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Snakes in Iceland

In response to:

Snakes in Iceland from the March 25, 1965 issue

To the Editors:

It would probably be difficult for Mr. A.J.P. Taylor to write uninterestingly, and his review. “Snakes in Iceland” [NYR, March 25] contains the suitable proportion of fetching paradoxes. With opinions I would not argue for they are an open domain, but facts are facts and I should like to call attention to two.

Referring to my book, One Europe, the observation that it “starts off with the Reformation” may be at least misleading since I lay stress in the initial section on what I consider the vital and fundamental importance of the Greek and Roman legacies as bases of any European unity. Secondly, I should like to put in juxtaposition Mr. Taylor’s statement that “our two authors…want to make out that Soviet Communism has no connection with Europe” with my own that “Despite the clash of East and West, of Communism and Democracy, Marxism can hardly be regarded as other than European” (p. xi).

I am sure that Mr. Taylor is a sufficiently well read historian to be familiar with the phrase c’est ainsi qu’on écrit l’histoire.

Rene Albrecht Carrie

Barnard College

Columbia University

Department of History

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