301 CHRONICLES OF CULTUREnThese “tales of the playful imagination”nare engaging and sometimes startling.nThey appeal perhaps to our childhoodnself, that receptiveness to the spellnof even implausible narrative. However,nthe claim that they probe and illuminatenhuman experience in significantnways may be overstated. On the whole,ntheir significance lies in their manifestationnof the fertility of the humannimagination and the mysterious andnperennial allure of storytelling. ccnStephen L. Tanner is professor ofnEnglish at Brigham Young University.nErraticnEntrepreneursnby Gavin D. ArbucklenJames Grant: Bernard M. Baruch:nThe Adventures of a Wall Street Legend;nSimon & Schuster; New York.nStanley Jackson: J. P. Morgan; Steinn& Day; New York.nWriters of worthwhile biographies mustnnot only research their facts carefully,nthey must also highlight the moral,nimaginative, or philosophic significancenof their subjects’ lives. BothnJames Grant’s Bernard Baruch andnStanley Jackson’s ].P. Morgan are wellnresearched and clearly written, but bothnfail to tell us why we should care aboutneither of these two idiosyncratic businessmen.nBaruch’s transformation fromna freewheeling stock market speculatornin the early 1900’s to a statist advisor tonPresidents between the wars could havenserved as a basis for a broad treatment ofnthe relations between businessmen andngovernment, but Grant contents himselfnwith careful accounts of Baruch’snpersonal relations with his colleaguesnand with details of his stock marketntransactions. The career of J.P. Morgan,nthe great banker who directednmany of the giant industrial mergers ofnthe late 19th century, invites a discussionnof industrial concentration andnrestriction of competition. Jacksonnlooks merely at Morgan’s art acquisitions,nhis luxurious vacations, and hisnautocratic personal manner.nBaruch’s career presents the samenparadox as that of many businessmennwho become advisors and employees ofngovernment. In private life a beneficiarynand champion of free enterprise,nBaruch became in public service annadvocate of the most onerous governmentndirection and control of the econ­nomy. He seems not so much to havenchanged his principles as to have followednno consistent principles at all.nThe philosophical metamorphosis ofnbusinessmen who begin receiving governmentnchecks has been widely observed.nAlmost all businessmen not onngovernment payrolls advocate free enterprisenand limited government. Butnhardly any interventionist excess of thenlast half-century, from import restrictionsnand farm subsidies to price andnwage controls to loan guarantees tonfailing firms, has proceeded withoutnthe approval and support of at leastnsome businessmen turned governmentnadvisors.nThe ideological shallowness of manynbusinessmen has several causes. In thenfirst place, any demanding occupationntends to create a narrowness of outlook.nAt the same time, professional successnencourages businessmen to regardnthemselves as authorities on everynimaginable subject. But when not dealingnwith technical problems, businessmenntypically let personal friendshipsnand social trends—not deep convictionsnor broad understanding—shapentheir attitudes and outlook.nNor is it likely that anyone will evernlearn political constancy from the worldnof high finance. For a speculator or anynlarge scale businessman, the guidingnrule is not to fight the market. When anninvestment fails to prosper, it should benabandoned immediately and replacednwith one that is rising in the market. Anstock that is a good buy today may be anpoor one tomorrow, and success goes tonthe investor most willing to abandonnpoor prospects rapidly and revise hisnopinion in response to current events.nConstancy in holding unpopular investmentsnor in holding to earlier opinionsnwhen the market is hostile is regarded innfinancial circles as unenterprising andnfoolish.nFinancial dealers moving into governmentnservice naturally tend to viewpoliticalntrends as they view the stocknmarket. Perhaps alone of those who usenthe ghastly phrase, they believe in then”marketplace of ideas.” Like the professionalnstock trader, they view the underlyingnsoundness of an idea as of far lessnimportance than the current advantagesnof subscribing to it. As Grant aptly sumsnup Baruch’s movement from champioanof free enterprise to advisor to the NewnDeal:nTo intellectuals, political ideasnlived and breathed. To Baruch,nthey were considerably lessnlifelike than power, party andnfriendship, and he was usuallynnnready to sacrifice philosophicalnconsistency to any one of thosenconsiderations.nWhen government intervention isnpopular, such businessmen view defendersnof individual freedom not asnprincipled idealists but as incompetents,nlike investors who miss the bullnmarket by unwisely tying up their assetsnin low-yield bonds. Lamenting the captivennations of Eastern Europe maynappear to these businessmen as worthwhilenas lamenting the fate of the shareholdersnof Penn Central. (Small businessmen,nwho typically lack the abilitynto switch products quickly, are commonlynless nimble in switching politicalncommitments as well.)nOne of the more durable myths ofnconservative politics is that governmentncan automatically be made less intrusivenand expansionist if enough businessmenncan be installed in importantnposts. But businessmen as a class arenprobably unsuited by experience andnattitude to challenging the intellectuallyncommitted advocates of expandingngovernment power. Leadership for ideologicalnchange must come from thinkers,nnot dealers. Yet if principled conservativesnimpel a shift in popular viewsnof government, bHsinessmen can benrelied on to follow in the hope ofnmaking trading profits on the change, ccnGavin Arbuckle is an economistnworking in Ottawa, Ontario.nSocialismnSanctifiednby Brent CJiesleynDale Vree: From Berkeley to EastnBerlin and Back; Thomas Nelson,nInc.; Nashville, TN; $9.95.nDale Vree begins his book by recountingnthe experiences in the radical 60’snthat led him to leave Berkeley andnsample life in the “worker’s paradise” ofnEast Berlin. Such a decision makesnVree seem admirable: at least he did notnbegin by demanding radical changes innAmerican society and end by indulgingnin radical decadence and selfishness, asnmany other Berkeley revolutionariesndid. Vree rejected the hypocrisy ofnAmerican leftist movements, but whennhe tried life behind the Iron Curtain henfound it wanting, too. He expectednpeople living under a Communist regimento be morally superior, but hendiscovered that average East Berlinersn