I thank David Schoenbrod for the riveting story of his break with the ranks of the liberal regulatory state [“Confessions of an Ex-Elitist,” November 1999].

The Ethnic Future
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Readers of COMMENTARY who are not knowledgeable about the events surrounding the passage of three important ballot initiatives in California—Proposition 187 in 1994, Proposition 209 in 1996, and Proposition 227 in 1998—should not be taken in by Ron Unz's dishonest and self-serving misrepresentation of them in his article, “California and the End of White America” [November 1999]. In the guise of a warning about the supposed rise of “white nationalism,” Mr.

Israel's Law
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It is important to remind Hillel Neuer [“Israel's Imperial Judiciary,” October 1999] that in Israel “the rule of law” refers to the laws passed by the secular parliament (Knesset) and not to Jewish religious law (halakhah).

Day Schools
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jack Wertheimer sharply criticizes the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) for its opposition to vouchers, saying that this stance reveals an “almost palpable aversion to promoting so narrowly Jewish an interest as day schools” [“Who's Afraid of Jewish Day Schools?,” December 1999].

The ethnic future; Jewish day schools; elitism; etc.
by Our Readers
The Ethnic Future TO THE EDITOR: Readers of COMMEN- TARY who are not knowl- edgeable about the events surrounding the passage of three important ballot init- iatives in California-Pro- position 187 in 1994, Propo- sition 209 in 1996, and Proposition 227 in 1998- should not be taken in by Ron Unz's dishonest and self-serving misrepresenta- tion of them in his article, "California and the End of White America" [Novem- ber 1999]. In the guise of a warning about the supposed rise of "white nationalism," Mr. Unz not only insults the people of California but im- pugns the character and integrity of former Gover- nor Pete Wilson, whom he plainly cannot forgive for trouncing him so effortlessly in the 1994 Republican gu- bernatorial primary.

Israel's Moment of Truth
by Daniel Pipes
It might appear that things have never been going better for Israel, or worse for those who wish it ill. Consider: the Jewish state has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and five agreements with the Palestinian Authority (PA), its “partner for peace.” With Syria, high-level negotiations now under way appear so promising that both sides have publicly predicted they could be wrapped up within a few months.

Are School Vouchers Un-American?
by Gary Rosen
By any measure, public education in America's cities is in deep trouble, and has been for some time. On any given day in Cleveland, almost one of every six students is likely not to show up.

Looking Back at "Catch-22"
by Norman Podhoretz
This past December, upon hearing that Joseph Heller had just died at the age of seventy-six, James Webb took to the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal, where he delivered himself of a fervent tribute to Catch-22, Heller's first, best (by far), and still most famous novel.

by David Gelernter
Saturday morning: Steven Eskanazzi, twenty-seven, graduate student, Orthodox rabbi, is awakened by the clattering, chattering handle of a child's wagon as it rolls downhill on the sidewalk three stories below his bedroom window, gathering speed, faster and faster, more speed—a jarring smack.

Milosevic's Realm
by Aleksa Djilas
Slobodan Milosevic has been the president of the rump of Yugoslavia (consisting of Serbia, including its two provinces Kosovo and Vojvodina, and minute Montenegro) only since 1997, but he became the unquestioned ruler of Serbia alone a decade earlier.

"Cradle of Lies"
by Terry Teachout
Sixty-three years after its opening night, Marc Blitzstein's musical drama The Cradle Will Rock remains one of the most celebrated events in the annals of Broadway.

The Kinder, Gentler Military by Stephanie Gutmann
by Francis Fukuyama
The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America's Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars? by Stephanie Gutmann Scribner. 283 pp. $25.00 In a recent piece of news analysis, the New York Times undertook to explain to its readers why President Clinton's “don't ask, don't tell” policy toward gays in the military was not working—as compared to what the Times pronounced the “successful” integration of both minorities and women.

Reflections on a Ravaged Century by Robert Conquest
by Aaron Friedberg
Reflections on a Ravaged Century by Robert Conquest Norton. 317 pp. $26.95 The century just past was, by all accounts, the bloodiest in human history.

Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson
by David Brooks
Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson Scribner. 884 pp. $35.00 “The streets are paved with brick and are clean as any chamber floor,” noted a 17th-century observer of the famously neat Dutch.

Jacob H. Schiff by Naomi Cohen
by Elliott Abrams
Jacob H. Schiff: A Study in American Jewish Leadership by Naomi W. Cohen Brandeis. 320 pp. $35.00 When the financier and philanthropist Jacob Schiff died in 1920, his funeral was held at Manhattan's Temple Emanu-El, the Reform synagogue favored by the wealthy and cosmopolitan German-Jewish community of which he was a singular example.

America Divided by Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin
by Sol Stern
America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960's by Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin Oxford. 358 pp. $30.00 In their preface to this book about the “Civil War” of the 1960's, the historians Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin reveal that, when young, they, too, served on the battlefields of that epochal conflict.

How We Got Here by David Frum
by Dan Seligman
How We Got Here: The 70's: The Decade that Brought You Modern Life—For Better or Worse by David Frum Basic Books. 418 pp.

March, 2000Back to Top
World War II
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his essay on Patrick J. Buchanan's recent book, A Republic, Not An Empire [“Buchanan as Historian,” December 1999], Gabriel Schoenfeld starts off well enough by saying that “Buchanan's thesis”—that Britain's decision to extend a guarantee of security to Poland in 1939 was a major mistake—“should be accepted or rejected on its merits.” Mr.

