ing the dynamics of reading, hisnthesis is less revolutionary thannall of this “excess freight” mightnimply. To wit: anyone who writesnanything does so for a purpose.nThis is as true for the hack (partynor mercenary) who wants ton”cash in” as it is for the “producer”nof bona fide literature. A wadenthrough Professor Foulkes’s booknis a “stiff price to pay” for thatn”shop-worn” observation. Tonquote the character who mustnbe a hero of users of modernnEnglish even though they mightnthink the opposite, lago, “Putnmoney in thy purse.” DnMisbegottenn*Conservatisin’nSol Gordon andjudidi Gordon:nRaising a Child Conservativelynin a Sexualfy PermissivenWorld; Simon and Schuster; New York.nFor more than two decades,nliberal has been the proud badgenof respectability and acceptancenamong those governing Americannacademia, culture, and media.nWith growing public awarenessnof what liberal dogma has donento our chaotic schools, flaccidnchurches, disintegrating femilies,nand our skyrocketing rates ofncrime, drug abuse, and teenagensuicide, ho^^ever, that label hasnlost some of its appeal. Consequently,na few liberals have stof^jednidentifying themselves as such:nthey’re not going to take thenblame for all those teenagers slittingntheir wrists. Some liberalsnhave even begun to call themselvesn”conservatives,” while actuallynconserving nothing butnthe vacuum at the heart of valueneutralnegalitarianism. Thus wenhave Sol Gordon and Judith Gordon,nauthors of an egregiouslynmistitled work justifying everynconceivable sexual activity pleasingnto the consenting adult whondoes not exploit others. Sneeringnat the religious New Right fornhaving “preempted the meaningnof conservatism,” they shame­nlessly pervert that meaning bynredefining it around the thoroughlynmodem concept of “goodnself-esteem.”nWhat Mr. and Mrs. Gordonnprefer to ignore is that no conservatism,npious or secular, hasnever made the self its center. Thenself, hopelessly fallible, finite, andnmortal, cannot be conserved as ancultural standard, and should notnbe so elevated. What can be preserved,nand against which conservativesnhave always insistednthat the puny ego measure itself,nare the truths discovered duringncenturies of religious devotion,nintellectual research, and socialnstability. Such verities are cheerfullyndiscarded by the Gordons,nwho pathologize “Victorian morality”nand the traditional “authoritarian”nfemily while legitimi2ingnhomosexuality and sodomy. Evennwhen they reach the conservativenconclusion that teenagersnshould not be “sexually active,”nthe first reason they advance forntheir position is radically nonconservative:n”They do not havenready access to contraception.”nAnd what can possibly be termedn”conservative” in an interpretationnof femily violence as a byproductnof traditional sex rolesnand of pornography as the resultnof too few public sex-educationnprograms?nThe CJordons’ argument fornfrank discussions about sex betweennparents and children isncompelling, but their unqualifiednenthusiasm for sex education innthe schools is less persuasive, especiallynin the context of theirnpatronizing dismissal of religiousnteachings and their uncriticalnidealization of Sweden as a modelnof proper enlightenment. It seemsnimpossible that the Gordonsnfailed to note the dramatic upswingnof venereal disease amongnyoung Swedish teenagers in thendecades since Sweden made sexneducation compulsory, b^inningnin the first grade. But then, sincenthe more severe forms of suchndiseases cause brain damage, anwidespread epidemic might helpnmore people accept their claimnto be “conservative.” (BC) DnAvarice and thenOther SixnRichard Condon: A TremblingnUpon Rome; G. P. Putnam’snSons; New York.nUpon learning that his AnTrembling Upon Rome has beenncat^orized as a “Waste of Money,”nRichard Condon will undoubtedlynfeel a momentary rush of pleasuren(because of the reference to anmedium of exchange), thennlaunch into an overlong scenarionabout how it came to pass, onenthat will be chock-fiiU of intrigue,ndoublecrossings, sex, financialnmanipulation on a world scale,nsex, murders, more sex, and interlockingnevents that make anspider’s web appear to be heavyhandednengineering. Condon,nauthor of works including ThenManchurian Candidate, madencontemporary afEairs as a seriesnof plots within plots within plotsnhis literary turf when ThomasnPynchon was still in short pants.nSome, although kinky, are interestingnexercises; Winter Kills,nfor example, is a rendition of thenKennedy assassination cotispiracyntheories which not only co-optsnnnthe reigning ones, but does themnone better. Unfortunately, Condon,nwith this, his 22nd book,nseems to have become enthusiasticallynenamored of facts,nfigures, and moral perversions.nThe novel is a tabulation of eventsnsurrounding the Medicis (bankersnare a fevorite target for Condon)nand the antipope John XXIIIn(picked, perhaps, rather thannBenedia Xin because of his highernnumeral, the highest in the.nChurch until the bona fide JohnnXXm [1958-1963]). Typical ofnthe approach in the novel is thisnrendering of a bit of local color:n[Snow] fell upon the thirtyntowers and gateways of thenwalled city of Konstanz,nwhich had a population ofnsix thousand people on thenday Pope John XXIII enterednthe city. Two months later,nby the end of the first week ofnJanuary 1415, Konstanz hadntwenty thousand people;nsixty thousand by the end ofnFebruary the same year.nLest any reader equipped withnmaps, a calculator, and a calendarnhave any doubts about the accuracynof this description or aboutnthe value of the vast numbers ofngold coins that are bandied aboutn(typically in the form of bribes),nCondon appends a “BibliographicnNote” that lists works that can benconsulted: “I’m legit,” Condonntacitly insists.nCondon doesn’t merely exposena man who apparently ^vorenthe cloth only for the sake of thencollection plate and who preferredncavorting about beneathnsheets; he renders the Churchnbody as being cancerous throughnand through. Only a mind thatnsees all motives as being suspectnand ultimately tainted by anrapacious selfishness could creatensuch a blighted expanse thatnserves not to instruct or entertain,nbut only to denigrate. Suspicionnhas not merely laid Condonnlow; it has figuratively buriednhim. Dni43nFebruary 1984n