30/CHRONICLES OF CULTUREnbackground of the poem. Intelligentnand useful though both essavs are, mostnreaders will still need Chades Kennedy’snintroduction to his translation (nownin paperback from Oxford), since thatnessa’ presents the scholarly “problems”noi Beowulf, summarized from FriedrichnKlaeber’s standard edition, in a clearnand sometimes original fashion. It cannotnbe said that Osborne’s translation isna definitie adance oer Kenned as anwhole, though it certainly is in parts.nThe package is attractie, though, andnthe Beowulf amateur uill derie muchnpleasure from it. ccnE. Christian Kopff is professor ofnclassics at the University of Coloradonand an editor of Classic Journal.nModern Mobsnby Richard A. CoopernElias Canetti: Crowds & Power; ContinuumnBooks; New York; S9.95.nOn the stage of history, the crowd playsna dramatic and often critical role. Ournown era has seen many powerful andnferocious crowds. Indeed the NobelnLaureate Elias Canetti, a Sephardic Jewnfrom Bulgaria who lives in London butnwrites in German, contends that thencrowd springs from the hunting packs ofnour primitive ancestors. As befits itsniolent origins, the crowd seeks to “discharge”nits energ}’ against a target, usuallynhuman. In the crowd’s fascinationnwith incendiary destruction, Canettinsees the survival of ancient passions.nDriven b’ a “will” to subsume everonenunder its banner, the crowd seeks tondestroy those who stand apart. Canetti’snbelief that the quest for power withinncrowds is the desire to be the solitarynsurior surveying the silent crowd ofnthe dead explains why so many of ournmodern leaders have presided over hecatombsnof corpses. It is in war thatnmodern crowd behas ior best illustratesnCanetti’s thesis of hunting-pack origins.nCrowds and Power, however, suffersnfrom some of the worst faults of 19thcenturynwriting: the substitution ofnanalogy for proof; the careless use ofnexplorers’ accounts; and the questionbeggingnconcept of vestiges from thenprimeval past. How do we know thatnthe crowd is a vestige of the huntingnpack? Canetti does not say. His conceptnof vestiges requires acceptance of racialnmemory, an inherited unconsciousnmemory of the species’ past. Canettincreates a “metahistory,” a history ofnwhat might have happened if onlv wenaccept his conclusions.nCanetti examines unionism andnunion strikes — with its language ofn”Brotherhood” and “Solidarity” — asnprime modern examples of crowd behavior,nbut curiously, he omits anyndiscussion of Georges Sorel’s compatiblenconception of the general strike asnmyth. Given the role of the crowd inn20th-century revolutions, it is evennmore curious that Canetti barely mentionsnNational Socialism and Communism.nConsider the Nazi Party’s name:nNational Socialist German Workers’nParty. Every single word refers to ancrowd. “Party” is most congenial tonCanetti’s thesis: the political party was an”pack ” organized for the pursuit ofnpower. In ideology and practice. NationalnSocialism was statist and coUectivist.nThe “race,” the “volk,” and then”.ryans” are all crowd symbols.nIf the crowd and its link to power isnprimeval in origin, as Canetti savs, whyndoes it persist? Canetti does not considernhow modern politicians have deliberatelvnreinforced the crowd mentality innthe public schools and through propagandanand military conscription. Fewnpeople today can resist the influence ofnthose who engineer mass conformity.nCanetti’s Crowds and Pou’er forcesnthe question: How can we defuse thencrowd’s explosive potential? Our futurenrequires an answer Canetti does notnsupph. ccnRichard Cooper is a graduate ofnColumbia College.nThe Politics ofnGullibilitynby Gary S. VasilashnGregory O’Brien: Lenin Lives!; Steinn& Day; New York.nThe degree to which Americans live inna media-contrived world is well illustratednin Gregory O’Brien’s slim novelnLenin Lives! Mr. O’Brien shows thendistortions in this world by imaginingnwhat would happen should the Sovietsnone day claim “they have performed anmedical feat of sensational proportions:nthe resurrection of Russian revolutionarynleader V. I. Lenin.” O’Brien followsnthe story through newspaper reports,nmagazine articles, and transcriptsnof TV and radio broadcasts. At first, thenoracles of information call the wholenthing a tasteless hoax. Sixteen days laternan LA Times editorial concludes: “Innour news space, we have until nownnndealt gingerly with Western sensitivitiesnon this matter by placing the namenLenin in quotation marks. Beginningnwith todav’s edition we have stopped.nLenin lives.” The proof? No medicalnexam, not even finger prints, but insteadncharisma and manners of bygonendays. Surely O’Brien has given us ancaricature. But how often does the insatiablenAmerican audience demandnmuch more of its visible or invisiblentalking heads? ccnGary Vasilash is a contributing editornto Chronicles.nA Fighter & AnnOilernRussell PuUiam: Publisher: Gene Pulliam,nLast of the Newspaper Titans;nJameson Books; Ottawa, IL.nEdward L. Schapsmeier and FredericknH. Schapsmeier: Dirksen of Illinois:nSenatorial Statesman; Universitynof Illinois Press; Urbana, IL.nWhile national polities is largely annEast Coast affair and the national mediansplit their operations between New Yorknand California, recent biographies remindnus that the Midwest has providednsome of this century’s leading figures innboth. Son of Methodist missionaries,nEugene C. Pulliam was born on May 3,n1889, in a sod hut in Ulysses, Kansas.n.After learning the fundamentals ofnnewspaper journalism in Kansas Citv,nhe went on to become one of America’snleading publishers, controlling fournmetropolitan dailies and a string ofnsmaller papers. Son of a design painter,nEverett McKinley Dirksen was bornn(with his twin brother Thomas) on Januaryn4, 1896, in Pekm, Illinois. Afternpolishing his rhetorical skills as an amateurnthespian, while earning his livingnas a baker, Dirksen successfully ran fornCongress in 1932 and eventually madenhis way up very near the top—thenRepublican leader of the Senate.nBoth were hardworking and ambitiousnmen. Both acquired reputations asn