Mental Disorder
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Paul R. McHugh's article [“How Psychiatry Lost Its Way,” December 1999] criticizing recent changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) reminds me of the frustration that I felt during the twilight of the Freudian era.

Defending Zion
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Much of what Hillel Halkin says in “Was Zionism Unjust?” [November 1999] is profoundly disturbing. He states, for instance, that Zionist leaders repeatedly lied to their followers and to the world at large about the necessity of “dispossessing” the Arabs in Palestine because, if they had told the truth, their support would have disappeared.

Criticizing Islam
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Daniel Pipes struck a sympathetic chord with me [“ ‘How Dare You Defame Islam?’,” November 1999]. I had the temerity some years ago to publish a short op-ed piece in the Washington Times about certain aspects of Islamic doctrine.

Democracy for All?
by James Wilson
Today we wonder whether the whole world might become democratic. Acting on the belief that it can, our government has bent its energies toward encouraging the birth or growth of democracy in places around the globe from Haiti to Russia, from Kosovo to the People's Republic of China.

The New Enemies of Circumcision
by Jon Levenson
Among the practices that have characterized the Jewish people over the millennia, surely none has been observed more widely, or more faithfully, than circumcision.

Yeltsin-and After
by Richard Pipes
Yogi Berra is said to have once proffered this advice: “If you come to a crossroads, take it.” Russia seems to be following his counsel.

Coming in With Their Hands Up
by Joseph Epstein
I'm standing in line for a Coke and a hot dog during halftime at a Bulls-Knicks game when I can't help eavesdropping on two guys in line just ahead of me.

Close Encounters of the Harvard Kind
by Samuel McCracken
Over the last 50 years, the skies of popular culture have been alight with flying saucers—disk-shaped interplanetary craft operated by small beings of vaguely humanoid (if decidedly nonstandard) physiognomy and ambivalent intentions toward us earthlings.

Missing Mary McCarthy
by Midge Decter
Of the making of books featuring the late critic and novelist Mary McCarthy it seems there is to be no end.

American Opera in Progress
by Terry Teachout
If you talk to any American composer under the age of fifty, chances are that he will either have just written an opera or be planning to write one soon.

The Paradox of American Democracy by John B. Judis
by Chester Finn,
The Paradox of American Democracy: Elites, Special Interests, and the Betrayal of the Public Trust by John B. Judis Pantheon. 320 pp.

Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
by Carol Ilannone
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee Viking. 220 pp. $23.95 In Cry, the Beloved Country (1948), Alan Paton's lyrical novel of South Africa, a black Anglican priest, patient but acutely sensitive to the injustice of apartheid, remarks about his country's dominant white minority: “I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they turn to loving they will find we are turned to hating.” J.

The Jewish Discovery of Islam edited by Martin Kramer
by Daniel Pipes
The Jewish Discovery of Islam: Studies in Honor of Bernard Lewis Edited by Martin Kramer Syracuse. 311 pp. $24.95 A fierce intellectual debate broke out in October 1976 when Edward Said, the Palestinian-born Parr Professor of English at Columbia University and a partisan of Michel Foucault and other trendy French postmodernists, wrote an essay for the New York Times Book Review arguing that Western scholars of the Middle East represented “an unbroken tradition in European thought of profound hostility, even hatred, toward Islam.” In his diatribe, Said singled out Bernard Lewis, then the Cleveland E.

Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen by Larry McMurtry
by Christopher Caldwell
Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections at Sixty and Beyond by Larry McMurtry Simon & Schuster. 204 pp. $21.00 Over the last four decades, the Texas writer Larry McMurtry, now 63, has published two dozen novels.

The Baby Boom by Elinor Burkett
by Kay Hymowitz
The Baby Boon: How Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless by Elinor Burkett Free Press. 256 pp. $25.00 The American workplace has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past decade.

April, 2000Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: According to Terry Teachout, after the rise in popularity of fusion jazz in the early 1970's, “no subsequent stylistic development has commanded comparable loyalty” [“Masterpieces of Jazz,” November, December 1999; January].

Is Israel Secure?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Yuval Steinitz presents a valid scenario, but his analysis is absurd [“When the Palestinian Army Invades the Heart of Israel,” December 1999].

Bad Art
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Steven C. Munson does a commendable job of characterizing the recent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and of enumerating the shortcomings of some of its individual pieces [“Art, Excrement, and Sensation,” January].

America Abroad
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz makes no mention of the return to isolationism in U.S. foreign policy following the end of the illegal war waged by NATO in Serbia and Kosovo [“Strange Bedfellows: A Guide to the New Foreign-Policy Debates,” December 1999].

American power; the Palestinian army; modernism; jazz.
by Our Readers
America Abroad TO THE EDITOR: Norman Podhoretz makes no mention of the return to isolationism in U.S. foreign policy following the end of the illegal war waged by NATO in Serbia and Koso- vo ["Strange Bedfellows: A Guide to the New Foreign- Policy Debates," December 1999].

Why the Era of Big Government Isn't Over
by Christopher DeMuth
Americans are today the richest, freest people the world has ever known. They enjoy unprecedented levels of personal health, mobility, safety, education, and amenity.

Haider and His Critics
by Robert Wistrich
Parliamentary elections in Austria are seldom the stuff of international headlines, but something extraordinary happened when Austrians went to the polls last October: the radical right-wing Freedom party, led by the youthful and telegenic Jörg Haider, won an unprecedented 27 percent of the vote, making it the country's second most popular party behind the long-dominant Socialists.
by Peter Huber
The latest version of Windows, the operating system manufactured by the Microsoft Corporation, consists of some 30 million lines of tightly interconnected computer code: a programmer's War and Peace, running to some 500,000 pages.

