Marketing 101nJean-Claude Courdy: The Japanese:nEveryday Life in the Empire of thenRising Sun; Harper & Row; NewnYork.nMatthew Perry sailed into Tokyo Bay inn1853. President Fillmore was interestednin putting an end to Japan’s isolationnpolicy. Commodore Perry stuck aroundnthe harbor until the empire agreed tonopen trade negotiations. A trade agreementnwas reached. Check the currentnbalance-of-trade deficit figure. Thennthink about Perry’s mission. It’s interestingnto note that his older brother,nOliver Hazard Perry, said in anotherncontext, “We have met the enemy andnthey are ours.” The present situationnbrings to mind another line: “You askednfor it, you got it: Toyota.”nThe Japanese—Honda plants innOhio and Seikos on practically everynwrist notwithstanding—are a curiositynto many Americans. A lion’s share ofnthe interest in the Japanese comes fromnbusiness and industry. That interest hasnresulted in a proliferation of books describingnmanagement techniques.nSince the day-to-day experiences of Japanesenexistence are rarely touched on innsuch texts, we might assume that a booknwith the title The Japanese: EverydaynLife in the Empire of the Rising Sunnwould provide a helpful balance to thenTheory Z. These expectations are notnfulfilled by Courdy, who was head ofnthe French Radio-Television Bureau innTokyo from 1963 to 1970.nLess than a field guide to life innJapan, the book is a resume of Courdy’snpersonal life (dealing with traffic jams;ntrying to pick up women), that’s solidifiednwith a few trivial facts (e;g., one ofnthe observations in a section improbablyntitled “Realities”: “Japanese homesnare 100 percent equipped with televisionnsets, more than 92 percent ofnwhich are color sets”), and spiced withnbland sociopolitical comments like:n”The United States does not welcomenbeing defeated on its home turf ofntechnological superiority.” Apart fromnthe growing interest in Japanese business,nthe main reason for the book’snexistence is Courdy’s belief that he’s anfascinating and rather erudite guy.nWhile we can certainly stand to learnnlessons from the Japanese—about respectnfor family and for cultural tradition,nfor example—the source for suchnenlightenment is not a guide to Zenntechniques for the boardroom, nor is itnThe Japanese. (CSV) ccnCurse the DarknessnLIBERAL ARTSnfii Yiirk. a inas;a/iiie w itii /oiV «rus fornit^ grav niatfer. devolcil the l’JS4 earcndnissue to the virtues ol I’lie L’M.nSeent-niiie leading New ‘lorkers werenasked for their opinions. Diana reelandnsjjoke fur the majority when shenanniimieed:nNew York i^ the leading light ofnthe twentieth eentnr.nCanonizingnEleanornJ. William T. Youngs: Eleanor Roosevelt:nA Personal and Public Life; Little,nBrown; Boston.nNo First Lady in this century has sonfully captured the American imaginationnas Eleanor Roosevelt—only JacquelinenKennedy has even come close.nDuring the dark hours of the Depressionnand World War II, Eleanor becamena symbol of hope for millions ofnAmericans. A tireless public figure, shentraveled throughout the country encouragingnthe unemployed and disheartened.nDuring the war, she visitednhundreds of wounded American- servicemennboth in the United States and innthe South Pacific. Thousands drew inspirationnfrom her letters, speeches, andnnewspaper and magazine articles.nFor all her virtues, Mrs. Rooseveltnhardly deserves the hagiography J. WilliamnT. Youngs has produced. In ordernto portray his subject as “virtually annAmerican saint” and “the greatestnAmerican woman of the twentieth century,”nYoungs had to ignore the dubiousnaspects of Eleanor Roosevelt’s life.nIt makes for a superficial—and shortn—book. Indeed, in his uncritical adulationnYoungs mirrors what was probablynEleanor’s greatest fault: boundlessnnaivete. After 50 years of disasternin “progressive” social engineering,nEleanor’s simpleminded faith in innatenhuman goodness, social reform, women’snrights, and wealth redistributionnnow seems childish. Even the reformmindednFDR wisely dismissed manynof his wife’s ideas as hopeless pipedreams.nUnfortunately, Eleanor’s credulousnviews on foreign policy were all toonclose to the President’s own. Youngsnputs the best possible face on things:n”Eleanor had none of the exaggeratednfears of those who believed that Russiannnn(l what a eenlury it’s heenl W hennLord (“.re> saw the lamps going out allnover- I’.urope .some ~(l years ago, thenblackout must have been caused by anpower-snrge in Manhattan. a-nwas completely evil.” Stunned at FDR’sndeath by revelations of his infidelityn(though her own conduct with JosephnLash seems suspect), Eleanor continuednto place implicit trust in all thenvows pronounced at international altarsnby “Uncle Joe” and other communistnleaders.nWe may be as glad over Eleanor’snmany good works as with the failure ofnher Utopian fantasies to be taken seriouslynby her contemporaries. However,nher canonization in the 1980’s is symbolicnof how far we have come innlegislating Never-Never Land. ccnReinventing thenUniversenPhilosophy and Science Fiction; Editednby Michael Philips; PrometheusnBooks; Buffalo, NY.nIt is not exactly a new idea to considernthe philosophical dimensions of sciencenfiction. This anthology, which seemsndesigned for one of Prof Philips’s freshmannsurvey courses, contains a fewngood, if obvious, selections from StanislawnLem, Borges, and Karel Capek innaddition to several dreadful exercises innthe genre by Robert Heinlein, IsaacnAsimov, Norman Spinrad, and—theninevitably anthologized The MachinenStops—E. M. Forster, all prefaced bynan introduction which seems to reducenethics and metaphysics to matters ofnopinion, all of them fashionable. Thencurious reader will have to search otherngalaxies for the libertarian/traditionalistnPoul Anderson or the unpredictablenHarlan Ellison. There was a time whennphilosophers were also men of lettersnwith literary taste; none of them, fromnPlato to Bergson, would have the patiencento read, much less edit, thisnanriiology. ccnMARCH im/29n