the arts of decadence and class snobberynin northern New Mexico, wherenthey flourish today.nAt heart, mythopoesis simply meansnthe creation of a story, but in Mr.nWork’s usage it suggests the formationnof a canon. There are a few cracks innthe argument — is Luther StandingnBear, for example, to be reckoned as anwriter in the same way as John Muirnand Stephen Crane? Such questionsngo unanswered in the interests of culturalninclusiveness, and the editornmight have taken a bit more time tonexplain why it is that one should readn(as indeed anyone with an interest innWestern writing should) the work ofnIsabella Bird and Sharlot Hall, thenlatter being Arizona’s first territorialnhistorian (as well as, although Mr.nWork does not address the issue, one ofnthe West’s most vocal and virulentnracists).nMr. Work continues his canonbuildingntheme with his third section,n”The Neomythic Period (1890-n1914),” offering such writers as WallacenStegner (who properly belongsnnext to Edward Abbey, figuring here innthe closing section, “The NeowesternnPeriod,” as one of the West’s greatniconoclasts), the late A.B. Guthrie,nWright Morris, Mari Sandoz, FranknWaters, and John Steinbeck, each ofnwhom contributed to the developmentnof a truly Western literature. In termsnof literary quality, this is the best sectionnof the book. Among its manynpleasant surprises is the inclusion ofnDorothy Johnson’s superb short storyn”The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,”na masterwork of compressionnthat is today known mostly throughnJohn Ford’s film adaptation.nMr. Work closes with selectionsnfrom Ann Zwinger, whose scientificnprecision and literary skills place her innthe forefront of contemporary naturenwriting; Gary Snyder, the one-timenbeat poet whose work now stands at thencenter of American literary environmentalism;nN. Scott Momaday andnJames Welch, who can be jointly creditednwith the flowering of NativenAmerican literature in the last threendecades, and Rudolfo Anaya, whonholds a similar place in Ghicano writing.nHe also rightly includes work bynthe Laguna Pueblo poet and novelistnLeslie Silko and a harrowing sequencenof poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca,nwhose Albuquerque echoes Dante’snhell. These two writers, like their olderncontemporaries, extend so-called ethnicnliterature into the universal.nThe occasionally errant organizationnaside, Prose & Poetry of the AmericannWest is a highly useful collection.nThe editor has taken pains to selectnworks of high quality, as many previousnanthologists have not. This criticalnstance necessarily pushes aside the ge-n’Western,” the Colt revolver ofnnericnBRIEF MENTIONSnLEFTISM REVISITED: FROM DE SADEnAND MARX TO HITLERnAND POL POTnby Erik von Kuehnelt-LeddihnnWith a Preface by William F. Buckley, Jr.nWashington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway; 520 pp., $29.95nliterature, mass-produced and made ofninterchangeable parts. Mr. Work’s intelligentnheadnotes add substantially tonthe value of the collection, which,ndespite its high price, will be of interestnto a wide audience.nGregory McNamee, a regularncontributor to Chronicles,nis now editing a literary anthologynon the natural environmentnof Arizona.nAbout sixteen years ago, when the first edition of the present volume wasnpublished, the nouveaux philosophes were attracting attention in France, onnthe rest of the Continent, and in the United States with their discovery of whatnthey called “socialism with a human face.” Since that time, they have beenneclipsed totally by a series of historical events that Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn,nthe Austrian writer and scholar, would be the first to warn us against celebratingnprematurely. The face of socialism is no more human than it ever was — orncan be.nKuehnelt-Leddihn believes leftism in all its manifestations (communism,nsocialism, nationalism, national socialism, and democratism) arises from maladjustmentsnof the spirit, perversities of the heart, and weakness of the intellect,neither singly or together. In his view, nearly everything bad in human history hasncome from leftist tendencies, and nothing good can be set to their credit.nLeftism Revisited traces this history of leftist heresy from the Greek democraciesnto (as promised) the Cambodia of Pol Pot, a depressing history thatnKuehnelt-Leddihn furbishes with stimulating illustrative accounts of leftist inhumanities,nbrutalities, and atrocities, such as the Parisian mob’s display of thenPrincess de Lamballe’s private parts on the end of a pike, the frying alive of ankitchenmaid at the Tuileries after she had been rolled in butter, and the burial, upnto the chin, of a Benedictine monk by the Vietcong, who left it to the ants to finishnthe job.nIn preparing the new edition of his book, Kuehnelt-Leddihn has made anparticular point of contrasting American with Continental “conservative-nRightists.” As a High Church Catholic and a self-described “liberal of the farnRight,” he foresees that many of his opinions are likely to offend certainnAmerican readers, as for example that “Democracy is the concept of the totallynpoliticized nation; it is a populism, like ethnicism (nationalism) or racism, andntherefore leftist — and consequently totalitarian.” Among the “false but clear”nideas that the left has succeeded in imposing on the modern worid aren”nationalism and democracy, two forms of collectivist horizontalism” thatnKuehnelt-Leddihn thinks must be replaced if we are to find our way out of thenpostmodernist predicament.nWhen Kuehnelt-Leddihn writes that “in a way, and unrealized by most, thendemocratic age is over — even for the United States,” he is in substantialnagreement with the Hungarian-born American historian John Lukacs, whosenOutgrowing Democracy is a book-length treatment of this idea. While 1 takentheir argument seriously, neither Kuehnelt-Leddihn nor Lukacs seems tonrecognize how the federal principle, properly regained, might be made toncompensate — even yet!—for the failure of the democratic principle innAmerica. But it would have to be pretty damn quick.n— Chilton Williamson, ]r.nnnSEPTEMBER 1991/47n