"Elian, Take Me With You"
by Mark Falcoff
A few days before last Thanksgiving, a group of Cubans set out for the United States on a homemade raft.

The "New Yorker:" Legends of the Fall
by Noemie Emery
What becomes a legend most? Clearly not silence. A legend in their own minds, and perforce in ours, the survivors of William Shawn's old New Yorker magazine cannot get over themselves, their specialness, their panache, their elegance, their sensitivity—or the wrong done to them and their culture when it was all put into eclipse.

Are American Jews Moving to the Right?
by Murray Friedman
For at least two decades, political pundits have regularly seen auguries of a shift toward conservatism among American Jews, and, just as regularly, their prognostications have been proved wrong.

The Soul of Marian Anderson
by Terry Teachout
In 1935, the black American contralto Marian Anderson gave a song recital at the Salzburg Festival. Arturo Toscanini was in the audience, and afterward he told her, “What I heard today one is privileged to hear only once in a hundred years.” Four months later, Anderson returned to the U.S., where she quickly became one of this country's most successful classical singers, appearing in concert with such noted conductors as Dimitri Mitropoulos, Pierre Monteux, Eugene Ormandy, and Bruno Walter.

Deliver Us from Evil by William Shawcross
by Robert Kagan
Deliver Us From Evil: Peacekeepers, Warlords, and a World of Endless Conflict by William Shawcross Simon & Schuster. 416 pp. $27.50 The British journalist William Shawcross, like many members of Tony Blair's Labor party (and like many members of the Clinton administration), cut his political teeth protesting against the Vietnam war.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Louis Jacobs
by David Singer
Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Louis Jacobs Littman Library of Jewish Civilization/ Vallentine Mitchell. 267 pp. $39.50 The “Jacobs Affair,” which took place in England 40 years ago, caused a stir in Jewish life that still reverberates today.

The Other American by Maurice Isserman
by Arch Puddington
The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington by Maurice Isserman Public Affairs. 400 pp. $27.50 For a brief spell in the mid-1960's, Michael Harrington was regarded as one of America's most influential social critics.

The Trouble With Principle by Stanley Fish
by Adam Wolfson
The Trouble with Principle by Stanley Fish Harvard. 328 pp. $24.95 Of all the controversial figures in today's academy, Stanley Fish perhaps tops the list.

Joseph McCarthy by Arthur Herman
by James Nuechterlein
Joseph McCarthy: Reexamining the Life and Legacy of America's Most Hated Senator by Arthur Herman Free Press. 404 pp. $26.00 All conservatives are anti-Communists, but they are not all anti-Communists of the same kind.

May, 2000Back to Top
The Balkans
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Aleksa Djilas's essay on Yugoslavia [“Milosevic's Realm,” February] is a blatant piece of propaganda aimed at glossing over the image that Serbia has earned by waging bloody wars in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. The article follows the familiar paradigm of the latest Serb apologists.

Rocking the Cradle
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Disdainful of every piece of American Jewish music to the left of Berlin's “God Bless America,” Terry Teachout [“Cradle of Lies,” February] dispatches Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock to the dustbin wherein also reside Kurt Weill, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein.

Middle East Peace
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Israel's Moment of Truth” [February], Daniel Pipes misinterprets the peace process, seeing it as the headlong drive of defeatist, war-weary Israelis rather than as the hard-nosed pursuit of national interest that it really is.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz wonders why James Webb—a graduate of the Naval Academy, a decorated hero of the Vietnam war, and a former Secretary of the Navy—and the cadets at the Air Force Academy admire Joseph Heller's Catch-22 [“Looking Back at Catch-22,” February].

Buchanan, Etc.
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Gabriel Schoenfeld tries to defend his assault on Patrick Buchanan's A Republic, Not an Empire [Letters from Readers, March] from the thoughtful criticisms of some of your readers.

The Election and the Culture Wars
by Gertrude Himmelfarb
A funny thing happened on the way to the presidential nominations this year. We discovered not only that the candidates were not quite what we thought them to be (this happens in all electoral campaigns; it is why we have them).

Will We Abandon Taiwan?
by Aaron Friedberg
Over the past decade, the American foreign-policy establishment has been preoccupied above all with the aftereffects of the collapse of the Soviet empire in Europe.

Learning from Isaiah
by Norman Podhoretz
Isaiah is generally regarded as the greatest of all the prophetic books of the Bible; as such, it ought to have something to say to us today.

Stendhal on MacDougal Street
by Andre Aciman
On the inside of the back cover of my small Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon, published by Oxford University Press and with me since undergraduate days, is an address in Greenwich Village.

Intellectuals-Public and Otherwise
by Joseph Epstein
I cannot recall when I first heard or read the ornate term “public intellectual,” but I do recall disliking it straightaway.

Modernism, American-Style
by Steven Munson
Modern Starts: People, Places, Things, which was on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from October 7, 1999 to March 14, 2000, was the first of three exhibitions organized as part of the museum's millennial celebration, MoMA 2000.

The Trouble with Karajan
by Terry Teachout
One of the oldest classical-music jokes is thought to have been told originally about Herbert von Karajan. A Viennese cabbie picks up the Austrian conductor.

Bobos in Paradise by David Brooks
by Gary Rosen
Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks Simon & Schuster. 276 pp. $25.00 A minor but persistent theme of this year's campaign coverage has been the remarkable symmetry in the personal background of the presidential nominees.

