Article archive

February 11, 1971

  • An Exchange on John Brown

    Philip S. Foner and Louis Ruchames, reply by Willie Lee Rose

    To the Editors:

    Professor Willie Lee Rose’s review, “Killing for Freedom,” in the December 3, 1970, issue of the Review makes a statement about Frederick Douglass in his relations with John Brown which leaves a definitely incorrect impression of the Black Abolitionist’s thinking on a crucial issue in the antislavery struggle. It also raises a question as to how carefully Professor Rose read my biography of Douglass which ...

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  • The Multinational Corporation and the Nation-State

    Robert L. Heilbroner

    Of all the problems we call “economic,” few have so baffled the expert and the nonexpert alike as those that involve the relations between nation-states. Indeed, one might even go so far as to say that economics, as a “science,” got its start from efforts to explain how gold and goods traveled from nation to nation, working their various effects on the countries they left and those they entered. In ...

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  • Heroines

    Alfred Kazin

    Henry James in an early travel note—“…a certain habitual assurance which is only a grace the more. She combines…all that is possible in the way of modesty with all that is delightful in the way of facility.” He said of her in The Ambassadors

    …by a turn of hand she had somehow made their encounter a relation. And the relation profited by a mass of things that were ...

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  • Jock-Sniffing

    Murray Kempton

    If we do not like the survival of the fittest we have only one alternative and that is the survival of the unfittest. The former is the law of civilization; the latter is the law of anti-civilization.”—William Graham Sumner, as cited in Richard Hofstadter’s Social Darwinism in American Thought

    I wasn’t one of Vince’s favorites at Green Bay. When I hurt my knee in a scrimmage ...

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  • Jack & Eddie

    Alfred D. Kornfeld, reply by Noel Annan

    To the Editors:

    In his analysis of Jack the Ripper’s identity, Noel Annan [NYR, December 17] rather glibly dismisses Prince Edward as a candidate for this dubious honor. Mr. Annan eliminates Edward by reason of his “vacuous” and unimaginative character. Premorbid character of a benign nature does not insure against the development of distorted, pathological processes. A syphilitic infection of the central nervous system, even in a member of ...

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  • Mr. Duc’s Constituency

    Truong Buu Lam, reply by Richard A. Falk

    To the Editors:

    The statement of Mr. Ngo Cong Duc at a press conference held on September 21, 1970, at the Hotel Lutetia, Paris, has received some publicity in this country [NYR, November 5, 1970]. Insofar as it demonstrates that even the bourgeois, largely Saigonese and, as Mr. Duc says, non-Communist and non-NLF elements in Vietnam have come to oppose American presence in Vietnam, it is a useful document. Mr ...

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  • Mexican Trial Transcript

    Arlyne Lazerson

    To the Editors:

    Friends of mine in Mexico City are planning to publish a transcript of the court proceedings by the Mexican government against the students jailed in the 1968 demonstrations (many of whom were in jail for more than a year before the proceedings were initiated). The transcript will comprise a book of about 600 pages, so financial help is needed to cover the costs of printing, binding, and ...

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  • Slavism

    Hugh McLean and Simon Karlinsky, reply by Edmund Wilson

    To the Editors:

    While we welcome with enthusiasm the Cyrillic baptism of The New York Review of Books, most appropriately in an article on Pushkin [NYR, December 3] and especially by such an eminent critic as Edmund Wilson, being professionally pedantic, academic Slavists (members of the MLA!), we are moved to defend our profession against Mr. Wilson’s implied slurs, and also to point out to your readers that Mr ...

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  • Wild Bunch

    Hans J. Morgenthau

    It may appear banal to assert once again that America is in the throes of a crisis—or rather a series of crises—more threatening to its survival as a civilized society and a liberal, democratic polity than any previous ones have been. Yet the government, whose legitimacy rests upon its willingness and ability to protect us from the dangers that threaten us, prefers manipulating the politics of these dangers ...

