and sense of civic responsibility tliatncharacterizes the classic WSP becamendefinably American characteristics.nWhen immigrants entered the meltingnpot, they were to come out lookingnsomething like the WASPs who hadninvited them in.nNeedless to say, something wentnwrong. It started with the WSPsnthemselves. At first, the revolt againstn(or transformation of) WASP valuesnwas thin-blooded — Henry Adams’snanomie, Emerson’s hyper-individualism,nWoodrow Wilson’s progressivism.nBut by the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, innBrookhiser’s words:nDefections from the generalnculture were occurring at a greatnrate. In each case the cause ofnflight, the bad past the defectorsnwanted to leave behind, asndesperately as immigrantsnwanted to leave Odessa or Cork,nwas the world of the WASP.nThe enemy of every waywardnimpulse — of black pride,nmother tongues, pot, frisbees,nmatriarchy, fisting, the SouthernnBRIEF MENTIONSnway of life, whatever—wasnconscience, industry, success,nand all the rest: the way of thenWASP.nThe conscience that had been thendriving moral force behind WSPs hadn— with a nice shove from Emerson —nbecome solipsism. The industry, selfdenial,nand practical-mindedness of thenWSP that led him inevitably to successn(that allowed him to pursue, to a greaternextent, his civic duty) has been alterednbeyond recognition. In the post-WSPnworld, where the self—the id — is central,ncreativity and self-expression becomenthe thing, and the self turns itsnenergies towards the goal of gratification.nAs we are all equal selves, we havenno moral right to tell other selves how tonlive their lives (hence the unravelling ofnAmerica into its composite victimngroups, all of whom have developedntheir own political agendas to make surenthat their rights and their share ofngovernment funding and affirmative actionnare maintained).nNeedless to say, not all WSPs havensuccumbed, and even where they have.nFORGERS AND CRITICS: CREATIVITY AND DUPLICITY INnWESTERN SCHOLARSHIP by Anthony GraftonnPrinceton: Princeton University Press; 157 pp., $14.95nSir Karl Popper thought the physical sciences advanced by “Conjectures andnRefutations,” the creation of hypotheses that are then tested. Anthony Grafton’snwitty and learned Forgers and Critics sees the progress of the humane sciencesnlinked to the creation of forgeries that are then detected. In the RenaissancenLorenzo Valla used a philological method to prove that the documentary basis ofnPapal rule, the Donation of Constantine, was a medieval forgery. When thenInquisition failed to silence him, the Pope offered Valla a lifetime job as Papalnsecretary.nGrafton shows that Valla’s techniques were not original inventions, but the boldnand creative employment of a philology that goes back to the ancient world. It isnstill relevant. As late as 1950 Paul Coleman-Norton of Grafton’s own Princetonnforged a Patristic fragment. German and Italian scholars proved during the pastncentury that a work of Saint Cyprian known only from Renaissance editions is theninvention of Erasmus. In the editio princeps of the New Testament Erasmusntranslated into Greek his own Latin translation of the last six verses of Apocalypse,nas Grafton mentions, and extra verses from the Latin Vulgate at Acts 9:5-6.nColeman-Norton’s work was a jeu d’esprit, but Erasmus wanted to reform thenChurch on the basis of his editions of the New Testament and the Fathers.nGrafton enjoys his clever forgers and chuckles at critics who mingle skepticismnwith gullibility. In the end, however, the tribe of Coleman-Norton and Erasmusnare liars. “The critic sets out to fight the monsters that crowd about us in the longnsleep of reason that is human history. . . . The exercise of criticism is a sign ofnhealth and virtue in a civilization; the prevalence of forgery is a sign of illness andnvice.” I am going back to thumb through my copies of While England Slept andnProfiles in Courage.n—E. Christian Kopffn38/CHRONrCLESnnntheir virtues continue to appear — howeverndistorted — in popular culture. AsnBrookhiser notes: “The puritanism ofnantisensuality often reappears, displacedninto health and fitness. Robin Byrd,nwho hosts a popular pornographic shownon cable TV, on which she interviewsnstrippers and blue movie stars, also doesna second show on which she demonstratesnweightlifting. No doubt she is annonsmoker.”nBrookhiser is remarkably sanguinenabout the future, in this brief book thatncloses before it outstays its welcome, butnone wonders if he is not overly so. Henthinks that Americans have realized thatnthey took a wrong turn by experimentingnwith and-WSP values and arenready for a return to pro-WASP values.nHe even provides a mini-political platformnfor George Bush to adopt in theneffort to bring back the way of thenWSP. It includes a principled delimitationnof the ends of government; thenadoption of English-only laws; a returnnof education to the basics of reading,nwriting, and arithmetic; a comprehensivendenial of the claims of specialninterest groups; and encouraging, as farnas possible, a revival of Protestant, Victoriannvalues. This movement must benProtestant because though the “Nationnof Islam preaches this message [of industrynand anti-sensualism … it] alsonpreaches that nonblack races are thendemonic results of a prehistoric breedingnexperiment on the island ofnPatmos. . .”nBrookhiser’s platform offers swellnpolicies but not much in the way ofntactical advice about how they couldnactually be implemented; and therenseems very little likelihood that many ofnthem will be. What this country needsnis neither a two-cent cigar nor an oldstylenWASP like George Bush, butnrather more vigorous Anglo-Saxons ofnthe Wellington type who would look atnAIDS marchers, teenage mothers, andndaycare center agitators and growl:n”Fornicate and be damned!” And whonwould say to all those seeking federalnhandouts because they are poor: “BynGod, so you are! Why don’t you donsomething about it!”nBut somehow I don’t think that willnhappen.n»nH.W. Crocker III is editor of RegnerynGateway Publishers in Washington,nD.C.n