Chosen by God by Joshua Hammer
by Wendy Shalit
Chosen by God: A Brother's Journey by Joshua Hammer Hyperion. 241 pp. $22.95 In the 1992 movie A Stranger Among Us, the heroine, a police detective played by Melanie Griffith, becomes entranced by the spiritual beauty of the hasidic community in whose midst she finds herself: not only does she solve a murder mystery, she even learns a thing or two about friendship and true intimacy.

The Educated Child by William J. Bennett, Chester E. Finn, Jr., and John T.E. Cribb, Jr.
by Marc Berley
The Educated Child: A Parents' Guide from Preschool Through Eighth Grade by William J. Bennett, Chester E. Finn, Jr., and John T.E.

Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar by Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass
by Elizabeth Powers
Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar: Readings on Courtship and Marrying by Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass University of Notre Dame Press.

Way Out There in the Blue by Frances FitzGerald
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars, and the End of the Cold War by Frances FitzGerald Simon & Schuster.

June, 2000Back to Top
Flying Saucers
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Samuel McCracken's “Close Encounters of the Harvard Kind” [March] raises questions about the work of John E. Mack on UFO's.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: James Q. Wilson's “Democracy for All?” [March] was, like everything he writes, intelligent, reasonable, and sober. And he is certainly right to cite the importance of accidental or preexisting factors—isolation, property, homogeneity, and tradition—in explaining the democratic success of the United States.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Insofar as Jon D. Levenson's “The New Enemies of Circumcision” [March] touches on my book, Circumcision: A History of the World's Most Controversial Surgery, I would like to clarify two points.

American Opera
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The wonderful Terry Teachout dismisses John Harbison's The Great Gatsby as “an overlong opera that is stolidly competent and hopelessly undramatic” [“American Opera In Progress,” March].

Are School Vouchers the Answer?
by And Critics
Bob Chase: Gary Rosen misrepresents many sincere opponents of taxpayer-funded vouchers for private and religious schools when he accuses “liberal and Democratic standard-bearers” of continuing to “stonewall” for the status quo in public education [“Are School Vouchers Un-American?,” February]. The National Education Association opposes vouchers for many reasons, but blind defense of the status quo is not among them.

How Elijah Muhammad Won
by Daniel Pipes
In the early 1930's, when the Nation of Islam had just come into existence, its founder made the bold prediction that, one day, Islam would replace Christianity as the primary faith of black Americans.

Messages from the Genome
by Arthur Cody
Genetics is the new science. Every day, something fascinating appears in the newspapers or on television, in magazines or books, in connection with the genetic engineering of crops and animals, the Human Genome Project and all that it portends for our future, or the imminent conquest of human disease through gene therapy.

What Victor Klemperer Saw
by Daniel Johnson
The name of Klemperer has long been synonymous with music. One of the greatest conductors of all time, Otto Klemperer was among those titanic figures of the Jewish diaspora of the 1930's who fructified the Anglo-American cultural landscape.

Cops, Crime, and the "New York Times"
by Arch Puddington
Not terribly long ago, a staple feature of American journalism was the article about urban neighborhoods under siege. Especially as the crime wave took off in the 1970's and 80's, newspapers began to publish regular reports of inner-city residents living in terror of violent youth gangs, of black or Hispanic neighborhoods devastated by drugs, of racially mixed areas facing white flight because of escalating disorder and open trafficking in heroin or crack cocaine.

The Devil and Woody Allen
by Carol Iannone
In Stardust Memories (1980), the actor/director Woody Allen plays a celebrity filmmaker who is challenged in an interview to explain why he is an atheist.

England's Greatest Composer
by Terry Teachout
Ever since the premiere in 1945 of Peter Grimes, his first opera, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) has been regarded as one of England's leading composers.

The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism by Robert William Fogel
by James Wilson
The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism by Robert William Fogel Chicago. 383 pp. $25.00Robert Fogel, a Nobel laureate in economics, is best known for his acutely original and politically controversial book, Time on the Cross (with Stanley L.

The Multiple Identities of the Middle East by Bernard Lewis; A Middle East Mosaic edited by Bernard Lewis
by Efraim Karsh
The Multiple Identities of the Middle East by Bernard Lewis Schocken. 163 pp. $21.00 A Middle East Mosaic: Fragments of Life, Letters, and History Selected and edited by Bernard Lewis Random House.

MacArthur's War by Stanley Weintraub
by Robert Elegant
MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of an American Hero by Stanley Weintraub Free Press. 385 pp. $27.50 General Douglas MacArthur was the U.S.

Taboo by Jon Entine
by Dan Seligman
Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why we are Afraid to Talk about it by Jon Entine Public Affairs. 387 pp.

In the Shadow of the Garrison State by Aaron L. Friedberg
by Patrick Glynn
In the Shadow of the Garrison State: America's Anti-Statism and its Cold War Grand Strategy by Aaron L. Friedberg Princeton. 351 pp.

July, 2000Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Contrary to what David Singer argues in his review of Beyond Reasonable Doubt [April], Louis Jacobs's exposition of Jewish theology for our times is unparalleled.

Jorg Haider
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I have great respect and admiration for Robert S. Wistrich as a historian and scholar. It is therefore with some surprise that I find myself in disagreement with his article on Jörg Haider [“Haider and His Critics,” April]. Mr.