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  • Under the Sign of Blok

    Helen Muchnic

    In the half-dozen years preceding the First World War, the artists and poets of Russia, in the words of one of them, “lived under the sign of Blok.” They got drunk on his poetry as he himself got drunk on wine, although several groups were already proclaiming their opposition to the Symbolist school which he was supposed to represent. To Blok nothing earthly had meaning except as the embodiment of ...

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  • Lines to Dr. Walter Birk on His Retiring from General Practice

    W.H. Auden

    When you first arrived in Kirchstetten, trains had
    long been taken for granted, but electric
    light was still a surprise and as yet no one
       had seen a tractor.

    To-day, after forty-five years, as you leave us,
    autobahns are a must, midwives are banished
    and village doctors become museum pieces
       like the horse-and-buggy.

    I regret. The specialist has his function, but
    to him we are merely banal examples of
    what ...

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  • Seattle Legal Defense

    Tom Byers

    To the Editors:

    Two trials that affect civil liberties are pending in Seattle. The defendants are charged in the first trial with “conspiracy” to cross state lines to incite a riot and to destroy federal property; in the second trial with “aiding, abetting, counseling, procuring, inciting, and inducing” themselves and others to destroy federal property.

    The first trial involves seven persons who allegedly led a demonstration protesting the conviction of ...

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  • New Nation Seed Fund

    George Dennison, Paul Goodman, Nat Hentoff, John Holt, and Jonathan Kozol

    To the Editors:

    Our struggle for a better world takes many forms, but none is more important than the rearing and educating of our children. We believe that children raised in wholeness and natural pride will not grow up to be slavish adults, nor agree to immoral politics and irresponsible technology.

    Our present system of public education, coercive in its methods, is a symptom and major cause of our unsatisfactory ...

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  • Rap Session

    Igor Stravinsky

    When I begin to be over conscious of my lungs I go to sea…for the pure air…quitting the good city of old Manhatto….

    Moby Dick

    The isle is full of noises.

    The Tempest

    NYR: The Times said you had chosen to live in New York, Mr. Stravinsky.

    I.S.: Chosen? Well, yes; I can see what you mean: rather than the Galapagos. In fact I am here because ...

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  • An Indictment & a Reply

    William Stringfellow and Anthony Towne

    To the Editors:

    The following are the text of our indictment and a response which we have made to it.

    In the District Court of the United States for the District of Rhode Island

    Vio. Title 18, U.S.C. Sections 1071 and 3

    The Grand Jury charges:

    That from on or about August 7, 1970, the exact date being unknown to the Grand Jury, up to and including on ...

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  • The Independent Habit

    A.J.P. Taylor

    Sir Lewis Namier told a story of a priest in Galicia who was trying to explain miracles to a peasant. The priest said: “If I jumped from the top of that church tower and landed unhurt, what would you call it?” The peasant answered: “An accident.” “If I did it again?” “Another accident.” “And if I did it a third time?” “A habit.” In the twentieth century defiant independence became ...

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  • Homage to Catatonia

    Alan Tyson

    In theory the publication of a substantially revised edition of R. D. Laing’s The Self and Others, and the reissue of his first and I suppose still most celebrated book, The Divided Self, now more than ten years old, should provide as good an occasion as any for a retrospective survey of his work and an attempt at a critical assessment. But in practice this seems both difficult and ...

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  • The Politics Before Us

    Tom Wicker

    The following is based on the transcript of an extemporaneous speech given by Tom Wicker to a meeting sponsored by the New Democratic Coalition in New York on January 12.

    I was asked to talk today about the results of the 1970 elections and where they may have left us. I’m going to pass over the numbers game that we’ve played in Washington since those elections. I’m ...

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  • The Bolivian Guerrilla

    John Womack Jr.

    The campaign “El Che” Guevara commanded in Bolivia in 1966-67 was a heroic project. It was only in part Fidelista, to reverse the long series of guerrillero defeats in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, and thereby reassert the validity of Fidelista strategy in Latin America (and Fidel’s independence from the Soviet Union). It was in its ambition characteristically Guevarista, conceived not from a Latin American’s concern for ...

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