ing criticism is especially needed in antime when critical standards and culturalnvalues are under heavy attack, whennchange and innovation are upon usneverywhere. If a critic can do nothingnbut warn of lost bearings and wrongndirections, while at the same time instancingnthe moral infirmities of anynhuman situation in which rights replacenobligations, he is fulfilling his function.”nI would add only that the criticnmust also be alive to those aspects ofnmodern thought that have made it bothnviable and attractive. The sensitive andnsensible critic must acknowledge thatnpart of himself that is attracted to modernism,nto the advantages and powers itnoffers him. There are reasons that thisntradition has survived and achieved ascendancy.nThe critic alive to this strugglenwithin himself will find, as Panichasnhimself says, that “his critical reportsnare reports about the struggle that ragesnin the world—and in himself” Suchnreports, if they assess candidly bothnsides of this struggle, may truly offernus—as Panichas so often does in thisnbook—something that we can carenabout. ccnThomas Eisele makes his first appearancenin Chronicles.nSigns of Lifenby Clyde WilsonnWilliam C. Havard: The Recovery ofnPolitical Theory: Limits and Possibihties;nLouisiana State University Press;nBaton Rouge.nThe ancient Western tradition of politicalnthought, appropriate to men seekingnfreedom and virtue in community, hasnin our century been hounded into obscurencorners by materialists and romanticnrevolutionaries. Yet, here andnthere, the tradition remains alive andneven shows signs of a renewed vitality.nOne such sign is the work of WilliamnC. Havard, professor of political sciencenat Vanderbilt University and formernpresident of the Southern Political SciencenAssociation, some of whose occasionalnarticles have been here collected.nHavard’s work is impressive in two respects.nFirst, it offers a critique of thenreigning “value-free” empiricism of academicnpolitical science. Havard subjectsnthis misguided orthodoxy not onlynto the rigors of philosophy but also tonthe lash of satire, as in the hilariousnessay on “The New Lexicon of Politics:nor. How to Engage in Research WithoutnReally Thinking.”nThe second notable virtue ofnHavard’s approach is that it links him tonhis comrades-in-arms. This linkage isnacknowledged in two exceptional essaysnon “The Politics of 17/ Take My Stand”nand on the underappreciated MichaelnOakeshott. Two other pieces pay homagento the late Eric Voegelin, Havard’snteacher and friend. In all, Havard’snbook is a treasure of broad learning andncommon sense. ccnClyde Wilson is editor of The Papersnof John C. Calhoun and professor ofnhistory at the University of SouthnCarolina.nReagan’s Rhetoricnby Christopher MuldornThe Triumph of the American Spirit:nThe Presidential Speeches of RonaldnReagan; Edited by Emil Area andnGregory J. Pamel; National Reproductions;nDetroit.nIt may well be indicative of real progressnin America that we are now able to readnthe Presidential speeches of a man thatnleading commentators frequently declarednunelectable a decade ago. Butnnow that Ronald Reagan’s electability isnestablished beyond doubt, the nationalnmedia have been busy tagging him asnthe “most ideological” of Presidents.nThe ordinary citizen, vaguely uncomfortablenin a world of instant analysesnthat he never made, might just welcomenthe opportunity to examine,nwithout prejudice, the ideas and beliefsnof Mr. Reagan. Fortunately, Emil Areanand Gregory J. Pamel have compiledna cross section of the President’s addresses,none that covers most of thenmajor issues and themes of Reagan’snPresidency.nThe alleged ideological rigidity ofnReagan turns out, upon examination,nto consist of little but a realism concerningnthe failed ideologies of the 60’snand 70’s. The initial optimism of thenGreat Society—the belief that everynwrinkle in the human condition couldnbe ironed out through governmentnprograms—gave way by the late 70’s ton”malaise,” the nagging suspicion thatngovernment could hardly function atnall. During that period, new “rights”nwere constantly being discovered for thenunproductive, the antisocial, and thenbizarre; Federal programs and intrusionsngrew apace. In contrast, nationalndefense was neglected, since detentencommitted the country to a quiet acceptancenof aggressive Soviet behav­nnnior in exchange for pleasant Sovietnrhetoric.nRonald Reagan is consistent in excoriatingnthe policies and mentality thatnturned the prosperous and strong Americanof 1960 into the severely weakenednAmerica of 1980. Reagan’s appeal is notnso much to ideology as to commonnsense; his injunction is to “look at thenrecord,” as Al Smith would have said.nNational security is the first priority ofnthe Federal government; poverty wasnbeing successfully fought so long as angrowing economy, low inflation, andnconsistent increases in productivitynwere the rule; violence and lack ofnparental involvement are antithetical toneducation; the Soviet Union is an evilnempire.nDespite Reagan’s frequent attacks onnbig government, though, in practice henis the defender of a remarkable amountnof governmental activity in the domesticnarena. The “safety net” is a primenexample. Even if domestic spendingnwas reduced at once by some $200nbillion annually—a politically “unthinkable”nsuggestion—it would still bentriple 1960 domestic spending in real,nafter-inflation terms.nRhetoric is important. If some peoplenbelieve that Reagan wants to return thennation to the Coolidge era, the reason isnpartly that he sometimes sounds as if henwould like to do so, even though henintends nothing of the sort. Sooner ornlater, one suspects, conservative Americansnwill have to deal with the incongruencenof political rhetoric reminiscentnof The Road to Serfdom and ofnpersistent defense of a variety of liberalnprograms and initiatives.nTo be sure, the Reagan Administrationnhas effected a dramatic reductionnin the inflation rate and a rejuvenationnof the military. Still, there is room forndoubt over whether America is standingnas tall in the 80’s as some of thenPresident’s speeches suggest. Federalnoutlays still consume a larger share ofnthe Gross National Product than theyndid under Carter, and, even with thenincrease in defense spending (now sputteringnto a halt), that spending is onlyn15 percent higher in real-dollar termsnnow than it was 30 years ago. Despitentoday’s reputedly conservative climate,nmany Americans seem incapable ofngrasping the nature of the Soviet threat,nas evidenced by the “shock” at Reagan’snevil empire speech.nThese Presidential addresses will certainlynnot settle the question of whetherna realignment of the American politicalnspectrum is taking place. They do,nthough, present us with something fornwhich we can all be grateful: the returnnOCTOBER 1985123n