Jews and Conservatives
by Our Readers
To the Editor: While it may be fashionable in some segments of the Jewish community to suggest a conservative shift in the political views of Jews, as Murray Friedman does in “Are American Jews Moving to the Right?” [April], the hard data of public-opinion polls and election exit polls prove that any such assertion is false. The oft-cited Los Angeles and New York mayoral contests are poor measures.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Mark Falcoff dodges both his own question—how to deal with Cuba—and any examination of the premise of our current policy toward Cuba—that America's interest lies in attempting to isolate Cuba from the world [“ ‘Elián, Take Me With You,’ ” April]. This premise has led to our embargo on trade, travel, and investment, as well as to a grab-bag of smaller measures like limits on Cuban-Americans' family visits and remittances, an exhortation in U.S.

Big Government
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Christopher C. DeMuth [“Why the Era of Big Government Isn't Over,” April] passes lightly over the main reason the era of big government continues: most Americans want the government to help them get through life.

In Asian America
by Tamar Jacoby
One could not have asked for more perfect, southern-California weather. Asian-American organizers were expecting a big turnout for their rally at the Los Angeles campus of California State University, a cluster of glass-and-concrete towers flanked by parking lots that lies only minutes from the suburbs of Alhambra and Monterey Park, where the bulk of the population is now Chinese-American.

Were the Palestinians Expelled?
by Efraim Karsh
Since the birth of the Jewish state in 1948, there have been two Arab-Israeli conflicts. The first one was, and is, military in nature.

Bellow at 85, Roth at 67
by Norman Podhoretz
I am not the only critic to have been reminded in recent months that once during the 1950's, when novelists of Jewish origin had suddenly moved to center stage in this country, Saul Bellow—referring to a well-known men's-clothing manufacturer of the time—characteristically cracked that he, Bernard Malamud, and Philip Roth had become the Hart, Schaffner & Marx of American literature.

How to Think About Humanitarian War
by Adam Wolfson
No one—not even those who supported it from the beginning—can be entirely happy with our war in Kosovo. Our immediate goal was to put a halt to Serbia's brutal treatment of the Kosovo Albanians, several hundred thousand of whom had been displaced into the countryside—and an unknown number killed—by the spring of 1999.

Tales of My Great-Grandfathers
by Johanna Kaplan
One morning in the clamorous early 70's—that hectic, electric time of Flower Power, angry demonstrations, saffron-clad gurus and their chanting, shaven-headed acolytes—one morning, waiting for a New York City bus in that gaudy, psychedelic time, I ran into a woman with whom I had gone to high school and college.

Prozac, with Knife
by Joseph Epstein
Imagine Tyler and Kelly Tucker—as I like to think of them—on the first night of their honeymoon, in a glow of happy confidence that sets a mood for postcoital intimacies.

The Real Stravinsky
by Terry Teachout
For a long time, Igor Stravinsky was widely considered to be the 20th century's greatest composer. Le Sacre du printemps (“The Rite of Spring”), his best-known score, was credited with having pulled down the pillars of romanticism—the 1913 premiere by Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes actually triggered a riot in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris—and his later compositions were hardly less influential.

The Jewish State by Yoram Hazony
by Hillel Halkin
The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel's Soul by Yoram Hazony Basic. 433 pp. $28.00 Yoram Hazony is the young, American-born director of the Shalem Center, a neoconservative think tank in Jerusalem.

The Unwanted Gaze by Jeffrey Rosen
by Dan Seligman
The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America by Jeffrey Rosen Random House. 274 pp. $24.95 Politicians registering concern about privacy rights are generally understood to be on the side of the angels, and Supreme Court nominees who do not share their concern have trouble getting confirmed.

Teaching Sex by Jeffrey P. Moran
by Kay Hymowitz
Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the 20th Century by Jeffrey P. Moran Harvard. 288 pp. $27.95 Sex and the middle-schooler? Apparently so, according to the New York Times.

The Operator by Tom King
by Noah Oppenheim
The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood by Tom King Random House. 670 pp. $25.95 David Geffen, the wealthiest of Hollywood's wealthy tycoons, has been in the thick of almost every major pop-culture trend since the late 1960's.

The Advent of the Algorithm by David Berlinski
by Kevin Shapiro
The Advent of the Algorithm: The Idea that Rules the World by David Berlinski Harcourt. 334 pp. $28.00 In his most recent book, David Berlinski, the author of A Tour of the Calculus (1995), is by turns a mathematician, a storyteller, a would-be poet, and a philosopher.

Ataturk by Andrew Mango
by David Pryce-Jones
Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey by Andrew Mango Overlook. 666 pp. $40.00 Among dictators of recent times, Mustapha Kemal, who later took the honorific name Atatürk, is the exception.

September, 2000Back to Top
Two Chinas
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Aaron L. Friedberg's excellent article [“Will We Abandon Taiwan?”, May] covers most of the relevant questions concerning relations between China and Taiwan and America's association with each.

Sticks and Stones
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Exactly a year ago, Justus Reid Weiner revealed in COMMENTARY that Edward Said, professor of English at Columbia University-cum-PLO propagandist, had never had the childhood in Jerusalem he long claimed for himself [“ ‘My Beautiful Old House’ and Other Fabrications by Edward Said,” September 1999]. I, for one, was not surprised: I had been a student of Said's at Columbia College before the Six-Day war of 1967—before, that is, he reconstituted himself as an Ancient Palestinian, a nationality allegedly native to the Holy Land since at least the third day of Creation.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Peter W. Huber [“,” April] makes nearly all the right points about the government's lawsuit against Microsoft, but then inexplicably lurches to the wrong conclusion. No antitrust lawyer, Mr.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz [“Learning from Isaiah,” May] does a creditable job of describing the origins and uses (or misuses) of the book of Isaiah, but the first lesson he learns from the biblical prophet is as wrong today as when first conceived.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: I enjoyed Arthur B. Cody's article [“Messages from the Genome,” June], but I was a little puzzled by its tone.

Crimes and Misdemeaners
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Carol Iannone seems to be one of those people who hate Woody Allen to such a degree that they feel justified in spreading wickedly false information about him [“The Devil and Woody Allen,” June].

Holocaust Reparations-A Growing Scandal
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Given the depth of the scars inflicted by the Nazis in World War II, it is no surprise that issues of restitution and reparations have refused to go away.1 The only surprise is that they should now, at this late date, be occupying center stage, where they have also become a subject of increasing contention. The sheer scope of devastation in World War II is impossible to compass.

What Is Wrong with Gay Marriage
by Stanley Kurtz
A clear majority of the American public opposes same-sex marriage, a social reform already making headway in a number of states.

Peace for Our Time?
by Donald Kagan
In 1919, having just played a decisive role in winning the most devastating war yet fought, Great Britain stood at the height of its military power.

Yes and No to Gun Control
by Gary Rosen
Gun control is hardly a new issue in American politics, but its current prominence—with the presidential candidates staking out positions on such esoteric matters as trigger locks and the “gun-show loophole”—would seem to require some explaining.

Wandering Jews—and Their Genes
by Hillel Halkin
It was not long ago that genetic research on Jews suggested little beyond an occasional rare disease, to be discussed on the science pages of the newspaper.

Groucho & Julius
by John Podhoretz
Although the unlikeliest-seeming of theater critics, the Danish existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard was responsible for some of the most penetrating observations about the nature of acting and performance this side of Aristotle.

Selling Norman Rockwell
by Steven Munson
Walking through the exhibition of paintings by the celebrated illustrator Norman Rockwell at Washington's Corcoran Gallery of Art,1 one does not know whether to laugh or cry. The exhibit consists of some 70 paintings, several drawings, and a complete set of the more than 300 Saturday Evening Post covers for which most of the paintings were made.

The War Against Boys by Christina Hoff Sommers
by Chester Finn,
The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming our Young Men by Christina Hoff Sommers Simon & Schuster. 251 pp. $25.00 Who is at greater risk of failing these days in our schools and in society at large—girls or boys? The answer, of course, is that, in getting a good education and growing up to become solid citizens, both must overcome major hurdles.

Broadcasting Freedom by Arch Puddington
by Mark Falcoff
Broadcasting Freedom: The Cold War Triumph of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty by Arch Puddington University Press of Kentucky. 382 pp.

The Genesis of Justice by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Jonathan Marks
The Genesis of Justice: Ten Stories of Biblical Injustice that Led to the Ten Commandments and Modern Law by Alan M.

How I AccidentallyJoined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy by Harry Stein
by Ronald Radosh
How I Accidentally Joined the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (and Found Inner Peace) by Harry Stein Delacorte. 274 pp. $23.95 Harry Stein is a well-known author and journalist who wrote a column on ethics for Esquire in the 1970's, has appeared regularly in TV Guide, and has contributed frequently to the New York Times Magazine, GQ, and Playboy.

The Warren Court and American Politics by Lucas A. Powe, Jr.
by Franklin Hunt
The Warren Court and American Politics by Lucas A. Powe, Jr. Harvard. 584 pp. $35.00 With the passage of almost a half-century since Earl Warren became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, it is easy to forget the breadth of the constitutional transformation over which he presided.

Creating Equal by Ward Connerly
by Dan Seligman
Creating Equal: My Fight Against Race Preferences by Ward Connerly Encounter. 286 pp. $24.95 Ward Connerly was born in 1939 and spent the first five years of his life as a black boy in segregated Leesville, Louisiana.

October, 2000Back to Top
Talking Heads
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “Intellectuals—Public and Otherwise” [May 2000], Joseph Epstein focuses on a peculiar sort of American writer (though he does mention a European here and there)—typified by Dwight MacDonald and Robert War-show—whom I would hardly classify as an intellectual at all.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: May I comment on two matters in connection with the correspondence on Norman Podhoretz's “Learning from Isaiah” [Letters from Readers, September]? First, the quip attributed to “an anti-Semitic wag”: “How odd of God to choose the Jews.” As Mr.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Adam Wolfson is missing a point in his contrasting of humanitarian and nonhumanitarian interventions [“How to Think About Humanitarian War,” July-August].

In Hitler's Germany
by Our Readers
To the Editor: A characteristic odor of British Germanophobia pervades Daniel Johnson's otherwise informative article, “What Victor Klemperer Saw” [June]. From the most meager of anecdotal evidence, Mr.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: I found most of Tamar Jacoby's piece [“In Asian America,” July-August] insightful and interesting, but as a recent graduate of Yale College I must protest her remark that “scarcely an Asian student at Yale has been able to withstand the lure of ethnic involvement.” Although I had rather unpleasant experiences with the leadership of some of the school's ethnic groups, I felt very little pressure from either my peers or the administration to affiliate myself with them.

1948 and Beyond
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “Were the Palestinians Expelled?” [July-August], Efraim Karsh asks: “What exactly happened in Haifa? Was there ‘an act of expulsion’ as the Palestinians and Israeli ‘new historians’ have argued?” But Mr.

Crash or Boom?
by Irwin Stelzer
For an economist these days, it is difficult even to attend a cocktail party without being asked whether we are, indeed, living in a new economy.

The Moynihan Years
by James Nuechterlein
Appropriately enough, the event that marked the beginning of the end of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's political career was a thoroughly ambiguous occasion.

Writing Jewish
by Hillel Halkin
In his 1913 essay “The Hebrew Book,” the prominent Hebrew poet and literary figure Chaim Nachman Bialik elaborated on an idea that had been preoccupying him for several years.

Education and the Election
by Chester Finn,
Whether or not education lives up to its early billing as the premier issue in this year's presidential election may not be known until after November 7, if then.

The Master's Ring
by Joseph Epstein
When the New York Times reported the death last year of Malcolm Gaynor, the literary biographer, at ninety-one, it made mention of the ring.

Still "Bowling Alone?"
by Leslie Lenkowsky
Last year, Americans donated over $190 billion to charity, gave roughly 20 billion hours of their time as volunteers, and participated in nearly 2 million tax-exempt organizations, not to mention the still greater number of less formal groups through which they performed an astonishing range of public-spirited works.

Culinary Correctness
by Steven Shaw
When Alain Ducasse, the world's preeminent French chef, announced early this year that he would be opening an eponymous restaurant in New York's Essex House, it was a cause for excitement among connoisseurs and curiosity seekers alike.

Telecosm by George Gilder
by Francis Fukuyama
Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwith Will Revolutionize Our World by George Gilder Free Press. 368 pp. $26.00 The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century was not perceived as a distinct period of human history until a generation or two after it had taken place.

Counting on the Census? by Peter Skerry
by Naomi Schaefer
Counting on the Census? Race, Group Identity, and the Evasion of Politics by Peter Skerry Brookings Institution. 261 pp. $25.95 It is easy to see why people get worked up about abortion, the death penalty, and tax hikes.

Jew vs. Jew by Samuel G. Freedman
by Jay Lefkowitz
Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry by Samuel G. Freedman Simon & Schuster. 375 pp. $26.00 In his 1908 play, The Melting Pot, the Anglo-Jewish writer Israel Zangwill romanticized the New World as a place where Jews could freely marry Christians and “where all races and nations come to look forward.” How prophetic he was: today, nearly a hundred years later, the intermarriage rate among American Jews stands at well over 50 percent. Needless to say, this statistic, and others like it, have hardly brought joy to the organized Jewish community, which now devotes much time and money to projects aimed at discouraging intermarriage and promoting Jewish “continuity.” Unfortunately, at the same time that energies are engaged on this front, another, no less alarming threat faces American Jews from a different quarter. Despite constituting less than 3 percent of the nation's population, American Jews are, today, a highly fractured group, one whose distinct subcommunities have almost no connection with, much less respect for, each other.

Losing the Race by John H. McWhorter
by Damon Linker
Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America by John H. McWhorter Free Press. 285 pp. $24.00 By any measurable standard, the advances of black Americans over the past several generations have been remarkable.

It Didn't Happen Here by Seymour Martin Lipset and Gary Wolfe Marks
by Arch Puddington
It Didn't Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States by Seymour Martin Lipset and Gary Wolfe Marks Norton. 384 pp.

November, 2000Back to Top
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As someone who has admired the work of Hillel Halkin, I was somewhat confused and disappointed by his negative review of Yoram Hazony's The Jewish State [Books in Review, July-August].

Schlock Art
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Steven C. Munson is mistaken to dismiss the art of Norman Rockwell [“Selling Norman Rockwell,” September]. Consider four of the pictures in the current Rockwell exhibit: granny and grandson saying grace at a greasy spoon in the middle of a steam-age industrial city; the extended family at Thanksgiving dinner; the rancher waiting with his eager son for the bus to spirit the boy away to college and out of his father's life; Huckleberry Finn and the dead cat in the cemetery. I cannot believe Mr.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: I agree with much of Norman Podhoretz's “Bellow at 85, Roth at 67” [July-August]. I too think American Pastoral is Roth's best novel, although I do not share Mr.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Robert Elegant's review of Stanley Weintraub's Mac-Arthur's War [June] and, apparently, the book itself preserve the tradition of “leaving war to the generals” and show an ignorance of basic military facts.

Black Muslims
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “How Elijah Muhammad Won” [June], Daniel Pipes intelligently explores an important issue—the growing nexus between African-Americans and Islam.

The Struggle for Mastery in Asia
by Aaron Friedberg
Over the course of the next several decades there is a good chance that the United States will find itself engaged in an open and intense geopolitical rivalry with the People's Republic of China (PRC).

A Free and Democratic China?
by Arthur Waldron
Fifty long years have passed since Communist China came into being, and there is still no sign that Communism is on the way out.

Are Muslim Americans Victimized?
by Daniel Pipes
Early this year, President Clinton publicly lamented the fact that Muslim Americans face “discrimination” and “intolerance” in this country. Not long afterward, the Senate passed a solemn resolution inveighing against the “discrimination and harassment” suffered by the American Muslim community. Neither of these pronouncements happened by accident.

My Jewish Childhood
by Dan Jacobson
There is an ironic contrast between the way we think about adulthood when we are children and how we look back on childhood once we have become adults.

Giuliani and After
by Dan Seligman
Now approaching his eighth and final year in office, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani suddenly seems an enigma. What is one to make of a politician who defined himself by means of a combative, no-nonsense toughness, accomplishing miracles in the process, and has now begun redefining himself as Mr.

The Zagat Effect
by Steven Shaw
Twenty-one years ago, Tim and Nina Zagat, two lawyers intimately familiar with New York's restaurant and fine-dining scene, informally assembled the opinions of 200 of their acquaintances into a self-published survey of local establishments.

"Survivor" and the End of Television
by John Podhoretz
The finest piece of political rhetoric to be heard in this election year did not come from the mouth of a candidate for office, or from the pen of his highly paid speechwriter.

Left Back by Diane Ravitch
by Sol Stern
Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms by Diane Ravitch Random House. 555 pp. $30.00 Diane Ravitch has long been one of the sanest voices among the country's education experts.

The Abolition of Britain by Peter Hitchens
by David Pryce-Jones
The Abolition of Britain by Peter Hitchens Encounter. 332 pp. $22.95 Britain today presents a puzzling spectacle. Outwardly, materially, the country is prospering, and there is no particular call for change.

His Brother's Keeper by Yossi Beilin
by Ruth Wisse
His Brother's Keeper: Israel and Diaspora Jewry in the Twenty-first Century by Yossi Beilin Schocken. 272 pp. $24.00 Yossi Beilin, currently Israel's Minister of Justice, is best known as the architect of the Oslo Accords, the negotiations conducted with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that resulted in the formal agreement signed by Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat at the White House on September 13, 1993.

The Long March by Roger Kimball
by Damon Linker
The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960's Changed America by Roger Kimball Encounter. 326 pp. $23.95 No one is neutral about the 1960's.

Bellow by James Atlas
by John Gross
Bellow: A Biography by James Atlas Random House. 608 pp. $35.00 In the afterword to his new biography of Saul Bellow, James Atlas asks how much we would know about Samuel Johnson today if it were not for James Boswell and other contemporaries who left their impressions of him.

December, 2000Back to Top
Same-Sex Marriage
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Contrary to Stanley N. Kurtz in “What Is Wrong with Gay Marriage” [September], lesbians and gay men have been making the same arguments for same-sex marriage for more than a generation.

Jewish Genes
by Our Readers
To the Editor: If, as Hillel Halkin argues, Ashkenazi Jews are more genetically related to Arabs than to Europeans [“Wandering Jews—and Their Genes,” September], why do I and my Jewish brothers and cousins not have Middle Eastern complexions? One possible explanation is that Jews have adapted to their surroundings.

by Our Readers
To the Editor: Chester E. Finn, Jr. makes many perceptive points in his review of Christina Hoff Sommers's insightful new book, The War Against Boys [Books in Review, September].

Controlling Guns
by And Critics
Michael Beard: In “Yes and No to Gun Control” [September], Gary Rosen cites a study purporting to show that Americans use guns in self-defense as many as 2.5 million times a year.

Intifada II: Death of an Illusion?
by Norman Podhoretz
“In my beginning is my end,” wrote T.S. Eliot in words that are well suited to the Arab war against Israel.

Intifada II: What the U.S. Should Do
by Daniel Pipes
For decades, the United States has pursued a fairly consistent policy toward the Arab-Israel conflict: help Israel be strong, while pressuring it to make concessions.

Intifada II: Israel's Nightmare
by Hillel Halkin
Israel is in bad trouble. It is in far worse trouble than it was in September 1993, when the Oslo agreement was signed.

Intifada II: The Long Trail of Arab Anti-Semitism
by Efraim Karsh
For anyone still disposed to credit the standard Muslim-Arab contention that, so far as Palestine is concerned, Arabs have never had anything against Judaism or Jews but only against Zionism and Zionists, this fall's anti-Israel riots should have gone far to dispel any remaining illusions.

Proust's Way
by Algis Valiunas
Among the great modern artists, some seem to possess a boundless vitality, a spiritual extravagance that, even in the face of life's hot suffering, causes them to profess their gratitude for the very fact of existence and to pour forth their praise of nobility, goodness, beauty, fortitude, love.

The Sex and Violence Show
by Kay Hymowitz
When, at the height of the presidential campaign in September, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report detailing the movie industry's efforts to attract children to its R-rated products, the reaction in Washington was not difficult to predict.

Drudge Manifesto by Matt Drudge
by Dan Seligman
Drudge Manifesto by Matt Drudge, with Julia Phillips New American Library. 241 pp. $22.95 Frequently Asked Questions about this crazy best-seller and its author: Q: Is it okay to read Matt Drudge? I mean okay for a serious person? A: It is more than okay.

The Talmud and the Internet by Jonathan Rosen
by Jon Levenson
The Talmud and the Internet: A Journey between Worlds by Jonathan Rosen Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 132 pp. $16.00 Among the foundational literatures of the world's civilizations, none is harder to classify than the Talmud.

Henry M. Jackson by Robert G. Kaufman
by Arch Puddington
Henry M. Jackson: A Life in Politics by Robert G. Kaufman University of Washington. 548 pp. $30.00 Not long after he became President in 1981, Ronald Reagan launched a frontal ideological assault on the USSR.

God's Name in Vain by Stephen L. Carter
by Terry Eastland
God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics by Stephen L. Carter Basic. 248 pp. $26.00 Considering all the God-talk that was heard in this year's presidential campaign—much of it, unexpectedly, from the Democratic side of the aisle—Stephen Carter's latest book could not have arrived at a more opportune moment.

Sex & Power by Susan Estrich
by Noemie Emery
Sex & Power by Susan Estrich Riverhead. 287 pp. $24.95 Suppose you launched a revolution that nobody wanted? Suppose you crafted a series of sexual-harassment laws, knife-edged and designed to gut nasty conservatives, and they were then used to carve up your best friend? You too might be hurt, angry, confused, and resentful, as Susan Estrich assuredly is. Estrich first became newsworthy as the manager of the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis.

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